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Chinese brush painting cuts to the core of its subject, revealing its essence in a few, or sometimes even a single, definitive stroke. A brief history of this timeless art, which involves the graphic depiction of the universe's harmony rather than realistic representation, begins the volume, and an orientation to landscape, birds, and flowers helps ground the reader before progressing to the practical concerns of brushes, inks, and paper (a Chinese invention). Following well-illustrated examples of brush uses and strokes, this survey analyzes the relationship between calligraphy and Chinese brush painting before summarizing techniques for rendering vegetation, animals, the human figure, portraits, and landscapes, the latter constituting the tradition's most frequent subject matter. Discussion of tools and supplies and step-by-step instructions with numerous full-color illustrations make this a valuable resource for painters of all levels. Whitney Scott
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