This is Lian Zhen’s third book on Chinese painting and follows his excellent and successful introductory guide and a volume on animals. In both of these, he demonstrated a fluid style that combines Oriental painting techniques with more Western ideas of composition that gives his work an instant appeal and combines a simplicity of approach with more extensive use of colour and the inclusion of more detail than you would get in traditional Chinese painting.
Having told you what went before, it probably won’t come as a surprise that this latest title provides more of the same. However it is, if anything, even better than its predecessors. Flower painting lends itself to a simplified approach and the use of colour, rather than line, to produce the finished result. The flowers throughout are things you’re likely to recognise and there are some very full step by step demonstrations that explain clearly the methods used. This isn’t botanical illustration by any means and the first impression in almost all cases is of a riot of colour. However, this impressionism isn’t extreme and the book stands well as a general guide to flower painting and not just a specialised Oriental one. It’s a visual feast that follows up with some excellent instruction and one which won’t, I think, disappoint anyone.