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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 13 December 2022
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781800920064
  • Stock: 50+
  • Hurt Stock: £7.50 (1 available)
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 750
  • Pages: 112
  • RRP: £14.99
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Chinese Brush Painting through the Seasons


by Sun Chenggang & Ning Xiangying

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Book Description

Chinese brush painting is a traditional style of painting that has evolved over many centuries. Artists use ink and colour pigments to paint onto rice paper or silk.

An important characteristic of this kind of painting is holding and directing the brush in the right way to produce strokes that are delicate and refined. The four co-authors of this book Sun Chenggang, Ning Xiangying, Ning Jialu and Miao Hongbo are particularly gifted proponents of this style, which has connections with traditional calligraphy.

Chinese brush painting typically includes themes such as birds, plants and flowers, landscapes, fruit and vegetables and fish. This book explores these themes through the four seasons, with the peony depicted in spring, the lotus flower in summer, the vegetable harvest in autumn and the bamboo bud in winter. Many of the subjects are symbolic and have connotations of good fortune, auspiciousness, good health, a long life, a good harvest, a flourishing family, wealth even immortality!

Explained in the introduction to each project, the symbolism is followed by clear, step-by-step instructions and illustrations. There is a short section at the beginning of the book describing tools, materials and techniques to help readers achieve the almost ethereal beauty and delicacy of this style of painting.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Tools and materials 8
Basic skills 12

Spring 14
A Fortune in Bloom 16, Loquats 19, Bringers of Spring 24, Good Ripe Fruit 26, Orchid Portrait 29, Rest in the Plantain Shade 32, Wisteria in Purple 35

Summer 38
Green Leaves, Morning Glory 40, Wishes for Prosperity 43, Lotuses in Summer 46, Reflecting on the Lotus 49, Grapes 52, Lotus Fan 55, Begonia 58, Landscape 61

Autumn 64
Full of Autumn Light 66, Heavensent Seeds 69, Autumn Harmony 72, Double Blessings 75, Festival Feast 78, Crab in the Plantain Shade 81, Garden Bounty 84, Clear Spring, Shaded Scales 87

Winter 90
Blossom in the Bitter Cold 92, Camellia 95, Sweet Flag, Sweet Cherry 98, Good Wishes and Long Life 101, Farmhouse Flavour 104, Goose in the Reeds 107, Good Fruit for a Good Life 110

About the Author

About Sun Chenggang

Sun Changgang was born in Rizhao, Shandong. He is a member of the Chinese Artists Association and sits on the boards of many other artists' associations. He is a part-time professor at Shandong University and has published several books on brush painting.

About Ning Xiangying

Ning Xiangying is a professional artist from Yucheng County. She studied at China Academy of Art and has developed very expert traditional painting skills. Her works are deeply rooted in tradition and she exhibits widely.



Its been a long time since there was a book on Chinese painting, but they were once all the rage. This one has been worth the wait and is about as authentic as you can get, being adapted from a series of Chinese originals.

For all that, the approach is accessible for the Western reader and, although the introduction to materials contains some terms that may not be familiar, more obtainable alternatives are suggested. Interestingly, where colour is used, the authors prefer gouache as being more like the heavier pigment used in China itself. Previous, more Western-based books have used transparent watercolour.

The book consists of a series of simple demonstrations and, of course, simplification is very much to the fore. As a result, although each project is covered in no more than three or four pages, there is no sense of foreshortening and the number of steps is perfectly adequate. Chinese art involves working quickly and there simply isnt that much to do theres no room for fiddling when youre contending with a large, soft brush.

This is a welcome return to the world of Chinese painting which, even if you dont want to pursue it in much depth, offers palate-cleansing simplification that can only refresh your own work.

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