Japanese Black Ink Painting: Beginner's Orchids

Michelle Wasabi, Trusting the Process

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7 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. The Start: Beginner's Orchids

    • 2. The Materials

    • 3. The Leaves

    • 4. The Flowers

    • 5. The Composition

    • 6. The Whole Orchid

    • 7. The Final Challenge


About This Class

Welcome back!

This is the second lesson in a series of Japanese Black Ink Painting or Sumie pronounced (sue-me-ay). This lesson provides detailed instruction on Sumie Orchids. The lesson will briefly cover the materials needed. The previous lesson (Japanese Black Ink Bamboo Painting ) thoroughly covered all the materials you can use to complete your painting. This is a beginner’s lesson plan for anyone who has never painted before or never painted sumie.

Quick History Point: Sumie originated in China in the 8th century. It was later introduced by Buddhist monks to countries like Japan, Korea, and Malaysia.

Michelle landed herself in both sumie and nihon buyou (classical Japanese dance) classes while living in Japan for two years. She loves the natural and endearing aesthetic of the brushstrokes and the minimalism of the final product.

Class Outline

The Materials

  1. Paper (computer paper, watercolor paper, or rice paper)
  2. Felt or Cloth
  3. Paper towels
  4. Water dishes
  5. Brushes
  6. Sumi Ink *Sumi ink stains clothing so dress appropriately.
  7. Pinch of curiosity

The Composition

Using paper and pencil we will go step by step in creating each orchid component.

The Leaves

We will mix the colors needed for leaves and practice the narrow-wide-narrows brushstroke on computer paper.

The Flowers

Using lighter ink colors we will pull our petals together to create interesting flowers, stems, and stamens.

The Whole Orchid

Pull all four steps together to complete your first orchid composition. Now is a good time to use your rice paper.

The Final Challenge

Take your practice a step further and use watercolors to create colorful petals and leaves. I would love to see two versions of your final project, one with traditional ink and another with your own creative twist. Please share your project and bask in the glory of your first of many orchid paintings.

Music in Intro/Ending: Kabuki Yooo Sound effect and Steel Drum Lullaby 

Music in video lessons: Dark Red Wine by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/