Tokuyuki Hasegawa – Great Painter
Mr. Tokuyuki Hasegawa is one of the greatest porcelain painters in Japan. Mitamura has been providing colors, oil, brushes and so on with him from the beginning of his approximately 70 years career. He started his career as a professional expert when he was 18 years old in Nagoya, Japan. At that time, Nagoya was a major production center of porcelain for export. According to recorded history on Nagoya port, 1.02 million tons of porcelain products were exported in 1966. The amount of exports of porcelain tableware was more than 100 billion yen in 1984. In this environment, very elegant and gorgeous decorations were developed.
Porcelain painting experts were required many points. They had to finish a multitude of pieces in a short time with stable and high quality. To be full-fledged experts, they were also required to calculate costs and to arrange samples which fulfill requests from their customers (e.g. porcelain makers, buyers) .
Therefore, Mr. Hasegawa has been pursued both “quickness” and “high quality”. He became a leading craftsman and an authority on it. Even today, he is making an effort to improve his painting skill. You can see his latest painting technique in the movie on the top of this page. He completed it in only 1 hour without any samples nor rough drawings.
– “Raise” Brushes –
“Brushes are essential for my work. To do good works, I need brushes which I can use easily and smoothly. I believe it is important to raise brushes adjusted to individual preference. Well raised brushes are versatile. We can paint anything such as flowers, animals, landscape and so on.”
We find a variety of brushes on his desk but he usually works with 7-8 extremely well raised brushes out of them. They are roughly divided into 2 types.
1) Flat brushes : He uses them mainly. He likes big size ones as he can paint quickly and beautifully with one stroke. For example, the tip of his favorite one is about 2cm x 1.5cm.
2) Pointed brushes : He uses them when he paints long lines.
“To raise brushes well, it is important to use them gently. Never use them roughly. Paint softly, just like putting colors on porcelain. Use both sides in a well-balanced manner.”
Actually, his favorite brushes seem to be in very good condition. However, there is an exception when it comes to brushes to paint bushes etc. They have very frizzy hair. He intentionally raised them like that.
Regarding brush care, in addition to the above points, he makes sure to make up for the missing nutrition. Besides, he does not wash them too much. In general, he washes them after he uses colors easy to get hard. But he sometimes leaves them on purpose. He takes the advantage of the characteristic to make the bottom of the brush tips hard to raise the brushes.
“It is quite important to have a good command of any items, like brushes, colors, oil etc. I know it is not easy, though.”