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Foundation Course

Step-by-step how to create beautiful Japanese ink paintings of wild orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum blossom

Course Description

About this course

The Four Noble Ones is a comprehensive foundation course which provides students with an in-depth learning experience in Japanese ink painting. This course will give you the opportunity to develop your skill-set while gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for the traditional process of ink painting.

In this course, you’ll learn how to paint wild orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum blossom. This array of subjects allowing for an extensive study. Throughout the course, you will experiment with using ink, colour and a range of compositions to create your own ink paintings.

In this course, you will:

  • Learn how to prepare your work-space

  • Learn how to hold the brush and make your own ink

  • Exercise the brush to make fluent lines

  • Practice Japanese calligraphy

  • Learn step-by-step how to paint wild orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum-blossom

  • Use Japanese watercolours

  • Create your very own beautiful ink paintings

  • Deepen your experience of the meditative nature of ink painting

The course also includes:

  • Tools and materials check-list

  • Downloadable PDF worksheet to accompany each lesson

  • Additional compositions for you to practice in your own time

Upon completion of your foundation course you will become confident with using the Japanese brush, ink and paper, ready to paint many other beautiful subjects. You will understand and appreciate the value of this practice within the tradition of Japanese art history, and will find it an open gate for your own creative journey.

This course is for you if:

  • You want to learn the foundation of how to create beautiful ink painting using traditional Japanese brushes, ink and paper.

  • You may not have previous experience, but are excited to explore and learn a new way of painting.

  • You love the way of Japanese ink painting and wish to practice further, explore and develop your skills and abilities.


Highlights of what you will paint

Learn how to paint The Four Noble Ones

Step-by-step how to create beautiful Japanese ink paintings of wild orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum blossom


Meet your teacher

Talia Lehavi is an artist, a practitioner and a teacher of traditional Japanese ink painting. Following years of teaching, her love and passion for this artistic medium has now prompted her to create ArtBrush - online school for the studies of Japanese ink painting. The school is designed for students of all levels, from around the world, who are excited to learn, explore and discover the joy of ink painting and its many facets.

Talia Lehavi Headshot - ArtBrush Japanese Ink Brush Painting Instructor - Artist - London Mallorca Zichron


What our students say about their experience

Tsipi - ArtBrush Student

Talia’s ArtBrush online school guides its students onto a soulful journey into the realms of traditional Japanese ink painting. It is a unique combination between the disciplined perfection of the inner discourse of the hand, brush and ink, with an opportunity for new horizons as well as deep and spontaneous individual insights.

—  Tsipi W. Art Historian

Holly - ArtBrush Student

As a beginner in Japanese Ink Painting, Talia's approach to teaching made me feel completely comfortable. I have learnt so much about the history, processes and application of Ink Painting and cannot wait to continue pursuing my newfound skill set even further. I would recommend ArtBrush to everyone, no matter of capability, it's a truly unique school which allows for dedicated and encouraging learning.

—  Holly G. Artist

Olympia - ArtBrush Student

Very detailed and informative course ! I have always been an admirer of Asian traditional painting and this course provided me of an insider's look of this magic world. With the help of Talia and the ARTBRUSH online courses, I have managed to learn, exercise and master special brushwork techniques otherwise unaccesible to me. I also got an overall understanding of the aesthetics around this beautiful world of ink painting.

I totally recommend this!

—  Olympia T. Artist & Writer


Included in this course

Welcome introduction

  1. Welcome to ArtBrush (2:21)

  2. Learning Japanese ink painting - introduction

  3. Your workspace (1:54)

  4. Tools & materials - The four treasures (5:09)

  5. Making ink & How to hold the brush (3:21)

  6. Your check list (1:03)

  7. Tools and materials sources

The Four Noble Ones - introduction

  1. 4 Essential Japanese Ink Painting Tutorials

  2. About the Four Noble Ones (1:18)

  3. Structure of lessons on the course (2:00)

Wild Orchids 蘭 'ran'

  1. Introduction on painting wild orchids (1:40)

  2. Brush practice - 'thin - thick - thin' (2:28)

  3. Painting wild orchid leaves (1:31)

  4. Calligraphy practice -HEART 心 'shin/kokoro' (3:19)

  5. Painting wild orchid flowers (4:36)

  6. Common mistakes (3:15)

  7. Create your own painting - Composition I (3:47)

  8. Wild orchid flower stem (3:06)

  9. Group of wild orchid leaves (3:52)

  10. Create your own painting - Composition II - Ink & colour (7:38)

  11. Wild orchid colour flower stem (10:20)

  12. Soul meditation - Elegance (0:29)

  13. Create your own painting - Composition III - Colour (5:28)

  14. Wild orchids - Outro (0:45)

  15. Bonus Section - 3 additional compositions for you to practice in your own time

Bamboo 竹 'take'

  1. Promo (0:40)

  2. Introduction on painting bamboo (1:18)

  3. Brush practice - 'thin- thick -thin' (2:56)

  4. Painting bamboo leaves (3:02)

  5. Painting bamboo branches (6:09)

  6. Brush lines practice - 'pause - move - pause' (1:34)

  7. Calligraphy practice - ONE 一 'ichi' (1:34)

  8. Painting bamboo stems and knots (1:32)

  9. Create your own painting - Composition I (2:55)

  10. Playful ink technique (2:07)

  11. Soul meditation - Emptiness (0:56)

  12. Create your own painting - Composition II (3:59)

  13. Bamboo - Outro (0:55)

  14. Bonus Section - 3 additional compositions for you to practice in your own time

Chrysanthemum - Yellow Empress 菊 'kiku'

  1. Introduction on painting chrysanthemum (1:53)

  2. Calligraphy practice - CENTRE 中 'chu/naka' (2:10)

  3. Brush practice - 'pause - move - pause' (1:27)

  4. Painting chrysanthemum leaves (5:45)

  5. Painting chrysanthemum buds and flowers (5:48)

  6. Create your own painting - Composition I (6:13)

  7. Painting flowers in 'boneless' style (3:55)

  8. Soul meditation - Strength (0:45)

  9. Create your own painting - Colour composition II (5:09)

  10. Chrysanthemum - Outro (1:17)

  11. Bonus I - Three additional compositions for you to practice in your own time

  12. Bonus II - Hokusai chrysanthemum designs from his manual

  13. Bonus III - Details of chrysanthemum from an 18th C. Japanase folding screen

  14. Bonus IV - Chrysanthemum by the Stream

Plum Blossom 梅の花 'ume no hana'

  1. Introduction on painting plum blossom (1:41)

  2. Brush practice - 'deer antlers' (1:25)

  3. Fine twigs (1:36)

  4. Painting blossoms 'line stroke' style (5:44)

  5. Creating your own painting - Simple composition I (7:54)

  6. Brush practice - plum twigs (2:03)

  7. Brush practice - plum branches (5:10)

  8. Plum branches and colour blossoms 'boneless' style (5:10)

  9. Create your own painting - Composition II - Ink and colour (3:13)

  10. Soul meditation - The nature of a breathing line (0:26)

  11. Create your own painting - Composition III - Ink and colour (6:12)

  12. Xtra - Painting plum blossom - principles and symbology

  13. Plum blossom - Outro (1:23)

  14. Bonus I - Three additional compositions for you to practice in your own time

  15. Bonus II - Plum blossom haiku

Course Outro

  1. Outro (0:39)

Bonus Material

  1. Traditional compositions for you to practice in your own time

  2. The Four Noble Ones Haiku - Poetry

  3. Get your certificate of graduation

  4. Review and ArtBrush students gallery

Music by Matthew Halsall

Learn how to paint The Four Noble Ones

Step-by-step how to create beautiful Japanese ink paintings of wild orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum blossom


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling and as long as ArtBrush is live online, you have unlimited access to the course across any devices you own for as long as you like.

I am a complete beginner. Is this for me?

Yes! The course is designed with beginners and intermediate students in mind, as well as, those who are keen to deepen their knowledge of the field. There are many step-by-step videos that are perfect for anyone just getting started. No previous experience in art or ink painting is required. The course is for mixed-level abilities.

I am a professional artist. Is this for me?

Absolutely! Many professional artists and designers have been studying with Talia and have benefited from the Japanese art and practice aesthetics. The courses offer new ways of observing nature and understanding painting composition and space in a way unique to Japanese ink painting.

How do I enrol on a course?

To enrol on one of the ArtBrush courses, click on any "Enrol" button on this page and complete your purchase. You will need to create an account with us to purchase and access the course. If you already have an account, log in to complete your purchase. Then, you'll have access to the course, and your purchase details will be emailed to you.

Would I need any special tools and materials?

Yes! Please view the short 'check list' video and PDF inside the course for help in setting up your workspace and for preparing your tool-set for the courses. You can choose from a selection of three comprehensive sets of tools and materials available via ArtBrush.

You can do this via the school on:

These sets were all made in Japan and curated by Talia for the school. Each set is of high quality and designed to last a lifetime. Expect up to 2 weeks for delivery, local taxes are not included. Alternatively, depending upon where you are based around the globe, you may get individual tools and materials at your local Japanese/Chinese art supply shop or at some general art supply shops. You can also find online a variety of budget sets. Once you learn and understand about your toolkit, you will be able to easily sort out what you need.

What software do I need to access the course?

Please simply ensure that you have updated your internet browser to the latest version. If you run into any technical issues, we advise to clear your cache, cookies and browsing history. For any further technical enquiries please contact:

What if I wish to cancel?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 7 days and we will give you a full refund.

How can I get further help and ask a question?

At any time, our team will help you at:

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