Watch Extremely Precise Hands Create a Delicate Chinese Silk Painting

This short video by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, not only shows us how masterpieces of Chinese silk painting were typically made, but also presents the immense level of artistry needed. And the video’s gentle flute music soothes the mind. This is my first time seeing how silk needs to be treated in preparation for this type of painting. We probably won’t master all the skills needed to create such a work of art through watching this 6-minute video, but at least we can witness the intricate painting style and beauty of Gongbi traditional Chinese painting. Research by Helen J. 

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The artist uses fine lines to outline the figure of a woman. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

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Once a layer of paint was applied to both sides of the silk, and dried, the artist started adding layers of color to the figure. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

Gongbi-painting

Here’s how the paint pigments are prepared. The brushes are called “white clouds.” (Screenshot/Vimeo)

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Light pigment is applied layer by layer, until the desired tint is reached. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

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Enlarged details of the painting. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

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Completed figure. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

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