Chinese Watercolor Art

Find out how the Chinese adopted watercolor art from Europe and made it into a highly specialized genre of their own.

Water color art actually originated in Europe. The Chinese only adopted this medium of artistic expression around a century ago. The Chinese were quite familiar with the use of the brush as they were expert calligraphers that worked with brush and ink. Although Chinese watercolor art makes use of the same tools as traditional Chinese brush art there are obvious differences in the techniques and concepts featured in Chinese watercolor art.

It didn’t take long for watercolor art to become popular in China. With the mastery of the Chinese over the brush they were able to create awe inspiring works of art that managed to impress the local public. Today after more than a hundred years of experimenting with watercolor art it has become one of the most popular mediums of artistic expressions.

Over the years Chinese watercolor art has undergone many modifications and the country has produced many great artists that have worked wonders in the mediums. Recent years have seen Chinese watercolor art experience a boom on a global scale. The collection of Chinese watercolor paintings cover a diverse range of subject matters that have deep metaphorical meanings as is characteristic of traditional Chinese art.

Today Chinese watercolor art is being exhibited through out the world. The subject matter of contemporary Chinese water color art revolves around the revolutionized society of China. The modern day watercolor artists have come up with breakthrough techniques and out of the box concepts to take this form of art to its zenith.

Initially the Chinese artists focused on realistic expression of their subject matter. This approach produced some fantastic paintings that displayed intricate detailing and an intelligent use of color. Later on the Chinese experimented by adopting different techniques such as abstraction and exaggeration and other new techniques such as transfiguration and decoration.

As such Chinese water color painting can be considered as being a fusion of Chinese art traditions with that of the west. The boundaries that once existed between the art traditions of these two distinct cultures have merged with the popularity of Chinese watercolor art.

The modern day Chinese watercolor artists draw upon their traditional heritage for inspiration of subject matters. There has however been a slight transition towards a more three dimensional depiction of the subject matter which is an obvious western influence since the traditional Chinese way has always been to depict the subject matter in a two dimensional perspective.

The overriding feeling that one gets from Chinese watercolor arts is romantic. The paintings have a serene and calm feel to them which makes them distinct from Western watercolor paintings. Today watercolor is studied as a formal discipline and China and the majority of modern day Chinese watercolor artists are highly qualified professionals that have received proper training. It takes more than a decade to master the art which is why the artists who have gone through the intensive training process are highly valued around the world.

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Verena says:

I’d love to learn more about the Chinese watercolour tradition in China. Is there some sort of course set up suitable for English speaking foreigners, who are serios watercolour painters, to learn watercolour painting in China beside a professional a professional watercolourists? Or a full time artist interested in a kind of cultural exchange? I’m also an English teacher so pre int to intermediate English would be sufficient on the part of the instructor and I could help them with English.

Is there a Chinese watercolour society who could help me source a teacher for an I tensile course?

Cheers
Verena