Using only gradations of black sumi ink and light color, Maeda Seison has created an elegant painting of a horned owl with puffed up wings and an endearing expression, beside a thin moon that seems to emit a silver-colored light. The composition is focused in the lower part of the pictorial surface, with the branch, bird, and moon positioned closely together in contrast to the broad open space of the sky in the upper section. The majority of the painting is occupied by the sky, which seems to express a kind of unrestrained freedom at the same time as the owl possesses a sense of isolation. The emphasis on the drawn line that is at the core of nihonga (lit. “Japanese style painting”) was rigidly adhered to by Seison, and this was one of the abilities that he mastered.