flora painting vs calligraphy-About water-based media, brushstroke exercises that beginners should know

Posted by leesky on

    Flowers form a large part of the still life painting classes I teach.
    Maybe some people are wondering why I offer this course. Among them, a very important reason is to solve some misunderstandings when students use pen and ink in class.

    In portrait classes, most students face a common problem. They are no longer proficient at drawing faces, but need to learn to adapt to new drawing materials. And while they are still getting familiar with these media, they also need to learn how to use brush strokes, how to control pen pressure, etc. (That’s a lot to figure out, right?).

    I especially chose to offer such a course related to traditional media in an era when modern people rarely use pens.

    I usually start with students' habits of holding a pen, and then gradually guide them to master the friction between pen and paper, and then to the use of hand muscles to comprehensively check the students' drawing skills (a bit like a health check.... )

    In order to save students the time of fumbling and wondering in class, I compiled this article to try to answer some questions;

    Even though I know writing this article, there is still a high chance that the same questions will continue to be asked.

    The production process of watercolor brushes and brushes is similar. Whether they are traditional brushes or watercolor brushes, their tips usually come from animals, while modern brushes and watercolor brushes can use synthetic fibers (animal hair mixed with chemical fibers or purely synthetic fibers). Since they are made in similar ways, there are similarities in how they are used.

    Traditional calligraphy includes a variety of styles and strokes, the most common of which are the two basic strokes of "center" and "side".

    The use of these two strokes can produce different calligraphy effects. The following are the basic characteristics of center and wing strokes:


    • Center is where the pen tip is facing the paper, creating a direct stroke.
    • The lines produced by this stroke are usually delicate and precise, and are suitable for handwriting with rich details, such as small regular script calligraphy, and situations where the growth of flowers, tiny leaves and twigs need to be shown.
    • When using a center, you need to master the direction and pressure of your strokes to maintain consistency in your strokes. (See pictures 1-3)


    • Flanking means that the pen tip deviates from the paper surface so that part of the stroke touches the paper.
    • This type of stroke is usually wider and is often used in cursive, running cursive and other styles, and is known for its free-flowing strokes.
    • When using the side edge, the brush strokes may have a sense of change and smoothness, which can express the changes and emotions of the pen and ink.

    Finally, but also easily overlooked, is the mastery of power when using pen and ink. This power comes from the arms, not the fingers. Changing the angle of your arms also affects how your upper body muscles work, which in turn affects the way you draw lines. Although it may be a little difficult for many students who already use pens less frequently, it is very important. After all, skills like center forward and wing forward are difficult to achieve without mastering the proper stroke pressure.

    So if you have nothing to do, you can draw more and exercise your arm and back muscles.

    Isn’t it super cool〳° ▾ ° 〵

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