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Post time 2012-10-16 01:08:44 |Display all floors


Starting around 4000 B.C.  traditional Chinese painting has developed continuously over a period of more  than six thousand years. Its growth has inevitably reflected the changes of  time and social conditions. In its early stage of development, Chinese  painting was closely related to the other crafts, from pottery to the  decorations used on the bronzes, carved jade and lacqerware.


Following the introduction of Buddhism to China from  India during the 1st century A.D. and the consequent carving of grottoes and  building of temples, the art of painting religious murals gradually gained in  prominence.




The  range of subject matters dealt with in figure painting was extended  far beyond religious themes during the Song dynasty(960-1127),. Paintings of  historical character and stories of everyday life became extremely popular.  Techniques were also further refined.


Landscape paintinghad already established itself as an independent form of  expression by the 4th century. Then gradually developed into the two separate  styles of “blue-and-green landscapes” and “ink-and-wash landscape”.  The blue-and-green landscape used bright blue, green and red pigments derived  from minerals to create a richly decorative style. The ink-and wash landscape  relied on vivid brushwork and varying degrees of intensity of ink to express  the artist's conception of nature, and his own emotions and individuality.


Flower-and-bird painting was separated from decorative art to form  an independent genre around the 9th century. A great many artists painted in this  genre during the Song dynasty and their subject matter included a rich  variety of flowers, fruits, insects and fish. Many of the scholar painters  working with ink and brush used a great economy of line. They produced  paintings of such things as plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemums,  pines and cypresses, using their subject matter to reflect their own ideals  and character.



Modern painters have often mixed several colors on one brush  or mixed their colors with black inks. As a result, they have obtained more  natural and richly varied colors. Such techniques have been widely adopted  and further developed in the contemporary period.



Artistic  Character and Techniques


One of the important factors contributing to the evolution of  the distinctive style of traditional Chinese painting has been the close  relationship between the materials used and their influence on artistic forms  and techniques.



  •   Brush Techniques     and Strokes

Theancients used the expression yu pi yu mo(to have brush, to have ink). Theseshow the significance of the meaning for the two terms pi(brush) and mo(ink).

The brush techniques so much emphasized in Chinese painting include not onlyline drawing but also the stylized expressions of shade and texture (cunfa) andthe dotting methods(dianfa) used mainly to differentiate trees and plants andalso for simple embellishment.

Thebrush strokes give the painting rhythm and beauty and depict the subject'soutward and inner qualities. At the same time, they reveal the individualityand style of the painter himself.


Type of Painting Brushes:

  • Hsieh chao pi:     Crab claw brush, large and small sizes
  • Hua jan pi:     brush for painting flowers
  • Lan yu chu pi:     brush for painting orchids and bamboo

Brushes used for writing:

  • T’u hao pi:     rabbit's hair brush
  • Hu ying pi:     Hunan sheep's hair brush
  • huang-guofu-painting.jpg


  • Paper and Silk

Third,  there is paper or silk. Chinese painting may be done either on Chinese paper  or silk.


Chinese  Paper  


The  original paper(around 100 AD.)was made from many different materials  including pulp, old fishing nets and bark. Modern paper is often machine  made. It is classed in degrees of weight and amount of size used. The paper  is very absorbent and the amount of size in it will dictate the quantity of  ink used for strokes on the paper. Different paper produce different results;  some are rough and absorb ink quickly like a sponge, others have a smooth  surface which resists ink. Chinese paper is usually known as rice paper in  English.

Chinese Brush.jpg


Chinese  Silk
Before  painting on silk, the silk should be treated with alum and glue before use.  This method makes silk less absorbent than paper. Brushstroke is best shown  on paper. Because of this reason and the paper's variety of texture and  finish, paper quickly became favored by artists and calligraphers.



  • Chinese Color

Fourth,  there are the colors. There are differences in the use of color between  Chinese painting and modern western painting. Chinese painting aim is not to  express the various shades of color of the subject in relation to a fixed  source of light, but to express the characteristics of the different  subjects.


For  example, the adding of traces of brown or green to rocks, trees, leaves,  grass and moss in a painting is used to reinforce the feeling of a particular  season or state of the weather.


  • Composition       and Space

Fifth,  there are composition and space. Since the creative requirements of Chinese  painting do not demand strict adherence to reality or to a particular angle  of view or source of light, the painter has complete freedom in terms of  artistic conception, structural composition and method of expression. To give  prominence to the main subject, it is quite permissible to omit the  background entirely and simply leave it blank. At the same time, since the  sizes and shapes of the spaces in the painting are different, the very  absence of content can itself create rhythm and variety. Sometimes the  variety and balance created in this way is further enriched by the addition  of inscriptions in the empty space.


Chinese  landscape painters’aim is to depict the familiar mountains and rivers of  China from the perspective of nature as a whole and on the basis of their  understanding of the laws of nature. In artistic conception and structural  composition, most landscape paintings create the impression that the scene is  viewed from high in the air, as if seen through the eyes of a bird.


With  flower-and-bird paintings, sometimes a single flower hangs as if suspended in  space, or the flowers and plants of different seasons appear together.  Explained by one of the Ming painters, Wang Fu(1362-1416), as “likeness  through unlikeness” and Qi Baishi(1863-1957) as “subtlety of a good painting  lies in its being alike and yet unlike the subject” Chinese painters attach  great importance to reality, science, space and time and yet manage to  disregard them at the same time. The laws of these things must come second to  the requirements of artistic creation and should not become shackles that  bind artistic expression.


  • Seal and       Calligraphy

One  of the distinctive characteristics of Chinese painting is the use of  inscriptions in poetry of calligraphy and of special seals as part of the  painting itself. This was a major contribution made by scholar painters. Its  significance lies in its ability to express the theme and artistic conception  of the painting more clearly and deeply while, at the same time, giving great  insight into the artist's individuality, emotions and views on art and life.  In ink-and-wash paintings, the bright red seal adds a final touch of beauty.  When preparing the inscription and seal, therefore, the Chinese painter, in  addition to considering their content, has always given great thought to the  placement, length and dimensions of the inscription and the position of the  seal on the painting.
  The simplest inscription consists of the artist's name and the date.  Sometimes the inscription could include the occasion for the painting and the  name of the person for whom the painting was done. It could be about the  subject and style of the painting. Quite often the artist might include a  piece of poetry or a literary allusion. These are all followed by the  artist's own seal.
  The seals can be carved in stone. It can contain a name, poetical saying, a  design or symbol which has a connection with the painting. The seals are  pressed into a pot or tin of cinnebar paste, a scarlet red color, and are  impressed onto the painting. The paste contains mercuric oxide, ground silk  and oils. It required a careful stamp as it is rather permanent. When using  red seal on a monochrome painting, it is said to be "adding the eye to  the dragon".









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Post time 2012-10-16 14:01:08 |Display all floors
Great thread!

I must say though that people writting with their mouths is fancy bullshit with no substance.

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Post time 2012-10-16 21:23:05 |Display all floors
the painting of the disabled is impressive.
(this hidden signature can only be seen by myself)

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