You are currently viewing Painting Realistic Looking Bamboo with Black Ink

Painting Realistic Looking Bamboo with Black Ink

Bamboo is a key subject in East Asian painting, with many works combining both realistic representations of bamboo (often painted in black ink) and calligraphy. From scrolls to door panels, bamboo stalks have been painted by skilled artists and children alike, many would say as a testimony to the simple beauty and immense usefulness of this unique ‘grass’. If the smooth touch and simple, minimalistic look of bamboo inspire you, you might like to try your hand at creating your own painting for your home. If so, practice your technique by trying out the following techniques.

Paint Your Bamboo in the Right Order

Artists usually paint the bamboo’s stalks, followed by their knots, branches, and leaves. For the talk, hold your brush and apply a powerful thrust as you draw, taking advantage of a moment in which you feel particularly energetic or even angry. Doing so will give your strokes a powerful quality that represents bamboos stalks well. To give your bamboo stalks a more realistic look, dip the whole brush in light black ink, then dip half the brush into a medium black ink, and finally, dip the tip into the darkest ink. When you draw the stem, you will see a beautiful graduation in color and you can paint more than one stalk with the brush you have just dipped into three ink concentrations.

Painting the Nodes, Branches, and Leaves

Next up, paint the little nodes that circle the stem. Do so before the stems have dried completely so that the nodes blend seamlessly into the background. The nodes should be a little darker than the stem. Next come the fine branches that lend a gentle grace to bamboo. They should be fine, so you should use the tip of your brush, ensuring your branches originate at the nodes you have previously drawn. Your brush should be rather dry to keep the strokes fine. You can use both fish bone and bird’s foot branch styles. Fish bone strokes go outward from the nodes and bird’s foot strokes are drawn towards the node. To draw the leaves, go to the fine edge of the branches and press your brush downwards, pulling it ahead then lifting it into the air. You may need several goes at painting the perfect leaf.

Where to Display Your Paintings

If you have used a simple black style to paint bamboo and you’d like to combine it with the right background, think first of the room you will be displaying your paintings in. A room’s color affects your energy levels and mood, with studies showing, for instance, that blue and green paint relax the mind and that orange and red paint energize the mind and soul. Whichever color you choose, use a monochrome scheme or a maximum of two or three complementary tones. Avoid loud prints or metallic wallpaper, to let the simple beauty of your drawings complement the peaceful colors of your room. 

Adding Bamboo Accessories into the Equation

There are many ways to add real bamboo into your decor scheme to emphasize the beauty of bamboo. You can do so through bamboo flooring, decorative details, and accessories. If you hang your paintings in the living room and you have an open kitchen, use bamboo cutlery and accessories and cups and keep your hand soap in a bamboo dish. Instead of a statement potted plant, use bamboo stalks in a modern pot to lend height to a chosen area or to stand by a designer furniture piece.

Painting bamboo is an ancient custom that is said to be an elegant way to express your feelings. From the energy involved in painting a stalk to the delicate frame of mind that gives rise to beautiful leaves, there is always a time and place for everything when it comes to this type of artwork. Once you have created your painting, consider embellishing it with calligraphy and a beautiful frame. Choose a spot in your home in which you think about life, meditate, read, or simply go for a little peace of mind.

Photo by MALOTHU SANTHOSH on Unsplash.