Panda - this is the final version this week. His body still is not what I'm looking for, so I will be painting him again. I will post pictures of new paintings of the panda as they improve. But he will be one I will work on matting and framing properly, this is a whole art form in and of itself.
Here are two other panda's one of which was painted on the wrong side of the paper.
This guy just needs help, but the look in his eyes is rather endearing in a pathetic way. The ink was too light on him, and the body was shaped strange, but the ink flowed pretty nicely.
This is what happens when you paint on the wrong side of the rice paper. There was a lot of bleeding in the paper. Another lesson to remember regarding water, keep paper towels by your side so you can dab off excess water. The runny ink is not pretty.
There are those who think that Chinese brush painting is easy, this is not true. There is a reason that the masters spend life times working on capturing bamboo, and other subjects. When painting in this medium it is very important to use good quality brushes. The ink is permanent, paint in old clothes and have lots of sheets of paper to keep painting even when you do not get the image right the first time. There is no correcting mistakes, no lifting the ink, no changing the lines once the ink is on the paper. The simplicity is deceiving, there is a careful balance of ink and water, very deliberate strokes and then just knowing how move the brush with your arm instead of your wrist. If you hesitate in the middle of a brush stroke, the ink shows it. I love to paint like this when I get to wrapped up in the details on other pieces of work. I can just paint, and start over again if it turns out awful. These will not be posted on Fine Art America until I feel like they are better.
This weekend I finished another piece for a friend, The Old Beggar.
I'm not sure who took the photo, so I will not be posting this on Fine Art America either, but he is complete.
Drawing's still get me twisted in knots, trying to make it perfect. He is not perfect, but he is complete.
So, the lessons for the week: use heavy duty drop cloths, paint in old clothes, use good quality brushes, and keep painting until you like it. Simple beauty does not always mean it was simple to create.