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-e 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. You can buy a digital version of the Mustard Seed Garden here.
|The Mustard Seed Garden
Manual of Painting by Mai-mai Sze
Saito Ryuku’s Japanese Ink Painting 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.
|Japanese Ink Painting: Lessons in Suiboku Technique
Classic on Japanese Brush 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.
Sumi-e Books Selection
|Introduction to Sumi-e
by renowned Japanese master Shozo Sato
|The Art of Sumi-e
by Artist Naomi Okamoto
|The Art and Technique of Sumi-e
Japanese Ink Painting
as Taught by Painter Ukai Uchiyama
Selection of Sumi-e Tutorials and Ink Painting Tutorials
|Sumi Painting Instructions
Sumi-e Tutorial on DVDs
|Sumi Painting Tutorial
|Chinese Watercolor Sumi Painting
Five Day Live Workshop
More Japanese Calligraphy and Sumi-e books
| Calligraphy Books | Shodo Bookstore | Japanese Ink painting |
| Heart Sutra in Seal Script | Heart Sutra Copying Manual |
| Zen Enso Journal | Buddha Art Journal |
| Japanese calligraphy home | Shodo Art Gallery | Buddhist Art Scrolls |
| Japanese painting gallery | Japanese calligraphy supplies |
| Kanji Art Gallery | About the artist | Sutra copying |
| Kanji symbols | Inspirational kanji t-shirts | Martial arts t-shirts |