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Sumi-e Mountain Landscape

By BabakoSen
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17 Comments
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This scene is based on a combination of a photograph my dad took while we were in Glacier National Park just west of Logan Pass, and part of a watercolor painting I glimpsed on TV at my grandmother's house (believe the artist was Gary Spetz...?). But of course I tried to mimic the style of the paintings in my art books and computer files, and the composition is entirely my own. The waterfall coming out of the "bowl" of mountains at the top is Bird Woman Falls.

Boy, I haven't done sumi-e in a REALLY long time. It probably shows; and I'm still trying to decide whether it's problematic that the foreground and mid-ground are in a different style than the background. It's only my 2nd piece of substantial size in this media, the other being about 4 years old and about 3 feet long (way too big to scan).

This took me somewhere around 4-5 hours, not counting all the practice strokes, sketches, and thumbnails I did earlier today (that probably took another 3). In a way I cheated: I started in pencil like you would a watercolor painting, and I actually painted over a misplaced stroke in white acrylic, and erased the rest of the evidence in Photoshop. In my defense, the primary reason I ran this through Photoshop was because the piece was about a half inch too big across both dimensions and I had to stitch together 2 scans to get rid of the blurred edges it got from hanging out of my scanner. I still lost about a quarter of an inch on the left side. Grr.
:tantrum:
Image details
Image size
1754x1274px 381.8 KB
Make
HP
Model
HP pstc4400
Date Taken
Jul 28, 2010, 1:42:17 AM
Published:
© 2010 - 2021 BabakoSen
Comments17
anonymous's avatar
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Badusev's avatar
You sure did a good job!
BabakoSen's avatar
Thanks! Sometimes it makes me wish I'd brought my ink painting set with me to grad school, but then I think "I don't even have time to draw; when would I have time to paint?" ^^;
Lady-OroRon's avatar
oh I love traditional Japanese scenes .... keep showing us ^^
BabakoSen's avatar
Unfortunately I left my ink set at home when I moved off to grad school :Doh:  
Lady-OroRon's avatar
Oh CURSE YOU! ... I hope you'll bring it next time .... Meow :3
Vugar's avatar
BabakoSen's avatar
Thank you very much!
ExtremeDeepInvader's avatar
ExtremeDeepInvader's avatar
usted habla español genial
BabakoSen's avatar
Jajaja, no, en realidad. Me olvidé del accento en "grácias."
ExtremeDeepInvader's avatar
oh okay thats cool typing out spanish is a bit of a pain
LIBURNA's avatar
I love those kind of drawings so much it looks so simple but in fact it isn't ... wish I could do something like that ,how I wish the walls of my bedroom were like that ... really nice job !!!! I looooooooooove it !!
BabakoSen's avatar
Well, I'm flattered! Thank you!
kistrix's avatar
It looks really great. The way you combined the different styles you mention are logical here: it makes the background look further away. I wish I could do sumi-e.
BabakoSen's avatar
Actually, it's not as hard as it looks. All you need is a technique book to learn how to control the shape and weight of your strokes. After that, if you know how to draw already, all you need besides the obvious sumi-e kit and watercolor paper is an H pencil for the under-drawing and some scrap paper to test the opacity of the ink before you put it on paper.

I'll let you in on a little secret, too: if you're going to paint bamboo, don't listen to the technique books when they tell you to push down at the base, drag, and pull up at the end for a leaf. It works better if you start light at the end of the leaf and drag back to the base with increasing pressure. You'll never get as good of a point on the end of the leaf if you wait til the end to make it; your best shot at your thinnest lines will come from rolling the brush to a point against the ink-stone while loading the brush. After that the bristles tend to bifurcate.
kistrix's avatar
Thank you! I'm still not good at all with brushes, but I will save the tip for the time I use them.
anonymous's avatar
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