7 Amazing Benefits Of Painting

Benefits Of Painting

Not only does painting bring aesthetic effects but it also helps improve your skills. Here are 7 great effects of painting that you have probably never heard before:

1. Memory training

Nowadays, technology and engineering are rapidly growing, people are busier and have less time to relax, think and remember. The painting will help us to balance, reduce stress and improve memory. Psychologists said that what we draw is not the idea but it is usually the flashback and the most obvious expression for the memory and imagination of each person.

2. Improve Observation Skills

Improve Observation Skills

When you start learning to draw, you may draw strange and unclear figures. However, if you pay close attention to your painting, you will notice that there are details drawn very prominently. The psychologists said that this is a reflection of the world through our memory. Painting helps us gain a more profound understanding of life.

3. Enhance imaginationEnhance imagination

Drawing is a way to let your imagination fly. You can create your own world in painting. Creativity and sublimation can be used to solve problems in relationships and in the workplace.

4. Help you feel elated and happy

Help you feel elated and happy

Diest Wehbe, a famous British educator, pointed out that it would be better to spend 1-hour drawing than spending 9 hours watching television. That’s why many psychologists often encourage their patients to paint because it is a very good treatment.
By the way of observation and analysis of the painting of each person, the expert will find the cause as well as the treatment for our psychological problems. For example, when you see a picture with rigid, overlapping lines and blurred colors, you may be in a bad mood. On the contrary, if you see a picture with harmonious lines, rich and sharp colors, it proves that your mentality is very stable.

5. Keep your brain active

Keep your brain active

When drawing, your brain has to work to perceive, define colors, shapes and space, which is good for intellectual development. In the process of drawing, your imagination will break the stereotype. After seeing the different angles, you will continue to be inspired to be creative.

6. Think multidimensionally

The use of colors and shapes is a way to improve memory, promote observation skill and nurture the imagination. You can not know these skills if you do not learn painting

7. The picture is the expression of emotion

The picture is the expression of emotion

Similar to music, dancing, painting is an art form and it expresses human emotions. Looking at an artwork, we can see the mood as well as the thoughts of a human being.

How Does Painting Teach Us About Management Skills?

How Does Painting Teach Us About Management Skills

Painting is not only about making you relax, improving your creativity but it also helps you have a deeper understanding of life. Moreover, it can even help you become a talented project manager.
That is the sincere sharing of Daniel Herman – a product manager at ironSource after he attended an art class. “Painting for a beginner who does not know a little bit about painting like me is like a dream. However, whenever I have the opportunity to visit an art exhibition, I often stay for a long time to admire the masterpiece and be attracted to that world” he said.

1. Take a step back to get a panoramic view

Daniel said: “When I started painting, I usually focused on small details. In one study of the human body, instead of sketching the body first, I only concentrated on drawing a beautiful hand. I know that if I continue to do so, it will be difficult for me to draw better. Only when I took a step back, looking at the whole picture, I have realized what I needed to do. I started sketching the body frame before going into the small details. Then, it took me less time to finish the painting and I paint more efficiently.”How Does Painting Teach Us About Management Skills

It’s just like when you manage a project. If you are too focused on the detail, you can hardly complete the project by the deadline. The painting also teaches us that the details are easy to change but the big picture is not. Take a step back, look at the whole picture and recalculate the importance of the small details against the larger parts of the project. This will make your project as perfect as possible.

2. Be patient: Good things take time

When you start painting, it’s hard to imagine how a perfect picture would look. The painting process will be very time-consuming. Only when it’s over can you see how everything is connected. Maybe at the beginning, when the picture is not complete, you feel quite uncomfortable. It seems that something is missing. Therefore, you want to speed up the completion of the picture. As a result, you have ruined your work.
A project with multiple parts can also lead to the same disappointment. Lack of predictability can make you and your groups omit many important components to accomplish a project. If you want to become a good project manager, you need to be patient and understand that everything takes time.Be patient Good things take time

3. Re-evaluate the work

Painting takes a lot of time, effort and creativity. After completing the picture, you will probably realize that the result does not meet your expectation. It is important to stay objective and consider whether the cost of a new painting is lower or higher than fixing this picture. It is hard to draw a new picture when you have put a lot of effort into the old one, though you know it’s hard to fix it. However, in some cases, this choice is necessary for you.
Similarly, in project management, sometimes you need to remove some components that are no longer important or the benefits they bring are negligible but the cost is too high.
Painting is like managing a project. You have got the idea while planning thinks that art is just art and not related to the real world. In fact, the process of drawing can help you get a deeper insight into different aspects of life.Painting help to Re-evaluate the work

Vietnamese Lacquer Painting with Installation Art

Lacquer has been known as a traditional material of Vietnamese painting and used in the visual arts since the early 20th century. Nowadays, lacquer still has an important position in Vietnamese art.

The combination of Vietnamese lacquer painting and installation art

Currently, in addition to traditional lacquer painting, this material has appeared in many other forms of art such as sculpture, design or most recently the art of installation. Lacquer with installation art is a fascinating combination between a transformative material (lacquer, when mixed with other substances, will create different effects) and an art form characterized by synthetic language (installation art is suitable for most of types and materials). The artists also took advantage of traditional elements of lacquer and contemporary breath of the setting to create highly visual effects and bring artistic value to Vietnamese artworks.Vietnamese Lacquer Painting with Installation Art
While lacquer is a material that has been attached to Vietnamese visual art since the early 20th century, installation art has only been known in Vietnam since the early 1900s. With its “temporary” feature, installation art also denied the importance of preserving in the museum and redefined the notion of artistic value. On the other hand, lacquer is considered a noble material. Since ancient times, lacquerware has been chosen to decorate worship items by its solemn appearance and sustainability. It is also used for the use of buildings and houses of feudal class to show their wealth and power. Nowadays, the splendor and national identity of this material make lacquerware chosen for display in many important projects of national stature. Although lacquer and installation seem to be two different extremes, the artists can still find the way to harmonize them and create Vietnamese artworks that are both traditional and modern.Installation and traditional lacquer

Installation and traditional lacquer

The concept of “traditional lacquer” here can be understood as a common lacquer, that is, to coat the paint and apply the coloring technique on the wood material. With these Vietnamese artworks of this type, lacquer plays a key role and are combined with other elements, which maybe auxiliary materials or space, light, sound and to make up the completed artworks. At this time, the artists focus on the process of decorating, grinding technique and polishing aimed to create the visual effect. Depending on the idea of the artists, lacquer material is used as the main element or the decoration part of the artwork.Installation and traditional lacquer art
Some of the lacquer installation artworks can be mentioned as “16 Coffee Tables” by artist Nguyen The Son. The image of the tables is inspired by the tables in the Vietnamese coffee shop. On each table is a stylized gold letter in Chinese style which symbolizes the diplomatic relation between Vietnam and China. Lacquer has been transformed to become harmonious with the liberal of installation art. Another artwork is “The bowl and the chopstick” by the brothers Le Ngoc Thanh – Le Duc Hai at the exhibition “Numbers” (NSAF, Hue, 2011) made by many lacquer bowls with the red chopstick on them, creating a sense of fullness, as opposed to the memory of the 1945 famine. Some artworks by artist Phi Phi Oanh also follow this trend. Among them, the series of works at the exhibition “Black Box” at the Viet Nam Fine Arts Museum, 2007 are the most prominent. 16 lacquered boxes are very delicate and artistic with iridescent gold as the main color. The content expressed is the scene of everyday life of Vietnamese people. The use of lacquer in the installation is perfectly suited. It takes time and effort to make the color ingrain in the stature, which is in the same way as the image is screened out and imprinted in the subconscious mind of the human.Vietnamese Lacquer Painting with Installation Art1

Installation and experimental lacquer

Unlike traditional lacquer, experiential forms are the exploration of the new way of expressing the traditional material that the artists have successfully researched and accomplished. In this field, Phi Phi Oanh is considered the most successful Vietnamese artist. She has opened the new way for traditional lacquer. Some of the concepts created by Phi Phi Oanh are “lacquerskin” meaning lacquer painted on transparent plates or “lacquerscope” which means turning lacquer into a device and virtual images on the lacquer screen will be projected through the projector. The concept of lacquer on the traditional two – dimensional plane is replaced by a series of applications of this material with the help of science and technology. The first experiment of Phi Phi Oanh was presented at the exhibition “Specula – Reflecting Mirrors” (2009), which was later displayed at the Singapore Biennale 2013. She surprised the viewer with a large lacquer dome, turning the artwork into an architectural arrangement. Replacing the wooden frame with a background made of fiberglass and epoxy resin, the artist created the huge curved surface for lacquerware, which has never been done before. Subsequently, the technique “lacquerskin” studied by Phi Phi Oanh for many years was presented at the exhibition “Parchmenter” at L’Espace in 2011. The lacquer is painted on the screening plates, combined with lacquerscopes to illuminate the image on the silkscreen sketching on the wooden frame. The arrangement of abstract images and modern machinery makes lacquer is not only traditional but also the material of the future. In general, the installation art combined with experimented lacquer fully exploited the value of lacquer along with the contemporary technique is a direction should be promoted.Installation and experimental lacquer
Through the examples mentioned above, it can be seen that the traditional lacquer material becomes the material suitable for the current trend of composing. The combination of lacquer and installation art has blown the new wind into Vietnamese painting, making it closer and more attractive to the audience.

Beauty & Meaning of Lotus in Vietnamese Art

Beauty and Meaning of Lotus in Vietnamese Art

Lotus in Vietnamese architectural decoration

In terms of architecture, a building must meet three requirements: the functional requirement, the technical requirement and the artistic requirement. These three elements are always closely related. A design work that has all three elements is considered successful.
The lotus image has become one of the icons in the design ideas of many artworks. Lotus is the flower closely associated with human life for a long time. Especially in Buddhist thought, the lotus is very precious and occupies a very important position. Therefore, in traditional architecture, the lotus is always an artistic image carrying religious belief. Initially, the lotus was planted in front of the three-arched-entrances gate and two sides of the pagoda. Later, this is embedded in the architectural details and becomes familiar. It was often found in the main places of worship of the pagoda, from the stone relief to the stone plinth, from Buddha statues to richly-ornamented pottery.
Dien Huu Pagoda is one of the first pagodas in the history of Vietnamese architecture. There, the lotus image appeared in a very special way – a simulation of a lotus placed in the middle of a lotus pond. If Dien Huu pagoda is a thousand-petaled lotus image erected on a pillar, Pho Minh pagoda gives us a new look at the development of a multi-storey tower model with the image of the lotus through the carved decorations on the lower body.Lotus in Vietnamese architectural decoration

Lotus in Vietnamese sculpture

The sculpture has greatly contributed to the artistic value of the buildings. It can be seen that sculpture is always attached and is an indispensable work in the ancient architecture. In the process of artistic creation, sculptors brought their feelings about nature into their works and then stylized them according to folk sense. At the Cat Tien monument (Lam Dong), the lotus image is used on many different materials: gold, stone, brick,… Sometimes it is embossed on golden leaves in the pillar, sometimes it is the handheld of the gods or engraved on the brick as the decorative pattern on the wall of the tower.
Lotus is one of the images displayed in almost all of the artworks of Cham architecture and sculpture. The artwork “Brahma God” in My Son Gallery expressed the Visnu god holding a blooming lotus with many petal spreads and the Brahma God sitting on the stylized lotus. The artwork associated with the creative rebirth of Brahma – also known as The Creative God. Therefore, the lotus here brings the reincarnation philosophy of life. The most famous statue of Ly Dynasty is the Amitabha statue of Phat Tich pagoda. The statue depicts the Buddha sitting on a lotus tower and sermons. The lotus tower and the pedestal for statue are shaped into a multi-layered pyramid as if the tower lifted the Buddha up. The whole statue gives us an impression of the enlightenment and the static mind.Lotus Vietnamese sculpture

Lotus in Vietnamese paintings

Lotus is a close and eternal topic to many generations of Vietnamese artists. There has been many paintings of lotus and beautiful woman beside the lotus, from “Girl beside the lotus pond” (Lacquer 1938) of Nguyen Gia Tri depicts the girl in traditional long dress freely rambling beside the lotus pond; To Ngoc Van “Young Woman with Lotus flower” (oil painting – 1944) shows the image of a young lady wearing a yellow traditional long dress and enjoying the fragrance of the lotus. Nguyen Sang – the king of Vietnamese lacquer painting also have the picture of the lotus, with a girl thinking deeply beside a lotus vase. The harmony between people and flowers made up the discreet but very gentle beauty of the girl in the painting.
The pattern of the lotus flower on the long ribbon combined with other motifs has formed a combination of patterns, on which we can clearly see the style of each period. If big petals are interspersed with small petals and the pattern is meticulously elaborated is the pottery decoration style of the Ly dynasty; the flattened lotus petal and the round petal head belong to the decorative style of the Tran dynasty. The ceramic art of Ly and Tran dynasty has shown a special step in the history of pottery and played a very important role in the development of Vietnamese pottery art. It has reached the pinnacle of fashion and style.
Modern Vietnamese art has been inherited from traditional art with many valuable and unique heritage. The lotus image in ancient art contains both philosophy and aesthetics. Many generations of artists have achieved success by exploiting the source selectively and creatively. Their artworks are nationalistic and also bring the breath of modern life to meet the increasing aesthetic demands in life in integration with the development trend of the world.Lotus in Vietnamese paintings

The Traditional Materials in Vietnamese Painting

The Traditional Materials in Vietnamese Painting

The French have had long-term and systematic research about Vietnamese people and culture since long time ago. They discovered the virtue of industriousness of Vietnamese through sophisticated handicraft products. In addition, they also focused on training Vietnamese artists towards using indigenous materials and folk-influenced shaping method.

Vietnam wood carvings painting

Before the appearance of Indochina Fine Arts College, Vietnamese painting had its own folk art. Wood carvings is the only kind of wall painting. The North had two famous craft villages: Dong Ho painting and Hang Trong painting. The Central had paintings from Sing Village in Hue. The technique used in these villages is carving paintings on wooden planks and then create multiple prints. However, each village has its own way of making wood carvings. Dong Ho village used many planks to print all colors for a picture. Sinh village printed paintings with black lines on color paper. Hang Trong village only had a black print engraving and then the color part was added by the artisan.
The teachers of Indochina Fine Arts College such as Victor Tardieu, Joseph Inguimberty, Évariste Jonchère saw the distinctive visual features of the material and Vietnamese folk expression through these wood carvings. They encouraged Vietnamese students to study. Since then, many wood carvings have been produced by creative artists such as Do Duc, Tran Van Can, To Ngoc Van,…Vietnam Wood carvings painting

Vietnam silk painting

Nguyen Phan Chanh’s silk painting is an important and decisive finding for the art of Vietnamese silk paintings. He gave birth to a special silk painting that has not been available anywhere in the world. It is painting on the silk surface that has been moistened and scrubbed several times. He painted several layers overlapping each other until the desired hue was achieved. With the deep brown color palette combined with pure white color, Nguyen Phan Chanh’s paintings can express most of the beauty of the landscape and contemporary people. The silk painting artworks of Nguyen Phan Chanh at that time had a significant position in the European market.
However, after flourishing for several decades, silk painting has revealed the inadequacy of materials. That is, with a humid climate, preserving a picture is not easy. Mold is the most dangerous enemy of silk paintings. When infected with mold, silk painting cannot be repaired.Vietnam silk painting

Vietnam lacquer painting

Among the materials discovered by the French teacher very early in Vietnam, lacquer paintings at that time are just the traits of temple and decoration on the statue. Nguyen Gia Tri artist took a deeper look at the possibilities of expressing this material on the paintings. He was so successful that even the French artist in the capital of visual art has to learn. After 1954, Vietnamese lacquer painting was considered a specialty of Vietnamese identity. Not only has it been in the painters’ workshop but also widely used in the field of handicraft production.
Two of the four leading painters of modern Vietnamese painting, Nguyen Sang and Nguyen Tu Nghiem almost devoted their entire life to lacquer painting. They have searched for a lot of techniques and new color palettes for lacquer painting. Their paintings have shown the pure art, only bring a message of conveying beauty to the viewer.
Over the past two decades, Vietnamese paintings have become more open and creative. There have been not many restrictions on the exploration. And the pride of traditional material with national identity also no longer unique position. Painting is gradually returning to the concept of Europe and the world, using the main material of oil painting.Vietnam lacquer painting

To Ngoc Van’s Conception About Art

To Ngoc Van – Life & Careers

From the first exhibition of To Ngoc Van in Sai Gon (17/12/1930) to the day when he passed away in Dien Bien Phu campaign (17/06/1954), his artistic life lasted for 24 years with 2 phases of composition 1930-1945 (before the August Revolution) and 1945-1954 (the war against France). In fact, the social history had had a great impact on his career. If the art reflects the changes in social relations, To Ngoc Van’s paintings partially demonstrate such things.
Indochina Fine Arts College was established in winter 1925 with the first Vietnamese artist generation such as Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Le Van De, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Cong Van Trung and Georges Khanh. To Ngoc Van was in the second Vietnamese artist generation had learned in this college. He had had the chance to be taught by French teachers, learned artistic technique such as history about the art of cubes, the application of natural colors in order to create renowned pictures afterward. Artist Tran Binh Loc wrote: “In terms of artistic field, To Ngoc Van career is worth being appreciated because he had a good vision, a quality that not all the artist did”. From the beginning, he did not accept the aesthetic ideal of Greece and Italian arts with cold shades of gray, respect for the symmetry, graphics glitches in the classic contour. He had discovered and asserted itself to find beauty, harmony between man and nature.
Graduated in 1931, To Ngoc Van had collaborated with some Vietnamese newspaper such as Phong Hoa, Ngay Nay, Thanh Nghi. Under his pen name To Tu, Ai My, he had written and painted many Vietnam paintings on those newspapers till 1945. If Nguyen Do Cung was a talented artist, an archeologist, To Ngoc Van had completed his mission of opening a new aesthetic practice, a sharp art critic with his new conception of art in general.

To Ngoc Van Artist
To Ngoc Van Artist

To Ngoc Van’s conception about art

Derived from the concept “the beauty in the picture is not the beauty in reality”, in the period from 1930 to 1945, To Ngoc Van’s art style had followed the Western art tendencies but was appropriate for Vietnamese society in the 1930s, the last years of campaign bourgeois revolution. French army, on the one hand, suppressed revolutions; on the other hand, they seduced the Vietnamese people to play the whore. Tu Luc Van Doan group had issued a manifesto that criticized the patriarchal behaviors of Vietnamese people. In these years, To Ngoc Van was in harmony with Tu Luc Van Doan group, he ascertained that his art style was in the same situation with intelligentsia’s one. Many of To Ngoc Van’s artworks in the newspapers such as landscape, Hanoian women expressed his artistic conception about shape, material, color, natural lights
At this time, similar to the artistic aesthete of To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Do Cung had depicted a beauty through narrative “Live and Draw” that was issued in Xuan Thu Nha Tap Journal in 1942. This was a big journal issued many topics such as literature, poem and painting and created by Nguyen Luong Ngoc. Established in 1942, this group had their own art tendency, manifesto, the poem that followed “hermétique” style. Nguyen Do Cung’s work “Live and Draw” was based on To Ngoc Van’s conception about art. His conception accepted that art is a means of expressing emotion rather than a research about the ideal model of beauty. It also confirmed that art must evaluate the human’s value and emotion. He wrote: “I think that a beautiful picture describes my feeling. Therefore, I only believe that a man with full of emotion will become a famous artist”.
All of the To Ngoc Van’s paintings in the period 1930-1945 had demonstrated his conception of art that expressed his personal feeling with the gorgeous tone of color. Although mainly exposed with classical art, French impression under the guidance of professor Victor Tardieu, Inguimberty, he realized the frivolity of the French impression that ignores the human’s emotion. Artist Tran Van Can said “To Ngoc Van had graduated in 1931. It was easy to spot the Gauguin’s influence in picture “Offrande” and Acgianta’s influence on the work “Cadeau de Noce” or Japanese art in work “two shepherd children”.

Thanh Nghi newspaper number 87, 12/10/1944 made a comment about the art exhibition in 1944: “Along with warm yellow tone of color of some artists is oil pain with the bright cold shade of color of To Ngoc Van- an artist always loves his life. Under his eyes, the gloomy scene has something happy inside”. In fact, in terms of To Ngoc Van conception about art, color is the soul of a work no matter what material it is and the artist is the one who controls the emotion to find the inner beauty to express the sophistication of life”. Picasso said: “ I do not find but I see”. We can see that To Ngoc Van’s artistic conception was quite similar to Picasso’s conception.

To Ngoc Van’s artworks about the girls

Young women are always the source of inspiration for the artists. For the artist, it is not only the beauty of the figure but also the beauty of the concept. It is immutable but flexible, transforming wonderfully in each pen brush. It is not an exception with To Ngoc Van.

To Ngoc Van’s paintings – Young Women with a Lilies

In the painting “Young Women with a Lilies”, by the Western realism and combined with the Oriental sensibility of To Ngoc Van, the young women in a white “long skirt” tilting her head naturally toward the vase. She appeared in a lyrical and innocent figure, evokes something very refined and peaceful. With a tight layout and a skillful way using color, “Young Women with a Lilies” has shown the softness and the charm in the curve of the young women and the rosy glow on her cheek. Especially, the pure white lily flowers embellished her beauty.

To Ngoc Van’s paintings – Two girls and a baby

One of the most beautiful paintings by To Ngoc Van is “Two girls and a baby” which became the National Treasure in 2014. In the painting, the artist chose the scene which is a cozy corner in the house. The older sister in yellow shirt sitting gracefully on the bamboo pallet. The younger sister dressed in white with the restless sitting position. She needs advice from her sister for her first love. The scene of the ancient Vietnamese family appears in every detail of the landscape and the people.


The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art

The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art

The material used in Vietnamese Lacquer Paintings

The board

The artists buy the boards ready-made from suppliers. They come in a variety of sizes.
The core of the board is made from plywood. One layer of lacquer is applied to the plywood which is left to dry. Next, the thin cotton cloth soaked in clay are attached to both sides of the plywood. After the cotton/ clay mixture dry, the board will be smooth.
The process is performed five times. Layers of black lacquer are then applied, polished. Thus, the final product appears as a piece of blackboard, very smooth and durable. It consists of several layers, is very resistant, and will not crack due to fluctuation in temperature or humid. It may be wrap slightly due to changes but it is quite easy to straighten it again, as it remains flexible.

The lacquer and colors

Lacquer is a clear sap coming from any of six species of trees growing in Viet Nam.
Lacquer is harvested in the same way as rubber, by making an incision and letting the sap flow. Fresh lacquer is whitish, and turns brown upon exposure to air. It should be noted that lacquer is not a harmless substance. It is a common skin irritant and a cause of contact dermatitis, as well as being potentially carcinogenic. Black lacquer stems from a chemical reaction between lacquer and iron and results from stirring the lacquer with the iron rod for a few days. Lacquer will be mixed with various natural or artificial dyes to produce the colors the artists want. Several shades of red are extracted from a naturally occurring red mineral, cinnabar( mercuric sulfide). White produces from the eggshell. Eggs from ducks are used because they have a better structure than hen’s egg. The eggshells are cleaned and sometimes even burned to obtain a brownish tinge. Most bright colors come from artificial dyes.

The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art
The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art

Other Materials

Several other materials may be used to make lacquer paintings, some of the most common being gold leaf. Silver is used below the layers of colors to create an effect of immense luster. Gold leaf, on the other hand, is often applied as the final layer. An interesting use of gold leaf appears as bright light flowing through the window. A range of other materials may also be used such as shells, sand, epoxy and clay.

How to make a lacquer painting

Applying lacquer and polishing

Making a lacquer painting is a long and arduous process. It may take several months depending on the specific technique of the artist and how many layers of lacquer are included.
Firstly, the composition of the painting may be drawn with chalk on the board, white color is added through the use of eggshell. A pattern is carefully carved in the board. The pieces of clean eggshell are glued to the cavities, and the surface is then made smooth. Clean lacquer is applied and left to dry, and the pattern is then polished.
A basic lacquer layer of colorful lacquer is applied to the board and left to dry. Silver leaf is stuck to the lacquer and covers the silver leaf. New layers of colored lacquer are painted with a brush, each with the different color. In between, clear lacquer is also applied. The artist sometimes applied up to ten layers or more of colored and clear lacquer. The paint is left to dry between each application and the layers are also smoothened.
The most important of the process, however, takes place after the final layer has been applied. The artist will rub and polish different parts of the painting until he obtains the preferred colors for various parts of the painting. Since different colors are located in different layers, rubbing must be done with great care by using fine sandpaper and the mix of charcoal powder and human hair.
The artist must remember in what layer he puts the color and has to be extremely careful not to rub too hard because the painting will be irretrievably spoilt if he rubs through the layer he wants to keep a specific color.


A lacquer painting is very durable. The board is hard and strong and is not easily damaged. The surface of clear lacquer is protective and the painting can easily be polished by the palm of the hand to make it clearer and more lustrous. Vietnamese lacquer paintings are truly a piece of art that may last for generations.

Sketching – The Art of The Moment

What is Sketching

With quick drawing style and typical simplicity, sketch paintings still have a very special appeal thanks to the spirit that is remembered and expressed by the talent of the artist. Hidden behind these sketches is also the special vibration of the artist. All the sadness, regret or life experiences are conveyed by the artists through their sketches.

What is sketching?

Sketching is one of the unique arts. It is a rapidly freehand drawing to record the spirit of the character or object. When drawing, the artist uses the sketching technique to outline the character and scenery first and then rearrange into a layout. This is considered an important step in the process of composing a work.Sketching The Art of The Moment

The spirit of sketching

Sketch paintings require the artist to have a deep and comprehensive view shown in the artwork, the ability to capture all the motion and exciting moment. The more rare and unique moment, the more appreciation the artwork gets. In addition, the artist also needs to have knowledge of the structure of the human body and the object, the principles of light, shadows, the law of distance,…to make the painting more quickly and accurately.

The tools used in sketching

The tools used in sketching, in terms of type, is relatively unitary but have a lot of different styles. Therefore, no matter what kind of tool you want to use, the first thing you have to notice is that you must understand its features. The newcomer should only know the features of two or more tools, then gradually learn to use other tools.
Every kind of tool has its pros and cons. For beginners, a soft pencil is the best choice because it is more convenient to repair the painting that you are drawing. But at the same time, the artist has to practice to generalize and be assertive in their pen strokes, avoiding the need to correct many times.
Once you have a good foundation in fine art, as well as you can capture some of the features of the tools, you can base on the content of the painting to choose the most suitable tool.
Pen: pencils are often used (especially soft pencil), carpenter pencil, charcoal pencil. Also, there are coal, iron pen, watercolor, ink,…
Paper: sketch paper, blank paper, print paper,…
Support tools: paper frame, small knife, rubber,…The tools used in sketching

Vietnamese artists succeed with sketches

Tran Huy Oanh

Following the call of the motherland and with the sensitive soul of the artist, Tran Huy Oanh has quickly discovered and recorded beautiful images of compatriots and comrades whom he accidentally caught and beloved. The military and civil activities in wartime appeared vividly through the paper. According to Tran Huy Oanh artist, sketching is quickly recording the image of an object or people to catch up and retain their spirit. Therefore, it is necessary to observe and find out their facial features. In the painting “Portrait of guerrilla girls”, viewers can see the certainty in each pen strokes. Or in the painting “Local mechanical worker” painted in 1969, the artist has succeeded in portraying the strong, confident expression through the face of the woman worker. Therefore, like photography, sketching is considered the art of the moment.Tran Huy Oanh - Sketching

To Ngoc Van

With the pencil, To Ngoc Van has sketched a lot of paintings about the time fighting against the enemy in the battle of Dien Bien Phu as sketching the guerrilla, the soldier on the way or the reality of the French resistance. He has discovered the noble beauty hidden behind their simple appearance. With the love for the country, he has successfully built the image of the Vietnamese people during the war.To Ngoc Van Sketching

Duong Xuan Quyen

Many Vietnamese art lovers are impressed with Duong Xuan Quyen through his artworks that convey the message of environmental protection. Among them, the painting “In the neighborhood” received the certificate of merit by the Vietnam Fine Arts Association in 2011. However, behind this artwork is the sketch seems to be scrawly without any ideas but in fact very detailed from the layout to the line. With him, in order to have a beautiful painting, sketching step is very important, the artist can choose to draw directly or indirectly through the photograph or the narrator. However, direct sketching is easier to capture the soul of the object, especially the portrait sketch.

Nguyen Gia Tri – The King of Vietnamese Lacquer Painting

Nguyen Gia Tri - The King of Vietnamese Lacquer Painting

Refer to Vietnamese painting, everyone knows the quartet “Tri, Van, Lan, Can” (Nguyen Gia Tri, To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Tuong Lan, Tran Van Can). Among them, Nguyen Gia Tri (1908 – 1993) was the only one to pursue lacquer painting.

Biography of Nguyen Gia Tri

Nguyen Gia Tri was born in Ha Tay province (now belongs to Ha Noi). He graduated from the Indochina Fine Arts College in 1936 and emigrated to the South in 1954. He is the pioneer in turning lacquer from decoration into paintings.
In order to create modern but still nationalistic paintings, the artist combined engravings with new lacquer methods and applied Western paintings layout with traditional elegant drawings. Nguyen Gia Tri’s paintings were forbidden to be brought out of Vietnam because they have been designated as national treasures by the government.

The Art Journey of Nguyen Gia Tri

At first, his paintings were influenced by realistic and impressive style. In the 1940s, he turned to lacquer painting. The familiar theme at this time was the charming young ladies leisurely walking in the romantic natural scenery. Through the skillful hands of Nguyen Gia Tri, charcoal paint, gold, silver, eggshell, cockroach paint could make splendid and mysterious lacquer paintings. He put lacquer technique on the peak, affirmed the importance of lacquer to Vietnamese painting. At that time, many French collected Nguyen Gia Tri’s paintings, they even searched for his sketches.
Besides lacquer painting, Nguyen Gia Tri also used caricatures to satirize the French colonial empire and their henchmen. This message was sharply conveyed through his traditional wood carvings. In 1960 – 1970, Nguyen Gia Tri changed to abstract style. At the end of his life, he returned to the dreamy world of the maiden.The Art Journey of Nguyen Gia Tri

The Graphic Style

In the painting “Girls in the Garden”, the girls have fun together and run around a colorful flower garden. Each shape and movement carries the shaping value. Especially, the beauty of the girls is honored by the sparkling golden color on the sky and the coat embellished by eggshells. With the large size lacquer paintings, Nguyen Gia Tri put the ancient next to the modern, the splendor next to the rustic, the hope next to the nostalgic. Typical is the back of the leaf called “Landscape. With strong lines, large patches of color, it evokes the closeness and the simplicity of the Northern countryside.
Most of Nguyen Gia Tri’s guests are South African and South American billionaires. They need large painting and have no special requirement. They let the artist freely express. Nguyen Gia Tri was the only artist in the history of Vietnamese modern painting have ever valued and sold paintings based on size.

The limitation of lacquer material

To make a lacquer painting takes a lot of time. Nguyen Gia Tri had to refuse orders continuously because he could not complete in time. In addition, the cost of painting lacquer, especially the money to buy materials is also very high. One thing that few people know about is that Nguyen Gia Tri has a strong body because he had to grind pictures every day. That’s why young artists later often afraid of hard work and do not want to make lacquer paintings.The limitation of lacquer material in Nguyen Gia Tri Paintings

Cubism – The Revolution in Modern Paintings

Cubism - The Revolution in Modern Paintings

It was cubism that created a revolution in painting and sculpture in the early twentieth century. The movement did not last long and have great resonance in contemporary time, but it has become the basis for a great creative explosion throughout the flow of painting of the century.

What is Cubism?

Cubism has been considered to be one of the most influential visual art schools of the 20th century, founded by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris from 1907 to 1920. The cubist style emphasizes on the 2D plane, eliminating the traditional expression of perspective and the art theory which favor the natural imitation. They are not bound to the shape, surface structure, color or space. Instead, they bring to viewers a new form of reality through artworks depicting objects divided into multiple arrays and expressed from multiple angles.What is Cubism

Characteristics and style

Cubism appeared when the artist was looking for an approach that expresses the natural world in a new way, helps them reflect things beyond the ordinary appearance of the matter. The cubist artist represents objects from different angles simultaneously. Thus, the form of the object is also broken down into areas, arrays and geometric shapes. It can be said that the Cubist artists see things in a parallel way in space and time.
The development of Cubism can be divided into three stages: the Cubism influenced by Cézanne (1907 – 1909); Analytical Cubism (1909 – 1912) and Synthetic Cubism (1912 – 1914). Most of the artists follow Cubism have composed in both analytical and synthesized styles.Characteristics and style of Cubism

Analytical Cubism

Analytical cubism is characterized by the discrete appearance of many viewpoints and overlapping planes. It is termed analytical cubism due to the structured dissection of the subject from different angles, leads to the complexity of the picture. Objects in the painting are divided into many small, confused and quite abstract arrays. The small patches are densely put at the center and then spread out in many directions, toward the edges. Another feature of this style is that the color scheme is so simple that it’s almost monochrome. In this period, painters use almost the same color palette, in favor of yellow and brownish-grey color.Analytical Cubism

Synthetic Cubism

Synthetic Cubism goes against the layout principle of the Analytical Cubism. In the Synthetic Cubism, the layout of the painting consists of overlapping details, which are painted onto the canvas. Instead of breaking the object into small pieces and then reassembling, the image in this style is built from new elements and shape. The main features of the Synthetic Cubism are summarized as follows: simple lines and shapes, brilliant colors with many basic colors such as red, yellow, orange, blue,…
This period also marked the birth of paper painting. It was Picasso who invented the paper painting with his famous painting “The Still Life With A Cloud”, in which he pasted the oilcloth on a piece of the rattan chair. Braque also inspired this painting to create “The Fruit Plate and the Glass”. The surface structure is also an interest when artists can make use of paper materials along with the paint.Synthetic Cubism

The outstanding artists of Cubism

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)

Pablo Picasso, the leader of the Cubism, was a special phenomenon of early 20th – century painting. In the early stages of painting, as well as many other artists, the expression of Picasso in painting was very close to the visual sense of reality despite having the potential for innovation. Before finding out the Cubism, he experimented on composing through a number of different schools of art. Then, the influences from the style of Henri Matisse and Henri “Le Douanier” Rousseau as simple drawings, as well as the inspiration derived from Iberian sculpture, Africa sculpture and Gauguin’s artworks was harmonized by Picasso to become a preliminary material for Cubist painting.Pablo Picasso Cubism

The artwork “Avignon Girls” by Picasso composed in 1907 officially marked the emergence of Cubism. In this painting, Picasso processed the cubes by analyzing them into more rough, strong and non-conventional views. The most striking feature of Picasso’s Cubism conception is in the facial expressions of girls in the picture, which is distorted and difficult to determine which direction they are facing. At the same time, the character formation method clearly shows the influence of African art.
Among the topics of works by Spanish artists, we can see the image of the women who had appeared in his life. Picasso’s cubist artworks on women are always very special. They always have something intricate, distorted and even scary. In addition, he also expressed the social tendency in his compositions with the thorny and intense expression about burning issues such as war or the human condition.

Georges Braque (1882-1963)

Georges Braque was a self-taught artist but became successful very soon. He was the one who invented the paper-sticking technique, making paintings by drawing wood or marble grain in modern art. Unlike Picasso, Braque’s style is homogeneous. In Braque’s artworks, people most find only arrays of dark brown, gold, reddish-brown or grey colors but can hardly find brilliant colors.
In Analysis Cubism, Braque divided the cubes into rectangles, triangles,… superimposed on each other. Colors are reduced to the minimum of their expressiveness, leaving only gray-brown tone. In Synthetic Cubism, Braque particularly liked to put the prints and stick the newspaper on the surface of the painting. The newspaper material appears very real next to the blurry or a little bit abstract image.Georges Braque Cubism