Gong Bi (labor intensive brush work) is a traditional Chinese brush painting style dating back as early as the Tang Dynasty. It has been described as the most labor intensive and time consuming painting style because the painting must show intricate, and meticulous details of the subject matter.
Gong Bi is also called "fine-line" painting. The artist first draws an outline of the subject, then fills with colors inside these lines with varying degree of intensity.
THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE USED TO JUDGE THE QUALITY OF A GONG BI PAINTING:
The ink brush outline must show appropriate ink tones and a variety of accurate lines with varying thickness to reflect the aliveness of the subject matter.
When applying pigment or ink to a painting, the light and shadow, concave and convex area must reflect the structure of the subject matter so it becomes three dimensional.
An important skill in Gong Bi painting is a smooth wash to spread the colors so that the transition from dark to light is gradual and smooth.
The intensity and depth of color is achieved through multiple applications of paint (water/pigment/ink) layer after layer.