Chinese brush painting is one of the Three Perfections, along with calligraphy and poetry. Although we will not be perfecting these crafts, we will be exploring them.
In Chinese brush painting, the artist uses brushstrokes developed in the practice of calligraphy. The medium is ink, which can be diluted to create various tones. And most often, brush painting is done on silk or rice paper.
The subject is most often nature: landscapes, plants, and animals. Paintings of plants and animals are filled with symbolism, and landscapes represent the grandeur of nature and our small role as people within it.
The most important principle in Chinese brush painting is not to create a realistic likeness of the subject, but to capture its spirit and its Chi, its life energy.
How do you tune it with the spirit of what you want to paint? Can you study the subject in its natural environment, truly observe it. Imagine what it feels like to be that subject, to be relating to the other elements of nature around you.