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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little back story...

I've been really interested in Japanese Traditional art this passed week.

My grandmother is from Japan and moved to Canada after my Dad and uncle were born.

I've done a bunch of browsing and research about the many art styles of Japan.
As per a suggestion, I started to look more into Sumi-e, or also known as Japanese Brush Painting.

There is something to be said about the simplicity, tranquility, and beauty of this medium.
I however, don't own the proper supplies to make these paintings, so I decided to improvise and use what I know so far.

I used cheap acrylic paint with my cheap craft store brushes, grabbed my sketchbook and put paint to paper.

The outcome was very satisfying for me. And I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed the process.
Now I want to get the proper supplies and study it more!

Enjoy, critique, and share your thoughts of the medium.

FIRST ATTEMPT
 

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Wow, I like this one as well. The reds "pop" off the page at you. If anything, the brush strokes seem a little thick and "forced", but that's not your fault and is probably due to the paints and brushes. I love cherry blossom trees, so much that my daughter's name is Sakura (my wife is Japanese, so she's American/japanese), and I've got a lot of pictures stored on my hard drive from our yearly visits to the mountains to view the blossoms...I plan on using them as painting fodder at some point.

Keep in mind, I have never done Sumi-E, however I have friends that do this and other forms of Japanese art, and I used to teach Japanese calligraphy years ago (I'm fluent, both verbally and written, in Japanese, and lived there for a decade or so). But, the one thing that I noticed in all of their paintings is that everything "flows", I'm assuming with the whole zen-like "be one with the brush, don't control it, and don't let it control you" kind of thing.

I noticed that your were probably having issues with keeping paint on the brush for long strokes? In the future, try diluting the paint a bit, perhaps 2 parts water to 1 part paint, mix it up well, and load your brush with water before dipping it into the paint. That's how I do my trees, and I have noticed that I rarely have to go back to "touch up" my tree trunks and branches (there are hardly any little white spots from the canvas coming through my black paint, I mean).

What type of brush were you using? A round? I think a pointed round, or even one of the larger rigger/liner brushes would make excellent tree branches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the comments.

@Ken, It was mostly done with an angular flat, and the smaller twigs were done with a liner. The size of the brushes used would actually make loading it up a bit trickier, hence why I had the short brush strokes. I Still have that problem on canvas, the white spots with black paint. I'll take your advice in mind on the next one.
Good to know that you're well versed in Japanese art and I have someone who can help critique my work. (not that anyone else's criticisms would go to waste.)

Thanks again
 
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