Traditional Art Style: Ink Wash Painting

Ink wash painting (水墨畫) is a traditional art style dating back to ancient China. This type of painting often uses ink and water to present scenes (Shan Sui Hua 山水畫), animals, and people. Traditionally, paintings are black and white with variations of grey. Ink wash painting has been practiced throughout history, and it is still considered prestigious. It is an art form that emphasizes “feeling the art”. It can be very abstract and full of difficult-to-appreciate beauty.


  • In the past, painters would grind their own ink with inksticks on inkstones
  • Inkstones are hard to get so bottled ink is more often used nowadays
  • Colours are sometimes added


  • Bigger brushes can paint larger areas and smaller brushes are used to paint details
  • Brushes are made from different animal hairs, which are each of a different stiffness: Weasel hair (hard) and goat hair (soft) are most often used in brushes
  • Hair from rats, rabbits, deer, and horses, for example, can also be used


  • In calligraphy and paintings, the paper used is Xuan or Shuan Paper(宣紙)
  • In the past, this paper was used for fans and would have ink wash paintings, calligraphy, or both on it
  • A cheaper and more common paper used for both calligraphy and ink wash painting is Mian paper(棉紙)


How to Paint a Rooster

This video has all the details about drawing a rooster with Chinese Ink. Chinese painting has a long history, it begins in dynasty of Han which is around 2000 years ago. Thus, to learn Chinese culture and history, Chinese painting is very important. The reason is because to understand a nation, you have to know their history and their culture. Chinese ink is one part of history and culture, the painting could show what people were thinking of at that time.



Dough Fish

In China people make animals and other sculpture out of coloured dough. The Chinese Dough Sculpture Art is originated from traditional folk handicraft in ancient China about 1300 years ago. It is used in cooking originally because Chinese people love fancy design. The variety shapes can be created with different symbols to a family even an individual.

For the process

1. Preparing the ingredients and tools  (Flour, Sweet Flour, Salt, Tempera Paint, Sculpture tools). Mix flour, sweet flour, small scoop of salt and small amount of preservative (or you can even skip this) with boiled water. Roll the dough by your hands until it’s smooth. Set the dough for 2 hours then roll it again until it is smooth.

2. Put it in the plastic wrap and steam for around 40 minutes.

3. Knead the dough after it is cooling down for about 40 minutes until it has become smooth and elastic.

4. Adding colours for your need then mix them well. You will be ready for the sculptures.

5. Use your idea to create a sculpture


Chinese Knots

Here we will show you how to make Chinese Knots. Chinese knots is one of traditional handcraft products. It is one of the symbols of major characteristic industries of the Chinese nation. Chinese knots are kind of characteristic folk decoration in handcraft art. They are also a distinctive feature of traditional Chinese apparel.

Knot is pronounced as ‘Jie’ in Chinese, similar to ‘ji’, which means blessing, good salary, longevity, happiness, fortune, safety and health. It is the everlasting pursuit of Chinese people, so some Chinese knots express people’s various hopes.

The history of Chinese knots takes us back to the prehistoric era. The earliest record of using knotting can be found at the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. People used ropes as a primitive form of belt with knots for more than just fastening, wrapping, hunting and fishing. Knots were also used to record events, and some had purely ornamental functions.


Paper Cutting

Here we will show you how to make a Chinese character by cutting it out of paper.

Paper cutting is also one of the traditional handcraft art in China. It is formed from six hundred CE in Tang dynasty in China. When the paper became more affordable in the past, it became a popular art form. It can create different pictures, such as character, animals, and patterns. The paper cutting usually uses to decorate the home and other structures. It also usually uses to the Chinese wedding and spring festival as the decoration too.

Process to cut a Chinese character of “Chun”;

First, fold the square paper in half.

Second, draw a half character of “Chun”.

Third, start to cut along with the lines.

Final, open the paper and finish.