Our Philosophy

We teach Chinese art in a traditional manner. Through one-on-one instruction in a classical art curriculum, students discover their artistic talent and learn to develop their potential. While students can explore any of several art forms that we teach, it is the learning process itself, regardless of the art form, that enables them to discover their styles and preferences.

We encourage students to develop confidence in basic techniques first. Early training includes imitating old painting masters and learning how to emulate their styles. Students are then encouraged to express their imagination and creativity as they explore and develop their own artistic styles.

We vary our teaching methods to support each student's individual needs and development. Lesson plans are tailored to each student's current level of practice. Through individual instruction in small classes, we are able to devote full attention to the progress of each student.

Our main objectives are that our students not only learn how to make art and produce strong bodies of work, but that they also learn to appreciate different forms of art and their histories from many different cultures.

We Offer Six Disciplines

Impression StyleChinese brush painting: Impression Style

One of the most commonly seen types of Chinese painting is the Impression Style. It consists of Landscape painting (shan shui) and Flower and Bird painting (hua niao). Both shan shui and hua niao use traditional Chinese water-based colors and ink. Flower and Bird classes paint those subjects, of course, but also animals and insects. Impression Style painting has been associated with the literati class, or scholar-artists, throughout Chinese history.

Elaborate StyleChinese brush painting: Elaborate Style

One of the oldest Chinese painting styles, Elaborate is concerned with the quality of the art form itself more than with the subject. Paintings range from flowers to figures and birds to tigers, just about anything in nature. Elaborate style is executed with fine brushes, often two in one hand, using traditional Chinese water-based colors and ink. The exacting detail of this realistic style requires a great deal of patience, but the result can be wonderfully rewarding.

Decorative StyleChinese brush painting: Decorative Style

Western color, composition and media combine with classical Chinese linear style and subjects in this relatively modern art form. Using acrylics instead of Chinese watercolors, paintings are often either figurative or depict still-lifes. The final effect is a cross between a stained-glass window and a decorative print.

Calligraphy StyleCalligraphy

Calligraphy is practiced in several East Asian cultures, including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, which all used Chinese characters at one point (or still do). While originally used for day-to-day communication in ancient China, calligraphy has now become an art form in its own right. It influences, and is influenced by, the Impression Style, as it uses the brush in a similar way.

Cartoon StyleCartoon

The Cartoon class serves as the foundation class for all beginner-level children, usually ages five through ten. Joseph teaches this class to develop the student's comfort in drawing figures, seeing shapes within objects, and copying samples.

Sketch StyleSketch

Sketch class uses still-lifes to expand the intermediate student's ability to draw realistically. Students also learn to notice the contrast of light and dark as well as the interplay of shadows.

Daly City, California          |      phone: (415) 387-7138