Sunday, May 06, 2012

An Exploration of Chinese Style Painting

I've always admired the look of the more loose style Chinese painting aka Freehand - Shui-mo (水墨). Last night I again tried my hand at painting fish, this time Black Moors. I love their bug-eyes. Having no rice paper or Chinese ink on hand, I used 110# cardstock and black India ink. For a brush I employed a #4 Kolinsky sable round. I did use photo references but no prior sketches. I'm posting my results above.

I still tend to go too detailed. The art of Shui-mo says that to add more detail is to lose the vitality or life force of the subject. Having never studied art history, it makes me wonder how much impact this philosophy has actually had on Western art, particularly watercolor painting. I enjoy a well done, detailed painting but usually react more positively to something less detailed and more spontaneous. In fact, this is why I took up watercolor in the first loosen up. I wish to strive for more expression, less technique but am continually fighting the urge to focus on unnecessary details. My quest is ongoing.....

I have found a few videos my visitors may find interesting. The first is a demo of fish painting using the art of Shui-mo brushwork on rice paper. The second is how to mount the finished painting onto 300# watercolor paper with silicone release paper .



Feathers said...

Hi, I'm enjoying seeing your goldfish- I'm particularly fond of Black Mollys too, once had one who would come to the top of the water and allowed me to rub his head. I actually like your fish better than the ones in the video--you're doing good! I admire loose painting too, but can't seem to do it without struggle. (Too detail oriented) :-) Loved the way the walnut ink worked on the gold ones.

Billie Crain said...

Thanks, Anita.:) I always had a black molly or two when I was a kid. We called them mollys back then but guess they are actually called Moors. Who knew?