This month we were having a look at large birds by artists including both CBPS presidents Qu Leilei and Jane Evans along with Pan Tianshou, Li Kuchan, Lin Fengnian and Hong Yongyu. We had fun tackling the different styles.
Today we had a look at the Qing Dynasty Literati including Super Stars Bada Shan Ren, Hong Ren, Shi Tao and Gong Xian. These are some of the artists accredited with the original development of Xeiyi – free style.
We used Xuan and double Xuan and results were very pleasing:
This month we were looking at Summer Flowers using Xuan paper.
We also had a look at the use of salt and alum to create different effects but will have a closer look at this at a later date. However, for info: the salt and Alum work well with ink but are not as effective with paint colours – although there is some effect. The picture illustrates three types of salt and their different effects. You need to use Xuan paper for best effect. You also need to add the salt when the ink is wet so add it when you have painted each item not the whole picture! It is worth trying it first to check the differences before you attempt a master piece. They give very different results.
The pictures we worked from this month were by a variety of artists including both Northern School and Lingnan artists.
In the Qing dynasty artists continued to work in two distinct groups – the Court artists working in and around the court and sponsored by the emperors – working in the orthodox style and Literati artists – independent artists or artists with alternate sponsors – working in what was considered to be a more innovative style.
This month we were had a look at the Qing Dynasty Orthodox Artists. There was a key group known as the Six Masters (four of whom were also known as the Four Wangs) who were Wang Shimin, Wang Hui, Wang Yuanqi, Wang Jian and Wu Li and Yun Shouping. The Group’s work covers 100 years and they were all closely related. They formed the Orthodox School and they followed the written principles of Dong Qichang. Their works tended to be more structured and stressed technique of brushwork, application of ink and compositional methods
The work we were using included both full paintings and sketches. They were fun to work with.
We had a very interesting session with Qu Leilei today looking a four pictures by Qing and Ming artists. The aim was not to reproduce the picture but to understand the techniques that the artists had used and to practice them. We focused on the foliage and rocks rather than the birds.
We were working on getting the brush strokes right – creating lines and texture – using both wet and dry brush and looking at how the washes were applied as dabs of colour using wash brushes rather than spread using hake brushes.
These are the pictures we were working with:
Lin Liang (1416-1480)
Xiao Haishan (ca 1450 -?)
Gao Fenghan (1683-1749)
And an unknown artist
And these are Qu Leilei’s demonstration pieces
Lin Liang demo
Xaio Haishan demo
Gao Fenghan demo
Unknown artist demo
And finally a picture of Qu Leilei with the last demo piece
In April we were revising bamboo and plum blossom – with added birds. Li Jia explained that it was necessary to revise the 4 gentlemen annually to ensure you were getting into no bad habits and I we hadn’t done this for a number of years as a group. So – we had a go and these are some of the results
17 members attended the AGM today and we had a lively meeting.
We have agreed to have a free for members lunch at our August Sunday meeting in memory of Joyce Levermore – so, no painting that day but we are expecting lots of good food, good conversation and enjoyment. Attendees will be expected to bring at least one picture to decorate the event.
People brought pictures to decorate the room at the AGM today
We met on a rather chilly grey day and compared where those who remembered to bring their Xian Xuan landscapes had got to. It was a rather magnificent attempt all round. This is what we have at the moment.
It was generally agreed that tackling something that you had never tried before had been challenging but fun and it was agreed that we would look for another Artist’s work that offered the same opportunities.
This month we were looking at the work of Ming Dynasty artists – including both formal paintings and sketches by Shen Zhou, Wen Zhenming, Wu Wei and Da Jin. All of the examples are works in progress.
In the Ming Dynasty a ruling Chinese Emperor was restored to power and with this change came a return to Confucianism and the re-establishment of Court art and court artists. This now gave China two art streams that developed in parallel – the Court / Professional artists and the literati / scholar artists. The Ming court – currently also referred to as the Bling court because of its devotion to gold and decoration – was a major supporter and sponsor of professional artists and attempts were made to re-establish the artistic and cultural supremacy of China’s past, specifically the style of the Song. There was a big move towards figure painting (including erotic) and flower and bird painting where extensive colour and decoration were possible. Literati art declined without court support, however, the Wu school, founded by Shen Zhou, flourished during the Ming and maintained the newer landscape traditions. There was still no dry brush lines for texture – everything is a line.
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