Ink Wash Painting

This refers to a style of painting in which ink shades are manipulated through dilution, and color use is minimal. It is also known as traditional Chinese or typically Chinese painting. The materials used include ink and water, a painting brush, and rice paper. Through adjusting the proportion of water to ink, the final image varies between light and dark, wet and dry, and thick and thin ink, thus producing varying degrees of color intensity. An ink wash painting normally consists of only ink and water, or of black and white. A more refined ink wash painting, on the other hand, may also feature an elaborate style of painting with flowers and birds in splendid hues, also known as "colored ink wash painting." On the whole, Chinese ink wash painting is impressionistic when depicting distant objects, but realistic about nearby ones. Through the skillful manipulation of color contrasts and the production of artistic ambience, the painter brings forth the value of a painting's "spiritual liveliness."

Ink wash is the cream of all painting techniques. Making use of the natural properties of ink and water, it creates a miraculous view of heaven and earth. About a dozen inches of a painting would suffice to demonstrate a several-thousand-li-long landscape. It captures the scenic beauty of all quarters of the world, showing seasonal changes through the execution of a painting brush.
I saw some landscape paintings produced by Wang Wei rendered with the use of an "alternating technique," namely alternating light ink with thick ink or vice versa, or alternating wet ink with dry ink. They struck me as vigorous and bold.