When looking at Chinese paintings, one might sooner or later stumble over inscriptions such as “Painted in the style of…”. This may be confusing for people who have not yet been exposed to Chinese art. In Western art traditions, it is not desirable to copy another painter’s style. In Asian art, however, copying the style of a former master is not only a way to train oneself in various painting techniques and compositions, but also a sign of respect towards the achievements of earlier artists.
Creating Outlines (描/miao) in Ink and Wash / Sumi-e Painting
Chinese artists and connoisseurs have developed a broad range of terms describing the manifold ways in which a brushline can be executed. A lot of these terms have their origin in figure painting, when appropriate descriptions for the depiction of, for example, a gentlemen’s robe were needed. A few of the most important techniques shall be shown and explained here.
With a mother who was the Emperor Yinzong’s wet-nurse, Mi Fu grew up in the very center of the Chinese empire; knowing the Imperial family and mingling freely among the members of the Song Dynasty rulers. He was a very intelligent boy, particularly gifted in remembering and reciting poems, as well as calligraphy, although he despised formal training.