At the sumi e book store artist Nadja Van Ghelue offers you a hand picked selection of sumi e books. The short review on the sumi e books and the artist’s insight will guide you to buy the best books online.
To practice sumi e you need a good technique and a philosophical background of the esthetics of Chinese and Japanese painting. I have covered the manuals in my sumi e book selection below and the books about the aesthetical and philosophical background at Japanese sumi painting books.
The manuals chosen introduce you to the materials and tools of sumi e painting: brush, ink, pigment and ink stone, and teach you how to use them in different styles and techniques.
A classic Chinese manual, used for ages in traditional Chinese painting, is the Mustard Seed Garden. Some people regard this book as old-fashioned. In my opinion, it is a reference work that you should have. It shows the traditional techniques and brush work of dozens of old masters as they have been copied and transformed by generations of sumi e painters. There is also a Chinese Version of the Mustard Seed Garden available. It is beautifully edited with some of the illustrations in color. A fine piece to have in your library.
A comprehensive book on Chinese painting is Wu Yangmu’s book The Techniques of Chinese Painting. It introduces you to all the different features of Chinese Painting. The book has a lot of pictures which illustrate very well the different techniques and painting styles of brush painting.
Saito Ryuku’s Japanese Inkpainting is a classic on Japanese brush painting. It was first published in 1959 and has now been reprinted. It gives a very comprehensive and complete view of the various techniques and how to practice Japanese sumi painting.
You can start learning sumi e painting with any of the books listed in the sumi e book store below. The best teacher of course is your own eye, to see by yourself how a sumi painter handles brush and ink.
Try to find a good teacher. If that is not possible, you can rely on DVDs, in which case I recommend Henry Li’s Brush Painting Lessons. The painting DVDs and downloadable classes cover a large variety of subjects, are very instructional and well done.
This sumi e book store makes it easy for you to buy your sumi e books online and bring this great art into your life.
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