Nihonga day 5

Today was probably my favorite day so far.


Mako showed us how to grind oyster shells,



add glue,



and taking the mixture, pound it and roll it to a good consistency  - this makes the “best” white pigment.  Fascinating huh? White pigment from oyster shells.  Who knew?!



Then we began the process of making color.  (but only as a teaser– these have to set over the weekend before we can use them)  Impatient people beware: Nihonga painting is a slow [read: sometimes painfully slow] process!  :)



My main experiment was to begin working on a wood panel,



first, I added a layer of the oyster shell white (a very thin, sheen layer that soaked deep into the wood)



for the bottom section, I used encaustic medium – and then overlaid a stripe of titanium white pigment and fused.  I’ll probably come back to this experiment on Monday, but decided to leave it for now so I could see what the oyster shell white would look like when it was dried.



I returned to my 4 mini-experiments and brought out a pocket microscope (on loan from my husband) to check out the fibers of the paper and the mineral grains.  If only I could take pictures of what I saw!!



I added oyster shell white (barely visible in these pictures) as well as strong titanium white to each piece.





Meanwhile, on the other side of the studio



Jess was hard at work



and finding pretty things around to draw inspiration from.



And Laura was busy whizzing through our assigned reading.