What you’ll learn

  • Learn to paint bamboo, one of the Four Gentleman Plants, in the freehand (xieyi) brush painting style
  • Learn to paint sparrow, a very useful bird, in the freehand (xieyi) brush painting style
  • Learn about the painting theory of both bamboo and sparrows
  • Understand the cultural relevance of bamboo


Course Overview & Objective

This course covers one of the Four Gentleman Plants, the bamboo painting. These plants, plum blossoms, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum flowers are symbolic cultural icons of the eastern world, and the bamboo especially holds a special place in people’s heart. In the ancient paintings bamboo is even listed as one complete painting subject, demonstrating how essential they are.

In our course we will also discuss the cultural relevance of the bamboo, and in addition we will cover the painting of sparrows, a rather useful small bird, to accompany the bamboo in a complete composition. There will be a brief theoretical breakdown of both sparrow and bamboo in painting and then we will dive right into the world of brush painting.

By the end of this course, you will have two complete paintings that involve these two very important subjects.


The painting of bamboo and sparrow will require rather simple art supplies, namely

  • Brushes (large, medium and small)
  • Xuan rice paper (raw type or half raw)
  • Ink
  • A few colors, mainly brown

Bamboo painting is an elegant endeavour, and I would love to invite you to join us on the quest for such beauty in the world. Brush painting, especially the play with ink in the freehand style serves as a fantastic stress release. Take some time to treat yourself to some tranquility and mindfulness.

Look forward to seeing you in class!

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