Sue Lindemulder, Art Teacher

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Brush Painting by Bryant Wang

Music: Variation on the theme "Arirang"

Korean Brush Painting

A one day lesson plan for 7th grade by Sue Lindemulder

One of the characteristics of Chinese and Korean brush painting, as well as Japanese brush painting, is to be able to reproduce the same image in the same way each time and have the end result look the same. In this case the students in class will try to produce the same image as the instructor.

Korea is the peninsular country bordered on the northwest by China. The Korean culture has been greatly influenced and molded by China. They in fact refer to themselves as "Younger Brother to Older Brother China". Although their language is far more similar to Japanese there are more ties to China.


Have students look at pictures of live chrysanthemums as well as art work in which it might be seen (check the Internet) and then look at Asian brush painting. As in other Asian paintings there is an economy of line. The end result is simple and elegant.


  • 12" X 18" paper
  • Brushes (#10 watercolor)
  • Black tempera paint
  • Large jar covers or small Styrofoam plates to be used as paint palettes
  • Water container/water
  • Newspaper


  1. All students need to be given all painting supplies. Cover the table with newspaper first. Students should identify the back of their paper first using pencil. Use the paper in a vertical manner. Every two students can share paint and water.

  2. Demonstrate how the flower is made:
    • Wet the brush and pull it to a point and load it with paint
    • Start with a circle or oval and then surround it with a series of circles or ovals. At this point full strength paint should be used.

  3. Slightly dilute the paint and draw a series of ovals around the outside of the first group.
    NOTE: DO NOT dilute all of the paint. Pull about half to the side to be diluted.

  4. Dilute the paint a little more and repeat another row of ovals around the outside perimeter.

  5. Again dilute the paint and draw one more row of ovals. Each set of ovals might be slightly larger than the row before. All ovals should point out from the center.
    NOTE: Each set of ovals should be a lighter value than the preceding as it moves away from the center.

  6. Clean the brush and again pull it to a point. Use the full strength paint to draw in the stem.

  7. Scatter several dots down the length of the stem. Place 3 to 5 more can be added later. From these points lightly draw in the veins of the leaves.

  8. Slightly dilute some of the remaining paint. Fill the brush. Use the side of the brush and wiggle it to form the shape of the leave.

  9. Use full strength paint and practice writing the Korean word for flower on the newspaper. When satisfied with the results write it next to the image on the paper.

  10. Sign the work in the lower right hand corner. Do not sign at the bottom of the paper. There should be an undefined border of white around the entire picture. Asian students can be encouraged to sign their name using Asian characters as well as their name in English.

California Visual Art Standards, 7th grade 3.1 and 4.4,