I’m pretty sure I posted my first Sumi attempt a while back, though now that I’m looking for it I don’t see it. After many mistakes and mishaps I finally did something else I thought worth sharing.
There is so much to learn with this amazing art form, and recently I’ve been experimenting with the amount of water, and color tone. Oh yeah I guess brush strokes, and technique, different effects of the paper and on and on. I’ve found that the more technique I learn from books, the less I know.
I started with a traditional bamboo painting, which I thought turned out really well. My wife was even surprised at how good it turned out. Then I started digging through books and videos to discover more traditional and varied techniques, only to find that I couldn’t even replicate what I’d already done! It was a miserable few weeks as my confidence dwindled. I finally had to take a step back from painting bamboo. I feel like its the attempt to learn techniques in this way that requires students to invest hundreds of hours of work. Mastering the skill only comes when one can finally forget all that was learned from books in the first place.
For now I’ll keep experimenting. That really is the best way to learn (for me anyway). It gives me the freedom to make mistakes and inch my way closer to discovering the art of the ‘controlled accident’.