Editorial & Advertising

Sasa Saastamoinen

Sasa Saastamoinen

Sasa was born in Finland, but now lives and works in Beijing, China. Interestingly, she has completed THREE university degrees.

“I paint with ink and Chinese mineral watercolors on hand-made xuan paper (‘rice paper’). I use traditional Chinese ink painting brushes as well as other methods like splashing, dripping, or pouring ink. I am fascinated by the properties of ink. I am especially interested in ink’s reactions with water and like to use fairly wet paint, which makes the end result more difficult to control and which easily breaks the thin rice paper. I enjoy quickness and irreversibility of my medium, which require intense concentration when painting.

I use a fairly limited color palette, which is typical for Chinese ink painting. The blackness of ink is important as well as different shades of gray. I also follow the Chinese ink painting’s concept of composition by building up on contrasts and uniformity but avoiding mechanical patterns, repetition and symmetry. In paintings there are often opposite pairs (like dry-wet, small-big, one-many, light-dark, fast-slow…) and elements that bring the painting together (like similarity of shapes, movement or rhythm). The human mind likes to construct mechanical order, so avoiding it can be difficult. This is one of the reasons it is important to have a correct state of mind when painting and forget the conscious thinking.”

Well said. For more inky goodness, Sasa’s website can be found here; but I also admire her sketchbook.

Sasa Saastamoinen
Sasa Saastamoinen

Sign up to Get More from Illustrators’ Lounge

A curated monthly periodical featuring our most interesting articles and more.


Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.