Sunday Group Update – December

This month we had a look at Qian Xuan’s interpretation of blue green landscape which he worked on during the Yuan Dynasty when art supplies were a bit sparse.

Qian Xuan (1235-1305) started as an aspiring scholar-official during the rule of the Southern Song (960–1279). However, he had difficulty climbing the ranks of officialdom. Then, when the Mongol-founded Yuan Dynasty took over the southern regions of China in 1276, he gave up on the idea of a career in civil administration and devoted himself to painting. He became noted as a “fur and feathers” painter but was also known for landscapes that hinted at a longing for a return of native Chinese rule. He mixed Song realism with an archaic Tang style. Some examples can be seen here http://www.chinaonlinemuseum.com/painting-qian-xuan.php 

Replicating his Mountain Hermitage – which is a long hand scroll – is no simple task is a short class!

It appears that:

  • There are no dry brush texture lines – all mountain texture is created with line work.
  • The ink outline are done first – mountains, bridge, buildings and tree trunks and branches and pine needles
  • The furthest mountains are outlined in very light ink, Burnt sienna and light ink is added to base of the mountains and banks of the river
  • Mineral green and mineral blue are added to the landscape – very light on the furthest mountains
  • Ink and indigo wash is added to the pine trees to create foliage
  • Mixed green – indigo and gamboge is added to the deciduous tree to create foliage
  • Some indigo lines or mineral blue 2 lines are added to represent shading on the mineral blue mountains
  • Some mixed green or mineral green 2 lines are added to represent shading on the mineral green mountains
  • Burnt sienna and ink is used to colour the buildings
  • Some ink leaves are added to the deciduous trees
  • Ink dots are added to the landscape for emphasis – not too many and effectively grouped.

Nothing was finished, but everyone made a good start on laying out the image and will work on finishing it over the next month or so. If we have any finished version they will be on display in future updates.

Qian Xuan Mountain Hermitage

Marion Dearlove investigating how Mountain Hermitage was painted

Marion