There are two techniques of Chinese painting. The first is Gong-bi meaning “meticulous” which uses highly detailed brush strokes. It is often colored and depicts narrative subjects. Bird and flower paintings of traditional Asian artwere often in this style. The second technique is ink and wash painting. It is called Shui-mo and loosely means watercolor or brush painting and is also known as “literati painting” as it was one of the “Four Arts” of the Chinese scholar-official class. It was practiced by gentlemen.
Artists from the Han to the Tang dynasties mainly painted the human figure. Much of this comes from burial sites. Paintings were preserved on silk banners and tomb walls. These were meant to protect the dead and help get them to paradises. Others showed Confucious or daily life. Some consider landscape to be the highest form of Chinese painting.