Friday, February 1, 2008

Chinese Brush: Work Area

I finally got all the stuff needed to paint at home (even if a lot of it is whatever I had on hand), so I thought I'd give you a quick look at what's involved.

note: I crowded everything in so I could fit it all in the pictures, but you probably want to spread out a little and leave some blank space around your paper so you're not knocking your brush into other things while you're trying to paint.

also note: I'm left handed, so odds are, your setup will have all the brushes and ink on the other side of the paper.

Here's a little more detail:

  • Bamboo Brush Wrap:happened to be there so I labeled it... really, it's just taking up table space.
  • Roll of Paper: always good. Note, to get off some nice sections to paint on, fold the paper, make a crease, then run a wet brush down the fold, and then rip it. Try to keep the wet area as skinny as possible (she how jagged my paper is on the right side? I used too much water.)
  • Clean Water: try to keep one of your rinse containers clean. This is the water I was using to tear the paper. I'm using a pasta jar.
  • Dirty Water: as in, rinse water. I'm using a coffee can, but I'm not sure if it will rust or not, so I'll probably switch to another jar.
  • Light & Dark Gray: I'm using single serving yogurt containers.
  • Ink: it's empty in the picture, but that's where it would be.
  • Brush Rest: there are fancy brush rests, but I'm just using the lid to the coffee can. Basically, the tips are wet and it's nice to keep them off the table a little.
  • Shape Tip: I just wanted to point out that there is a spot on the lid where I've been shaping the tip when it's loaded with ink. You could also use another container or something, but basically, you want an alternative to the dabbing cloth. The cloth will suck ink out of the brush and make it dry as you're shaping the tip, the plastic lid won't.
  • Dab Cloth: I found a fat stack of washcloths on sale for $2, so I grabbed them.
  • Weights: these serve two purposes: keep the rolled up paper flat and keep the paper still so it doesn't move while you're in the middle of making a stroke. I grabbed whatever was at arm's length, which happened to be tea candles and some heavier tea candle holders (in class we literally just use some flat rocks.)
  • Felt: the table is covered with some felt cloth. It's cheap (paid $1 or $2 a yard) and works well.
  • Drying: just a reminder, things need somewhere to dry. I let them dry there on the felt for a while before stacking them up or whatever.
  • Not Pictured:
    • an eye dropper: if you want to put any ink back in the bottle and your containers aren't as easy to deal with as my yogurt containers.
    • a masterpiece: look at that terrible bamboo! yuck! :) Yours will be better.

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