Chinese Painting & Spontaneous Watercolor


Lian Quan Zhen

Watercolor Workshop: East Meets the West

Chinese Painting & Spontaneous Watercolor


March 5 - 8, 2019

9:30 AM - 4:00 PM



Course Description:


During the first two days, students will be introduced to the theory of Asian art.  They will learn to use Chinese brushes, ink and colors, and use the techniques to paint two styles of Chinese paintings: spontaneous style and detail with spontaneous style. 

During day 3 & 4, Lian will cover basic techniques such as composition and coloring, and demonstrate unique methods including "Color Pouring and Blending", and "Paint Around (negative painting)".  He will mix colors on watercolor papers, letting the pigments paint themselves.  Only three primary colors will be used for painting.

There are 4 - 6 demos each day with students practicing in between, so that they can absorb and assimilate the lessons.  During critique, Lian helps students by touching up their paintings.  At the end of the workshop, students may be able to finish a couple of paintings, or learn enough techniques to complete them later.


About the Artist:


Lian Quan Zhen is a sought-after watercolor and Chinesepainting artist and teacher in the US and abroad.  He is one of the most popular authors of North Light Books.

He started sketching and painting in his childhood and continued while practicing medicine as a family physician in Canton Province, China.  After immigrating to the US in 1985, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and a Master of Architecture Degree from MIT in 1996.  He has many shows in the US, Hong Kong and China and developed an international following.  His paintings hang in numerous institutional and private collections including the MIT Museum which has collected 14 of his paintings.

His art teaching credentials include the University of California at Berkeley where he taught watercolor outdoor sketching for 8 years; watercolor and Chinese painting workshops nationwide, in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, China, South Africa and Australia.  Also, Lian has been an invited juror for California, Colorado, New Mexico, Georgia, Arizona and Kentucky Watercolor Societies' exhibitions and other local shows. His paintings have been featured in magazines such as Watercolor 94 Spring, Splash4, Collectors (Hong Kong) and books of Landscape on Watercolor (UK), Finding Your Visual Voice and Painter's Quick Reference books by North Light Books: Flowers and Blooms, Dogs and Cats, Birds and Butterflies, Landscapes and Drawing and Painting Animals - the Essential Guide.


Lian’s Five books published by North Light Books have distributed internationally.  They are: The Chinese Painting Techniques for Exquisite Watercolor, published in October of 2000; the Chinese Watercolor Techniques - Painting Animals, published in December of 2004, with demos on video tapes and DVDs made by Teaching Arts in UK; Chinese Watercolor Techniques for Exquisite Flowers published in 2009; Chinese Landscape Techniques for Watercolor in September 2013. They were main selections for North Light Book Club members. In 2015, North Light Books in its publishing history for the first time choose two live artists amount all its authors to made two coffee table books with their paintings.  Lian was one of the selected artists and his coffee table is named: Chinese Watercolor Journey with Lian Quan Zhen.



Supply List:


Chinese Painting Material:

Option 1 - A kit is available for purchase from the Instructor for $35. It includes one box of color with 12 small tubes, 3 rice papers each about 30x50 inches, 4 brushes from extra small to large and one bottle of ink 100mg.


Option 2 - If you want to purchase your own:

- Paper (rice paper):
One mature (sized) and 2 raw Shuan Papers (size approximately 30 inch x50 inch).
- Brushes:
Four Chinese brushes from extra small to large.
- Ink:
One small bottle Chinese painting ink or Sumi ink.
- Colors:
Chinese painting colors (12 tubes in one set).

To order the Chinese painting materials click Chinese Painting Materials

Watercolor Painting Material: Available in and Spokane Art Supply, Spokane, WA


Brushes: Synthetic and / or sable brushes - Windsor and Newton, American Journey and Loew-Cornell recommended.
Round - number 4, 6 & 8 Pointed - number 2, 3
Flat - ¼ inch (with wedge shape at end of handle for applying masking such as Windsor and Newton aquarelle brushes), ½ inch and 1 inch

Colors (tubes):
Three tubes of the primary colors. One from each of the three groups of primary colors: Blue - Antwerp (Windsor and Newton), Prussian or Phthalocyanine Blue Red Shade (M.Graham &Co.); Yellow - Hansa, Azo Light (M.Graham &Co.), Windsor (Windsor and Newton), Arylide (DVP), Bumblebee or Aureoine (American Journey). Red – Pyrrol, Napthal (M.Graham &Co.), Winsor (Windsor and Newton), Joe's Red American Journey). Other similar primary colors are OK.

Half sheets (15"x22", or 16"x20") 140 lb Cold Press watercolor papers, Arches or Kilimanjaro, NO EXCEPTIONS. 5-day and 4-day workshop needs 3, 3-day workshop needs 2, 2-day workshop needs 2.

One large size palette like John Pike Watercolor palette (not little ones; large white color plate is OK).

Masking Fluid:
A new bottle of light colored art-masking fluid: Pebeo Drawing Gum, Shiva Liquid Masque by Richson Mediums or Windsor and Newton's yellowish color masking are recommended. If Cheapjoes dose not have them buy from

One plywood board or gatorboard size about 16"x23" for taping down the half sheet size watercolor paper, Three small dishes for making color liquids, a roll of masking tape or clear packing tape, 2 sheets of graphite papers (transfer paper, erasable), a hair dryer, a medium size water sprayer, a brush washer (a jar contains water for cleaning brushes), an apron, 2 sheets of tracing papers size about 15"x12", a pair of scissors, a B2 or #2 pencil, erasers and one roll of white paper towel. If you can't blow the color liquids while painting, get a can of Compressed Gasduster from office supply store.