Japanese ink painting with Rie Takeda

Painting - Water Based

Ref: SLW11711

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About this course

Explore the possibility of Japanese Sumi ink painting. Learn ink toning, basic brush movements, lining and various ink flow techniques. Create your own Sumi art works in diverse formats, styles and colour.

Course Description

Expolore the essence of Sumi – the art of Japanese ink painiting. Any previous experience or knowledge is not necessary.

Starting with an introduction to various classic ink painting styles through to modern ink work, you will then discover the utensils and materials you will be using. You will learn how to create Sumi ink, in particular the three main tones, and how to apply these tones to flow in multiple ways. You will learn basic techniques to understand the core brush movement of ink painting and to create elemental motifs. You will be looking at compositional balance and the characteristics of each element.

The focus will then move onto classic major motifs in bigger paper format, learning more advanced techniques, combining diverse essences and layering of shades.

The next stage is to experiment with additional inking, running, flowing and dotting techniques in order to bring decorative three-dimensional effects and deeper nuances with modern composition.

You may then progress to try an extra process of transforming each basic movement into a more abstract finish. You may find inspiration in some natural elements such as a flower bud, stem or branch from the garden and make your own brush to explore form and line.

You will combine composition with minimum colour elements and visual accents, as well as visual mindfulness input.

The final stage is to create individual works, make an easy rubber name stamp to complete your work and use your name stamp on your final piece.

The course ends with a presentation of your final works with plenty of time for any questions you may have.


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


  • On this course the College will supply some of the materials including a Sumi ink stick, a Sumi ink stone, 30 sheets of 33 x 24cm calligraphy paper thin (Hanshi paper), 20 sheets of A4 Hahnemuehle Sumi-e paper, 3 sheets of A3 thick calligraphy paper, a bottle of Sumi liquid ink, a piece of Shikishi mounted board and a Japanese brush.

What students need to bring

  • Any utensils/materials you may already have
  • Any ink based works if you have tried before
  • Any images, photos you would like to get inspiration from for the final project
  • Kitchen roll
  • Recycled/used cotton cloth
  • Watercolour paints and watercolour brushes you may have
  • Pencil
  • Apron/Smock

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Watercolour paints, various watercolour brushes, pencil, Sumi ink stick, Sumi ink stone, Sumi paper, Sumi liquid ink, brushes
  • Available from tutor:
  • Brushes, ink sticks, papers , Shikishi mounted board
Due to the use of Sumi ink, please wear something dark (no light or bright coloured garments). Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Rie Takeda

Rie Takeda has worked as a professional calligrapher, artist and teacher for more than 20 years.
She started practicing calligraphy at the age of five under the supervision of her grandmother. Later she completed the master of the Gayu calligraphy school in Japan. She also trained her Sumie ink painting skill in the Okino school.

Rie gives workshops, courses and supervisions in the UK, Europe and Japan. Rie produces calligraphy works, Painted Poem series, collages, print designs and works on Body-Art. She also continuously is involved in various artistic projects and collaborations.


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

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