Japanese Media: Classic Traditional Media

A majority of people know classic Japanese art as full-body color portraits, or as landscapes with and without colors. However, if you saw classic Japanese art hanging up some where it would more-than-likely be a landscape painting. The landscapes are known for both thin solid stroke lines and broad strokes layered like watercolor. The paintings with thin strokes usually were focused on the lines and had a form of shading not usually seen in the landscapes with the broader strokes:

Thin Stroke-








Broad Stroke-

Miyamoto Musashi landscape xvii






For my representation of a classic Japanese landscape I chose to produce a piece that used some aspects of both the thin and broad stroked paintings. It has a mix of the more solid black lines of the thin stroke paintings, but with strokes that are broader. Using a wash helped create a gradient that could be seen in either one of the types of strokes, but I feel is more of a mix between the two due to the fact that I’m using it to show the shading of the mountains (as would be seen in a thin stroke), and as a way to help abstractly define the shapes of the mountains (used in broad stroke). Almost all of the difficulty in doing this kind of art comes form the ink’s interaction with the water and paper. For me a brush is magnitudes more difficult to handle than a pen or pencil. This caused a lot of bleeding with the ink as well as parts where the ink has pushed the water out of the stroke causing areas of “fuzz” around the edges of most of the lines. However, it is quite easy to correct mistakes as long as the are not so major making it easy to fix some of my big trouble areas. Also, the brush is easy to pick up and allows you to be more free and lose in almost every stroke; which helps give these landscapes their fluidity. As it would have been almost impossible to obtain the classic instruments used to make a traditional Japanese landscape I was able to improvise with calligraphy ink, a few paint brushes, and water color paper, but I feel most people who recreate paintings like this use tools along the same lines as I did. Overall I feel the the piece accomplishes the goals I had set for it; be a similar combination of the two major styles of brush stroke elements while still incorporating some original elements from myself.

Photo on 9-20-13 at 10.18 AM #2

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