First steps in sumi-e

surprise appearance haiga

surprise appearance!
the magician’s assistant
on the plum tree branch

haiku: Andrea Eldridge, US
painting: Mary B. Rodning, US
translation: Hiromi Inoue, JP

I have long been fascinated by all things Japanese. I occasionally turn my hand to origami or haiku, and yesterday tried sumi-e (Japanese ink painting). It’s a very stress-relieving activity, grinding your own ink in a special ink-well made from sedimentary stone, and then loading a single brush with several different tones of black and grey. You keep your hand and wrist still and instead paint with your whole arm, capturing the essence of the thing you’re painting in as few brush strokes as possible. My goal is to be able to compose haiga – a simple sumi-e ink painting with an accompanying haiku (see above). Here are my first faltering steps (with the birds embellished with felt tip pens by my two-year old daughter!)

Published by

Stephen Davies

Children's author: picture books, chapter books and YA novels

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