Getting Started

Getting Started

Getting started with Chinese brush painting, Sumie and Calligraphy is easy. The traditional tools, often referred to as the Four Treasures are ink stick, ink stone, paper and brush. With these tools, you can use many learning resources offered by OAS to take you far on your journey in these major disciplines.

Grinding Ink Traditionally, ink is made by grinding an ink stick made from pine soot or oil in water against a stone, also known as a slate, using circular motions of your hand and arm.

A I14 - 500K Oil Ink Stick 
B I02 - Ink Stone

OAS Practice Paper Shuen/Xuan paper is the most commonly used paper. It’s thin and quite sensitive to moisture. Beginning your journey in brush painting and calligraphy, one of the first things you encounter is the challenge of moisture control and really this is the key. Start with a raw paper that will have you explore all the dynamics and nuances to doing Chinese brush painting and Japanese Sumi-e.

C P03B/P03BL Practice Shuen
D P03C/P03 Practice Roll

Many learning resources in brush painting, Sumi-e and calligraphy use one brush, others suggest a small, medium and large. OAS suggests considering the following three brushes. If you’re on a budget, start with the Orchid Bamboo. Its bristles keep a nice point, while the body still offers versatility with shapes. Still have room in your budget, add OAS’s Happy Dot®. It will empower beginners with control of your stroke. Smaller brush means less ink, less ink helps with the challenge of excessive moisture leading to your stroke bleeding. Finally, if there is still room in that budget, add the OAS Flow® to round out your collection. The combination bristles will give you better ease on producing round supple shapes such as petals.

Orchid Bamboo | Happy Dot ® | OAS Flow ®

E H2C Orchid Bamboo M
F H1C Happy Dot ®
G C2C OAS Flow ®

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