108 Flowers - Book 3

108 Flowers - Book 3

A beautiful painting is a symphony of these integrated movements: the first phase is to begin, to lead forward. The second is to follow, to sustain and reinforce. The third phase is to make adjustments and to change. Then comes the finale: to sum up and unify all efforts.

In the circle of the four seasons, autumn is the most spectacular. It is time to reach maturity. It is time for the harvest.

In painting, maturity is confidence reaped from practice. Knowledge and skill are now part of our nature. Intuition from the heart takes over. The mind is left clear. Artist and brush "go with the flow." Strokes and colors are integrated instantly and decisively while maintaining their continuity and fluidity. The motions in the air are as vital as the strokes and washes on the paper. The movement of the brush is completed in a simple, dynamic, powerful, and speedy manner. We are throwing ink and colors on paper.

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108 Flowers - Book 3
  • Hollyhock

    Learn how to paint Hollyhock, magnificent sturdy clusters of red reaching ten feet tall! Hollyhock is a tall Eurasian plant with large showy flowers. The plant family that Hollyhock belongs to has a distinctive look, so if you think that you're being reminded of its relative, the hibiscus, you ar...

  • Hyacinth

    Messenger of the wind, wind child, sending a message through the wind...however one puts it, the name of hyacinth is beautiful in Chinese.

    Expecting a good story? I really don't know why the flower has such a poetic name. The flower is dorky. Not tall to begin with, many blossoms choose to bend ...

  • Hydrangea

    In this lesson, Ning demonstrates how to paint the Hydrangea, the floral representative of Youth. He shares the origins of an embroidery ball as the basis for the Chinese name for Hydrangea, as well as images associated with the Chinese tradition for the embroidery ball's use. Ning provides his c...

  • Iris

    For those of you who have followed my work through the years, you may find that I do a flower differently each time. There are very few rules on how to do a flower. By changing the sequence of doing things, one may bring out the spirit of the flower with different attitudes.

    I do many flowers wi...

  • Japanese Iris

    Japanese Irises are magnificent, exquisite and elegant. This flower can bloom in shades of blue, lavender, purple, white, pink and red-violet.

    Japanese Iris features the traditional iris look of upright center petals above [crown] and dangling falling petals below [skirt]. In the Japanese Iris ...

  • Jasmine

    The Jasmine flower featured in this video lesson is commonly called Winter Jasmine. It is native to China and is a late-winter blooming plant. Although jasmine is generally thought of as producing very fragrant aromatic blooms, this particular flower is a tad lacking in this area. It does however...

  • Kapok

    Kapok is a tropical tree found in southern China. It is sometimes known as the "cotton tree" because the stringy fibers of its fruit are used to make clothing. Ning's striking composition, however, focuses on and features the Kapok's beautiful cup-shaped, flaming vermillion-red colored flowers.

  • Lantern Hibiscus

    Lantern Hibiscus is a tropical plant whose brightly colored coral-red hanging flowers are suggestive of Chinese festival lanterns. The hanging flower is both pendulous and delicate. It sports re-curving petals that have exquisitely frilled lobes and long dangling stamens. Ning makes painting this...

  • Lichee

    Lichee is a small, golf ball sized, rounded fruit, whose documented cultivation by the Chinese dates back to 1059. As the fruit matures, its thin, yet roughly textured, skin ripens from green to an enticing pinkish red color. Under this red skin is the prize - an almost translucent white colored ...

  • Lilac

    Lilac is popular. Most Chinese parks have rows of lilac along the walkways. The fragrance is intoxicating. I've tried to keep most of these lessons simple but still include all the features of the subject in a good composition. I want to show the unique nature of each subject and why it is wonder...

  • Lily

    It means a happy union that lasts one hundred years. It is the best wish for couples.

    Lily has an elegant aura, a quality of nobility. White lily has a classical presence. It makes one feel pure.

    I am not pure. I have added warm colors and happy dots to make the flowers more cheerful. These are...

  • Lily of the Nile

    Because of so many blossoms on one stalk, Chinese call this plant "One Hundred Children."

    See the pyramids along the Nile?
    Send me photographs and souvenirs
    Just remember when a dream appears
    You belong to me...

    Romantic. Less chance to have children too.

  • Lily of the Valley

    Some plants are like some people. They are cute no matter what.

    Years ago, we planted this flower in the far corner of our backyard. Since then, its flowers bloom around Christmas time. They are perfect bells without jingles.

  • Loquat

    My son threw a few loquat pits by the corner of our yard when he was in grade school. One grew into a big tree and its offspring spread into our neighbor's yard.

    My new neighbor has a five-year-old girl. She collects the loquats in her yard and sells them in front of her house. "I don't know wh...

  • Lotus

    In the tropical heat of the summer afternoon, the air was dreadfully thick and still (or sultry - the best word I learned from the movie "Throw Mama off the Train"). Every willow leaf dropped its head. Even the tireless cicadas stopped humming.

    A gentle breeze brushed my face. All the flowers in...

  • Magnolia

    Magnolia shares the same shape as the lotus except for its center. I heard this story. A lotus did not like to be in the water. She loved to play with fire. So the Lord decided to throw her up to the tall tree nearby, removed her seedpod, and gave her a torch to hold.

    I arranged this instruction...

  • Manihot Hibiscus

    Manihot hibiscus is also known as sunset hibiscus becuase of its color. It blossoms in autumn. It really should not be confused with yellow hibiscus because the leaves are completely different.

    I have learned not to described the anatomy of each flower too much. There are so many variations. In ...

  • Morning Glory

    Qian Niu is a bright star near the Milky Way.

    In the heavenly kingdom, a young man was entrusted with the care of water buffalos and a young lady was in charge of seamstress duties. The cowboy and the seamstress fell madly in love and ignored their assigned duties. In anger, the heavenly father ...

  • Myrtle

    There is a beautiful myrtle tree in Tao Yuan Park (Yellow Mountain). "It is the Monkey Slippery Tree," the gardener explained. "The trunk is so smooth. It is hard even for monkeys to climb." The gardener then scratched the armpit of a twig. The twig shook all the way up to the tips of the leaves....

  • Narcissus

    Although small, the narcissus has long been admired for its elegant style and fragrance.

    Many bulbs of the narcissus are carved so the plant can grow into a pre-conditioned shape. Many famed beauties shared such fates too.

  • Night Bloom

    There is a flower called "Moon Beauty." It opens only after midnight and withers before dawn. When it opens, each petal lets out a sign. Hundreds of fine silvery threads tremble at its center. The flower puffs out a ring of smoke. The whole room is instantly filled with fragrance.

    This descripti...

  • Orchid

    The grass orchid is admired for its subtle beauty and fragrance. It is intimately enticing but never overpowering. The flower finds hermitage in the most spiritual places in nature - where mist embraces mountain or by roaring waterfalls.

    The grass orchid is a happy spirit. It has the simplest fo...

  • Orchid Tree

    Big Al was a gentleman who studied with me for many years. He came with a new name each year in order to keep his presence fresh - like the vegetables he offered. Over the years, he was Big Al, Al Grand, Al Bigg, Al Just...I no longer recall his real name.

    Big Al loved this flower. He had a huge...

  • Paeonia

    Tree peony is the new symbol of China, but the grass peony is less regarded. The flower tends to grow beyond the ability for its stalk to stay upright. It gets the label "boneless."

    Why must we insist that a flower stay upright?