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.