top of page

Search Results

593 items found for ""

  • ArtBrush Library

    A selection of writings, essays and contemplations to guide you with your Japanese Ink painting studies. Welcome to ArtBrush Library, a hub for learning about the history of Japanese ink painting, created to assist in expanding your knowledge and appreciation of this traditional process. The library is a growing source of writings and essays, covering a range of subjects including - tools, materials, ink masters, contemplative notes for the artist, viewing paintings and exploring ink painting within Japanese art history. ArtBrush Library will continue to grow with new material, so be sure to visit often to harness this tool within your ink painting journey. All of the material on the library is downloadable, allowing you to print and create your own reference book at home.

  • 4 Essential Japanese Ink Painting Tutorials

    4 Essential Japanese Ink Painting Tutorials Of the many wonderful Japanese ink painting themes, there are few that have come to be considered essentials for the artist practitioner. And so, if you would need to condense the whole teaching of ink painting into four lessons only, then you would probably want to learn to paint wild orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum blossom. While every ink painting theme has its own unique value, why, and how, have these four become to be known as the foundation lessons for the practitioner artist? 'The Four Noble Ones' Known as 'The Four Noble Ones' or 'The Four Gentlemen' - wild orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and wild plum hold within them together, like a pearl, the essential brush strokes practice for ink paintings. Each lesson, highlight different usage of line work and ink marks, offers an understanding as to the usage of ink and water to create shades of ink, and teaches core ideas of composition as well as careful observation of the ink masters paintings of the past. 'The Four Noble Ones' carry the perception of time flow and the elements, as well as main qualities and notions for the discipline of ink painting practice. Origin of 'The Four Noble Ones' The origin of these four plants as the 'Noble Ones', is somewhat of a mystery. Their tale goes back to Chinese literati ink painters of the Song dynasty (960–1279), hence their title also as 'The Four Gentlemen'. Ink painting and calligraphy together with music, used to be practiced by Chinese scholars as a mean of improving oneself and cultivating ones character. Chosen not only because of their beauty, wild orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and wild plum also have come to be considered as representing essential qualities for the scholar-painter character. The qualities of humility, purity, resilience and forbearance. These various literati painting subjects were collated as compilation of knowledge over the generations, to include, instructions and details ranging from how to make ink and colour, to understanding composition, appreciation the artist observation skills, and samples of the masters. Thanks to the development of woodblock prints around the the 17th C. these compilation were turned into printed painting manual instructions for the discipline of ink painting. One of the early well known manual was the Chinese manual titled 'The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting'. It was divided into various books and devoted a book for each of The Noble Ones' plants. As the manual became available and more popular, various copies were printed reaching other countries including Japan. It is recorded that the Japanese Tokugawa shogun exchange in 1724 his copy of the manual with a 1679 edition which belonged to an artist in his employ. The manuals made ink painting more accessible and must have inspired Japanese artists to create their own painting manuals as well. Today there are various version and editions to these kind of painting manuals. (see link below) And so, 'The Four Noble Ones' have become the foundation and essential practice themes for the ink painting practitioner. Unfolding seasons of 'The Four Noble Ones' Each subject represents the arrival of one of the four seasons and convey different feelings and emotions. The orchids suggest early spring time and the bamboo of summer time. The chrysanthemum tells of autumn into winter, and the plum blossom of winter into spring. Each plants display, in different way, its hidden beauty in spite of the hard weather and condition it grows in. Thus the study of these four will unfold the hidden beauty in ones painting. Wild orchids The spring blossom, blooming up high in the faraway mountains tops creaks and rocks, is this wild orchid way. It is as if the plant touches the sky. Access to it, is almost impossible. Because of this, it has become a symbol for hidden beauty. With its fine blossom, rare and graceful, it has also become a symbol of humility, elegance. Bamboo Bamboo is one of the most loved subject of ink painting. It is the beauty of the line that comes through with the painting. It represents the season of summer and the quality of resilience. As it is the fastest growing woody plant in the world and an ever-green plant, it gets its power from adaptability rather then strength. And so it came to represent flexibility and inner power. Chrysanthemum The royal chrysanthemum suggests the end of autumn and the coming of Winter. Fields of yellow chrysanthemum were considered as precious as gold. Its golden beauty represents purity and a determination. The power of anchoring in truth even in the face of the withstanding changes of season. Plum blossom The end of winter is snowy and very cold. The bare trees are well covered with snow, and it is the plum blossom that succeed in-spite of the cold weather to bloom and cover the tree with beautiful pink, red and white blossom with fine fragrance and delight. This power overcomes the cold and bleak weather, represents inner beauty and humble display of courage and bravery, in the face of difficulties and hardship, and this is plum blossom painting. In conclusion The wild orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum blossom have become an essential themes for the beginner apprentice of ink painting, as well as of deep value to professional artists. Each lesson trains ones hand and heart with specific brush movements, allowing the student to learn, practice and remember these and connect with the profound flow that comes when executed well. Just like playing scales on the piano, or warming up for a dance, practicing these with harmony, can immensely enhance the artists skills and quality of line. Learn More For an in-depth painting course 'The Four Noble Ones' you are invited to join ArtBrush Foundation course Sign up for a one-time payment of £220 > For individual painting tutorials please check the link HERE For the contemporary Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, translated by Mai mai Sze you can get your copy on this affiliate link > Purchase on Amazon HERE *Images in this article are taken from the mustard seed garden manual of painting

  • seal 判子 'hanko'

    You are invited to download and/or printout for ease of use. Enjoy the read. Get your own Japanese ink painting tools and materials - Choose from three sets carefully curated by Talia

  • Mastering the Power of Ink and Brush

    Mastering the power of ink and brush - Richard Weihe / Shih-T'ao … Geshani discussed with the master the relationship between the tall mountain and the small piece of paper' between the hardness of the rock and the softness of the paintbrush. 'How is it possible to express magnitude through smallness, hardness through softness and light through darkness? How can one thing be expressed by another which it is not?' "You need to overcome the contradictions in your mind" the master began. 'Learn to combine them as you do ink and brush. A thing is a thing in relationship to itself, but also in relationship to other things. It is this and well as that. Even if we comprehend the thing only from the perspective of the this, it is nonetheless determined by both this and that.' The master paused for a moment. ' Do not, therefore, become enslave by the perspective of absolute oppositions. This is also that, and that is also this,' he reiterated. 'At the point they cease to be in opposition you find the axis of the Path. The Path becomes obscure if you walk down it only one way.' 'Your words themselves are obscure, Master,' Geshan said. 'How does what you say influence the handling of the brush?' 'For me as a painter the value of the mountain is not in its size, but in the possibility of mastering it with the paintbrush. When you look at a mountain you are seeing a piece of nature. But when you paint a mountain it becomes a mountain. You do not paint its size, you imply it. The importance of the brush lies not in the extent of its bristles, but in the traces it leave behind. The importance of the ink lies not in the ink, but in the power of expression and mutability of its flow. The importance of the mountain stream lies not in itself, but in its movement; the importance of the mountain lies in its silence.’ Then he continued: ‘ Your hand is your guiding spirit. You have everything in your hand. The line that unites is contained in all things.’ And he added: ‘When you dip your paintbrush into the ink, you are dipping it into your soul. And when you guide the paintbrush, it is your spirit guiding it. Without depth and saturation your ink lacks soul; without guidance and liveliness your brush lacks spirit. The one thing receives from the other. The stroke receives from the ink, the ink receives from the brush, the brush receives from the wrist and the wrist receives from your guiding spirit. That means mastering the power of both ink and brush.’ Quoted with special permission from - ‘Sea of Ink' / Richard Weihe Chapter 15 / origin from 'Shih-t'ao: Quotes on Painting' (3rd thesis)}

  • The Great Dream - Looking at One Zen Ink Painting

    The Great Dream Looking at One Zen Ink Painting

  • Nagasawa Rosetsu - 18th c. Eccentric Master of Ink

    Nagasawa Rosetsu 18th century Eccentric Master of Ink

bottom of page