“Mustard Seed Garden” – Plum Flower Brush Painting

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“Mustard Seed Garden” – Plum Flower Brush Painting


The Mustard Seed Garden is a series of traditional Chinese Brush Painting instructional books based on the traditional school of learning Chinese painting – here focusing on Plum Flowers in Sumi-e, Ink and Wash and Fineline Brush Painting.


Plum Flowers teaching book for Sumi-e painting

Style: Sumi-e,  Fineline Main Content: Plum FlowerEdition Information: Chinese, 97 pages, 8.0 in x 12.0 in / 20.0 cm x 30.0 cm, softcover


The Mustard Seed Garden is the most famous traditional manual for Chinese painting. Its origins date back to the seventeenth century, which was early in the Qing Dynasty, and it is a great source for beginners to study and learn ancient Chinese art techniques.

Many great artists, including Qi Baishi, either learned directly from these books, or took much inspiration from them. The books have stood the test of time and still offer unique and detailed instructions on how to paint traditional Chinese subjects. The book contains instructions on how to paint both Fineline and Sumi-E paintings.

As its name implies, the Mustard Seed Garden Plum Flower focuses on plum flower, and is divided into two separate parts. The first part focuses on sketches of individual parts of the plum flower, which will allow the artist to learn how to paint the smallest details of each of the parts that make up the bamboo. The second portion of the book, however, features water-colored paintings of plum flowers.

This second section is great because it provides examples on not only how to draw the plum flower, but also how to structure and color your paintings. Additionally, this section can be used for study and inspiration for years to come.

One of the plants known as the Four Gentlemen, plum flowers are some of the most revered and widely used subjects of Chinese art. Known in Chinese as Jieziyuan Huazhuan, which translates to Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden, Jieziyuan was a province in eastern China at the time the book was first written, and it was also known as the Mustard Seed Garden. Today, the province is called Zhejiang Province.

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"Mustard Seed Garden" - Plum Flower Brush Painting

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