Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy)

17. The relationship between calligraphy paper and sumi ink

I wrote these letters “十” on eight different kinds of calligraphy paper with same sumi ink.

Row A, the letters in the left hand row of the paper are depicted with intermediate densit…y of sumi ink.

Row B, the letters in the middle row of the paper are depicted with low density of sumi ink (pale colored).

Row C, the letters in the left hand row of the paper are depicted with high density of sumi ink( dark colored.)

The sharpness of each line is different in all letters. Some are blur and some are sharp. The letter D has sharp and solid lines. The letter E’s lines are blur and watery.

In general, the following conditions make the different impressions of the letters.

1.Types of Sumi ink
(1) Materials used in Sumi ink (ex. kinds of oil, soot)
(2) The density of Sumi (ex. It depends on the balance between Sumi ink and water, or on the frequency of grinding Sumi bar on ink-stone called Suzuri).
(3) Ages of Sumi, or years since production
(4) Volume of Sumi ink soaked in a brush

2.Types of paper
(1) Materials of paper
(2) Textures of paper
(3) Ages of paper

3.Writing styles
(1) Speed of the brush strokes

4.Writing Environment
(1) Humidity

When you produce a calligraphy work, you have to choose and best combine these conditions to express your image correctly.