Ok, here’s my thoughts (for what they’re worth).
I guess taste is a personal thing, so please don’t be offended if yours is different.
I love the elegant apparent simplicity of Katsushika Hokusai
but I feel his work isn’t quite appropriate here because as Lys says:
I really like bugcat’s use of Honami Koetsu
This calm seascape from mark5000 works pretty well. Again, nice muted tones and not too noisy, but with the boards that are photos, I can’t help feeling that I’m looking through a window that someone has superglued some stones to.
but for me, bugcat has really hit the nail on the head with Hasegawa Tohaku
Muted, subtle, understated and breathtakingly beautiful.
I think Vagabond has the perfect example of what not to do (sorry Vagabond). I will not repost the image here as it is an affront to my eyes. Noisy and garish it prevents you getting that intuitive feel for the shapes the stones are forming. And some of the others are (to me) just plain crass (I won’t name any more names).
When you play the Tohaku board, with the slate and shell stones in zen mode with the lights out (and if you’re lucky enough, on a 4:3 CRT) it is quite simply stunning.
Just seeing the image below surrounded by the clutter of this forum doesn’t quite do it justice. Check out the image full screen, hit F11 if necessary.
The rest of the world just melts away until all that is left is you, Tohaku and the stones.
Anyway, just an opinion, YMMV.