Chinese brush painting is a traditional style of painting that has evolved over many centuries. Artists use ink and colour pigments to paint onto rice paper or silk.
An important characteristic of this kind of painting is holding and directing the brush in the right way to produce strokes that are delicate and refined. The four co-authors of this book Sun Chenggang, Ning Xiangying, Ning Jialu and Miao Hongbo are particularly gifted proponents of this style, which has connections with traditional calligraphy.
Chinese brush painting typically includes themes such as birds, plants and flowers, landscapes, fruit and vegetables and fish. This book explores these themes through the four seasons, with the peony depicted in spring, the lotus flower in summer, the vegetable harvest in autumn and the bamboo bud in winter. Many of the subjects are symbolic and have connotations of good fortune, auspiciousness, good health, a long life, a good harvest, a flourishing family, wealth even immortality!
Explained in the introduction to each project, the symbolism is followed by clear, step-by-step instructions and illustrations. There is a short section at the beginning of the book describing tools, materials and techniques to help readers achieve the almost ethereal beauty and delicacy of this style of painting.