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chinese brush painting

  • The Art of Chinese Calligraphy Painting

    Chinese Calligraphy Painting

    Calligraphy is the art of writing Chinese characters and especially refers to the rules of writing with a brush. The art originated in China around 4,000 - 5,000 years ago and spread to other parts of the Orient with Chinese culture

    Calligraphy and painting are regarded as two treasures in China. Together with Qin, the ancient Zheng, and Qi, the chess, they formed the four skills for a learned and elegant scholar to pursue in ancient times. They were also held as a good exercise to cultivate one's temperament.

    Chinese Culture

    Chinese culture is full of symbols and signs of good luck, and objects that stand to prove that culture and art  play a very important role in the country’s future. Traditional handicrafts often represent a nation’s beauty, and the Chinese are set in this belief.

    Materials for Calligraphy Painting

    Chinese history is known for its highly stylised form of writing, developed and shaped by calligraphers throughout the country. Even today, the four treasures of study – ink stick, ink slab, writing brush and paper – are tools that calligraphers are seldom found without.

    Chinese ink sold in solid stick form is lavishly decorated. The ink is made from pinewood soot mixed with gum resin. Ink stones are hard, flat and dabbed with water for use.

    Strokes

    There are seven standard strokes, called the Seven Mysteries. They consist of the horizontal line, the dot, the sweeping downward stroke, the sharp curve and two forms of the downward stroke: one with a hook and one in a 45-degree angle.

    There are five major styles of Chinese calligraphy: Zuan, Li, Tsao, Hsin and Kai. With all, the palm may not touch the brush, which is held vertically to the paper.

    Chinese Calligraphy in Different Styles


      

    Chinese Characters

    If you’re interested in learning Character strokes, you can check out  the written Chinese dictionary that has stroke animations for 1000s of characters.

    Just like working on anything else, practising calligraphy requires unremitting efforts. If you’re interested in it, you may start practising with a professional Chinese calligraphy teacher.

     

    References:

    Billeter, Jean François. The Chinese Art of Writing. New York: Skira/Rizzoli, 1990.

    Harrist, Robert, and Wen Fong. The Embodied Image: Chinese Calligraphy from the John B. Elliott Collection. Princeton: Art Museum, Princeton University in association with Harry N. Abrams, 1999.

    Kraus, Richard Curt. Brushes with Power: Modern Politics and the Chinese Art of Calligraphy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

    Sullivan, Michael. The Three Perfections: Chinese Painting, Poetry, and Calligraphy. Rev. ed. New York: George Braziller, 1999.

    Yee, Chiang. Chinese Calligraphy: An Introduction to Its Aesthetics and Technique. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973.

    Links:

    https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/chcl/hd_chcl.htm

    https://asiasociety.org/education/chinese-calligraphy. 2018.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/culture/art/2016-12/29/content_27802189.htm

    http://www.chinaonlinemuseum.com/calligraphy.php

  • Chinese Brush Painting

    New Products and Techniques

    We have some beautiful new Chinese brush painting sets now available to buy in store or online.  They would make great presents for someone looking for a new hobby, and we’ve put together a brief guide to Chinese brush painting, in case you needed some more information.

    chineseBrushSet71L

    An Ancient Chinese Painting Technique

    The technique of Chinese brush painting has existed since about 4000 B.C.  Traditionally the style involves everything from Buddhist religious paintings to landscape and figure painting. There are various different styles involved in the traditional technique such as “blue and green landscapes” which use bright blue, green and red pigments and “ink-and-wash landscapes” which use vivid brushstrokes and different concentration of ink to create images.  Particularly well known are the flower and bird paintings which broke off from more general decorative styles to form their own genre.  The subject matter of this style usually involves flowers (such as plum and cherry blossoms, orchids, bamboo), koi fish or trees (cypress and pines).

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    Materials and Methods Of Chinese Ink Painting

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    The distinctive Chinese painting style is closely linked to the particularity of the materials used.  Most importantly is the Chinese Brush.  This is similar to a western watercolour brush but it thins to a much finer tip which allows for a wide variation of line.

     

    The specific method of brushstrokes is particularly important to creating the style.  It is hard to explain in words how this works, especially as it is so centred on movement.  Here are two links to videos which show the vital energy of the Chinese brushstroke technique.  You can find a wealth of other videos on youtube which will help you to understand the various techniques.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m4yJ9FrAsM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF3EbR8y8go

    images (1)How do I use the Chinese Ink?

    The ink used for Chinese painting is usually ground down from an ink cake or stone (you can use other inks but the powdered nature of the Chinese inks mean that you can create different densities of ink which you cannot get in quite the same way with a liquid ink.)  Chinese painting is generally done on Chinese Paper or Silk.  Chinese Paper has been made with different materials throughout history including pulp, old fishing nets and tree bark.  Modern paper is usually machine made and is sometimes called rice paper in English.  The paper is similar to watercolour paper in that it varies in weight, absorbency and surface texture.

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    If you fancy giving Chinese Brush Painting a try, why not check out our related products.

     

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