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 plum blossoms here, and chrysanthemums here.
Confucius, one of the most influential Chinese philosophers, compared being virtuous to an orchid. Therefore, orchids are often painted to evoke the Confucian qualities of a cultured gentleman: humility, integrity and refinement.
The first step was to practice the leaves. With undiluted ink, we practiced these long strokes. Swing the arm upward, press the brush for thicker lines, and lift for thinner lines (giving the effect of the leaf twisting), and lift to taper the end. Paint leaves of different lengths, going in different directions for the final piece.