Painting - Water Based

Chinese brush painting – climbing plants, small creatures with Maggie Cross

Ref: S3D08695

Suitable for all

Join waiting list

Course full - scroll down for other

About this course

Paint compositions with traditional Chinese painting techniques and materials in the lively freestyle.

Course Description

The course begins with sketches from live plants and/or photographs of a variety of climbing plants such as the traditional Chinese wisteria and the more familiar clematis and honeysuckle.

Maggie will demonstrate birds and small creatures to add interest to your paintings. Wisteria is traditionally painted with fish or swallows, clematis is enhanced by the addition of an insect.

You will work with traditional Chinese painting materials and techniques. The focus will be on freestyle and you will have the opportunity to work on the more detailed meticulous style known as 'gongbi'.

There will be opportunity to experiment with washes and resists. Maggie will explain the symbolism attached to the various subjects. Once you have completed your paintings you will learn to back them ready for framing.

By the end of the course you will have completed compositions of climbing plants with birds or insects, and be inspired by the techniques and approaches to painting.


Timetable for courses more than one day in length

(The tutor may make slight variations)

Arrival Day

Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • A sketchbook, or some paper, and a pencil (please bring both to the first evening session)
  • Any inks or paints if you already have
  • Two water pots (plastic pots available to use at the College)
  • Clean soft cloth to cover work surface (not a towel) - very important
  • Paint rag or kitchen roll
  • Chinese palette or white saucer

Available to buy

  • Sketch book and pencil
  • Chinese papers, brushes, inks, ink stone
  • The tutor brings a wide selection of Chinese paints and materials which you can purchase from her during the course.


Maggie Cross

Maggie learnt her Chinese painting in Hong Kong where she spent all her childhood also learning the calligraphy and Chinese (Cantonese) language. She has been teaching Chinese Painting on a part time basis for many years. She regularly learns with Chinese masters to update her skills as well as making visits to China. Maggie's paintings are held in many private collections. She also exhibits with The Society of Floral Painters. She is also a member of the Chinese Brush Painters Society. Maggie has written three books on Chinese painting and produced a DVD.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest