Every Family Colours,
Every Household Paints
It’s difficult to depict the hands of a lady,
as hands are represented by the heart and mouth,
if one wishes to portray a look, expressions will naturally show.
In Qingyi’s hands lies her heart,
Wudan’s hardships come and go like the wind,
through the door, Huadan waves her waist scarf.
Chic and distinguished, carrying himself with such grace,
with a tilt of his head and a change of expression, standing like a fool.
翠华宫 Cui Hua Palace
Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 33 x 59 cm
The feet represent the stance of a military general,
standing in a T-shape,
both arms must be open,
as if pulling the string of a bow.
还二锏, 镇潭州 Huan Er Jian, Conquering Tan Zhou
Guangxu Period - Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 60 x 35.5 cm each
Shrinking his head and shrugging his shoulders,
with a tiny waist and raised arms,
one leg raised and bent,
in a seated posture like a swaying willow.
十字坡 Shi Zi Hillside
Jiaqing Period - Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 34 x 56 cm
A general raises his hand over his helmet,
a civil servant nips his beard with palm showing,
Xiaosheng never keeps still,
a beauty touches her hair with a side glance.
一风（捧）雪 A Handful of Snow
Guangxu Period - Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 38 x 58 cm
COLOURS OF THE MOUNT
Civil servants, young male generals, marshals or female generals ride white horses;
Grand generals ride stallions;
Valiant generals ride pinto, black beauty and chestnut-coloured horses;
Foreign generals ride bluish green, gray or dun horses;
Vice generals ride spotted pinto horses.
赵子龙单骑救主 Zhao Zilong Saves His Master
Late Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 58 x 104 cm
SONG OF A PERFECT SETTING
Select a theme before painting, a suitable setting of either spring, summer, autumn or winter,
with tales from various schools of thought, the painting will be special if properly combined.
Lush flowers of spring, bright white moon of autumn,
less bridges during winter, more pavilions during summer.
黄州乐游 Huangzhou Tour
Tongzhi Period - Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 32 x 61 cm
PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTY
Portrait of a beauty
Perfectly shaped nose, melon-shaped face, small cherry-like mouth, grasshopper-like eyes,
walking with slow steps, no rough hands, and mouth covered if laughing.
(Note: The meaning of grasshopper-like eyes refers to dreamy eyes. When painting, the lines on the upper eyelids should be dark, with eyeballs slightly lighter and outer circumferences outlined with deep ink lines.)
Portrait of a noble lady
Happy and comfortable with eyes looking straight, calm with eyebrows relaxed.
With collected body movements, sitting like an upright mountain.
弹琵琶仕女 Lady Playing a Pipa
Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 63 x 58 cm
PORTRAIT OF A CHILD
Short arms short legs and a big head,
small nose and big eyes with no neck;
nose and eyebrows close together,
be careful not to show the bones.
The theme of the child rarely carries a narrative with no distinction between right and wrong, good and evil. Hence, the process of creating is easier as the content is composed mostly of homophones or symbolism of the artifacts held by the child, which conveys the important auspicious meaning as well as propitious rhymed verses present in New Year paintings.
吉庆有余 Joyous Celebration of Abundance
Xianfeng Period - Qing Dynasty, Woodblock print (brush-painted), 33 x 58 cm