Chinese Brush Painting

I have been working on a series of flowers (about a dozen, so far) using an ancient 

Chinese Brush painting technique.  The paintings are done without preliminary 

drawings, allowing the color and shapes to flow freely. I have modified the process 

somewhat producing my images on mat board using watercolor paint, as well as

traditional sumi inks.

When the inks are used, I grind a solid ink stick by hand onto an ink stone. Then 

I add water to produce the "paintable" medium. At other times, or in combination 

with the inks, I use watercolor paints, which I applied with a traditional bamboo brush. 

Most paintings are made using one brush for all strokes, including the broadest, 

fullest areas and thinnest, fine lines. Variations are created by changing the 

pressure or the angle of the brush strokes. 

The challenge of Chinese Brush painting is to capture the essence of the flower, 

not an exact botanical images.  I personally enjoy creating with the spontaneity 

that comes from allowing the colors and shapes to flow with a controlled, 

but not controlling hand. 


The Art and Writing of Barbara Rizza Mellin