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Ink Rhyme - The Beauty of Asian Ink & Wash

Ink Rhyme (mò yùn) is the core and foundation of Asian culture. From tea ceremonies to calligraphy, and ink and wash paintings, it is a technique or way to express their story, emotions, and ideas.

What Does Ink Rhyme Mean?

ink rhyme is the spirit of being humble and calm but also enjoying himself or herself in the process. If you break down the original words in Chinese, ''mò'' means ''ink'', Asian people think pure black represents humility, gentleness, and delicate. "yùn'' means ''tone, rhyme, or feelings'', from how you hold the brush to the directions and strength you applied to the strokes, the details can deliver the emotions and stories, or even reflect your inner self to the artwork. Therefore, in traditional Asian ink and wash, ink rhyme can be considered as an indicator to tell whether you are a veteran or new green in the field.

How to Apply Ink Rhyme to the Asian Ink & Wash Paintings?

Ink rhyme might still sound a bit too presumptuous to you. Here are a few common techniques that you can apply ink rhyme to your paintings:

  1. The ink flow: If you are painting with a brush that soaks in water and the tip dipped with some ink, try to imagine the atmosphere of the scene you want to create. Afterward, peacefully and boldly deliver the feelings to your brush and transform that energy to flow.

  2. The strokes: If you are painting tree branches, imagine the strength of life, the journey of a tree's growth. Starting from straight to bent, there is an energy that leads the way of its journey, and that's where you create ink rhyme to the audience.

The layers: Layering is one of the most common techniques in ink and wash, sometimes you apply wet on wet, dry on wet, wet on dry, or even dry on dry to create multiple effects and layers. Furthermore, enrich the environment and atmosphere that you would like to create for your audiences.


The core of ink rhyme is to immerse yourself in the emotions and atmosphere and then deliver that energy to your paintings. There is an ancient saying ''paper is like a mirror that reflects who you are'', so don't worry too much about the actual ''technique'', follow your heart and let your emotion guide you freely.

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