Monthly Archives: November 2013

Large and Small Fish Swimming Among Shells and Moss at the Bottom of the Sea

Large and Small Fish Swimming Among Shells and Moss at the Bottom of the Sea by Ryūryūkyo Shinsai (Japanese, active ca. 1799–1823).

Shinsai was a Hokusai student and he ranks as one of the earliest surimono designers to render subjects other than people, for example the print published towards the end of his career entitled Koi yama (‘Carp float ( yama is the abbreviation of yamaboko, meaning ‘float’); 1820; Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib.).

Shells and Moss at the Bottom of the Sea




Uba by Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891).

Uba means “old woman, wet nurse”.  She is  the spirit of the pine tree in Japan. She and her husband Jo (“love”) symbolize marital love and fidelity.

Shibata Zeshin (1807–1891) is history’s greatest lacquer artist, recognized worldwide for his exquisitely detailed lacquered boxes, panels, sword mounts, and other objects, as well as scrolls painted in both ink and lacquer. In addition to his mastery of traditional techniques, Zeshin developed a range of daring new lacquer textures and finishes imitating rusty iron, rough seas, patinated bronze, and even the delicate grain of Chinese rosewood.


The link:

Roses and Bamboo with Nightingale


Today’s watercolor is a copy of a woodblock print (surinomo (1)) made by Teisei Hokuba.

Hokuba, who often signed his name Teisei Hokuba, was born and lived in Edo. He was one of the most successful pupils of the great master Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849).  He was a  prolific artist, almost up to his teacher’s caliber.

He was a very good ukiyo-e painter, as well as printmaker and illustrator. He designed many surimono and a number of illustrations for poetry (kyoka (2)) books and novels, and is known mainly for his paintings of beauties (bijin-ga).

Although he was very prolific,  no attempt has been made so far to document his large body of work. So any information about him is welcome.


Here is the link to the original:

(1) Surinomo beeing privately published prints

(2) Kyοka beeing mad or satirical illustrated poems

Medetai Fish and Sasaki Bamboo – The first one of a series..

Today I painted Medetai Fish and Sasaki Bamboo, from the series Uozukushi (Every Variety of Fish) by Utagawa Hiroshige. The original is a polychrome woodblock print.

Utagawa Hiroshige was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist, considered the last great master of that tradition. He is best known for his landscapes, such as the series The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso Kaidō and for his depictions of birds and flowers.

I think this picture is very funny and cheerful.



Here is the link to the original one:

I’m going to start!

Hi ,

This is today’s watercolor. I got the original from the MET Museum Collection. Below you’ll find the link to the original. I decided to start working with Japanese art as a reference.

Japanese prints are so beautifull and they have had a huge influence in art, especially between 1850-1920.



Here is the link: