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Lesson 18: Mogu or Boneless Flowers and Birds (DVD)[DVD_L_18]


Often painted on silk or sized Xuan rice paper, Mogu or boneless-style painting is in between xieyi and gongbi, or free-style and fine-line style. It is emphasized on the colors rather than ink outlines, which is considered as the "bone" in Chinese brush painting. 

This lesson is conducted in a recent live workshop with three honored students from this online class: Alex, Chris and Leasha. They contributions are priceless and I really appreciate their help in making this lesson available to other students online. (*To join Henry Li's online Chinese brush painting class, please click here . )

This lesson include two silk paintings and several flower and bird paintings on sized Xuan paper.


1. Detailed Boneless Style Practice: Watch video Part 2(1-4) and try to use an outlined drawing underneath a piece of sized Xuan rice paper or silk to make a boneless style painting.  You may use handout #1  as your reference or create your own preliminary drawing.   

2. Loose Boneless Style Practice: Watch video part 3 and 4. Use sized Xuan paper(either single or double weight), stonebridge Xuan(80% sized) , silk (if you don't have those you may try to use white drawing paper or watercolor paper) to create a loose mogu or boneless painting  after Shi Qiao's style, by applying water/light ink to run in the wet ink stroke, or white watercolors dripping onto red color to generate a dark watermarks on the edge of strokes.

3. Dry Mounting Practice: Try to utilize silicone dry mounting paper in creative ways that help to accomplish the above painting tasks and mount the finished painting.



All copy sample and finished paintings seen in the video are included in the handouts.


This is the DVD version. Click here to order the Download version. 


Here is the the introduction part of Lesson 18. Enjoy watching!


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