May 15, 2018

A Guide to Sumi Ink and Etegami

The Bottled Sumi Ink - Traditional Japanese Painting

Etegami is a simple, in-the-moment inspired freehand painting. It is only Etegami when the painting is first outlined by Sumi Ink then colored in with water color, finally accompanied by a short, simple message.

How do I uses battled Sumi Ink for Etegami?

In our previous blog post, A Guide to Sumi Ink: The Inkstick, we introduced how to use a Sumi Inkstick. In this post, we will introduce the bottled liquid Sumi ink.

A bottled Sumi ink comes in many different forms, shapes, sizes, and brands but are all similar when it comes to use. Unlike the Inkstick, bottled Sumi ink does not need to be diluted with water: it is ready to be used without any preparation.

Japanese Painting Kit, Etegami, traditional Japanese art

Simply pour the Sumi ink onto an Inkstone. It is also okay if you do not have an Inkstone for this type of Sumi ink.

Etegami Japanese painting kit, traditional Japanese arts and crafts

The bottled Sumi ink makes it a winner when it comes to ease of use but the Inkstone should definitely be your choice if you are looking for quality and intricacy. As seen from the photo below, the quality of the Inkstone is far above than the bottled Sumi inks (left is done with Inkstone and right is done with bottled Sumi Ink).

P2060178, etegami, traditional Japanese arts and crafts

Take a look at our Etegami page to learn more about our course.


Mother's Day in Japan

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It was Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12. As Mother’s Day is celebrated mostly around the world on that day, here is your chance to learn about how Mother’s Day is celebrated in Japan! 


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The two magnificent animals on this painting are Karajishi, lions of foreign land. Karajishi is one of the iconographic symbols of power in Japan that is believed to drive off evil spirits and represents strong authority and ability. Even though no one ever saw the real beast before arrival of the modern age, Japanese artists had been inspired by descriptions heard by the Chinese to create the mythological figure which looked like a mix of a dragon and a dog.


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