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Sumi-e painting with Joan Lok

  • 22 Oct 2016
  • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Rd. Ellicott City, MD 21043
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Sumi-e Painting

also called Chinese or Asian Brush Painting 
One Day Workshop 
with Joan Lok

Saturday, October 22nd 2016

from 10 AM to 4:00 PM

We are pleased to have nationally recognized sumi-e artist Joan Lok to give us a one-day workshop on sumi-e painting (also called Chinese or Asian brush painting.)  Joan won many awards, and served as the National President of the Sumi-e Society of America for ten years.  

Her art instruction book “Chinese Brush Painting: Flowers”, an instant best seller, is available in English, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish.  Joan’s artworks are featured in “The Best of Flower Painting”, “Stroke of Genius”, and “Chinese Landscape Painting Techniques for Watercolors”.  Visit for art images, show and workshop schedule.

What will be taught: The workshop will focus on brushwork to help water-colorists be more precise and spontaneous in their work.  It will include introduction of materials, basic strokes, and loading the brush to deliver multiple colors in a single stroke.  We will work on bamboo, cherry blossom, and day lily in the morning.  In the afternoon, we will work on song birds flying and perching, and wrap up the day’s work with a discussion on composition and use of negative space in a classic sumi-e artwork. 


Supplies List for Joan Lok Sumi-e Workshop with Baltimore Watercolor Society, October 22, 2016

Since many of you are new to the art of sumi-e but may be experienced water-colorists, the supplies list is created with you in mind.  Don’t rush to buy all the specialty brushes and paper.  Get a feel of sumi-e at the workshop, and get the supplies if you decide to continue exploring sumi-e art.  Joan will have sumi-e ink to share.  Here are additional items you may need:


·         Newsprint - One pad, 50 sheets, 12”x18” or 18”x24” (for practice of strokes)

·         Rice Paper – locally, from Plaza Art - Sumi-e paper, made in Japan, 48 sheets, 12”x18”, about $10.  There are many kinds of rice paper which Joan will explain at the workshop.  For the subjects she will cover, Joan uses Ma paper, but it is hard to get them in small quantity.  Joan will have some that you may purchase at the workshop.  Each sheet is about 27”x 54” that she usually cuts into 6 pieces of 14”x17”.  About $3 a sheet.



·         If you only have watercolor brushes, bring watercolor rounds in #1, #6 or 8, #12 or 14. 

·         If you have sumi-e brushes, bring Combination (Flow, Ideal, Orchid Bamboo) in medium and large, Hard hair (Mountain Horse) in large and small/long, Soft (White Cloud) in medium and small, Detail (Leaf Vein, Happy Dot), Flat (Hake) in 1½” or 2”.  Joan will have some sumi-e brushes that you may purchase at the workshop, from $7 to $20.


Good news. Joan doesn’t use traditional sumi-e color chips or powder and she uses mainstream brands, such as Winsor & Newton, and Holbein.  Joan is also more relaxed in color choices so just bring what you have in watercolors. 

·         For transparent watercolors, it will work as far as you have colors in these ranges:  Yellow/Gamboge, Vermilion, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue or Indigo.

·         For white, Joan likes Dr. Martin’s Bleed Proof White in a jar, but W&N’s gouache in permanent white will work.  Opaque white with transparent watercolors create a very unique texture on rice paper, great for petals, and feathers.  A very small tube will do as we only need a little of it.

·         For black, she uses sumi-e ink. Plaza Art sells bottled sumi-e ink.  For bottled ink, she prefers those from Japan than from China.  You can bring ink stick and ink stone if you like to grind them fresh.  Joan will have a bottle to share so you don’t need to buy any just for this workshop.  In order not to mess up your watercolor palette/tray, bring a small dish or plate to hold the sumi-e ink. 


·         A piece of felt (or a stack of newsprint) to cover the table since rice paper is very thin and the color may go through), palette or little dishes for ink and colors, mixing plates, paper towel, spray bottle, water container, and hairdryer. 

 Call Joan if you have any questions, 410-730-7597,,

Please pack a lunch and beverage. Light refreshments will be available.


From the Baltimore Beltway (I695) take the exit onto I-70W and follow for 4.4 miles. Take exit 87B to merge onto US-29N towards MD99. Turn right at Rogers Ave. At the traffic light, take the exit to stay straight on Rogers Ave. Turn left at High Ridge Rd. and the Howard Co. Center for the Arts is on the left.

Member Registration Opens July 30th, 2016

Member Fee: $60

Non-Member Registration Opens September 24th, 2016

Not a Member? Consider signing up as an Associate

Non-Member Fee: $65

Registration Deadline:  October 15th unless the program is full prior to this date. 

Cancellation: 75% refund if notified no later than October 15th 2016 Refunds for later cancellations are subject to availability of a substitute participant.

Please direct questions to our Program Chair
Sabine Yeager at

or by phone at 410-774-4212

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