At Christmas I was given a lovely book on Sumi-E, the art of Japanese brush-painting. The author gives step-by-step instructions on how to use the tools, and offers advice on how to paint particular subjects. Unsurprisingly, the book includes a lesson on how to tackle koi carp, and this really appealed to me for a first foray into the technique.
Although I didn’t have traditional ink sticks to grind my own ink, I had also serendipitously received a very lovely Kuretake brush pen (which takes ink cartridges), so when I sat down to have a go, this was what I used.
I know I’ve a huge amount to learn about this style of painting, where the line and composition are everything. But hey, you have to start somewhere. Trying this little exercise was a very good experience, particularly the focus on achieving a variable line and ink flow with the brush pen. Next time I might try a smoother paper, and grinding my own ink…eek!