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Monday, February 1st 2010

2:53 PM

Experimenting with Chinese-style illustration

When I was living in Beijing, I sent my daughter four books of ancient Chinese stories, including "Moonlight Pavilion", "The Peach Blossom Fan", and a couple of others--she never did read these, though they have English on one side and Chinese on the other, and gave them back to me in November. These contain small black and white illustrations in a distinct linear style that I always loved. One of my best points in drawing is a certain strength (and sometimes purity) of line, and I always find it easier to whip up a quick line drawing than do a soft sketch. I was looking up images during Christmas to paint on the scented-candles-in-a-jar which I gave to some folks as gifts, and ended up grabbing a couple of those Chinese books into the studio. One of them, "The Moonlight Pavilion" contained a line drawing of the two main male characters: Tuoman Xingfu (on the left) and Jiang Shilong (right). Something just struck me about the clean lines and quick impression and so I stopped my painting for a bit to quickly sketch out the picture. The result is what you see here. I may put up a couple more later, because I really enjoyed doing this one! Your opinions are welcome!

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