nenshi 念紙
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Paper *washi 和紙 used in painting and drawing to transfer an image to the painting surface. Nenshi is placed between the sketch and the canvas and used in a similar way to carbon paper. Nenshi is made by dissolving powdered carbon or other pigments such as red ochre in water, and applying this to one side of the paper. Nenshi is not usually needed for washi and silk canvas *eginu 絵絹, because they tend to be translucent and can be placed directly over the sketch and the image traced. However, when the design is transferred to an opaque surface like wood, or a wall surface, the sheet of nenshi is placed over the painting surface, and the preparatory design placed on top. The outline of the design is then traced with a sharp instrument and the color transferred to the surface below, which is then colored in and details added. This process is known as nenshitori 念紙取り.


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