Fleurs: Drawing Literature
I join ‘Literature sketching Special: writing & drawing’ organised by Fleurs des Lettres in the Kowloon City Book Festival in 2016. The tutor, Mr. Third led us well and inspired me a lot in contemporary words+pictures creation.
I registered online days before the workshops. It costed HK$50. There were 6-7 students, Mr. Third, an assistant (Fleurs des Lettres intern) and a staff from Hong Kong Arts Development Council (who leave early).
We started in HKICC and walked to Hau Wong temple. Mr. Third introduced the temple beautiful architectural briefly and read us poems. He then gave us worksheets which printed Chinese characters like ‘⼓’, ‘辵’, ‘豸, ’, ‘衤’ and ‘艹’.
Mr. Third asked us to use these characters to ‘draw’ Hau Wong temple. Then we discussed our works together. And we picked our own or other student’s picture to create a poem.
I was confused at first, how can I present a complex structure like Hau Wong temple in simple lines like those characters?
We were asked to leave Hau Wong temple by the temple stuff when we were drawing because Hau Wong temple was about to close. So we moved to the little garden opposite to the temple.
I looked up when we were standing in front of the zebra crossing and waiting for the traffic lights. I saw white clouds extend to infinity under a bright blue sky and it was beautiful.
I gave up the complex Hau Wong temple immediately and decided to draw some white clouds.
But it was a bit boring to have only clouds. It seems more fun if I added some birds.
I pick ‘⼓’ which looked like a cloud and repeat+enlarge+reduce it. I want to draw the birds when they were flying like a straight line from the top right corner to the bottom left corner on the paper.
I named this picture ‘the Cloud Bird’.
One of the ‘⼓’ was bigger because I didn’t make a sketch first. The changing of big to small was not obvious enough, sigh…
But Mr. Third said it was OK and he suggested me to color ‘⼓’. I didn’t do so because time was not enough and I couldn’t think of a color which could both represent cloud and bird.
I chose my own drawing to create a poem.
There were 16 ‘⼓’ in the picture so I decided to write a short poem with 16 Chinese characters. 4 lines with 4 words made a square and I put it in the middle of a square paper. Good～
The content was a bit old-fashion. The first two sentences talked about cloud and bird. The last two sentences was about separate and union (just like clouds).
I want to write the poem with Chinese brush but I didn’t bring my tools that day.
Mr. Third suggested me to use color markers to write the poem and using different colors to emphasize particular words.
That’s a good idea! I never thought of using color to emphasize words. It was worth a try!
So one word has a different color in every line. It would be a top left to bottom right direction if we linked up those special words.
And the direction of ‘the Cloud Bird’ was from top right to bottom left.
If we put two pictures side by side (word on left and picture on right). And jittered them. We would have a big bird clapping its wings and ready to fly high～!!
This word and picture workshop was really fun.
Ancient Chinese like to write poem on painting. Chinese always had a strong tradition of words in picture.
And it was my first time to learn to create words and picture in one work in a contemporary style. It was so cool and fun!
Mr. Third is a good teacher. He didn’t angry even I didn’t take his advice (to color ‘the Cloud and Bird’ picture). He didn’t force his students to agree with him because he is a teacher. He LISTENED to the student’s ideas and gave them proper suggestions. I really appreciate he RESPECT his students.
(It would be great if I had good teachers like Mr. Third when I was miserably stuck in Hong Kong crazy education system…)
Anyway, thanks Fleurs des Lettres for organising this workshop, thanks Hong Kong Arts Development Council for their subsidise (?) and mostly thanks Mr. Third for his excellent teaching! ：）