工筆 Art Tambay

A few weeks ago, Ivy invited Hannah and I to an Art tambay at Binondo. Since this was the first time that Ivy initiated an art tambay, we agreed right away. In case you’re new to my blog – we usually do our art tambays at public places like cafes or coffee shops where we hang out(tambay) and paint.

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Ivy also mentioned that it was going to be an art tambay slash 工筆 painting workshop. Hannah and I thought it was an art tambay with an option of joining the informal workshop. Another funny thing is that I invited my friend Anj thinking that this was an art tambay. BUT NO HAHAHA. It really was a workshop conducted by one of the attendees’ churchmates. In fact, we three (Hannah, Anj, and me) were the only peeps who weren’t from the same church.

There’s a coin there to prevent the paper from flying awayyyy.

工筆 or “Gong Pi” is a Chinese technique /style of painting that uses highly detailed brushstrokes. It uses the thinnest paper not suitable for the watercolorist me HAHAHA. The first part was to trace the drawing on Shuen/Xuan paper using the smallest mopit brush and ink. Hannah and Ivy were already joking that I wouldn’t listen to the workshop because I hated tracing lines (or I would trace and not follow it eventually).

Thank you to the organizers for the free food. ♥ We had lunch first while waiting for the ink to dry. After drying the ink, you’ll start adding in the colors! I used my Holbein Carmine color for the flowers. There were rules in adding /painting the colors I’m not even sure if I did this right HAHA. They said to put the darkest/solid part of the colors in the center or end of a petal. You’ll then spread the color using another brush with loaded clean water. Uncle said that my watercolor skillz were showing – I don’t know if that’s a bad or good thing though!

Loving the color so far!

For the leaves – they said to put a watery black layer first. In gong pi painting, they don’t use greens! They use what they call “Chinese blue” after layering first the black shadow base. There were rules also in painting this. Something about leaving (heh) whites to imitate the veins.

My final output. ♥

Since I don’t have what they called “Chinese blue”, I used @seamountainco ‘s Philippine Indigo & a bit of Ultramarine. For the yellow stamen, I used a very thick Naples yellow. I also glazed a bit of yellow on some of the leaves to have that green-ish effect.

Close up!

Overall it was a fun & new experience! Painting on the thinnest paper + using watercolor = CHALLENGING! But I liked the challenge. I think 工筆 would help you gauge your skill level in watercolor. You’ll discover if you’re comfortable with your current materials (brush and watercolor) here. Especially the brush, the thin paper is brutal if you don’t know how much water is loaded on your brush. One thing I hated were the rules. There were so much rules I think I broke all of them HAHA. Uncle said my final output was not the traditional 工筆  painting, but its okay!

Uncle said that I should try the opposite of Gong Pi, which is 寫意 or Xieyi painting (freehand brush work style painting). If I can find someone to teach me that style, I’m game for it HAHA.

And that’s it for now HAHAHA. It’s been 2 months since my last blog post. I’m so sorry. The workaholic me is trying her best to update this blog of mine. Huhu. Until next time!