Ling Chi offers this simple Panda demonstration and mini lesson with a special moisture control trick!
The Lack of Panda Instruction
In her video, Ling Chi mentions the reason for the lack of Panda instruction particularly from classical sources. The reason is that Pandas do not have a rich symbolic history in Chinese culture. They only recently came to the forefront as the Chinese government began to actively advocate for their preservation due to dwindling population numbers and habitat destruction.
China adopted a three-pronged conversation effort that included research/captive breeding, habitat restoration and preservation, and cracking down on poaching and smuggling. Efforts were largely successful and resulted in the Giant Panda being removed from the endangered species list in September of 2016.
Moisture Control Tricks
Moisture control is one of the skills necessary for successful Chinese Brush Painting. For those of you looking for exercises to develop greater moisture control skill, take a look at Step 2 in our Brush Painting Mastery Process: Master the Moisture.
Although in the long term, it is best to build skill and confidence with loading the brush and painting decisively to avoid unwanted bleeding, there can be some tricks that can help reduce frustration for those starting out.
- Use better/different paper.
- For those of you who have not tried OAS Paper, our Single Xuan (Shuen) is thicker and more moisture friendly than much of the Single Xuan (Shuen) that is sold elsewhere. Same goes with our Practice Roll. Compared to other machine made rice papers, the OAS Practice Roll is more friendly for beginner's in the way that it handles moisture. This is a great paper for someone who is new to OAS to start with. It is inexpensive, consistent from batch to batch and will give both you and OAS a common reference point when talking about papers. Once you've tried the Practice Roll we can have a discussion about paper that is more apples to apples rather than apples to oranges.
- If you've tried the OAS Practice Roll and feel like you want even more help with moisture control you can try our Premium Jade Plate Double Shuen or for the more budget minded try our Vintage Double Shuen AO. Both these papers have good moisture control qualities especially for raw paper. The Premium Jade Plate Double Shuen has both better moisture control and better color display while the Vintage Double Shuen AO is excellent for the price
- Semi-sized paper is even more moisture resistant than thicker raw papers. Try OAS' Pi Paper or Vintage Mulberry paper and experience how partially treating the paper with an alum-coating or sizing makes the paper more resistant to moisture
- Other techniques tricks and tips
- More decisive strokes and more time in between each stroke. Most painters that I see struggling with moisture would do better to do each stroke faster and more decisively while pausing longer in between strokes. You can use a very wet brush and still have no moisture issues if the stroke is done decisively enough. Secondly, once you do the stroke, you should pause and see how the stroke will expand before you do another. Doing strokes too close together can cause excess moisture in each stroke to invade the other compounding your bleeding problems.
- Use glue water like Ling Chi does in the above video to add more moisture control to critical strokes without affecting the rest of the painting. Take a water soluble glue like Liberty Glue and dilute a drop of glue in some water. Then load the glue water on your brush first and then your ink and color.
- If you paint a stroke and suspect it is too wet, you can quickly press a clean paper towel on top of the stroke to soak up the extra moisture