Author Archives: Reluctant Rat

Brush magic, weaving baskets

My first lessons in Chinese Brush Painting (CBP) addressed primarily the four gentlemen—bamboo, orchid, plum and chrysanthemum—and introduced me to the four treasures—ink, stone, paper, and brush. One moment near the end of the ten weeks particularly stood out. My … Continue reading

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Spitting image, the Bactrian Camel

  The camel and I have something in common: we’ve both been called ‘refractory’. The camel in a memorable poem by T.S.Eliot titled The Journey of the Magi, and I by my paternal grandmother on more than one occasion. (She … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Chinese Brush Painting, crested mynah, how to paint birds | 2 Comments