Introducing Sumukhwa


Orchid Painting among the Four Scholars Painting

Sumukhwa is an East Asian ink brush painting that uses black ink, such as that used in Chinese calligraphy, in different concentrations. It is typically monochrome, using only shades of black, with a great emphasis on virtuoso brushwork and conveying the perceived "spirit" or "essence" of a subject over direct imitation. The goal of this painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject but to capture its spirit.


The Four Scholar’s Painting (Sagunja :四君子)means plum flower, orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo. In Confucian culture, it was compared to monarchs, which believed that monarchs or social leaders should have the perfect personality as these plants. It has been the subject of oriental paintings and It also represents the season as spring (Plum Flowers), summer (Orchid), autumn (Chrysanthemum), and winter (Bamboo).



To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colors, but it is essential to convey its liveliness and fragrance. It is also particularly associated with the Chán or Zen sect of Buddhism, which emphasizes "simplicity, spontaneity, and self-expression", and Daoism, which emphasizes "spontaneity and harmony with nature".



See Sumukhwa class pictures below to learn how to draw it. In this class we paint the plants with this Sumukhwa technique. You will learn how to draw four plants and practice the characteristics of oriental paintings by drawing lines and trying different methods of using the oriental brush.








Sumukhwa class is taught by Kelly on Thursdays and Saturdays.