Chinese paintings are famous all over the world for their unusual combination of materials and different techniques. Chinese painting is a traditional form of painting and has been in existence since a very long time. A large number of exquisite wall paintings were produced in the initial period of China’s history, but very few of them have managed to survive. Many of the Chinese paintings enable historians to understand the Chinese way of life in early periods and offer insight into the styles and tastes of the early artists.
Some of the main features of Chinese paintings include colophons and seals, and different materials. The Chinese brush, which is used for painting, has a very fine tip to draw in different styles. Brush techniques include line drawing, cunfa (texture and shade), and dianfa (dotting methods). The brush strokes in Chinese paintings impart a kind of rhythm as well as aesthetic beauty. Brush strokes can greatly vary according to the individual styles of the painter. Different types of Chinese painting brushes include the “hsieh chao pi”, which is a crab claw brush available in large and small sizes, and the “hua jan pi” brush, which is specifically used for painting flowers. A “lan yu chu pi” brush is generally used for painting bamboo and orchids. Chinese artists hold their painting brush in a peculiar fashion.
Typically, artists use Chinese paper or thick silk for painting. Different varieties of Chinese papers are available and the painting on each variety will come in diverse finishes. To paint on a silk cloth, it first must be treated with glue and alum to make it less absorbent. Contemporary Chinese artists usually prefer paper for their varied textures.
Chinese artists use different shades of a color to depict the features of a particular subject and to give it a natural feeling. These artists enjoy the freedom of structural composition and manner of expression. To emphasize a particular subject, artists may leave the background blank to enhance the impact.
A bright red seal is seen in Chinese paintings that indicate the name of the artist or the owner of the painting. The position of the seal may vary from one painting to another.