Fanny Ip Art
Chinese Watercolor Painting


Two most important techniques of Chinese painting are Gongbi (工筆) and Xieyi (寫意). Gongbi is a realistic technique using highly detailed brushstrokes that delimits details precisely and without independent or expressive variation. Xieyi is a freehand brushwork which privileges the spontaneity of the line to express the artist’s idea and spirit of the beings. Both techniques require lots of different brush maneuvering techniques to bring out the atmosphere and rhythm of the paintings.

The paper being used are Xuan paper, which is also known as rice paper, and made of indigenous plant materials such as bamboo, mulberry bark…,etc. Paper for painting Gongbi (工筆) is Matured Xuan paper and for painting Xieyi (寫意) is Raw Xuan paper.

Some of my paintings are using Gongbi method, and some using Xieyi with Chinese watercolours, ink and mixed medium to paint in landscapes, birds, trees, flowers. I have been using spontaneous style painting to create semi-abstract effect to capture the essence of flowers, birds and trees, and also detailed style painting which is to start with outlining the objects with ink, then filling outlines, also retain detail and realisticness of objects. Some of the paintings with the combination of these two methods are more exciting and challenging and trying to push the boundaries from the conventional Chinese watercolor paintings