加精 朱晏墨烟云画法视频及图文解析


Capture the Ch'i and Structure with fast brushstrokes,

Look for Rhythm and Nuances with slow brushstrokes



- An analyses of Zhu Yanmo's Painting Style

Henry Li


Last year(2011) when Mr Zhu Yanmo held a solo exhibition at Mt Wudang and online. It was very regrettable that I was unable to participate because I was too busy teaching a summer class on Chinese brush painting in the USA. Now I have had chance to browse through Mr Zhu's exhibition archives and read all the comments and critiques. It is really a feast to the eyes but also a lot of feelings.



Since joining ZGHLT in 2007 I have witnessed the growing process of master Zhu Yanmo both artistically and mentally through his paintings. His self taught method began by generously sharing his artworks online and learning from critiques and comments from other people with a humble attitude, while maintaining his unique style with a strong personality. His artistic achievement today results from his personal cultivation over the years. I have great respect to my teacher Zhu Yanmo when he opened a forum and taught all his experiences and techniques to his students without any reservation. He is a generous teacher which is hard to find these days. Here I would like to share with you what I have learned from him and my understanding of his paintings.

黄山雨后更迷离 Mount Huang after the rain 朱晏墨Zhu Yanmo 68X68cm 纸本Chinese art paper 2014


Firstly,  I was born in Nanjing, here I studied Chinese landscape painting.  A few years previously Master Fu Baoshi had pasted away in Nanjing,  however I was fortunate enough to study under several of his associate artists. Professor Huang Chunyao, was Professor Fu's TA (teaching assistant) in art history and my first landscape teacher. I also learned from many other local artists including Ya Ming and Sun Wenzhi, both are masters of the Nanjing school of landscape painting founded by Fu Baoshi. So I am very familiar with the  the Fu Baoshi style landscape painting.

Zhu Yanmo's painting is often considered to be a  follower of Fu Baoshi style, who was the founder of the Nanjing School landscape painting. In my view, although Mr Zhu Yanmo's landscape painting is strongly influenced by Fu Baoshi, his style has significant differences from Fu Baoshi and the other Nanjing school landscape painters. It is this difference that refreshed my interest in Fu Baoshi style painting.

千山云起Climbing cloud of Qianshan mountains 朱晏墨Zhu Yanmo 50cmX50cm 纸本Chinese art paper 2015


The differences between Fu Baoshi and Mr Zhu begin with their painting methods. Fu Baoshi heavily rely on wet wash, multiple ink and color washes on absorbent mulberry or rice paper, but Zhu Yanmo never does wet washing. The running ink and water effect that we see in his paintings are generated by "broken-ink" or "water wash before ink dry" methods on Yuanshu bamboo paper or dragon-cloud mulberry paper. The characteristics of these semi-sized papers allows the ink and water to smear slowly. Mr Zhu applies split brush, loaded with different tones of ink, to let ink and water interact with each other on the paper, so to produce the illusory and ethereal misty effects. Mr Zhu's direct painting method is less clearly defined than in the proceeding, so his clouds and mists often appear withi
n the strokes of trees and rocks in the foregrounds, so real as if the viewer could grab them but they are also shapeless. His painting has reached the state where solid and void, or being and non-being create each other.

临渊探幽 An orchid in the valley 朱晏墨Zhu Yanmo 63X33cm 纸本Chinese art paper 2016


Fu Baoshi had a very different plein air painting habit from many other painters. Fu Baoshi would just look but not paint, or just draw a few lines, only briefly sketch to help him remember. The beautiful mountains and rivers that he had traveled and visited are all printed in his mind. His work was usually "created in the evening from sketch in the morning".  Zhu Yanmo draws heavily upon outdoor sketching, in search of inspiration from numerous mountains. His sketch is creation, a reflection of  nature.  In his later years Fu Baoshi created his landscape paintings ba-x-sed on his life sketching experience. They are the perfect combination of realism and romanticism, reflecting the spirit of his times. Zhu Yanmo's paintings are drawn directly from the real natural phenomena, this is his teacher. The resulting creations demonstrate the resonance between his heart and nature "clearing his mind to realize the Tao".

顺水顺风Sail with the water, fly with the wind 朱晏墨Zhu Yanmo 90X60cm 纸本Chinese art paper 2015


Painting reflects the artists personality. Fu Baoshi belongs to the uninhibited literati artist. Fu is known as a drunk painter. He would not paint without alcohol and he even had a mood seal saying "often after drunk". That was probably why he would not paint in front of public. Fu Baoshi's style is kind of wanton and unrestrained, which has a great impact on people's heart. Mr. Zhu Yanmo is a young artist who is committed to the ways of Buddhism, takes Chinese painting and calligraphy art as a practice of the Dharma, does not drink at all!  He can paint in a noisy market while maintaining inner peace like still water. Although, it seems Zhu does his paintings in a free-style with powerful strokes, his end painting tends to be tranquil and a quiet, peaceful kind of style.

壮游长江 Grand tour 朱晏墨Zhu Yanmo 50cmX50cm 纸本Chinese art paper 2015



Mr Zhu's painting process is composed of "Capture the Ch'i and Structure with fast brushstrokes, look for Rhythm and Nuances with slow brushstrokes" two phases. That is, first opening a painting with bold strokes, and then harmonize it. In the starting phase, he paints very fast, because only with certain speed-painting one can catch the momentum of ten thousand things; in the ending phase, his brush speed slows down, because only in slow painting one can understand the charm or savor the flavor of the imagery. The ultimate goal of painting reflects one's accomplishment of life cultivation. Mr Zhu Yanmo says that to the purpose of landscape painting is "to learn techniques that follow the laws of nature, and create artworks that express the spiritual realm of humanity". Having learned with Mr Zhu Yanmo for a period of time myself, I come to realize more deeply now that learning Chinese painting has to do with both inner and outer trainings: On the one hand we learn from our teacher certain painting methods that conform to the laws of nature; on the other, we need to cultivate our own spiritual realm deep in the heart.

Thank to all Mr Zhu's help over the years and I will continue to strive to explore the mist and cloud landscape painting, to spread the Chinese cultural essence around the world.

Thank to all Mr Zhu's help over the years and I will continue to strive to explore the mist and cloud landscape painting, to spread the Chinese cultural essence around the world.



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