China Painting: Porcelain Fan

Porcelain fan

This piece won 1st Prize for china painting in the 1992 Inverell Arts Festival (Judge Wim de Vos). Below is a copy of the article I wrote about it for the Australian Porcelain Decorator. (The original article also included a line drawing.)

This article assumes some china painting knowledge. Not a china painter? There's a brief description of these techniques on another page. I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have.


by R. Janette Graham

The design of this piece was suggested by an illustration in a book of oriental fans.

Begin the design by reserving a suitably sized area for grounding, then sketch simple flowers in the remaining area. Vary the size and angle and include some turned petals for variety.

Mask the flowers, plain area and edges of the fan, then pad or brush a thin layer of lavender oil over the background. Use separate brushes to cover the area with alternate dots of violet/purple lustre and liquid bright gold, then with a clean brush lightly merge the dots. Cover the surface but don't blend completely, and remove any excess. Remove masking and fire. (Do a practice piece first if you haven't tried this before.)

Mask around the plain area and ground with a suitable metallic, e.g. bluish-pink. Paint rolled petal edges with pink or carmine lustre, and add dots at the end of stamens with base for raised gold. Remove masking and fire.

Reground metallic area if necessary and paint flowers with mother-of-pearl lustre. Fire.

Outline flowers, stamens and centres with liquid bright gold, and apply gold to the raised dots where the sticks cross. Fire.

Source: 1992, ‘Fan’, Australian Porcelain Decorator, 46, pp. 40, 42.
Republished with permission. (The Australian porcelain decorator has since ceased publication.)

See my Magnolia Showers page to read another china painting article; my resume page to see what other articles I've had published; and my work page for a brief description of china painting techniques.

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