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Tiger and Bamboo

Step-by-step how to paint tiger and bamboo

Course Description

About this manual

In this lesson manual you will learn how to paint tiger and bamboo with Japanese ink and a touch of colour.

In Asian art the tiger represents courage, strength and bravery. He is one of the only animals that can wonder within the thick high bamboo forest which is its natural dwelling habitat.

The lesson is divided in three parts with simple instructions for you to follow and create your very own beautiful paintings. Each part has additional compositions for you to practice in a more free style, based on the step-by-step part. The lesson also includes notes on tigers in Japanese art history, as well as short meditations to enhance your contemplative mode as you practice.

In the introductory part you will find details for your workspace and tools and materials used in this art form. You can source these from a recommended suppliers list included at the end of the manual.

In the first part you will learn step-by-step how to paint a head of a tiger with correct proportion to train your eye to view what it sees and not what it think it sees. Included in this part two additional tiger’s head composition for you to practice. This will help you for the more complex tiger paintings to follow.

The second part explores painting practice of a sitting tiger with few brush strokes. The first practice is inspired by a small paintings by master ink painter of the 18th C. Ogata Kōrin. This part also includes basic strokes for painting bamboo leaves, branches, stems and knots. Two additional tiger and bamboo compositions included in this part for you to practice. The first tiger here is in the style of Nagasawa Rosetsu, master ink painter of the 18th C.

In the third part of the lesson, you will learn to paint a walking tiger, using a variety shades of ink, and keeping to the proportion of the head you learned in part one. Here, as well, you will find two additional practice compositions.

In the bonus material of this lesson, included a short writing on a sleeping tiger in one of the oldest Zen ink painting. A final ,free style composition, of a sleeping tiger conclude this lesson.

Using shades of ink and layers of washes, you are invited to explore the beauty of painting this magnificent animal, together with a deeper understanding of its healing qualities and significance in Japanese art history. 

NOTE: This is a working booklet style manual lesson. It is presented as a PDF file and is designed so that you can download, print and bind it as a working booklet to work with.


Highlights of what you will paint

Learn how to paint Tiger and Bamboo

Step-by-step how to paint tiger and bamboo


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

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 manual

Welcome to your lesson

  1. Your workspace

  2. Tools and materials

  3. Check list

Part I - Head of a tiger

  1. The tiger in Japanese art

  2. How to paint a tiger's head

  3. Soul meditation - Bravery of heart

  4. Tiger head - Two compositions to practice

Part II - Tiger and bamboo

  1. Tigers and bamboo in Japanese art

  2. How to paint bamboo

  3. Little tiger

  4. How to paint a sitting tiger

  5. Soul meditation - Resilience

  6. Tiger and bamboo - Four composition to practice

Part III - Walking tiger