The "B" page in our art resource for the year, M is for Masterpiece, considers what the term BRUSH means to the artist, and in particular, its use in the Chinese scroll paintings typical the Song dynasty. Below you'll find our thoughts and ideas on how to learn more about the art and artists mentioned, to appreciate their works, and to create some art of your own. We suggest you create narrations from your learning to add to your Book of Centuries.
Learn about the art:
Visit an online art store like Dick Blick or Mister Art and browse the paintbrush selection. Which types of brushes are most expensive, which are less expensive? What kinds of fibers are the brushes made from? What kinds of handles do they have? What makes one brush higher quality than another? Compare what you find there with these Chinese Art Supplies. What is different? What is the same?
Learn about the eight kinds of brush stroke used in Chinese calligraphy.
Stories about Paint Brushes to share:
Learn about the Artists:
Admire the Art:
Wikipedia article with a Great selection of images (The below on the left was found there.)
Chinese Scroll Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Source for the Han Gan Horse picture in this post.
Source for the Song Dynasty picture in the intro of this post.
Imitate the Art:
Experiment with brushes:
A very simple activity to do at home exploring different brushes is to gather different materials from around the house and use them as brushes. Use cotton balls and q-tips, gather a handful of grass or leaves, a bit of fabric, a sponge, crumpled paper or plastic wrap, brushes used for painting walls, rollers, even apple and potato stamps. Use whatever paints you have. Let the children explore all the different textures these "brushes" can give them and encourage them to create a work of art that reflects the results.
Learn a Chinese character and try to paint it. Or paint your name in the English alphabet using Chinese style brush strokes.
Picture books for learning Chinese characters: