Sumi-e Japanese ink painting with Takumasa Ono

Painting - Water Based

Ref: S2D12044

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About this course

Experiment with Japanese brush-painting techniques to create striking paintings of subjects from the natural world, and discover the spiritual aspects of this ancient and unique art form.

Course Description

Learn the ancient art of creating Japanese ink pictures, or Japanese brush painting – Sumi-e. Traditionally these paintings feature subjects from the natural world such as flowers and birds. The Japanese experience of painting is a form of meditation that brings peace and harmony to the artist, and the finished pieces are intended to inspire the same sense of tranquillity and joy in the viewer.

You will begin by looking at the ‘four treasures’ of Sumi-e: paper, brushes, inks and the ink stone. Your tutor, a respected Japanese artist and teacher, will demonstrate the following techniques:

Painting bamboo

Painting birds

Painting flowers

Painting landscapes

Making bamboo brushes


Making your seal

Through a series of exercises, you will practise all the techniques you will need to create striking paintings and discover the spiritual aspects of this unique art form. By the end of the course, you will have completed several paintings, gained knowledge and skills in Sumi-e techniques, materials and approaches to painting; and have increased confidence to continue working from home.

If you have taken a course with your tutor before, he will provide a programme of exercises to further develop your technique.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of: providing materials shared amongst the group.

What students need to bring

  • A pencil
  • A4 and A3 papers for rough design
  • Clothes that may get ink on

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A pencil
  • A4 and A3 papers for rough design
  • Some paper
  • Some inks
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will have materials available for use on the course although not all materials will be new.
  • A Japanese ink stick
  • An ink stone
  • Small, soft meoso-fude (Japanese ink painting brushes)
  • Sakuyo-fude (Japanese ink painting brushes)
  • Art felt for use as a desk pad
  • New special Japanese papers for this course
  • Students will be able to purchase new material, including special Japanese papers, from the tutor in class. The costs of the paper are approximately £4 – £15.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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