Yesterday I spent several hours practicing basic Sumi-e strokes and working on “Fall” and “Bamboo” exercises. Keeping a steady hand, learning the way to move the brush, maintaining the correct grip…this is very exacting. But I improve each time I work at this…even if I feel that I am back to square one each time I start.
I experimented with some different materials yesterday and the two works I am posting look like earlier works but the ink and the paper are quite different. I had some old (and ripply) unryu paper with lots of fibers and texture that I wanted to try and I also experiemented with acrylic inks to give color. A friend has introduced me to Oriental Art Supplies a wonderful online store for Asian Ink Painting supplies. I need to get some better paper to work with. Sounds like it is time to go shopping! On my little and still not very good painting of Bamboo I used Thalo Blue, Yellow and White acrylic inks. I need lots more work to learn how to properly load the brush and I need to start testing whats in my brush before I start to be sure I have the right value and not too much water. Need to curb my tendency to jump right in. So much to learn! And I think the bamboo leaves should be straighter with no curve. Sounds like a subject for research!