Oriental Landscape Painting

How much do you know about the oriental landscape painting? The oriental landscape painting is a reflection of the relationship between human and nature, it represents the connection between the natural world around us and our own inner spiritual world. The landscape painting takes limited amount of scenery to express our understanding of the universe, our affection towards the land that feeds us, and the society that supports us.

Landscape, Ni Zan

The landscape painting is imbedded in the general framework of water-ink painting, which is a painting style that utilises mainly ink and water to express our understanding of the relationship mentioned above. The simple play of ink could create endless charm through the layers of black, grey and white, via the fast and slow, moist and dry brush strokes.

Landscape, Fiona Sheng

The landscape painting considers the painting as an integral entity, and our focus is always on the macro aspects, which is why the ways of displaying the scenery differ so much from the landscape art in the western world. In order to not be limited by our own eyes, the ancient painters developed various techniques to compensate for the limitation of our eyes, and such technique is best known as the cavalier perspective. Forget about the fancy word for a moment here, what this technique means and does is simply allowing us to have multiple eyes when looking at, say, a mountainous scenery, so that we could see the world clearly, as if we have taken the god perspective. In painting the landscapes the ancient painters then developed other supportive techniques to best use ink and brush for the best description of these landscapes. Beyond the techniques comes what is more essential, the emotions. The emotional expression in the oriental painting is ubiquitous, however the practice required to achieve this level is demanding. In the practice it is absolutely important to set the goals right, relax the mind, and enjoy the process.

Landscape, Zhao Meng Fu
Snow Landscape, Fiona Sheng

In our many previous courses of the landscape painting exploration, we have been taking it one step at a time, and in each course we focused on one or a few of the said aspects, but now you are ready for more, so in this Snow Landscape Course:

  • We will discuss and focus on the usage of the 5 shades of ink
  • You will learn about the 2 main ways of painting snow
  • There will be a discussion about perspectives
  • You will learn to paint a vertical landscape as shown, step by step

If you have taken the other landscape courses including the round and rather small scale summer landscape, the tree painting, and the landscape scenery courses, then you are definitely ready for this step, which will further advance your understanding and skills in the oriental landscape painting. If you have not taken any of the other courses yet, not to worry, enjoy this snowy scenery, and you can always retrace your steps and develop your abilities in the other aspects in depth slowly.

This week the snow landscape course will come and greet you, look forward to having you there!

Enjoy such cultural discussions? Have comments? I look forward to hearing from you!

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