I had forgotten about these drawings I did many years ago. I took two sessions of Sumi-e, the Japanese brush art. It was mainly copying from the masters and I know that by the standard of this art, these are not so good, as my Japanese teacher would tell me.  But I  learned a lot about the brushworks, the contrast so different from the western paintings, the composition so graphic.

J’avais oublié ces dessins fait il y a  pas mal d’années. J’ai suivi deux sessions de Sumi-e, l’art du pinceau japonais. C’était surtout de la copie de grands maitres et je sais que d’après les standards de cet art, ces dessins ne sont pas trés bon, comme le disait mon professeur japonais.  Mais j’y ai appris beaucoup sur le maniement du pinceau, le contraste si différent de la peinture occidentale, la composition si graphique.



16 thoughts on “Sumi-e

  1. Those paintings are quite good, especially for having taken only two lessons. I believe you should pursue Sumi-e and Chinese Brush painting more. Perhaps you should try the bamboo.

  2. Thank you all very much for your nice comments and encouragements.
    These drawings are exercises to me, because I was copying from books and trying to reproduce the same effect. It was very interesting to learn more about the technique.
    I did try bamboo too, but when the teacher told me that normally you do two years of trunk before trying the leaves, I got discouraged!

  3. I paint the bamboo, and learned to with sweat as I had no natural artistic skills, but you definitely appear to be a natural at Sumi-e. I do not understand why you should paint the trunk for two years before trying the leaves. The trunk is actually rather easy to paint or write.

  4. Aletha, j’ai beaucoup rigolé! Mon prof japonais n’était pas aussi démonstratif mais il y avait un peu de ça!

    I see that the 2 years delay brings questions. The teacher told us that in Japan there were classes only on bamboo and first doing trunks, and then when mastered ,graduating to leaves. It looks very simple but in simplicity it is very hard to obtain nuances.

    Louis, where can I see your bamboo?
    I have also to say that I took 2 sessions of 8 courses, not 2 lessons, it was not clear in the text.

  5. I have not painted any since the last three years or so. I have done quite a bit of practicing, and have probably gotten a lot better. I do not have a web site, but if you were to give me an e-mail address, I could send images of three of them. I will also send one of a peony that I painted and really like.

  6. Good/not good is a binary thing. FWIW, I prefer to think of most things people do as being on a spectrum of goodness. Compared to Shakespeare, with Shakespeare being “good”, most (all?) playwrights would be “not good”. But of course we would miss out on alot of wonderful plays if playwriters thought that way.

    I think your work is really good, and like all artistic work, will only get better! So keep up the good — no, great! — work.

  7. Thanks Bernie, I like your tech vocabulary, binary thing. Spectrum of goodness is interesting too, but I think that art brings a first emotion in the binary thing, it is a yes or a no and then the reasoning comes and apply the spectrum of goodness.
    Thank you for looking and commenting and ranking me not too low on that spectrum.

  8. Two lessons! I think these are pretty good. I I’d one lesson but could not control the ink flow on the absorbent rice paper. Very impressive.

    • Hi Beil,
      two sessions of 8 courses, if I remember well, so much more than 2 lessons.
      I like a lot the way ink plays with the paper and I still do paint with Japaneese brush and rice paper but not in the sumi-e tradition.
      thank you very much for your visit and comment.

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