Author Archives: Reluctant Rat

Capture the breeze—painting kapok trees

While studying the body of art by contemporary artist Zhang Shipei I spied a distinctive tree appearing in his village scenes. In most instances the tree was large, spreading limbs almost horizontally near the tops, and frequently sporting red dots. … Continue reading

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Part 2: Under my scope–Zhang’s Treatment of figures and animals

Instinctively I knew there were many aspects to Zhang Shipei’s painting style that I loved. For the sake of greater understanding I set out to assess individual elements and then try to emulate them. I also recognized that his style … Continue reading

Posted in children, Chinese Brush Painting, painting figures, painting water buffalo, people, stylized style | Leave a comment

When you fall in love, deconstruct.

Every so often in my exploration of this ancient art form known as Chinese brush painting or CBP (so called because the brush you use is handmade in China according to traditional ways) I trip over an artist whose work … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Brush Painting, landscape | 2 Comments

Sponge-dabbing for effect

My recent experiments with bubble and mono printing reminded me of the fun effects you can achieve with sponge-printing. I hadn’t done this since childhood and never using my CBP tools.  Sea sponges are best for this as they have … Continue reading

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A matter of style

I’ve been feeling like the ugly duckling in the Hans Christian Andersen tale, a “strange bird” among fellow artists all diligently painting beautiful compositions with a Chinese brush. Where those around me sit down with the four treasures—ink, stone, paper … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Brush Painting, style | 3 Comments

When ‘mono’ means more—a print as background (part 1)

If you should ever feel ‘stuck in a rut’ or simply uninspired for a subject with Chinese brush painting (CBP), then some serendipitous means of doing backgrounds might just provide that needed ‘kick start’ to get you going down a … Continue reading

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Backgrounds that Bubble

I’ve been thinking of Lawrence Welk these last few days. Not because of any great love for big band music of old, vintage television, or even the fact he was a distant cousin of my mother-in-law. It’s his trademark ‘bubble … Continue reading

Posted in aquatic plants, background painting, bubble painting, Chinese Brush Painting | Leave a comment