One stroke, one painting? Not exactly, but the one stroke dragon art is an amazing form of art to look at. The guys who are specialized in this stroke can create a dragontail with just one brush stroke.
The beautiful technique is called ‘hitofude ryuu’, which literally means ‘dragon with one stroke’. It looks easy at first glance, but there’s a lot of hard work and practice involved in getting the stroke right. To create a single dragon painting, the artists first create the dragon head with small, precise strokes. Then they use a large brush, dip it into the paint and swirl it across the canvas. If you look closely you’ll see there are actually tiny stops in the stroke, creating the scale-like tail that makes the dragon come to life.
One stroke dragon art
Watch the video’s below to see how the artists create the dragons. You can see the Sumie artists at work in the Kousyuuya Studio in Nikko. Cool detail is that you can order a painting in the shop and they will make it for you. You can choose your own design and color of your dragon and in about 15 minutes you’ll have what you have ordered. Definitely take the camera when you go, an awesome reminder of how your painting was made. A painting usually costs between 2500 yen (without a frame) and 9000 yen (with frame and gold-colored paint for example) yen. It may seem like a lot but hey, if you convert it to dollars it’s between 25 to 86 dollars. For 25 dollars you already have such a cool painting, it’s definitely worth it!
Where to find the Kousyuuya Studio?
The Kousyuuya Studio is right next to the Nikko Kyodo Center Mae bus stop. If you have more time to walk around in Nikko (recommended) you can walk from either Tobu Nikko Station or Nikko Station (will take about 15 minutes). If you come from one of the stations, you will find the shop on your right side in the main street heading to the temples. Look for dragons in the window; can’t miss it! If you’re not planning to go to Nikko soon you can also buy the Kousyuuya dragon art on their website Kousyuuya.