An Ode to Oriental Art


Hello everyone, Swarup here sharing my very first project as Yasutomo Niji Creative Collective  Design team member! I am so excited to be here and hope to inspire you all over the next couple of months with some colorful projects!

Since Yasutomo is known for it’s quality art supplies especially Asian art supplies, to start my term here, I decided to do something oriental.  A loose form of Chinese brush painting .

This art is all about minimalism. Very little is done to
convey a message…… a few  thoughtful strokes  and a painting is
born! You do not need to know painting to do this piece. Although traditionally Chinese/Sumi painting is an art form which takes quite a bit of training and practice, I have simplified it just enough for all of us to enjoy these brushes and colors and at the same time create something we would be proud of.

Here are a list of supplies needed..


Authentic Chinese Watercolors

Rice Paper

Nori Paste

Yasutomo Traditional Chinese Ink-Black

Chinese brush

Asian Stamps-optional.

cold Press Watercolor paper 90 #

You can find these products at

Some key tips before we start…..

Once you start painting, you will find it difficult to stop yourself! I have 3 paintings below and I have stepped out one of them to give you an idea at how easy these beauties are to paint.

We will be using rice paper which is wonderful to use but super absorbent, so keep a light hand while painting and use limited strokes.

The key to using a Chinese brush successfully is in controlling the moisture it holds. Always wipe on a tissue before you paint on your actual project, that way you might end up with a dry brush hitting the paper, which can be corrected but too wet a brush might end up ruining your painting!

Ready to paint?

Start by laying out your colors on a palette. you don’t need much, water these down and they are ready for painting.

Since these are traditionally done from imagination and free hand, using
no sketch of drawing whatsoever, I decided to do the same. But one
could always use a light drawing using a grey watercolor pencil, so that
the pencil would then blend with the other colors.

Using black Chinese ink, I painted the branch. If you observe closely there are a few skipped areas,  and that comes with a dry brush…’dip your brush in paint and wipe off most of it and re-dip just the tip back in paint’.  It adds a lovely interest to the whole painting.

Next I added the fall leaves, just a few strokes is enough to suggest these leaves.

The Chinese brush is very soft and every stroke makes the brush stay that way. Use it to your advantage …it can give you some lovely textures and shapes!

Add some yellow with a hint of green to suggest wonderful fall colors.

Every Chinese /Sumi painting is usually signed by the artist using red ink, I decided to use this “peace” stamp to sign  my work.

Finally I mounted the painting onto watercolor paper using Nori Paste.

Hope I have inspired you to try…leave me a comment below and I would love to stop by your blog !

10 thoughts on “An Ode to Oriental Art

  1. getting a 404 error on the website link and on a Google search!!

    *Paula Scott* *molokaigirlstudio *

  2. So simple and minimal but ahh….how beautiful!

  3. Such a pretty art work!

  4. Lovey design and just beautiful, minimalist color! Love this project!

  5. Pingback: Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Arts&Crafts #Lifeimitatesdoodles | lifeimitatesdoodles

  6. I love your beautiful artwork! My Dad learnt how do this years ago and used this type of decoration on his pottery. I dabbled a bit but as I’ve got older I’ve lost the confidence in drawing and painting. So glad you are having fun with your new DT!

    • I am so glad you liked it Jenny! I have never seen it on pottery..would love to see some pics of it if you have any! Will stop by your blog!

  7. The art of simplicity and you make it look so easy. Wonderful!

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