Sumie workshop report (22 October)

Hello, I’m Tomoko.
This is my report of the Sumie workshop held on the 22nd of October.

When you hear the word, ”Sumie”, what do you think?
I thought it was just drawing pictures with ink. Some of you may think how simple it is, but after the workshop my feeling changed surprisingly.

This workshop had already been held a few times at JCE and this time, its content was to draw the landscape in Suibokuga. Ms. Katamine lectured us, she came from Leiden.

By the way, painting only in ink are called Sumie and among sumie, paintings that use various techniques of shading and graduation are called Suibokuga in Japanese.

Process of this workshop is,
1. Explanation of Sumie
2. Making ink by rubbing an ink stick on an ink stone
3. Demonstration of each drawing techniques and trying it out
4. Let’s draw a landscape!

At first, Ms. Katamine explained about the history and various techniques of Sumie, and differences between two kinds of stamps on pictures, Gain and Yuin. After that, participants started to rub an ink stick to make ink.

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Gradually, we could smell the nice scent of the ink!
After making ink, learned various drawing techniques. Since Ms. Katamine demonstrated each techniques one by one, it was very easy to find out how to draw it and all participants listened her lecture earnestly.

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For me, the way of using the brush when drawing was very interesting because sometimes they painted with reverse direction of brush, or widened point of the brush. I only knew ways of using the brush for calligraphy so it was very surprising.

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After practicing all techniques, we drew a landscape at the end.
Every participant had each way of using their brush, it seemed very different even though they use the same composition and models.

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I asked the participants “What point is fascinating for you?”, and I got the answer that it was very simple but it had great depth.
It has no color but how much water you use or how much pressure you put on the brush makes a big difference in the outcome of the rocks or seas draw. Although color has its fascinating point, it is also very fascinating and interesting that we can represent various things only with neutral colors.

Every time I join a workshop, I feel it is very different what I know and what I experience.
I wrote at first too, even though my first impression of Sumie was very simple, by knowing the process like how to move brush made big differences, I could feel my knowledge being broadened, deepened and at the end, I always feel impressed.

During this workshop, I worried about the brush they used because it seemed to be very damaged by using it with widened point and no moisture, so I asked Ms. Katamine.
If we draw with a cheap brush made with chemical fibers, it can last only a few times. Also for ink, if we use with a cheap one contains different ingredients, it will run with water, but if we use the natural brush or ink, it can last for some years and the ink won’t run.
When it seems to be the same at a first glance, you can find differences by using. I felt that there is a real meaning in using natural tools. I would like to search how to make its tools, too!

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Nice posture!