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Hanging scroll Asian Paintings

The traditional hanging scroll Asian paintings were derived from different types of materials. In China, they used water-based inks and other pigments to create calligraphy of artworks on paper and silk. The black substance (lampblack) in black ink comes from burning different sources like pine resin and Tung oil. The colored pigments came from mineral and vegetables. Black and colored pigments were manufactured by mixing glue base and the particular pigment source, and then ultimately pressed using a special stone to come up with a stick form or cake form pigment. The artist has to grind back the ink into a watery substance to be used in painting. Brushes used in calligraphy and paintings were almost the same. The only difference was that paintbrushes have a wider variety of sizes and resilience.

Silk and paper are the main types of painting surfaces. Both of these are sized and treated with a glue-like substance on the front or top surface to prevent complete absorption of ink. Because silk is less porous compared to paper surfaces, and is more water resistant, application of paint is more difficult. Paper is more absorbent, thus it can provide a more spontaneous effect.

Asian paintings were also the first to use inscriptions or colophons. In publishing, colophons were brief descriptions of the book’s production notes and publication details. They were also used as a mark or logo. In Chinese paintings, they often bear the artist’s seal, including its real or professional name. In a more detailed colophon, other information such as the painter’s age, family background, style and subject matter of the painting are also included. Colophons are important in determining the authenticity of a painting. The use of narrative painting has also been established in Chinese traditions. Images and text were often found interspersed in a painting. This type of method was commonly used in courts, but scholar painters powerfully defined the practice of putting writing in a painting surface. Comments from viewers and collectors can also be appended as inscriptions, giving a more fulfilling entertainment for art aficionados who enjoy a different sense of connection through these ancient writings from old scholars and artists.

The use of red seals was also common practice in Chinese paintings. Seals indicate the owner of the one who made the painting. Seals come in different shapes of round, square or gourd. These seals were traditionally used by historians to identify past owners, and viewers of the painting.


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