Yearly Archives: 2010

Practice Makes…Better

CenterWhen it comes to Chinese calligraphy practice makes you better. As I have been learning there are five major scripts (Pictographic, Zhuan, Han, Standard, and Running). All of my attempts to date have been standard script but I am eager to try the others (stay tuned!).

Standard script is the most widely used and has been in use for nearly 2,000 years! It is made up of horizontal/vertical strokes, dots, slices, bends, and hooks. The gallery below is from my recent practice session and as you’ll see from the scans was done on gridded paper. The grid lines help to maintain balance in the character. Words have been translated (italics) and the predominant stroke has been included.


Standard Script Gallery Standard Script Gallery 2 Standard Script Gallery 3 Standard Script Gallery 4 Standard Script Gallery 5 Standard Script Gallery 6 Standard Script Gallery 7 Standard Script Gallery 8

The Guardian

GuardianFor Christmas I painted this bird for my husband. It was a huge hit – he hung it up immediately! It’s always interesting to discover how someone interprets a painting. He said the bird reminded him of a guide that would lead the person to what was beyond the tree. I think that is a very fitting description.

Happy Holidays!

Woman in a Green Kimono

Green KimonoMy Woman in a Green Kimono is based on Katusushika Hokusai’s Courtesan Reclining. Hokusai (1760-1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period[1]. Hokusai is best-known for the print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s. He was also Japan’s leading expert on Chinese brush painting which is a favorite subject of mine.



SittingContinuing on my journey into the world of figure drawing, I thought I’d attempt a sitting figure. I did this sketch rather quickly focusing on capturing the overall feel of the pose while trying to maintain correct proportions. This was done entirely with a HB pencil. You can see a larger version by clicking on the image.


Woman with Rose

Woman With RoseToday’s sketch was done with my Sai Brush Pens using only the black and dark rose pens. It is based on a painting by Su Renshan (1814 -1849?) called Figure of a Lady.

Figure drawing is mainly about line work. By varying the pressure and angle of the brush you can create the illusion of folds in clothing. Depending on your mood and the subject you can use a single type of stroke or a variety. Like Chinese brushes, lines have wonderful names like willow-leaf, cloud wave, running water, and rat tail to name a few.