Sumi and color on paper. This piece by well-known Taisho period artist Tomita Keisen depicts foresters riding log rafts down the Uji-gawa. Keisen was trained in classical painting and was well-versed in the Kano and Shijo school traditions. Despite his classical roots, he strove to develop his own unique style of painting.
While many of Keisen’s mature works are done in the traditional nan-ga and kacho-ga styles, his painting technique strove to avoid what he considered to be prescribed and uninspired motifs, favoring instead a free-form sketching technique with subjects gleaned from his travels and observations of everyday life.