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Recording of Magnolia Calligraphy & Painting Workshop Download[vic_lesson_IV]


This is a downloadable recording of the workshop: Magnolia Calligraphy and Gongbi Painting Workshop with Victoria Li in October, 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: Magnolia Flower

Reference Painting: Magnolia as White Cloud 

The gongbi painting reference sample is from the most authoritative teaching textbook of The Painting Manual of Rongbao Studio series 7: the Gongbi Flower Paintings by 3 Masters (《榮寶齋畫譜七:勾勒花卉部分》) . The artist of this magnolia painting is the famous female painter Yu Zhizhen(俞致贞 1915-1995). 

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 is 色如白云 “the color(of magnolia) is like white clouds” as our poetic inspiration.  This phrase could also be used for other flower paintings. 

Class Format:

1) Calligraphy practice in four styles: Standard, walking, cursive, clerical. The calligraphy session will be inserted while we wait for the painting to dry between each layers. 45 minutes. 

2) Basic Gongbi Painting Skills(30 minutes) 

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

    (b)Learn the basic techniques of ink outlines;  

    (c) How to paint even background color. 

    (d)Study color washing steps: 3 basic ways: 1. Separated washing, 2. glazing, 3. Highlighting.

3) Work on the entire sample painting, starting from making your own outline template(120 minutes with 10 minutes break). 

4) Critic in class for each student no matter how much you have finished(15 minutes).

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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