Friday, January 7, 2011

Watercolor Painting Class- Sumi-e

Cherry Blossom Season from the Gallery of Kazumi Cranney.
A New Year and here I am back at my watercolor painting class.  This Wednesday, Colleen focused on Sumi-e.  Sumi-e is the Japanese ink wash painting that focuses on simple lines and open spaces.  It's beauty lies in its simplicity.  Colleen started our lesson by showing us a series of examples; quite a few of these wonderful examples were on Kazumi Cranney's website.  Cranney is an amazing sumi-e artist that was born in Japan and later relocated to California.  I was especially fond of her Cherry Blossom Season pictured above.  Her little birds are just amazingly simple and I thought SO cute!

Next we went into practical mode and Colleen showed us examples of the simple brush strokes.  She showed us how to load the brush with paint.  Then, she continued on showing us how to hold the brush in order to do the brush strokes properly.  She made it look very simple, and I mistakenly thought it would be simple to learn.
Here Colleen is showing us an example of the "Bamboo" brush stroke.

Then my classmate, Anne and myself "tried" these simple strokes.  I can safely tell you that it's hard to be simple.  I REALLY struggled with most of the brush strokes except for the "Smoosh" one.  I was a natural at that one.  But this is giving me ideas for trying this style with one of the 100 Salt Lake City Porches Project.   I may try it on one of the SLC Porches in next week's class. This was Anne's second try at this style of painting and she was doing much better than I was!
A smiling Anne with her latest piece of artwork.

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