Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
Professor: BiLan Liao
- To provide a basic general Chinese art methods and materials.
- To provide a basic general working knowledge of Baimiao (Chinese Drawing).
- To provide a basic general working knowledge of Chinese Gongbi ("hard work" or "detail")
- To provide a basic general working knowledge of Chinese Xieyi ("ideal write") painting.
- To provide a basic general working knowledge of Chinese calligraphy, seal and mounting.
- To provide practice in mixing and manipulating ink and color to develop a control that will
enhance practical applications.
- To provide practice in manipulating compositional components in order to develop
Chinese painting and calligraphy skills.
- To develop discipline and technique in order to acquire a professional standard of
craftsmanship and presentation.
- Some information on Chinese art history and culture will be made available while learning the
fundamentals of Chinese painting and calligraphy. The primary goal of this course is to give
students an insight into Chinese art.
Seven practices in class, six assignments, a statement and one presentation for a total of 600 points
possible. Specific details regarding the projects will be explained in handouts distributed in class, and see the
schedule for more specific information regarding the course content.
"A" range work must meet or exceed the following criteria:
1) Meets or exceeds all specifications and deadlines for the assignment.
2) Is neatly and professionally presented.
3) Shows complete understanding of the assignment and evidence of an extra degree of difficulty attempted.
4) Expresses creative ideas when applicable.
"B" range work would fall between the criteria for "A" and "C" range work.
"C" range work must meet or exceed the following criteria:
1) Work adequately meets the criteria for the assignment.
2) Student shows some evidence of progress.
("B" range work would fall between the criteria for "A" and "C" range work. )
"D" range work falls below the criteria for "C" range work.
"F" range work would be work exhibiting very little effort on the assignment, i.e. very sloppy work, very late work,
or work very far from meeting the criteria for the assignment.
All work will be graded against the above standards. Constant improvement with each assignment will be
expected, and failure to show improvement will result in increasingly lower grades. The amount of effort put into
an assignment and class participation will also be taken into consideration. Also, late work and absenteeism are
likely to have an adverse effect on the your grades.
Late Work and Absenteeism
Assignments are expected to be worked on in class so that each student will be able to take advantage not only
of the instruction provided, but also of comments from other students, as well as observations of their individual
methods of working. Students are also expected to spend at least 9 hours per week outside of class working on
Certain days throughout the semester will be designated "Missed check off" days at which time it will be required
that certain progress on assignments be completed. These check off days will be recorded as the daily log of
student work habits. Missed check off days can affect the grade on a project. Overall performance on check off
days will be considered when determining final grades. Final grade point averages that fall between two grades
will be bumped up or down based partially on check off day performance.
All assignments will be expected to be turned in on time. "On time" means by the time noted on your handouts
or ready for critique according to the instructor`s "Schedule. " Changes to the assignment Schedule or handouts
will be submitted to students in class from the instructor in writing. So, again, attendance is very important.
Any assignment not turned in on the day it is due will receive a grade one letter grade lower than the grade the
assignment would have received had it been turned in on time. For each day that an assignment or a project is
later. you will lose 10 percent of your grad. Few exceptions will be made for illness. Obviously, there may be a
point where the student will need to weigh the cost of turning a project in late as opposed to turning in an
unfinished project, and I will be glad to advise a student in that position as to which course of action to take.
Absenteeism and tardiness will directly affect the quality of a student`s work.
No Unexcused Absences Allowed
1) Tardiness and Early Departures:
Tardiness and early departures will result in the loss of 5 points out of the 600 points possible for each
2) Unexcused Absences:
Unexcused absences will result in the loss of 15 points out of the 600 possible points for each occurrence.
But if you have had eight unexcused absences from class, you will receive an "F" for the course.
3) Excused Absences:
Students who are ill or have a family emergency must bring adequate official documentation (i.e. signed
physician`s statement) upon their return attesting to the reason for their absence. Under certain unavoidable
circumstances, a student may arrange in advance to be absent, but will be required to complete that day`s
work prior to his/her return. If the work is not complete, that absence will become unexcused.
Moving and car problems are not considered excusable absences. It is much better to be late because of car
problems than not to come at all.
Remember: School is Your job
Absenteeism, tardiness, and failure to do your work will get you fired in the workplace. It will get you an "F" in
school. If you have had eight unexcused absences from class, you will receive an "F" for the course.
Because one of the primary purposes of the Color and Design Theory course is the development of individual
visual perception, physical collaboration on projects will not be allowed. Students are allowed and encouraged to
discuss ideas and evaluate each other`s work. If, however, students are found to have physically contributed to
each other`s work, they will, at minimum, receive an "F" on that assignment and may be asked to show reason
why they should not receive an "F" for the course.
Students needing accommodations because of disability will need to register with the Adaptive Educational
Services and complete the appropriate forms issued by that office before accommodations can be given.
Adaptive Educational Services is located in CA 001E. The telephone number is 274-3241.
In times of hazardous weather, this class will not meet if IUPUI has canceled classes. If dangerous conditions
develop during the day, notice of cancellation will be posted on the Oncouse. Students must use their best
judgment when looking at driving conditions. If driving conditions are hazardous, do not drive. These are
declared "Work at Home" days.
To get credit for attendance on snow days, students will be required to return with reasonable progress made on
the current assignment. These are automatic "check off" days.
Academic Honesty Policy
All work submitted for course credit must be executed specifically for this course. A student must not submit
substantial portions of the same academic work for credit or honors more than once without permission of the
instructor to whom the work is being submitted. Doing so will result in a Failing grade for the course.
To submit previously executed work with the intention of receiving course credit will be considered to be a form
of academic dishonesty. Please read the IUPUI Student Code of Conduct on the IUPUI website at www.iupui.edu.
The Materials List is at the end of this syllabus and on the Chinese Art website for the art supplies needed for
this course .
Chinese Calligraphy and Chinese Painting Materials List
One brush with wolf hair (number five) - This is the smallest brush. It is basically used for linear work, including
details and sensitive lines.
One brush with wolf hair (number three) - This is a small brush. It is basically used for linear work, including
details and sensitive lines.
One brush with wolf hair (middle size) - This brush is versatile and a resilient brush. It is for linear work, and
One Brush with wolf hair (large size) - This brush is versatile and a resilient brush. It is for linear work, and
One brush with goat hair (large size) - This brush is usually used in the slant position for tonality.
One brush with goat hair (small size) - This brush is used in the gongbi painting.
One brush with goat hair (middle size) - This brush is used in the gongbi painting.
One flat brush with goat hair (1 1/2" wide) - This brush is used for background washes.
One flat brush with goat hair (four or more inches) - This brush is used for mounting Chinese art.
Ink and Ink Stone
Inexpensive ink is used for practicing Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting.
Good ink is used for Chinese calligraphy and Chinese Painting.
A brush rest is used to prop up wet brushes when they are not in immediate use. You can try designing and
making your own.
For Calligraphy and Xieyi Painting:
Japanese Kitakata (Natural) Paper, Japanese Hosho Student Grade Paper, or Japanese Okawara Student
For Gongbi Painting:
Japanese Okawara Machine Made Paper or Mulberry Paper.
Newsprint paper - Newsprint paper is a very good practice paper; you will use lots of it.
Pigments (Chinese or Japanese)
Chinese or Japanese pigments
9" x 12"
Porcelain Bowls and Plates
You will need a simple but aesthetic porcelain bowl for holding the water as well as for washing your brushes.
Use several small shallow porcelain dishes for mixing shades of gray. Porcelain containers are preferable to
plastic ones because of their smooth and solid quality and the way they feel against the brush. The edge serves
well for proper loading and shaping of the brush.
4H, HB, 2B Pencils (one each)
12" (or longer) metal ruler
Chinese Painting and Calligraphy DiangZhi
The DiangZhi (in Pinyin pronounced "Diang4Zhi1") is a soft, smooth, and thick pad which is placed on the table
used for Chinese Xieyi painting and calligraphy. 30" x 24" is a good size for most Chinese painting and
You can cut your own. There are a variety of materials which are suitable for making your DiangZhi. The best
that I have ever found was an old US Army blanket. I believe it is made of wool. It was made in a suitable size, so
I didn't need to cut it at all.
The above materials may be purchased at Dolphin Papers.