Chinese Painting: Ink and Brushstroke

by - 19:42

I mentioned in a previous post that I was invited to a basic Chinese painting workshop; well, this is the result! The workshop was so much fun; I never thought that Chinese painting, which seems so simple and elegant, could be so difficult! Apparently, it's all in the brushstroke - a Chinese painting must always be composed of loose, single brushstrokes. Here are some photographs I took during the introductory lecture:

Our instructor, Dr. Alex Chan Lim, showing us some samples of Chinese paintings; this is so adorable!

Peonies; absolutely lovely!

The red marks are called 'chops', which Chinese artists use to sign their works rather than their name.

Dr. Lim's materials (look at that gigantic paintbrush!! It's actually usable :O)

Demo of bamboo painting; at the top you can see the traditional Chinese ink slate, where an 
ink stone is ground with water to make ink.

While our group used watercolors, everybody else practiced using readymade Chinese ink.

It was such an interesting experience, and thoroughly amusing, because the majority of us - students and staff alike - were beginners, and there'd be several moments when we'd 'oooh' and 'ahhh' over a minor feat like a single brushstroke. Plus, I made new friends with staff members of my school, haha!

Chinese painting is actually a cheap activity; the materials are highly affordable (like the bottle of readymade ink is only about 35-45 pesos), and readily available. It's definitely worth a try! :)

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  1. This brings me back to me high school days. :D We used EXACTLY that little white bottle of ink with the red cap and EXACTLY those brushes (minus the gigantic one). :)) I miss doing Chinese calligraphy, even though it can be such a pain to perfect. I still want a chop with my Chinese name on it, lol. BUT NOSTALGIA ASIDE, great job on your painting! :D

  2. Thank you so much!! :D It looks like child's work to me though :)) Anyway, why don't you make a chop in Photoshop? :D You could mark your photos with it :>