Similar thread to the "Old Art books" one (thanks everyone for the input, having more books to flick through is always a pleasure!); I was really toying with the idea of taking a look at the Eastern approach to making art, as opposed to the Western approach rooted in the Renaissance.
I'm really wondering mostly, what is their craft based on (same bases as the Western, different philosophies?) and if there are any texts on this branch either by Eastern masters, or people who studied their masterpieces and took any principles or methods off them. I believe the Impressionists were one of the first.
I feel like a boy in a candy shop, this topic is fascinating.
PS: I bet somebody is going to post a How to draw Manga somewhere.
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We had a thread related to this recently, but damned if I can find it at the moment... Anyway, to the best of my knowledge "The Mustard Seed Garden" was for centuries THE ancient standard for Chinese painting (and by extension Japanese painting.)
Unfortunately you'd probably get more out of it if you can read Chinese. I don't think there have been any really good English translations, as far as I know.
As far as the main differences in the eastern approach I found so far:
Much more minimalistic/conservation of details. Only drawing what is really needed.
Whitespace viewed as important as what is drawn.
A focus on contours and implying form more than outright stating it.
Strong focus on grayscale values and contrasts (Notan).
Incorporating elements of wabi-sabi such as imperfection, impermanence, asymmetry, aged/weathered by time, a quiet melancholy.
A general tone of implying/softly stating the themes, story, elements, etc. of a piece.
Duality, Yin/Yang themes.
A thematic focus on balance/the middle road/ not excess.
Finding beauty in the simple, mundane, everyday.
More about integrating into environment/surroundings than fighting/conquering them
More philosophical/contemplative, thoughtful.
As well as others I can't recall right now. Unfortunately there is sparse information in English on these topics. As to one singular resource that covers all of these and more, still haven't found one.
Yeah that's a good one, haven't quite gotten through it yet. Another book that talks about eastern aesthetic, albeit peppered throughout the book, is The Art and Craft of Drawing by Vernon Blake. It is a really fascinating book though he does on occasion bash illustrators and seems to really dislike many things or maybe I'm not getting his entire point as I've only read through it once.