Iconic Accessories Covered in Last Virtual Office Hour Event

Tips About Painting Areas and Iconic Accessories from Last Virtual Office Hour Event

We had a successful Virtual Office Hour event today on Painting Area Setup and Techniques for Painting Birds.

We wanted to share tidbits and tips from the event in case people were unable to participate. As part of the presentation we covered four iconic accessories that should be part of any setup for Asian style brush painting. These are:

  1. Large Porcelain Water Bowl
  2. Large Flower Plate
  3. Stackable Porcelain Dish Set
  4. Blending Plate

Before we get into the accessory tips, let us share two general observations that we have made in our over 50 years of business guiding people into joyful experiences learning Asian style brush painting!

  • The people having the most fun and experiencing the most rewarding experiences were the people who had established a regular habit of painting frequently (as often as daily)
  • The people with dedicated painting spaces were most likely to establish a habit of painting regularly

Large Porcelain Water Bowl

One of the most recognizeable accessories from a traditional Asian brush painting setup. It is a 3 compartment porcelain water bowl that is used for rinsing your brush and equally as important, intentionally loading water as a color onto your brush.

Here are some great tips related to the water bowl

  • Have the water level high for two compartments (the larger one and one of the smaller ones) and use these for rinsing your brush
  • After rinsing your brush, stroke the brush against the side of the bowl to remove all excess water
  • Keep the water level lower and the water clean on one of the smaller compartments and use it for loading water as a color onto your brush

Large Porcelain Flower Plate

The flower plate is an essential accessory for those who wish to mix their own colors from primary chinese chip colors (i.e. mixing red and indigo to make purple). It is also essential for people using any type of tube colors.

Here are some great tips related to the large porcelain flower plate

  • If using the flower plate more mixing color, make sure to mix enough to complete your painting. Running out of color in the middle and having to remix color is disruptive to the flow of painting and will result in mismatched colors in the composition.
  • Think of the flower plate as the accessory to hold colors to be used for a single session of painting. Most artists will rinse the flower plate after each painting session.
  • If you have color left over, do more paintings to avoid wasting color.

Stackable Porcelain Dish Set

Iconic essential and versatile accessory for Asian style brush painting. The stackable dishes are most common used to store Chinese chip colors for repeated use or for mixing larger amounts of an important color for a painting session.

Here are some great tips related to the stackable porcelain dish set

  • Place the Chinese chip colors into the dish and spray with a fine mist spray bottle. This will cause the chips to melt slightly and stick to the bottom of dish for easier storage, transport, and extraction
  • Avoid getting color on the rims of the dishes and each color contains a small amount of glue which can cause the dishes to stick to each other when stacked
  • After you spray the colors, use a stiff bristled mixing brush to work the color out of the chips and extract it to a flower plate for single session use or to mix with other colors to create different hues

Blending Plate

The way that the color is loaded and blending in an Asian style brush is one of the most distinct characteristics of spontaneous style Asian brush painting.

Consequently a blending plate becomes one of the most familiar and important accessories in your painting setup.

Here are some tips related to the blending plate:

  • Blend your brush at about a little less than 45 degrees from horizontal and working the brush against the bledning plate in a circular motion
  • Pick a clean spot for blending to avoid picking up color from previous blending
  • Blend after loading each color to encourage a natural transition of from one color to the next in a single stroke
  • After you load the last (usually darkest) color on the tip of the brush, blend it once and then reload the color again and paint the stroke without further

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