WHAT THIS CATEGORY IS ABOUT
Being aware of the need of original Chinese brush painting art books, not only for Sumi painting but also for fineline and gongbi, we carefully selected a large range of Chinese painting books which are instructional and inspirational at the same time. Since we find these very useful, we also added a range of brush painting instructional cards. These cards come in a folder dedicated to one specific painting topic and feature step by step tutorials on how to create a specific motif. They are easier to handle than an art book since you can easily place them in front of you on a book stand while you are practicing.
Some of the Chinese painting books are dedicated to a specific traditional Chinese painting motif such as painting horses, special types of flowers such as Chinese Wisteria< or the reverred Plum Flowers, others are more comprehensive volumes focusing more on the basic techniques instead of the motifs itself such as the "Mustard Seed Garden" series which is a very old classic Chinese painting book which many of the famous Chinese painters used to acquire the basic techniques of Chinese brush painting.
When deciding on which Chinese art books which should add to our store, we focused on two criteria.
The first being that the books should have a step-by-step tutorial characters. Most of the Chinese brush painting instructional books first focus on some basic techniques of painting birds or Chinese landscapes, then they go one step further and explain how to apply these techniques on a specific motif such a specific bird or a tree. After that it is explained how these Chinese brush painting techniques can be applied to similar motifs - i.e. other types of birds or other types of trees. In a last step, once the knowledge of painting the main motif is acquired, the main element is placed in a surrounding or environment - for example a bird sitting on a branch, on a tree or on a rock. The tree being part of a forest or an entire landscape painting with additional elements added such as waterfalls, rocks or mountains. This makes it very easy to not acquire insular knowledge but to be able to apply your Chinese brush painting knowledge in a step-by-step approach to a wide range of subjects.
The other criteria for use to select the books was to make sure we mainly pick books which are part of a series of books where the basic instructinal principles of explaining a technique are identical. That way, once you are used to the way one painting book explains something, you can just buy the next book in the series and you are already familiar with the approach.
At the same time, this category features books dedicated to Chinese calligraphy. Here we have two types - one are calligraphy water practice books helping you to imitate the calligraphy techniques of famous historic calligraphists. One page shows the basic stroke patterns, the other side is made of a special paper material on which you can write the calligraphy patterns with only water which will evaporate after some time so you can practice the same strokes over and over again. The other type are calligraphy dictionaries giving you a comparative overview of the different script styles.