Author Archives: Reluctant Rat

Red Bamboo says “boo”

As with so many of the traditional subjects in Chinese Brush Painting (CBP), bamboo has a host of conventions associated with it. Several of them have to do with what colors you use and how. Diana Kan in The How … Continue reading

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Most Ancient Bamboo style (outline/contour)

As I push deeper into the mysteries of painting bamboo I discover even more painting subtleties that can contribute to the overall effect of any CBP composition. The latest insights pertain to a style of rendering bamboo that some call … Continue reading

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Snow falling on bamboo

One of the most stunning ways to present bamboo in a painting has got to be with a generous dusting of snow on the foliage. As with all things bamboo-related, depicting such a vignette is no easy feat. I’ve played … Continue reading

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Tips on (bamboo) tips

Always practice bamboo. That’s one of the mantras often repeated in Chinese brush painting instruction books. It’s the sage advice of many an instructor. And it is advice I’m starting to realize I cannot ignore. There is the one obvious … Continue reading

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Crested Mynha, essential bird

The first few times I noticed a crow-like bird sporting a distinctive tuft where beak meets brow in oriental art I thought it was an artistic expression. Perhaps it was a popular exaggeration of some bird’s spirit that had ‘gone … Continue reading

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Ink, one of the Four Treasures

The weakest ink is mightier than the strongest memory.   (Chinese proverb) Brushes and paper are the two treasures most often considered by those of us obsessed by Chinese Brush Painting (CBP). Ink stones and ink, the remaining two, seldom … Continue reading

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Spreading peace, love and joy: painting peacock

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I like stories that illuminate the spirit of the creatures I study. The older and more legendary the story, the more appealing it is for me.  Several gorgeous peacocks greeted us at … Continue reading

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