Monday, 6 – 8:30 pm

Starts on 2 September

DURATION: 12.5 hours (5 sessions)
COST: $295


This series of classes and workshops will encourage you to explore your own unique relationship with ink painting. It intends for you to learn the basics of Indian and Chinese (black) ink painting so you can adapt any technique to your own style.


This program is for you if
     – You are experimental, intuitive and desire to step outside of yourself and find new creative paths
     – You want to build your techniques and ink painting skills
     – You have little to no experience using black and white water based ink
     – You are an experienced or an amateur artist willing to expand your own practice
     – You are creatively independent and want to move beyond the fundamentals of ink painting
This series of classes is not intended to teach you traditional Chinese or Japanese ink painting nor to show you how to replicate another artist’s artworks or to produce hyper realistic paintings.


     1. Build strong foundations in black and white ink painting
     2. Expand your knowledge in ink painting art history and techniques
     3. Obtain skills to build and maintain an independent artistic practice
     4. Develop confidence to undertake experimental technical/artistic approaches in developing your own style and creative potential


This course is composed of 5 classes of 2.5 hours each. Each week is dedicated to a series of techniques, skills and personal explorations. You will learn about different types of ink, brushes and paper as well as stamping and gold leaf. You will also learn about classic and contemporary ink masters and how they have pushed the boundaries of painting in their own work.


Each class requires different paper types and additional material, though every time you will need to bring
     1. Pigmented black ink, such as or or
     2. 1 small and 1 medium mop brushes, such as : or or
     3. 1 large and 1 extra large brushes, such as : or
     4. Notebook and pen
     5. Rags or absorbent paper towel
     6. Wear dark clothes
     7. Liquid containers (so your largest brush can easily fit in), think to reuse your take away plastic containers, they are stackable and                   won’t take much space. Don’t buy plastic please.
If you already own some material bring it all with you on the first day.

WEEK 1 – meet your tools

Image source:

Introduction to wet-on-dry technique, learn basic brush strokes Looking at contemporary artists to expand our understanding of what ink painting and wet on dry technique can be
Use of pigmented ink with flat and rounded brushes of various sizes
Paint seated and standing, with one and two hands, opened and closed eyes, experience what movement, physicality and meditative gestures do to your art
Learn about the importance of the quality of environment in your practice, paint in
silence, in music, with white noise
Material needed
As well as what is mentioned on the list above, please also bring:
● Stack of white butcher paper (15 to 20 sheets), such as :
● Long sticks, about one meter (at least 1, 4 preferably), such as:
● 2 liquid containers
● 12 elastic bands and one roll of sticky tape

WEEK 2 – the art of reading stones

Introduction to washes and layering to build depth in your painting
Looking at classic and contemporary ink artists as examples of what ink painting using washes can be
Use pigment ink on rice paper and play with the fluidity of this medium, how it reacts on such paper, its unpredictability, learn to let loose
Working from small stones (Ruskin technique) that are interesting in shape and texture, understand how to move from figuration to abstraction, from microcosm to macrocosm
Rely on your memory to filter details that are not necessary in your work while keeping the essence of your subject matter
Material needed
● Rice paper, such as: or or
● 3 sheets of tracing paper, such as:
● Ink as usual
● Mop and flat brushes as usual
● 6 sheets of butcher
● 6 liquid containers

WEEK 3 – symbols and mythology

Detail of artwork by Gu Wenda

Experimenting with texture rendering for introducing abstract details in your work
Looking at contemporary ink and oil artists as inspiration for creating your own personal mythology figures and symbols
Looking at contemporary ink artists who manipulate surfaces to understand the role paper quality plays in the final artwork
Process oriented, experiment with the order of wash application and ink painting to see how it greatly influences the end result of your work
Learn about the importance of water in capillary action and how salt can interfere with this process
Paint using pigment and acrylic ink to experience the various visual qualities of both ink types
Material needed
● Rice paper and butcher paper as per previous week
● Pigment ink as usual
● Black acrylic ink, such as or
● Mop and flat brushes as usual
● 5 liquid containers

WEEK 4 – the sky is the limit

Detail of artwork by John Constable

Considering the making of backgrounds as an opportunity to “read” the artwork and develop a personal visual lexicon
Looking at 19th century watercolour artists to understand the power of white and how to balance light and dark elements
Analysing light and shadow placement on objects to help creating dramatic sky painting
Working with a reserve, how batik can teach us a trick or two
Material needed
● 4 watercolour paper sheets (A4 or A3, rough or smooth, 270-300gsm), such as: buy one single sheet (500x700cm),
    mark each corner of the sheet on the back side with lead pencil and cut it in 4 or buy a pad such as or or
● Smartphone or a torch
● White candle and a stanley knife
● A couple butcher paper sheets and some rice paper
● Pigment and acrylic ink as usual
● Mop and flat brushes as usual
● Liquid containers

WEEK 5 – personal visual lexicon

Image source: Oxford Dictionary online

Sum up all that you have learnt over the last 4 weeks to create an ambitious artwork
Consider how your favourite artists can influence and push you in your practice
Focus on how you hold and manipulate your brushes to create blots, splodges and other abstract marks
Choose how you will play with black, white and greys, wet on dry, wet on wet, washes, and reserve.
Plan the scale you will work on considering how physical or meditative (or both?) you
want to orientate your practice
Material needed
● Everything you will need to realise your ultimate ink painting!
● Bring two promising unfinished artworks too
● A hairdryer

About the artist
Sofie Dieu

Born in France, Sofie Dieu is a culturally and linguistically diverse artist. Sensitive to cultural cliches, she has developed from it a penchant for the non-obvious and what makes us unique.
Multi-art prizes and award finalist, Sofie Dieu’s work was recently included in John Leslie Art Prize, Hornsby Art Prize, Sydney North Art Prize, Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize, among others.
In 2016, she was one of the four artists who worked on the Camperdown Cemetery installation for the Sydney Biennale. She also co-curated « Keeping the body in mind » as part of The Big Anxiety Festival, in Sydney. 
In 2017, she took part to the Great Alpine Artist in Residence Program, from which ensued Calling for Rain, a body of work that traveled in 2018 from Gippsland to Sydney and Melbourne. This Community project was at the start of a long term collaboration with the region. 
In 2019, Dieu’s work includes a mix media work created with Latrobe Regional Gallery and Creative Gippsland for their Artist in Community Program (Latrobe Literacy Festival). Later this year Dieu will also participate to Falls Creek Residency Program.