Chinese Brush Painting Lesson
April 29, 2014 History: China Unit


Today was the type of day when everything pulled together beautifully!  I set up paper and paints on the kitchen table and had all our books assembled to talk about Chinese brush painting, read from our novel and read from our Chinese history book. The kids ate it all up!

We started with a lovely picture book called Brush of the Gods.It was a legend from about 762AD about a Chinese painter who paints so beautifully that his paintings come alive.  At the end of his life, he created his final masterpiece and walked straight into his painting!



From there, I pulled out Chinese Brush Painting: A Beginners Guide by Pauline Cherrett. (One I checked out from the library; I’m sure similar books good examples as well.)  We read about landscape painting.  The kids were intrigued that in Confucius’s time there were five pure colors — red, yellow, blue-green, black and white.  Later scholar artists assumed that very few colors should be used in paintings.

We looked at a number of examples of Chinese landscapes, including the painting Hubby and I bought from a school-teacher when we went on a trip to China (before the kids were born).  Sure enough, very few colors were used.  We also looked at the illustrations from various picture books we have read. Tikki Tikki Tembo has some really terrific illustrations too.



We looked at several of the composition patterns presented in the book (pages 94-96 in the book I mentioned above). Then we went into the kitchen and the kids clamored into their seats and tried their hand at painting.

The kids and Grams were completely absorbed in their work. I spent a long time reading from our latest novel, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. And, I also read aloud from our history textbook, The Story of China. (I highly recommend this! The kids are enjoying it and the style is very accessible for my kids – 8 and 10.)



It was a really great homeschool day!

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