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Recording of Lotus Gongbi Painting Workshop DOWNLOAD[vic_lesson_X]

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This is a recording of the Lotus Calligraphy and Gongbi Painting September Workshop with Victoria Li in September, 2022. It is now available for purchase. You may download it or watch it online, and you may also sumit your finished work for critique by email. 

Subject Matter: Lotus Flower

Reference Painting: Lotus Out of Water (出水芙蓉圖)

Attributed to Wu Bing (吳炳, 12th c.), Song Dynasty (960-1279). Ink and color on silk, 23.8 x 25.1 cm, A copy of the original masterpiece will be provided in the class handout.  

Class Description 

Gongbi elaborate-style painting is a kind of art that, when you watch others doing it, it looks tedious and boring, but, when you do it yourself, it’s very meditating and relaxing. Although it is time consuming to finish a Gongbi painting, the success rate is much higher than free-hand painting.  The techniques you gain from Gongbi practice will provide a solid foundation for other styles of brush painting.  

The characters we will use for calligraphy inscription are 一花一世界 “one-flower-one-world” meaning a “a heaven in a flower”.  This phrase could also be used for other flower paintings. 

Class Schedule

9:00-10:00AM Calligraphy practice in four styles: Standard, walking, cursive, clerical.

10:00-10:30AM Basic Gongbi Painting Skills

(1)To learn how to hold two brushes in one hand (one brush with color; the other with clean water). 

(2)Learn the basic techniques of ink outlines;  

(3)Study color washing steps:

Three basics way: 1. Separated washing, 2. glazing, 3. Highlighting.

I will demonstrate the process, and you paint along.

10:30AM-12:00PM Work on the entire sample painting, starting from making your own outline template. (10 minutes break around 11:30)

12:00-12:30 Critic in class for each student no matter how much you have finished.

You may need some more time after class to refine the painting, and for calligraphy, you need to practice more and then to put it on the painting.  

The reasons to study calligraphy and Gongbi painting together in a workshop:  

1.      They both emphasize on line quality, so it will benefit each other in terms of brush control.

2.      The coloring of Gongbi painting is very similar to western style watercolor painting, but they are quite different in composition and brush strokes. Chinese brush calligraphic and gongbi painting will make your watercolor painting more exquisite.   

 Material list:

1) None-absorbent Sized Xuan Paper:  For each workshop I will use 2 pieces of 13.5’’x 9" sized Xuan paper. 

 Cicada-wing-sized-xuan is highly recommended for easy tracing and more sized in getting sharper lines:

If you do not like shimmering mica you may use sized-single-xuan-rice-paper-without-mica 

2) Brushes:

One liner brush: Renbo Nian's Brush: 

Or Seven-wolf-three-sheep brush:


In addition to the liner you need three Basic brushes: one soft hair for water, one stiff brush for color, and a small for details.


3) Color and ink :

Marie’s 12 color tubes:


4) Light box :  9.5’’X12’’  (optional) 



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