Chinese Painting Course I

Course description

Orchid painting image

The Chinese traditional painting course is developed and delivered by the University of Sydney Confucius Institute, and open to everyone. Chinese painting is an ancient oriental art that captures the world in deceptively simple strokes, yet manifests its complexity in mesmerizing beauty. Through subtle use of ink and water in different gradations: wet, dry, light, dark, burned, etc., it strives to reflect the essence of nature, human beings, and their relations in a pure and harmonious fashion. Our course is designed to lead students into the world of traditional Chinese painting through simple, gradual, and fascinating steps. Students will learn how to handle the Chinese painting brush, execute brush strokes correctly and artistically, control of ink flow, and load the brush correctly with five shades of ink. Students will also be introduced to famous painters and their works, and will have the opportunity to learn some Chinese terminology. On the basis of brush control, foundation training in any Chinese literati painting, students will learn basic skills in drawing various landscapes, such as rocks, trees, flowers, and animals. The teacher will provide students with personalised instructions customised to skill levels and interests.

Our teacher Franz Cheung has been practising Chinese painting and calligraphy for many years. Since 2007 Franz has held four solo exhibitions in Sydney, and numerous group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Franz is currently the president of the Australian Oriental Calligraphy Society. His artwork is showcased in an Australian landscape photo album, ‘Tranquil Waters’, which he co-authored with Ian Carlson, and published in 2005. He was also featured in a short film entitled ‘4 Immeasurable’, produced by filmmaker Keith Johnson in 2009.

Franz is also a lecturer in Chinese art history at Macquarie University and regularly conducts workshops for the Art Gallery of NSW.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction of the fundamentals of Chinese painting, its basic style, technique, and tools.
  • The relation between Chinese painting and calligraphy, and Chinese brush control through basic skills of calligraphy.
  • Chinese landscape painting from basic rock formation to small group combination.
  • Different styles of rock formation.
  • Basic tree depiction from branches, main stems to foliage.
  • 3 major trees in landscape painting: pine, willow, bamboo.
  • Orchid painting with inscriptions and seals.
  • Animal paintings with zodiac symbols such as the dragon, horse, rabbit and monkey.

Course Details

Dates:  14 July 2015 (8 consecutive weeks)
Time:  18.30pm-20.30pm
Location:  Education Graphics Room 625/626, Camperdown Campus
Fee:  $260
Registration:  Click here

Location and Map

Education Building (A35):


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Course information

Prerequisites: This course is for anyone who is interested in Chinese painting; no previous knowledge is required to participate. Students who have previously studied Chinese painting are also encouraged to join as the teacher will provide students with personalised instructions customised to skill levels and interests.

Materials: Chinese painting uses several tools. The main tools are brush, ink, rice paper and water; support tools include a paint tray, brush washer, painting felt, paperweight, seal, inkpad, and so on. Students can buy materials at recommended suppliers following consultation with the teacher.

Certificate: Evaluation is provided at the end of course. Certificates are awarded to those students who have satisfactorily completed at least 70% of the course and achieved the course requirements.

Further Information:

  • We aim to have a maximum number of 15 students in all our classes. If we exceed 15 students, we will try to split classes (depending on availability of teachers and facilities).
  • All classes need a minimum number of students to go ahead. If your chosen course does not have sufficient enrolment, it may be postponed to next term or cancelled. Should this happen, we will inform you as soon as possible.
  • For legal reasons, we reserve the right to vary courses due to unforeseen circumstances.

If you have additional enquiries about this course, please contact our Chinese Program coordinator for specific advice.