I recently attended a Chinese ink painting and calligraphy workshop with Shoran Jiang. It was a simple but highly informative 2 hr course.
We first looked at the types of brushes used and then a range of papers. We were shown how the way you sit affects the strokes and also that Chinese ink painting is almost meditative in it’s approach. We were asked to consider out positions as well as our breathing.
Next we were shown how to hold a brush for calligraphy. it is held very upright between the thumb and the first two fingers the third finger is placed behind the brush to act as a sort of lever pushing the brush forwards.
For calligraphy we were shown some basic strokes before attempting to write the character for rice. We used special printed Chinese calligraphy paper for this exercise.
After this we were each given a sheet of thin paper and shown how to do a freehand landscape.
At the end using very absorbent paper we attempted to paint bamboo.
During the 2 hrs we were shown several different paper types. Most were types of paper that we already had some experience of using but we were shown a silk paper that I haven’t seen before. It is very fine and translucent as well as being very strong. At the end of the class I asked Shoran Jiang if it was possible to buy it in the UK and sadly she informed me that it was not, she buys it in China and brings it back with her.