Traditional Chinese ink brush painting with a focus on fish, flowers and insects. Suitable for all levels, Chinese artist Peng Su will cover the traditional materials and freestyle brushstrokes behind subjects such as iridescent dragonflies, peonies, and leaping carp. Through demonstrations and one-on-one support, you will ultimately create your own authentic compositions. Peng Su focuses on mastering subtle impressionist movements of the brush, telling nature's stories, and the importance of an artist's spirit.
This weekend course will focus on developing your Chinese freestyle brush techniques and knowledge of Chinese painting meaning and composition. Suitable for all levels, we will work together on introductory subject matters followed by individual support or additional content to suit your level and style. Students are encouraged to complete unique compositions to take away and are welcome to seek continued feedback on work following the weekend.
Friday evening: We will start the weekend with a traditional exercise designed to separate you from your week and settle you in to this meditative painting style – bamboo strokes. For beginners, it provides a traditional introduction to the materials and techniques. For those with more experience, it can be enhanced through the introduction of natural elements such as wind and rain. Peng Su will demonstrate, provide individual support throughout, and it will end with your first original composition of the weekend.
Saturday: Today we will focus on the less commonly explored subject of insects, which play an important part in storytelling in Chinese painting. We will cover insects such as dragonflies, crickets, butterflies, and snails (a mollusc!). By painting these earlier in the day, we will cover a range of topics such as water control, brush angles, and perspective. Later in the day, we will begin to paint these insects into larger compositions – perhaps hovering above a peony or climbing a bamboo stem – together learning about balance and meaning in the often-asymmetrical compositions of Chinese painting.
Sunday: Finally, we will be painting fish, starting with the simpler colourful goldfish and finishing with the dramatic carp. We will discuss the spirit and symbolism of the subject matters and learn further about the textures created and controlled by subtle differences in brushstrokes and water content. Students will again be supported in creating their last compositions of the weekend and encouraged to sign and stamp paintings to take away. Students are welcome to contact Peng Su for a Chinese name to sign their paintings.
Please bring with you
Standard Chinese brush painting equipment: Felt mat, colour palette/plate, shallow dish/ink pot, water pot, Chinese brushes of various sizes.
Paint and Paper: Chinese ink (bottle or ground), Chinese Watercolours (e.g. Maries or stone powder), unsized or semi-sized rice paper.
Beginners are welcome to contact Peng Su for support when purchasing equipment beforehand or most can be purchased at cost on the day.
The following items can be purchased from your tutor
Felt mat £5 (approx. 1.5x1m)
Chinese brushes £3-10 each depending on size, £20 for a set of 3 with roll-up mat
Chinese ink £8 Japanese ink bottle, £2 ink stick for grinding
Chinese watercolours £8 Maries Watercolours
Rice paper 50p per sheet (approx. 35x50cm)
Suitable for all levels
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire HP16 0BD
Peng Su - NEW TUTOR
Peng Su is a Chinese ink brush or xieyi artist from North China and now settled in Devon. Having originally practised traditional Chinese art with his great-grandpa Baozhang, he hopes to honour his kindness and continue their shared love of nature through his work. Inspired by artists such as Xu Wei and Bada Shanren, he focuses on the flow of ink and economical yet expressive brushstrokes – prioritising both technique and artist spirit. While he teaches various styles around the UK, his own work draws on his cross-cultural experience and celebrates the real stories and beautiful imperfections in nature.