Chinese Brush Painting and Calligraphy is a wonderful art form that is both positively stimulating and calmly meditative. If you have never tried the it before, we encourage you to test the waters with one of our intro sets.


Mayee Futterman

If you are ready to commit to more than just "testing the waters" we recommend that you sign up for a class on Chinese Brush Painting. Our most popular teacher is Mayee Futterman. You can find out more about her classes here. You will go from learning how to prepare your paints, to practicing basic strokes, to painting a final composition that you can call your own!

Trouble Experiencing the Joy of Chinese Brush Painting?

If you have tried Chinese Brush Painting already but are having trouble experiencing the joy of the art form, we encourage you to try a couple things. First, invest in quality materials.

Many teachers of this art form on Youtube or in person are fairly recent immigrants from mainland China with less experience teaching people from the West. Because of that, they often pre-select lower quality materials as they are used to teaching students in China who have no money for supplies. Of course, master artists can make inferior materials work. They have the skill to paint on paper that is too thin or deal with a brush that doesn't reliably come to a point. A brand new student, on the other hand, benefits greatly from higher quality materials. These materials have an intelligence of their own and can assist you in getting better results and really understanding the joy of Chinese Brush Painting or Calligraphy.

If you are looking for better brushes to start with, might we suggest one of our brush sets. Depending on your budget, either our PRE- Brush Set or Premium Artist Brush Set - Happy Edition provides you with a great selection of quality brushes for painting.

If you find that the paper you have is too thin and bleeds uncontrollably, try our OAS Practice Roll or for the ultimate moisture control while still showing vibrant shades of ink and colors, try our Premium Jade Plate Double Shuen.

Understanding Paper:

Shuen/Xuan paper is the most commonly used paper. It’s thin and quite sensitive to moisture. Beginning your journey in brush painting and calligraphy, one of the first things you encounter is the challenge of moisture control. This is a key skill to master but you have to make sure that the paper you begin working with matches your patience level. Starting with a thinner paper will require more discipline. Thicker papers or papers treated with "sizing" to help them resist moisture will be more forgiving. We recommend that most new people start with a machine-made raw paper to practice like our OAS Practice Roll. To read more in depth about papers and all their differences, read our full blog post here.

Types of Brushes:

Many learning resources in brush painting, Sumi-e and calligraphy use one brush, others suggest a small assortment covering small, medium and large and soft and hard. OAS suggests considering the following three brushes. If you’re wanting to start with a single brush, start with the Orchid Bamboo or PRE- Orchid Bamboo. Its bristles keep a nice point, while the body still offers versatility with shapes. Still have room in your budget, add OAS’s Happy Dot® or PRE- Happy Dot®.

It will empower beginners with control of your stroke. Smaller brush means less ink, less ink helps with the challenge of excessive moisture leading to your stroke bleeding. Finally, if there is still room in that budget, add the OAS Small Flow® or OAS PRE- Flow to round out your collection. The combination of bristles will give you better ease producing round supple shapes such as petals. To read more in depth about brushes and all the different types, read our full blog post here.

Still Have Questions? Contact Us.

We love working with new people to guide their initial decisions based on what their individual goals are. You can call us at 714-969-4470 or use our contact form.