Table of Content – Sumi-e / Ink and Wash Painting Database

Below we listed all categories and articles that we prepared and edited to give you a better understanding about Sumi-e and Chinese Ink and Wash Painting. The purpose of this page is to serve like an index page which is clearly structured to make it easy for you to look for a specific article or category you are interested in.

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Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Painting at a Glance – a Short Introduction


What is Ink and Wash Painting / Sumi-e?

When reading about Asian ink painting, one will encounter many different terms that describe this special kind of painting method. In Chinese, it is “shuimohua” (水墨画, lit. “water-ink-painting”) in Japanese “suiboku-ga” or more colloquially “sumi-e” 墨絵 (lit. “ink painting”). Despite its Chinese origins, it has become common nowadays to subsume all ink painting under the Japanese terms, although there is a small, but subtle difference between the term “sumi-e“ and „”suiboku-ga”. Both describe painting performed by the use of ink on paper, but whereas “sumi-e” just describes ink painting in general, “suiboku-ga” rather is seen as a part of sumi-e – by mixing ink with more or less water, it lays emphasis on shading, different ink tonalities and the combination of various ink tones. In suiboku-ga, the main aspect is to depict three kinds of ink intensities – dark, medium and light – in one single brushstroke.

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Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Technique and Learning – How to Prepare for Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Painting?


Preparing the Studio for Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Painting

There are some things to consider when thinking about creating your own little painting studio. The most important thing is that you have quiet environment since you want to concentrate on painting. Therefore make sure that distracting elements – radio, television, music or other sources of noise – are avoided. Furthermore, your painting studio must be equipped with enough light. If you don’t have the possibility to have a working place located next to a window, make sure you have a well-working desk lamp that is neither too strong nor too weak.

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Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Technique and Learning – What you need to know when Preparing for Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Painting


The Difference Between the Usage of a Pen and the Usage of a Brush

If you want to get started with ink and wash painting, it is essential that you learn how to hold a brush properly. Be careful to get accustomed to the proper hand and finger positions, because it can be difficult to overcome incorrect forms, once they are learned.

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What are the Common Motifs in Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Painting?


Foreword to Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Painting Motifs

Chinese painting draws from a lot of inspiration from nature, religion and history. When examining Chinese ink and wash paintings, one will realize that there are a number of motifs which are repeated over and over again. There is a broad canon of numerous painting subjects – too many to be listed here. The following text shall give you a brief overview about the most important subjects in Chinese ink and wash painting.

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