SEPTEMBER KIT HAS ARRIVED!

Faux Ink Wash Painting

by Jessica Frost-Ballas September 12, 2018 41 Comments

Good morning! Jess here with a story-inspired card using the gorgeous Autumn Moon and Ink Painting Scene add-on sets from the September My Monthly Hero release!

For those of you who don't know, I am a Japanese-American: born in Tokyo, Japan and adopted by American parents. When I was growing up it was important to my parents that they honor and celebrate my Japanese heritage so I had many books of Japanese folktales that I used to read over and over. One of my favorite stories was about tsuki no usagi or moon rabbit. 

I'll try to keep it brief but the gist of the story is that one night, long long ago, the Old Man in the moon looked down at the earth and saw a monkey, a fox, and a rabbit who were living peacefully side by side. He thought to himself, "I wonder which animal is the kindest and which is the most generous?" and decided to disguise himself and go down to meet them. He transformed to an old beggar and spoke with the animals. The animals politely greeted him and he told them that he was poor, old, tired, and very hungry and asked if they would help him. They immediately dashed off to find the old man something to eat. The monkey returned with armfuls of fresh fruit and shortly after the fox returned with a big fat fish. Meanwhile the poor rabbit ran around looking for something he could bring the hungry man but wasn't able to find anything. He finally returned and asked his friends if they would bring him firewood and build him a fire. The monkey and fox went off to do as he had asked and when the fire was ready the rabbit turned to the old man. He told the man that he had not been able to find anything but couldn't bear to see the man go hungry so he was going to throw himself on the fire so that the old man would have a meal. As the rabbit went to jump in the fire the old man transformed back to his heavenly form and stopped the rabbit. He explained to the awestruck creatures that he did not wish them harm and that the rabbit was the most generous. To reward the rabbit for his generosity the Old Man in the Moon carried the rabbit back to the moon with him and there he stays, safe in the old man's arms, to this very day.

As a child I remember looking at the moon and searching for that rabbit! So when I saw the Autumn Moon set with the rabbit stamps I knew exactly why there was a rabbit and I was SO excited! I decided to create a card in the style of a Japanese ink wash painting as a setting for my moon rabbit!

I actually own an ancient bottle of Japanese sumi ink (it's been more than two decades since I've opened that bottle...ha) but I opened the bottle and it was still liquid so I poured a little into a bowl. To start I sketched a few rough outlines of mountains on the oversized vertical panel and then used a slightly damp paintbrush dipped in ink to outline the mountains. I used a wetter paintbrush to add a little shading and kept a little white space for some dimension. After the basic shapes were painted I went back and added a little detail with a smaller paintbrush.

Next I took a few stamps from the Ink Painting Scene set and stamped them onto my card with Intense Black ink. I used a little second generation stamping to get some dimension in my trees and then softened some of the lines with a damp paintbrush. I set that aside to dry while I worked on the moon. I'm certainly no expert but it was kinda fun and very relaxing to do something so freehand!  

I stamped the moon from Autumn Moon onto vellum with Versamark and heat-embossed it with white satin pearl embossing powder before die-cutting it with the coordinating dies. I stamped the lantern from Autumn Moon with Versamark on white cardstock and heat-embossed it with red embossing powder. I colored it with Copic markers and die-cut it with the coordinating dies. I also stamped the sentiment on black cardstock and heat-embossed it with white detail embossing powder.  When the painting was dry I stamped the rabbit with Intense Black ink. Then I stamped the branch from Autumn Moon and heat-embossed it with detail black embossing powder. I adhered the moon over the rabbit and added the lantern and sentiment with foam mounting tape. Obviously there aren't such dark spots on the moon but I thought he'd stand out best with some black ink. Finally I decided to do my own little spin on "signing" my painting (as a traditional Japanese artist would do with a red signature seal) by adding that bright red lantern amidst all the black, grey, and white!  

I know this was a super long post so I'm very thankful if you got all the way to the end of it! Thanks so much for stopping by today and have a wonderful day!





Jessica Frost-Ballas
Jessica Frost-Ballas

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

41 Responses

Marjorie
Marjorie

September 25, 2018

Loved every minute reading this and studying your art. I too used to read a lot of Japanese Lore when a small child. Too compare your childhood to mine is to know I am now very, very old and I have forgotten most of what I read in my Japanese books. Forget nothing and most of all remember all that you have learned from around you and from your books; your books and your memories are blessed treasures M

Carlos
Carlos

September 25, 2018

I love your card!
I have to tell you how happy I was to read your story of Rabbit Moon!
I just heard that story, for the first time, at the September meeting of Ikebana San Antonio, my Japanese flower-arranging group! Our instructor for the morning, came from Plano, TX, to show us many different vertical Ikebana arrangements she called “reach for the moon”.she had a little stuffed rabbit & told us the story of Rabbit Moon.

Jane Mcbee
Jane Mcbee

September 21, 2018

What a beautiful card.

Patt H.
Patt H.

September 20, 2018

So lovely, Jess! Love the card & the moon rabbit story also!

Christine
Christine

September 19, 2018

This is such a gorgeous card. I love your black ink work and I loved the story. Thanks

Sharron Gregory
Sharron Gregory

September 16, 2018

What a beautiful story and your card is equally lovely! Love your design and thanks for sharing the beautiful step by step technique !

Mary
Mary

September 15, 2018

This is a beautiful painting! You have such talent.

Liz Ford
Liz Ford

September 14, 2018

A beautiful card and such a great technique! Very traditional looking and like the red pop of color!

Patti
Patti

September 13, 2018

I love the techniques you used on this card, and the story you shared. Beautiful post!

Barbara Smith
Barbara Smith

September 13, 2018

What a charming story, and a perfectly beautiful scene.

donna mikasa
donna mikasa

September 13, 2018

Oh, I love your story and equally LOVE your card, Jess!

Maggie E
Maggie E

September 13, 2018

Simply stunning. I loved the story and how beautifully your art echoes the tale.

Angie Hall
Angie Hall

September 13, 2018

The card is beautiful and thanks for sharing the story with us. How thoughtful and kind of your parents to teach you about your birth heritage. .

Michelle P.
Michelle P.

September 13, 2018

That was the most beautiful story that goes with the beautiful painting. Thank you for sharing.

Jackie Price
Jackie Price

September 13, 2018

What a beautiful card and I love how you put a picture to a childhood ßtory. You did it beautifully too!! The vellum moon over the black rabbit is so perfect and the red lantern is a nice touch. Thanks for sharing a little bit about you with us. It’s always nice when you guys do that

Sue
Sue

September 13, 2018

Beautiful story and a beautiful card. Your details of how you made it were easy to understand and I thank you for that.

Barbara-Jean
Barbara-Jean

September 12, 2018

I like the Asian feel of this card!

Traci Low
Traci Low

September 12, 2018

I love stories like this and to put a picture to words is magic it reminds me of when I was young and reading and listening to stories on the radio love it

Lorinda Adams
Lorinda Adams

September 12, 2018

I loved your interesting story and how you made your awesome card! You are a great artist! Thank you for sharing Jessica!

Varada
Varada

September 12, 2018

What a great story and awesome card !! Loved everything about this post … thanks for sharing!!

Billie A
Billie A

September 12, 2018

I love your story and what an awesome message. Your card is beautiful an reflects the story. I love seeing hand made sketched cards. Stunning. Thanks for the lovely story.

Cindy C.
Cindy C.

September 12, 2018

Beautiful card Jess!! We, the Chinese, have a similar folk story – The Lady in the Moon and the Jade Rabbit.

Frances Sheegog
Frances Sheegog

September 12, 2018

Jess, what a beautiful card!! When I saw the Ink Painting stamps, I was picturing something similar to what you have done on your card but didn’t know how to achieve it. Thank you for sharing your process and the story. Both are inspirational!

Henriëtte
Henriëtte

September 12, 2018

Oh Jess, what a gorgeous story I loved to read it. Your card is awesome and I will never look at the moon again without looking for “your” rabbit. Thank you so much.

Karthikha Uday
Karthikha Uday

September 12, 2018

Wow! I love this beautiful scene!!

Andre M.
Andre M.

September 12, 2018

This is a beautiful scene and the minimal colour palette makes it more stunning.

Margaret
Margaret

September 12, 2018

This is one of the most beautiful cards I’ve ever seen! I just love the story of the rabbit in the moon – when I was teaching, I taught a unit of “man in the moon” stories with picture books – it’s amazing how many different ones there are around the world!

Teresa
Teresa

September 12, 2018

Wow! Beautiful! It looks like a Chinese Shan Shui painting. It’s a style of Chinese painting that basically only use black ink Thanks for sharing the story.

Rose Melcher
Rose Melcher

September 12, 2018

Thank you Jess. I love the story and thank you for sharing it and your artwork.

Deb Hardy
Deb Hardy

September 12, 2018

Jessica, this card is gorgeous!! I’ve been waiting to see the cards made with this beautiful set and you really knocked this one out of the park! Really!! Your freehand water coloring with the Sumi Ink is perfect along with the rest of it. I’m gushing, I know. And I’m not the least bit embarrassed to do so. Your Rabbit Moon card is perfection on paper. I loved hearing your story—thank you for sharing it with us.

Kathy G
Kathy G

September 12, 2018

Wow, Jess! I don’t know which I like better, this beautiful card, or the sweet Japanese folk tale! I’m hopelessly in love with all things Asian, including Hero Arts’s Ink Painting Scene, which I had already planned to purchase. But now, your card and story has inspired me to purchase Autumn Moon, as well! Your talent is amazing! Arigato, Jess!

Traci
Traci

September 12, 2018

What an interesting post! Thank you for sharing both your story and the technique.

Karen Hale
Karen Hale

September 12, 2018

Stunning card, Jessica and thank you for the beautiful story of the unselfish rabbit. Your card is truly a piece of fine art.

Bette
Bette

September 12, 2018

I love your story book….. never heard it before but one I’d like to read my grands….
Your card is wonderful like all the ones you have done before but I love your free hand!

merryf
merryf

September 12, 2018

Thank you for the beautiful fable to go along with your stunning card.

Brenda B
Brenda B

September 12, 2018

Love your card and your sharing of Japanese folklore.

Mary
Mary

September 12, 2018

This is one of the most beautiful card that I have ever seen. I hope that you frame it.

Felicia C
Felicia C

September 12, 2018

Thank you for such a wonderful heartwarming story sharing your childhood memories! Makes this set far more meaningful! Just wonderful. The card is beautiful as well!

Helen
Helen

September 12, 2018

Jess, this card is stunning. The scene is so beautifully crafted and that single red lantern is the perfect final touch! tfs

Mary McCaslin
Mary McCaslin

September 12, 2018

Gorgeous! Would you consider doing a video on this technique? I love how you put everything together.

DebraC
DebraC

September 12, 2018

Absolutely stunning. As soon as I saw this stamp set I thought of paintings like this. LOVED hearing this story. I hope you have this framed and display it, simply beautiful and serene.