Dragon Artwork Painted in One Giant Brush Stroke

Can you imagine an artist completing an elaborate painting without lifting his brush off the paper? Japanese paintings called Hitofude Ryuu, or “dragon with one stroke,” are just what the name implies: paintings of dragons created using a single brush stroke. The artwork shown here is from the small art studio, Kousyuuya, in Nikko, Japan, which has four generations of master painters who can paint Hitofude Ryuu.

The process begins with a detailed dragon head, and then the body is done in one giant stroke of a sumi brush. The final sweeping brush stroke is carefully executed to look like a dragon’s reptile-skin. Although these pieces are painted with just one stroke, the technique takes years and years to master.

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