Nihonga Silk Painting


Friends of Taka Sumi-e Nihonga-style Silk Painting meets monthly at 10:30 am at Leucadia Pizza, 7748 Regents Road, La Jolla 92122.

All levels of silk painters are welcome. Please come and work on your current projects or start a new one. We share our experience, ideas, supplies, resources and camaraderie (kind of like a silk painting support group!) If you are just curious, come and observe. If you have started a silk painting and forgot the process and need advice, or need to purchase pigments or silk (8 mm haboti), please come.


If you have questions or want  beginning instruction and have no supplies, RSVP to Stephanie Mast, or call her, 760-729-6302.



On Saturday, February 24, Room 104, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park, 9 am to noon, Sensei Takashi will teach a beginners crash course on silk painting. The project will be blue iris.

Nihonga translates literally to Japan (Nihon) painting (ga). Initially the term referred to a traditional style of Japanese painting  during  the Meiji Era (1868-1912) and was used  to differentiate this traditional style  from Western style painting, referred to as Yoga. 

Now, Nihonga implies that the traditional materials are used, so it is the process more than a style of painting. Nihonga uses natural materials and the paints, sizing and glue are mixed by hand from scratch. Paintings are done on stretched silk or sized washi and painted with ground mineral pigments mixed with animal hide glue. Often gold or silver leaf is used on the painting surface. Typically, very thin coats of pigment are built up for the desired effect. It is a very time-consuming but rewarding process, especially if you are a detail person.

A website with interesting information:

Good website about Nihonga materials:

Good website about Nihonga painters:

To download and print instructions on dry mounting silk paintings, click Dry Mounting Silk.pdf.


Silk Painting with Sensei Stephanie Ryusu Mast