The Japanese word for black ink painting, sumi-e is an East Asian writing and painting style that employs brush and black ink on paper. Gradations of black in sumi art are achieved by using black ink at full strength or dissolving it in water to lighten it. Blick offers everything you need for learning and practicing this ancient tradition. Find sumi painting papers made from rice, mulberry (kozo), or other fibers. Traditional sumi ink, made from pine or vegetable oil soot, is available in both liquid form or as ink sticks that can be dissolved in water on a suzuri grinding stone.
Sumi brushes such as bamboo and hake brushes made from goat, sheep, or other natural hair are ideal for creating sumi paintings and also for applying watercolors, oils, acrylics, glue, and ceramic glazes. Access our Brush Charts for more information on types of paintbrushes, including brush shapes, fiber types, and measurements.