Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Traditional and Contemporary Chinese Brush Painting

By Cheng Yan

      If you have ever gazed longingly at those beautiful and graceful Chinese paintings and wished that you could do something similar, then here is a book that encourages you to have a go. Find out what you need to get started, have a look at the lovely artwork and off you go.

      There is quite a daunting list of items at the beginning of this book, and I for one don't have them all - I can live without a wooden mannequin of a horse and am yet to find a place that carves inscriptions on soapstone seals. But the canny reader can see between the lines here, and if you are wise and read through the whole book first then you will soon sort the essentials from those items more suited to the committed artist. That being said, I particularly liked the way in which the author shows how to arrange a good work surface and tells you how to grind your ink and all the preliminaries. The large colored photos in here show, in easy stages, how to create some beautiful and accessible pieces of artwork that would grace any wall. The symbolic meanings behind subjects such as fish, bamboo and horses are explained too, and working through the projects ought to produce some work to be truly proud of.

       Can you learn Chinese brush painting with this book? Not the entire subject, of course not as it is a huge one and with several different styles. The author says that "hopefully you will be inspired to learn more about this fascinating art" when you have worked through the book and I think that this is true.

The Book

Search Press
April 2005
How-To Books/Painting
More at

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
NOTE:If you cannot find Chinese painting materials locally try for a list of suppliers.
© 2005