|This beautiful example of Plum Blossom brush painting was found at MHSArt2|
To learn more about Chinese brush painting read our post here. For a step by step tutorial to paint bamboo, read this post (further down the page).You can see our process and finished orchids here, and chrysanthemum here.
|Photo Credit: Temaki|
Plum blossoms bloom in late winter, therefore they are considered one of the Three Friends of Winter (along with bamboo and pine); they are also considered on of the Four Gentlemen (along with bamboo, chrysanthemums and orchids). Plum blossoms represent the kind of gentleman who can create beauty and fine things in the face of adversity.
|Elle's Plum Blossoms|
Unlike with the bamboo brush painting, the plum blossoms were done without instruction or tutorial. The girls looked at other paintings in the various books we had, and did their best, practicing with many sheets of paper.
The girls took the time to get a feel for their brushes, and make various tones of brown for the branches. They wanted the branches to look gnarled with knots, going in different directions. It helps to do a bit of a zig zag with your brush to make the trunk.
Once the petals are painted, add some stamens. Pea outlined her petals with a contrasting color.
We now have two of our four gentlemen painted. Once we complete all four, we will put them in album leaves, and learn about landscape painting.
|Pea's completed Plum Blossom painting|
|Elle's final Plum Blossom painting|
We looked through many books about Chinese brush painting over the year, but there are two we kept coming back to, using for instruction or inspiration.
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This was by far the most instructive book for children (or in my case, beginners) that we came across. Should we decide to delve deeper, and truly practice brush painting, this is the book we will use. It discusses briefly the history, principles and methodology of brush paintings, and includes 35 activities with clear instructions.
The Chinese Brush Painting Bible: Over 200 Motifs with Step by Step Illustrated Instructions (Artist's Bibles) by Jane Dwight
Since we weren't perfecting brush painting, this book was great for inspiration and basic ideas of how to paint the images. This book is more useful for someone who already knows the basics, or in our case, don't take them too seriously. It contains over 200 motifs with great tips for including color.