This unique Chinese Watercolor Workbook is designed by Leslie Tseng-Tseng Yu, artist/author of the classic Chinese Watercolor Painting. With a few fluent and swift strokes of the brush, she shows you how:

•      Luscious grapes grow on calligraphic vines

•      Vibrant sunflowers burst into bloom

•      Entrancing waterlilies come to life


The fluid and spontaneous medium of Chinese watercolor painting is ideal for bringing to life favorite subjects in nature such as the sunflower, waterlily, and grapes. The special qualities of each - whether it is the luscious grapes with their calligraphic vines, the entrancing waterlilies and pads, or the vibrant and bold sunflowers - are rendered swiftly and economically with the ever versatile Chinese brush.

With my innovative color keys, you can see at a glance what colors to mix and what colors to use. Once you have learned the basic techniques of how to hold, load, and manipulate the brush, you can apply these techniques to many other subjects.


All Chinese brushes, with a few exceptions, taper to a fine point regardless of size. This unique feature gives them great flexibility. The types of brushes shown actual size on the back flap are used for painting the subjects in this workbook. Generally speaking, brush A (wolf hair) and B (wolf and deer hair) are for lines and fine details whereas brush C, D, and E (goat hair) are for forms. However, since Chinese brushes are very versatile, they can be interchangeable. Therefore, while it is best to use the size and type specified in the worksheets, other suitable Chinese brushes can be substituted.


The five colors shown on the front flap, Crimson Lake, Vermilion, New Gamboge, Burnt Sienna, and Indigo, are all the colors you need, plus black (Chinese ink or sumi ink) and white (tempera). All other colors are derived from these basic colors. The white serves two purposes. It makes possible the subtle quality of the colors and at the same time provides body to the transparent watercolors.


Other painting accessories you need are two bowls for water (one for cleaning your brushes), a brush rest, and five or more small porcelain plates (about 3"-4" in diameter) for mixing colors. The plate edge is important for proper loading and shaping of your brush.

For practice, use newsprint. When you are ready, try your newly acquired skills on the rice paper included in this workbook. You can cut the rice paper to various sizes, including horizontal or vertical scroll lengths. When painting on rice paper, use a backing sheet of newsprint to absorb excess moisture.

Sample Pages


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