We tend to assume that beautiful paintings take hours upon hours and countless strokes to get them just right.
The work created at the Kousyuuya studio in Nikkô, Japan, defies that idea. But even though their artwork gets done at an incredibly quick pace, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less stunning.
The artists there only spend about 15 minutes painting each beautifully detailed piece while their customers watch. How do they pull it off? Four generations of artists have mastered an amazing technique called “hitofude ryuu,” which literally means “dragon with one stroke.” The process is just as cool as the finished products.
After painting the dragon’s head, they dip a larger brush into the desired colors and use one continuous, calligraphy-like stroke for the body.
It seems effortless, but it takes a lot of practice to master the technique.
The studio creates only dragon art. In Japanese culture, dragons are regarded as guardian angels that ward off evil and bring good luck.