The Way of the Brush: Painting Techniques of China and Japan

The Way of the Brush: Painting Techniques of China and Japan

The Way of the Brush: Painting Techniques of China and Japan

The Way of the Brush: Painting Techniques of China and Japan

Synopsis

Examines the technique, style, traditions, and methods of ink painting. Covers every aspect of the art from brushstrokes to artistic philosophy.

Excerpt

The study of the techniques of Chinese painting has been rather neglected in the West, perhaps because technique has been regarded more or less as a handmaiden in the service of the idea, which could therefore be ignored as of secondary importance. Painting, it has been assumed, must be the same kind of art everywhere, and consequently the same ways of looking at and judging Western painting must be equally applicable to Eastern and Chinese painting. This supposition has led to misunderstandings and misinterpretations, because Chinese painting, in contrast to its Western counterpart, cannot be fully appreciated without some knowledge of its techniques and methods.

I shall try to demonstrate here just why technique plays such a decisive part in Chinese painting. This involves not only an explication why, fundamentally, Chinese painting reaches its culmination in absolute identity of idea and technique, but also requires an introduction to various of the essential techniques and principles by which a Chinese picture -- its style and form already inherent in it from the very first brush stroke -- comes to completion.

To illustrate this unity of technique and idea, a unity which seems essen-

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