Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Sumi-e or black ink painting seems to be a very calming art project for every age.

The elegant simplicity of the natural elements and the pleasing contrast of black and white with all shades in between lend themselves to a highly satisfying painting experience.

When a classroom full of 25 energetic children is completely quiet and all are engaged, you know you've found a great project!

The paintings displayed above were made on student quality, cold press watercolor paper using diluted black India ink. In order to achieve a softer look, students first brushed clean water across their paper. After the paper had absorbed the water, they applied their brushstrokes using varying amounts of India ink. 

I have purchased specialty sumi-e brushes for my classroom, but a round #6 or #8 watercolor brush works well too.

My students and I took some time to learn about sumi-e painting before we started. It's purely fascinating, and engaging in the process allows for a deeper appreciation of the art.

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