I am having trouble with the "peach sap powder". It won't dissolve properly it remains lumpy...any suggestions? You may dissolve with small amount of water(but not too little) first and use a small tea spoon to smash it. After it become a thin paste, add more water to to the consistency you like(around 5%). I would stir the glue water with spoon or chopsticks until it all deissolve. Sure you can use warm water but not too hot. It can always be rewet and reused. It should not do damage to the brush if you clean it after using.
You can store leftover ink on your inkstone by adding some clean water to it and putting the lid on it overnight so it won't dry up. It should be noted that you need an inkstone with a stone lid since a wooden lid won't keep the ink moist/wet like a stone lid will.
The next day you may grind the diluted ink again or just use the grey ink to write or draw.
The over night ink, known as "Su-mo" in Chinese, has its own characteristics: 1) 1) The glue medium and ink particles tend to separate on rice paper and create broader watermarks and pastel effects in the strokes; 2) The color of Su-mo is less shiny than newly ground ink and that might be good for certain subject matters or styles. TIP: use more moisture with the leftover ink to make it look fresher. If you do not add water to the inkstone to maintain the freshness, it will turn into dirty, dry ink and cannot be revived.
Question: Can I keep the leftover ink for more than 1 or 2 days?
Answer: NO. I wouldn't use any ink that is more than 2 days old.
If you are not planning on using the leftover ink within the next 2 days, you'd better clean the inkstone right away or add lots of water and clean it as soon as possible. PLEASE, don't leave any leftover ink on the inkstone for more than 2 days.
You need a pair of soft and stiff brush, or a combination brush to get start. Good varieties in size and shapes are available here for you to choose from. If you already have some Asian brushes, try them to see if they work for you.
2. Sumi Ink. You may use bottled liquid ink for convenience. Tradtitional inkstick and inkstone and are recommended for best result.
3. Rice Paper. High quality of authentic Chinese rice paper are available at moderate prices. We recommend mulberry paper to beginning student for less bleeding and evenly color lending. For advanced students, you might want to try our high absorbent Xuan(shuan) paper.
4. Watercolor Paints. Marie's Chinese painting watercolor and color chips are available in our online store. You may also use artist quality watercolor or gouache.
5. A Pallete or Two White Ceramic Saucers.
6. A Water Container for rinsing brush, as big as possible.
7. A piece of Felt Pad. It should be in white or light color, no black! Synthetic is fine. Recommended size: 18"x20".
8. Paper Towel or Hand Tissue. for blotting or to dry the brush.
If I use fill ink in my waterbrush pen, what ink do I choose? how often should I clean it?
You can use any liquid sumi ink that we carry to fill the brush pen. Please do not use black ink for regular fountain pen because the brush bristle won't hold them well.
For best result, you need to clean the brush pens after each usage. If you need to use it tomorrow you can leave the ink in the reservoir but clean the bristle with water. If you are not going to use the brush pen for more than two days, you should empty the ink in the reservoir and clean the brush thoroughly.
In case you forgot to clean and the bristle gets hard with dried ink, do the following, soak the brush in water for 15~20 minutes and then wash the brush in running water after it return soft. Don't try to use hardened brush to paint and force it to open because that could cause serious damage to the bristle.
Tip: You may to put the ink pen in a toothbrush travel box to carry while you travel in order to prevent it from staining the content of your luggage.
Is it okay to leave water in the water brush if you are using them every day or two, or is it better to drain and dry out every day after using?
Yes, you'd better doing the the dry and drain every day but if you could. But if you occasionally forget doing it it won't hurt the brush that much. You can leave the water in the reservior overnight if you use them that often. I will clean and dry the bristle every day at least. If possiple, I'd leave the cap off so the brush get breath and the water evaporate. Especially for the natural hair ones, the brush may become too soft if they are kept wet for too long. You can leave water in the synthetic ones for a week without any problem.
I wish you could recommend me a really nice, beautiful, an good brush for calligraphy. On your site there are a lot choices and I am a little confused.
Q: I bought the feather brush from you before and I´m glad to contact you again. This time I wish you could recommend me a really nice, beautiful, an good brush for calligraphy. On your page there are a lot and i am a little confused. Time ago I used to buy painting brushes thinking they were suitable for calligraphy. And they were not. A:
The brush good for calligraphy is usually also good for painting but it is not always true that a good painting brush is also good for painting, such as the feather brush:-). Actually, I need to know what kind of caligraphy you are doing? Large(oever 1 1/2"), Medium (Between 1/2" - 1 1/2") or Small(under 1/2")? Also, what style of calligraphy? Standing, Walking or Running?
For very small sized calligraphy, you may choose the 4 tini brush set, which you may use to write a greeting card. If you need a small calligraphy brush to write longer text, you may try the red hair brush.
How to make a perfect stamp with stone seal? What should I use to clean the seal? Should I cover the ink with plastic wrap?
Q: Just received my name seal and the red ink, I am wondering how to make a perfect stamp with it? After I use the seal should I be cleaning off the residual ink? If yes, what should I use to clean the seal? How long will the red ink last? Should I cover the ink with plastic wrap so it will keep longer.
To make a perfect stamp, you need to ink the seal evenly by tabbing lightly on the ink paste. Do not press it too hard into the ink paste to avoid over loading. It a good idea to put a magazine or a house pad under the painting or art works. Place the seal in correct position and do not apply proper pressure evenly. Lift the seal slowly while holding the paper down with your other hand. Make test prints before you use it on the artwork.
2) To clean the residual ink with a piece of tissue or soft paper towel. If you already got dried residual ink on the seal, you can also wash it with mild soap and rinse it(you do not need to wash it every time). 3) The ink will last very long time (for many many years). You need not to use plastic wrap. All you need to do is cover it with the lid of the ceramic case.
Do you take international order and what is the shipping cost? Yes, we ship worldwide. You may see the shipping cost by adding the products to the shopping carts. Then your will see the "Shipping Options" in the shopping cart with cost estimator. Please change the destination country to yours and click on the "reculculate" link. You should see the shipping charge. If you have further questions please contact us.
A: The time is flexible since students will be from all over the world via the Internet. There are more than a dozen lectures each last about 2 hours with new instructional videos during every month. You can watch the class video at your convenient time and share your art works with the class in the class forum.
You will have access to many resources besides your video lessons. There are class discussions on a number of topics relating to art, famous artists, painting themes, and questions and answers. There is also a great body of student work that is posted that Mr. Li has individually critiqued already that you can refer to and study as an enrichment to your lessons. You can truly tailor this learning experience to suit your preference and your schedule. If you believe you will require more than eight weeks to complete the beginners course, it might help to know that you can come in the class any time during those eight weeks, which makes it more suitable to busy schedules since there is not a set "time" of the day or evening that you must attend. In other words, you won't miss anything.
2. Can we upload pictures to the discussion forum of the class? A: Yes, you can scan or take pictures of your artworks, then either upload them to the class forum to share with the class or email me privately. If you want my critiques, yes, I will give you.
I often take several days to finally place an order and I often forget which items I wanted. Is there a way to save items in my shopping cart over several days?
Sorry you cannot save your shopping cart but yes, you may use the "wishlist" feature on our website to save the items for later purchase. This is how it works:
First, you need to open a free account without purchasing any thing(or login to your existing account); then, add items that you are interested into your "wishlist" instead of shopping cart. The next day when you are ready just login to your account and convert the wishlist to your shopping cart to checkout. (Note: Due to software limitations, for thoses items that have sub-products or options, you may only add the parent product to the wish list. Please make your correct selections after you convert them into shopping cart before you check out. SOrry for this inconvenience.)
Are there specific types of watercolor paints that are better than others? I have seen some in tubes and some as cakes, which do you prefer? What would be the advantage of using Japanese color cakes or colored-ink as compared with western watercolor tubes or cakes?
About Japanese color blocks or colored ink cakes, I have the following observations to share with you:
1) The Japanese colored-ink cakes are similar to the other Japanese painting color cakes. The colored inks are just different hues than the other color cakes with same binding material and body. I have to say that I love some of the hues of Japanese color cakes and all colored-inks, which are not found in any watercolor tubes. 2) I find it is best to use them on all kinds of machine-made semi-machine-made Japanese rice papers which come with a shining surface that is too slippery to paint with watercolor. The Japanese color cakes are kind of too thick or sticky when applied on Chinese xuan paper but perfect on Japanese rice paper rolls or other kozo papers. 3) The Japanese cakes are more opaque than regular watercolors and I love the pastel-like particles in its diluted values, which is similar to over-night ink but much finer and more subtle. 4) It is very convenient to carry and paint outdoors. So you do not need to bring bottled ink. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt6Hjp53fsU Even when I paint indoors I like to use them because they are so handy and I don't need to prepare all the color from tubes when I paint.
5) Finally, either Marie's Chinese painting color tubes or Japanese color cakes are designed to work on absorbent paper, whereas Western watercolor are designed to work with none absorbent paper. And Asian colors can be mixed with sumi ink but the later can't because regular watercolor uses totally different binding materials with the sumi ink.
I just purchased my first ink stone and ink stick from you. This morning I mixed up some ink for practice. Can I leave that ink on the stone to use tonight?
Yes, you can do that. I would add a little bit clean water to the ink and then lid it. You need to re-grind it before using. If you are not to use it tomorrow you may use a paper towel to suck up the remaining ink and wipe the stone clean. No need to rinse wash it every time so it will not make your sink dirty.
What is the difference between the Convenient Ink Cake and an ink stick? And how is it different to the black Maries paint?
The convenient Ink cake is ready to use. You can brush it off without grinding on a ink stone. Ink stick is used for grinding ink on a ink stone to make ink paste and you cannot brush it off.
Marie's black color is a pure black and gives poor gradation when diluted with water compared to ink stick or ink cake. It is not as flowing as the bottled ink and plus the cost factor it is not used as a main source of black color in sumi painting.
Bottled sumi ink is less rich in tonality than traditional inks tick but it commonly used for its convenience. (Tip: some artists like to grind bottled ink with water further to achieve more body and intensity. )