“Nihonga”, is “Nihon” (Japan) and “ga” (painting), or painting in the Japanese style. This can be traced back a thousand years to the Meiji era. It involves the use of rock pigments, crushed minerals, shells, corals and even semi-precious stones, ground to a fine powder.
The ground rock pigment can be made in many gradations, from the finest powder to the texture of sand grains.
Nihonga artists use the powdered pigment mixed with glue and water to brush upon hand-made “washi” paper. The finer the powder, the lighter the color of the pigment.
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