The four gentlemen

orchid 1 sumi-e four gentlemen

From the Nanga school of old China there comes a tradition important to Oriental painters. The first pictures to be painted are usually the orchid, bamboo, plum and chrysanthemum. They employ different suiboku (ink painting) techniques.

Above is my first attempt at an orchid. After years of resting my elbow on a table to paint or draw, it is taking a lot of practice learning to move my whole arm freely, but the orchid is a good exercise for this skill.

I am happy tonight, because I have done my first haiga (see middle thumbnail below) – it’s based on Naomi Okamoto’s locust in The Art of Sumi-e and the text is from a haiku I wrote several years ago after locusts ravaged the millet harvest in the Sahel.

Published by

Stephen Davies

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.