Chinese Brush Painting Lesson - Grass Orchid Flower
the following lesson is excerpted from:
Chinese Brush Painting: An Instructional Guide

A must-have how-to book for beginners. Acclaimed artist Ning Yeh takes the reader through every aspect of traditional Chinese Brush Painting, from brush technique and color loading to composition. more >>
Rice Paper: Double Shuen
Brushes: basic hard brush (ex.Orchid Bamboo, Happy Dot, or Idea)
Colors: Ink

1, Dip 1/6 of the tipís length into water, stroke the excess off along the side of the water container, and dip the very tip (about 1/16Ē) into the pasty ink. It is important to wet only the brush tip.

2, The center - or bud - is formed with two short petals embracing each other. Your stroke should be almost straight, with the tip of the petals almost in contact and the root of the petals joined into one fine point to form the base of the flower. Of the two petals, one is usually longer than the other. The longer one is the host petal, and it decides which way the flower will be facing.

3, The three perimeter petals are longer than the center petals. They reach out like propellers, embracing the center.
To begin forming the perimeter petals, first add a petal to each side of the center. Make these petals taller than the center petals, and show variation inlength, width, shape, and angle of each petal. Guide the roots of the petals into the center, but end the roots higher than the base of the center petals. With this formation, the base remains undisturbed and graceful; thus, the flower looks youthful and has more depth.

4, FInally add a third petal to balance and complete the flower, leading its roots to join the base of the center.

5, After painting the flower petals, use the same brush and the remaining moisture and ink on the brush to draw the flower stems and sheath.

Begin the stem under the base of the petals. Use the stem to settle the flower in a balanced way. The stem should be completed in several sections. Pause slightly between the sections and adjust the tip position. The top section can be comparatively short and thin, the lower sections lengthened and widened. Make these sections uneven in length; the lower section need not necessarily be the longer.

6, The stamen dots are the final step of the orchid painting.
The stamen consists of one to three dots of varying sizes and shapes. Dip 1/16 length of the brush tip with a little moisture, then dip it into the pasty ink. When painting each dot, land the tip with a scoop pressure, similar to the motion of a quotation mark. Then lift the tip and "dance" to a second or third dot, eventually leading into the base of the flower.
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