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I tried to send pictures, but it looks like my post disappeared! Here they are again. First picture is the Xiling dark red seal paste in the package as received. Next picture is after I transferred it to the ceramic dish – a very messy and rather unpleasant task! Please note that the flash in my camera makes the paste look shiny, but it is not actually so shiny.
Any comments are appreciated! Thank you, Yan!
I can show you some pictures. When I received the paste (which I purchased from a very reliable supplier in California) it was in a plastic bag. I then transferred it to a ceramic seal paste dish with a lid. That was a very messy job! The other picture is after I put the paste into the ceramic dish. Please note that the camera light makes it look more shiny or oily, but actually it is not so shiny. Any comments are very helpful, thank you!
Here is the package.
I love these pictures! Thank you!
The information given by member Charlesrtsua is really useful. I have a pretty good quality palm fibre brush, but it is exactly as he says in terms of the stiffness and need to clean. I was able to confidently remove the bottom line of stitching which made the brush way too stiff, then used his trimming idea and then sandpaper to refine some of the coarseness of the fibres. I am now gently boiling it in salt water, after an initial boil with baking soda. It is amazing how much of the purple-red colour has come out with the soda-boiling water mix. And it is easy to see all the dirt or dust coming out when the stitching is removed and from using the sandpaper.
I am glad I saw this information first, because no one told me this when I first bought the brush. And it would have ruined my delicate papers if I tried to use an unprepared brush for mounting.
Bravo Inkston for having this excellent Forum – and thanks to those who are generous in sharing their experiences with tools and materials!
I have a few books to recommend for learning landscapes – both Chinese and Japanese.
1. Oriental Painting Course – Wang Jia Nan and Cai Xiaoli with Dawn Young
2. Chinese Brushwork in Calligraphy and Painting – Kwo Da-Wei
3. Complete Sumi-e Techniques – Sadami Yamada – he also has a separate publication just for Sumi-e landscape painting.
4. The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting – Mai-mai Sze
I have all these books myself plus quite a few more – I refer to all of them depending on whether I am working on calligraphy or sumi-e.
Best of luck!
I will try this. It is not dry but yet very thick and hard to stir so maybe small amount of oil is the answer!
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yes, here it is.
Thank you, most of that I could find out in general research, but I was particularly interested in how it is used in Asian painting other than mixing with paint – and someone else (not from Inkston) told me it is used to adhere gold leaf to paintings. I have since found that reference in a Japanese painting book.
Yes I do think rough-to-rough is ideal, but rough-to-smooth would work too, I think. I also do bookbinding and so work with paste and glue often. My calligraphy is done typically on the smooth side, as I was taught.
Sometimes there is almost no difference between sides of the paper which tells me that I have to ‘test’ each side first if I want to make absolutely sure, but with paper like that, in the end, it doesn’t seem to matter. The same amount of sizing has probably been used on both sides when it was made.
Thank you for this great information – I recently purchased a palm brush and was wondering whether I needed to prepare it first. This has been so helpful!
this is really interesting…you have shared some unique information. i will have a look at this artist’s work.
thank you!11th October 2017 at 7:38 pm in reply to: painting three faces of a rock in Chinese painting #15666 Translate
It is a traditional way of depicting rocks – if you have ever seen the method in the Mustard Seed Garden book, that is very useful. Another wonderful book I treasure discusses the 3 faces very well and it is how I learned to think about rocks – I have taken the explanation from this book for you.
Oriental Painting Course
Wang Jia Nan and Cai Xiaoli, with Dawn Young
Think of rocks as having 3 aspects:
1 front part, facing the sun, is dry and rough
2 side, in shadow, is wet/shaded
3 top, is thin.
This gives rocks a 3 dimensional affect. A side brush technique is used, and rocks are given different textures with specific brush techniques. These you can research, as many books like the ones above, give much detail. Good luck!
Thanks, this is exactly the information I needed to understand the use of Su ink. I will give this a try with my best sticks- I would imagine that quality ink sticks are better to make good Su ink with. Thank you!9th October 2017 at 4:23 pm in reply to: how to flatten wrinkles on Xuan paper before painting? #15536 Translate
I buy distilled water which is very cheap, and I use it for making glues/pastes as well as for spraying or mixing colours. There are no chemicals in it compared to tap water.
I found misting the paper and weighing it down works very well – and I have ironed it too! For ironing, I mist it very lightly and put a clean towel on top of the painting, then use a dry iron (not steam). Then I weigh the paper down using clean dry paper on top, followed by a board with books or other weights. A sheet of plexiglass is also great because you can see the paper underneath to check it.
Yes, using tea is quite lovely for colour. I think the same applies to most natural colours created from organic materials, and I don’t believe one should limit oneself to ‘rules’. I have done a few background washes for effects. It depends on the subject matter. My first attempt came out quite well – because my subject was very simple – just a single character for ‘autumn’, done in a cursive style. So I did a watercolour wash in a typical autumn colour (a warm golden) on the back of the painting using a wide soft brush – the softer the better as it won’t streak – western style brushes can work as well. There is a technique to applying a wash – slow and steady is key, particularly on very thin paper! I mist the paper first so that the whole piece is wet, but not soaking! The secret is that since you are using a watercolour wash, which by its very nature already quite diluted, you don’t need to overwet your paper, which will make it difficult to avoid tearing it. Your brush is also wet prior to starting – and again, just damp. You will further dilute your colour if you use a brush that is soaked in water. I start by carefully and lightly touching the colour down and moving the brush horizontally – and don’t switch movements – i.e., keeping going in the same direction all the way down and try not to wash over an area twice. Avoid ‘layering’ which will make some areas darker or possibly create streaks.
PS I always do a test run first – that way if my colour is wrong, or whatever, I don’t have a bad surprise. For the record, I have torn the paper by going too fast or using too much pressure. But it’s fun, can be really exciting and it’s a great learning experience. Good luck!