Human Figure Paintings - Yibi Hua One Stroke Painting

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Da Mo

Da Mo

Chinese ink on rice paper

45.7x 37.5cm

1980

Private collection

 

Yibi hua, or 'one stroke painting'. It is a painting where its main part is completed with one stroke only. I remember two years ago in 1980, before my serious illness that I painted many yibi hua. In my memory, they are Li of iron staff, one of the eight immortals in Taoism; Ji Dian, the crazy Taoist immortal; Tao Yuan Ming, a famous poet; Da Mo (Buddhidharma), the Buddhist missionary who came to China in A.D. 526, etc.

The most important reason I selected these characters for yibi hua, is that they all are people with distinctive appearances. From the picture of Buddhidharma, you can see that the head, face and his robe are completed in one stroke. Then, some ink is applied for the eyes, eyebrow,  beard, pupil of the eye and the rush mat. Proper use of dark and light ink is important for executing this type of painting. Bright red is added to the robe for special effect.

For a successful yibi hua, you must choose distinctive subject matter,  then using differing tones of ink and bright colors to make it striking. Otherwise people who are already not interested in paintings of a few stroke will find yibi hua difficult to appreciate.

Huang Yao, Moyuan Suibi, 1982

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