The Camellia, as presented by Tomoki Moriyama

Feb16 by Eguchiv translated to English by Priscilla Moore.
Nihon-ga artist and teacher Tomoki Moriyama from Okayama, Japan, has made a website with a very useful step by step approach to understanding the basics of floral painting and traditionnal Nihon-ga.

This has allowed me to offer you an abridged translation.

Please visit Tomoki Moriyama’s site to read the full lesson.

Step 1

Materials needed:
Boenogu colours or suihi, sumi, gofun and iwaenogu pigments.

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This sketch is done on paper, to finish with a clear line drawing.
The drawing is then transferred to an adapted support. (See Tomoki’s site)
The line drawing is then inked in.

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Once the drawing is inked in, we go on to the background: Yokaku, with ochre pigment and gofun.

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The colours used are carmine, ultramarine blue, green, gofun, indigo, gamboge (yellow); we will be looking to bring a cohesion to the whole picture.

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We will seek to gain balance in the values, and will thus avoid using too dark colours. The background colours can be found in the study.

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-Paint the background with two colours to achieve a gradation.
The general outline of the drawing is painted using basic colours
Apply a thin layer of gofun to integrate the underlying picture.

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Each petal is painted one by one, from the shaded area to the outside of the petal, in carmine ( Yoku 洋紅). Then by premoistening the petal with a wet paintbrush produce a gradation by pulling the tint from the interior of the petal towards the exterior. This technique is called katabokashi.
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Once all petals have been painted, mix some red with some orange (gamboge equivalent: dark yellow to orangey colour), and paint the centre of the flower with this colour. This transparent colour will leave the sumi-e beneath it visible.
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-For the leaves, mix yellow and indigo to create green. I used small quantities in different small bowls to create various subtleties of this green mixture. This way the result will be less monotone.
The veins of the leaves are painted by using Horinuri technique. The green is painted between the veins, which remain thus apparent (negative). Tarashikomi technique is also employed: colour is applied to another layer of paint which is still moist.
-The branch is painted with a mix of red, yellow, indigo and sumi ink.

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– It is possible to either stop there, or continue to work on the shadows, by bringing the background colours in to the study. Lightly wash the study with water and subsequently repaint the areas which are too washed out. This is an important process that creates a balance between ‘tension and looseness’.

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Wet the entire picture, add a colour on the darker part then wash with water to thin and lighten this colour.

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Or, paint over with a colour of light density, and wash undesired results.

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Redefine the petals with katabokashi and gofun, from the exterior to the interior.
Pay attention to the superposition of the petals by starting with those at the back.
The extent to which the gofun is drawn out is important.
The previously painted area must be dry before commencing the next.
Once the petals are painted with gofun, you can reshape the petals with a very light rose colour.

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Horinuri and Katabokashi techniques are employed.
Harmony and adjustment is achieved with blue and yellow.
Each leaf is painted in a more realistic style. Sumi ink can also be added; sumi gives depth to colours.
Branch: Painted by observing the entire picture.

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The following step in the next article: finalisation with mineral pigments.

Katabokashi: onesided shading/gradation
Horinuri: painting between the lines
Tarashikomi: wash effect by applying a layer of colour on one that is still wet
Gofun: white pigment from shells
Suihi enogu: earth based pigments
Iwa enogu: mineral pigments
Bo enogu: solid colours
Yokaku: background of the picture

Thank you for your understanding when there maybe be errors or imperfect translation.
Translation from French to English by Priscilla Moore, Japanese to French by Valérie Eguchi and Koyo Daire.
Copyright Tomoki Moriyama

En français ici


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