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Tiger and Bamboo

Tiger and Bamboo

In this 46-page lesson manual you will learn how to paint tiger and bamboo with Japanese ink and a touch of colour. In Japanese 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.


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.  



Lessons included in this manual



Welcome Introduction


  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


  1. How to paint a walking tiger
  2. Soul meditation - Hidden power of you - Alchemy
  3. Roaring tiger - Composition to practice



Bonus material


  1. 'The four sleepers' - A tiger in a 14th C. Japanese ink painting
  2. Sleeping tiger - Composition to practice
  3. Recommended sources for tools and materials
  • Manual Format

    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.  

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