Sumi E is the ancient art of ink drawing on rice paper. It is a very traditional art full of formal etiquette and ever aspect has deep meaning and purpose. The art itself can be very simple to very complex and even multi colored. The subjects are usually plants and animals that are very important in Chinese culture. I fell in love with this art the first time that I saw it years ago. I started reading and watching videos, trying to learn all I could. As in many aspects of Chinese culture, this art has rituals and deep meanings for every aspect. The first ritual is grinding the ink with a grinding stone called a suzuri. For thousands of years the ink sticks have been made the same way. The inks are made from soot and oils and then pressed into sticks. The sticks are ground on the suzuri and mixed with water to attain different shades of grays and blacks which make up the monochromatic basis for Sumi E. Once the ink is the desired consistency, small dishes with small amounts of water are used to dilute the black ink into the shades of gray. The brushes are made of animal hair and are available in many different sizes depending on what the artist is painting. Bamboo and small grassy plants are the mainstay of Sumi E , but many artists paint animals such as Tigers and birds. The piece that I posted in this post is my first piece that I feel is worth showing. It is very simple, but it is a lot harder than it looks. The hardest part is to get the different shades of gray. I hope you like the piece, please let me know either way. I would love some feedback.
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