Selecting the right brush, paper and ink is very important for Zen Brush painting. Because you are allowing your own essence to emerge through the brush and onto the paper, this is a very individual matter. It has taken me years to find the brushes I use today. Some cost well over $100. Your brush becomes part of you. I've heard stories of artists burying their old brushes when they can no longer be used.
If you are new to Zen Brush painting, here is a wonderful and inexpensive way to start.
I recommend a large Sumi brush because it is far more flexible and expressive than smaller brushes. Small brushes are good for fine detail work, but in Zen Brush painting we express our essence through broad quick strokes. We paint with complete freedom. In this way our essential energy is infused right into the paper. It is much easier and more effective to do this with a large brush. So get the largest brush you can afford.
It's hard to find good large Sumi brushes in America. Fortunately Yasutomo offers a variety of quite good ones at very low prices. The large number 4 Yasutomo Taihitsu Sumi brush is actually the one I started with years ago.
These brushes take a great deal of ink. Traditionally artists obtained their ink by grinding an ink stick against stone. That would take some time to fill these brushes. Fortunately you can buy the ink in liquid form today. Yasutomo makes a good Sumi ink product.
The last ingredient is paper. Rice paper absorbs the ink very well giving you that wonderful rich black. It also has just the right amount of texture and resistance. There are many varieties of rice paper. Experiment to find the one that fits you. Yasutomo has packages of individual sheets which are convenient and a good place to start.
You should be able to find all the products pictured here at any large art supply store. If not, you can buy them online right from this website. I've found Blick's prices are lower than you can find in other places because of their size.
To buy these products online simply click the link. When you get to Blick's home page type the name of the product into Blick's search engine at the top of the page.
- Yasutomo Taihistsu Sumi Brush
- Yasutomo liquid sumi ink
- Yasutomo rice paper
To go to Blick's now to buy these products, click the link below:
Blick Art Materials