Sumi-e is the term for "Chinese Brush Painting". The names are confusing, but the style is not. It has a look like nothing else.
The art of Sumi-e is about brushstroke, usage_of_space. and grace. . Its hard to describe, but watch the video and you will understand.
Sumi-e is done on rice paper, and there is ALWAYS a piece of felt or some such material underneath the paper.
The technique is pretty humbling when you first try it. Understand that Chinese children have used a brush starting in kindergarten, the same way you've used a pencil. For them to force a distinct mark out of a pretty cheap brush, is easy
Yang Hai Ying Demonstrates Bamboo Sumi-e. Bamboo seems to be the overriding theme in sumi-e, I don't know why, but maybe its the simplicity of the theme. She has made a large series of these lessons. This is Number 2. All are valuable, but constitute a lot of learning time. If you want to see the whole series, then search Youtube for yanghaiying sumi-e .
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In this example it get more complicated. The artist is painting vegetation, but also a bird. Besides technique, try to pay attention to the empty spaces. The carry a lot of power when used correctly, more on spaces later.
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Flowers, in this case, roses, are another common theme in sumi-e, as I guess they are common themes in all painting. This painting is a marvelous example of merely suggesting what you are trying to paint.
This painting is similar to the last, but begins to demonstrate multicolors. Again, pay attention to the empty spaces. Actually they are not really empty at all, think about it. We call them negative spaces. See haw gracefully the artist handles negative spaces. Also, by definition, positive s[aces,( the subject matter). If you try a few of these your understanding of the use of negative space.
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Color in oriental painting tends to be restrained and delicate, Its this delicacy, grace, peaceful elegance which is sumi-e. This lessons show that color may also be unrestrained,.