Chinese Painting Brush

  1. Chinese Painting Brush Strokes
  2. Chinese Painting Brush Strokes The Tao

When executed with masterful technique, a single ink brushstroke is capable of conveying vitality, delicacy, and contemplation—the essence of Chinese philosophy and spirit. It is this “life force” or qi (pronounced chee) that the artist aspires to capture and express through brushpainting. Unlike European-trained artists, those trained in traditional Chinese brushpainting techniques do not try to create a realistic rendering of the external appearance of a subject, but instead seek to capture its inner spirit. Only after intently observing the subject matter in its natural state does the painter return to the studio to paint. The essence of the subject is retained in the artist’s imagination, and it is this image that is painted in a moment of spontaneous inspiration.

Producing certain Chinese brush art or calligraphy paintings requires the use of large art brushes like the ones listed here. Chinese artists always own a very large variety of sizes so the have the right art brush for each stroke they need to produce. Chinese Brush Painting is the art of using simple and effortless brush strokes to depict the essence of a figure or scene, an ancient art that continues to fascinate contemporary artists. A distinguishing feature of Chinese Brush Painting is that each brushstroke is a defining move that is not changed or corrected.

Traditional Chinese artists use a special black ink (mo) that is said to contain “infinite gradations of color.” This ink is made from a mixture of burnt pine soot and glue that is molded into an inkstick.

How do brushpainting masters create such an array of vibrant brushstrokes and ink washes? They begin by intently studying the techniques, elements, and principles of traditional brush and ink painting (bi mo hua). Experience for yourself the art of brush-and-ink painting. Begin by learning how to hold the brush (see images above). Once you feel comfortable, experiment by applying varying degrees of pressure, speed, and moisture. Finally, create your own brushpainting masterpiece.

A return to in-studio classes this summer and fall

BrushBest chinese painting brushes

Summer and Fall registration begins May 14, 2021

Complete brochure will be posted on May 1, 2021

Introducing the Gold Leaf collection

click here or on image to view the new Gold Leaf collection

Here is my latest painting on gold leaf:

dreams of six grandfathers (Tunkasila Sakpe Paha)


media: Acrylic and Chinese watercolor on gold leaf

price: $5000.


clouds arising aimlessly above the peaks


Long before four of the largest faces on Earth were dynamited into the granite edifice of what is now known as Mount Rushmore, the Lakota Sioux saw a different set of portraits. The Lakota saw a line of wise protective figures on the domed granite skyline of the sacred mountain they called the Six Grandfathers.

Chinese Painting Brush Strokes

The site was officially renamed after wealthy New York investor Charles Rushmore only in 1930, years after its famous construction project began, but Tunkasila Sakpe Paha had been an integral part of Lakota identity for generations.

Before it was called Six Grandfathers Mountain (Tunkasila Sakpe Paha), it was called Cougar Mountain (Igmu Tanka Paha) because of many cougars or mountain lions living in the vicinity. Then around the early part of 1870, an experience by Nicolas Black Elk, a Lakota medicine man, changed the name to Six Grandfathers because of the six outcrops of the mountain and a dream or a vision he experienced there.

The vision was of the six sacred directions: west, east, north, south, above, and below. The directions were said to represent kindness and love, full of years and wisdom, like human grandfathers.

Chinese Painting Brush Strokes The Tao

the art of hope / the hope of art

Brush painter Bob Schmitt tells the story of the practice
of the art of hope and the hope of art
in this time of pandemic and social unraveling.

now available in video and book form

Bob Schmitt, brush painter and teacher, has been using ink and brush in the manner of Asian brush painters for over 50 years. He has trained professionally since 1998 in the study and practice of traditional Chinese landscape painting and calligraphy with Hong Zhang, a Chinese painting master from Shanghai who resides in Minneapolis. He also has studied with Chinese painting masters, Lok Tok and Yitong Lok of Toronto, Canada since 1995. Bob lives and works in his studio/home Laughing Waters Studio, a stone’s throw from Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.

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