Chinese Painting Course: Orchids

Course description

Orchid painting image

The traditional Chinese painting style that is taught in this course is the expressive ink wash technique known as Xieyi. This iconic style is commonly referred to as ‘literati painting’ and differs from the highly detailed fine brush technique of the Gongbi style. It is created using a brush dipped in ink and water, compounds, and is painted on rice paper (Xuan paper).

This course is designed to make students familiar with Chinese painting and allows them to practice drawing and colouring. Students will learn how to handle the Chinese painting brush, execute brush strokes correctly and artistically, control the 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.

This course includes an overview of traditional Chinese painting styles and a practical introduction to Chinese painting implements. Furthermore, students will be introduced to Orchid flower painting, which is a major branch in Classical Chinese Painting. Orchid painting carries a highly admired moral allegory, and it is still a very popular theme in the art repertoires amongst all intellect painters nowadays. Our teacher Franz Cheung will emphasize the significance of brush control through calligraphy practice, the foundation training in any Chinese literati painting.

Franz Cheung has been practicing Chinese painting and calligraphy for many years. Since 2007 Franz has had 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 has appeared 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 New South Wales.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction and 4 treasures of the art studio
  • Basic strokes rendering in Chinese calligraphy
  • Calligraphy in Chinese painting
  • Orchid leaves and petals
  • Orchid leaves and their combination in groups
  • General faulty defects to be avoided
  • A full composition with flowers & leaves together
  • Finishing a small orchid painting with inscriptions and seals

Course Details

Dates:  24 March 2015 – 19 May 2015 (Every Tuesday for 8 consecutive weeks)
Time:  6.30pm-8.30pm
Location:  Education Graphics Room 625/626, Camperdown Campus
Fee:  $260

Registration now open, click here to enrol.

Location and Map

Education Building (A35):

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Course information

Prerequisites: This course is for anyone who is interested in Chinese painting.

Materials: Chinese painting uses several tools. The main tools are brush, ink, rice paper and water; the support tools are 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 any queries about this outline or any aspect of the Traditional Chinese Painting Class, please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 9114 0760. or email