Sunday Group Update July 2022

Since we started painting again in January, we have been doing revision! The group has decided that they would like to spend the rest of the year looking at techniques and, today, we had a look at split brush technique using Xu Gu’s Squirrels. 

Split brush allows you to paint hairs on people and animals and wild grasses in landscape. It is not often used in Flower painting.

You are using your fingers to prepare the brush – so, you do get messy. Remember to wipe your fingers to avoid adding unwanted in to your picture.

Split Brush Technique

  • Fully load your brush with ink.
  • Wipe off on kitchen towel.
  • Grip the heel of your brush and spread the hairs out

  • Using upright brush, apply the tip to the area to be covered, remembering to make your strokes in the direction of the animal’s hair growth. Start from the point of growth and work out to the edge of growth as you will be overlapping your lines and will want the final layer of hairs at the position where they are most prominent. It may or may not be an edge.
  • You can vary the directions of the lines but keep the brush upright.
  • Once you have mastered it, you can paint any furry animal. Just remember to scale the strokes to the size of the image and the subject, move in the direction of fur growth and keep your brush upright.



This is one of Xu Gu’s images that we worked from. The picture is in the Ashmolean Museum’s collection.

These are images created by the group

Marion Dearlove

Bianca Deegan

Jean Gray

Virginia Hayes

Anna Lau

Rose Meech

Sarah Turner

Emiko Wise