Art Quiz: The Answer is China

I guessed correctly on this one, but I had no idea what gongbi or baimiao were, so I had to do a bit of browsing. I went first to Encyclopedia Britannica, the source for all my “art quiz” questions and answers.

First, let’s look at gongbi, or kung-pi as it’s sometimes called.

Gongbi: in Chinese paintingmeticulous brush technique that delimits details very precisely and without independent or expressive variation. It is often highly coloured and usually depicts figural or narrative subjects.  Encyclopedia Britannica

I found this next part of their definition very interesting:

The term gongbi is also used to refer to paintings that are generally more descriptive than interpretive. Gongbi paintings are considered to be the opposite of more freely and quickly sketched paintings called xieyi, or “sketching thoughts.”

What caught my attention here was this sense of “opposition” in art. I’ve learned so much in recent months about understanding the difference between careful, controlled strokes — deliberation — and looser drawing methods — spontaneity. Both have a place in art. It’s important that we see these different approaches and know how to use both.

So what about baimiao? Again, from Encyclopedia Britannica:

Baimiao: in Chinese painting, brush technique that produces a finely controlled, supple ink outline drawing without any colour or wash embellishment. It is commonly used for figure painting, in which precise description is important.


Baimiao is often called pai-miao and means “plain drawing.” It is a form of gongbi, according to Chine-Culture. I found an interesting article on the site that provides information on how to create in the baimiao style.

Chinese Painting Baimiao

I also found a series of videos on Chinese painting techniques, including this one demonstrating gongbi:

I love Asian art, and I recently bought a few watercolor brushes designed for this style of painting. Plus, I still have my rice paper and my sumi-e inks sitting in the closet. Maybe one day I’ll be bold enough to get them out!




  1. Owning the debt of America’s future the China 🇨🇳 past is so alluring mysterious and elusive funny we neglect that never conquered is a fact just as Dachau’s never again Rings true eternal and worth standing up for Woohoo 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

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