In this course, you'll learn:

Venture into the art of Gongbi with Joan Lok to paint flowers (lotus) and birds (cockatoo) with precise contours and layers of color washes.

  • Essential basics to start the beautiful art of Gongbi

  • Tarashikomi – Ancient way using water, ink, and color for dramatic effects

  • How to hold two brushes with one hand to efficiently apply gradations and washes

  • Fundamental brushwork for contours

This workshop includes:

Convert from my multi-day Gongbi workshop

  • 2 Start-to-Finish Demonstrations of painting Pink Lotus, and a White Cockatoo

  • Close to 6 hours of instruction with 35 videos in manageable segments

  • Downloadable artwork images, contour sketches, and supply list

Course curriculum

  • 1


  • 2

    Gongbi Basics for Flower and Bird Painting

    • Design Sketch Preparation

    • Basic Brushwork

    • Layering Washes, Holding 2 Brushes with 1 Hand

    • Tarashikomi Technique

    • Apply White to Petals

    • Apply Colors to Leaves

  • 3

    Demo - Pink Lotus

    • 1. Contour Tracing

    • 2. Lotus - Initial Base Color Wash

    • 3. Leaves - Initial Ink Wash

    • 4. Lotus - Second Wash for Subtle Shadow

    • 5. Leaves - Blue Wash from the Center to the Outer Edge

    • 6. Leaves - Yellow Wash from Outer Edge Towards the Center

    • 7. Lotus - Red/Pink Wash

    • 8. Leaves - An Even Wash of Green

    • 9. Lotus - Petals and Filament Details

    • 10. Tarashikomi Background with Stone Green

    • Review of Pink Lotus Artwork

  • 4

    Demo - White Cockatoo

    • 1. Contour Tracing

    • 2. Cockatoo - Layer Washes for the Crest

    • 3. Cockatoo - Layer Wash for Shadows on the Body

    • 4. Leaves - Red Wash from the Center to the Outer Edge

    • 5. Leaves - Yellow Wash from the Outer Edge towards the Center

    • 6. Tree Trunk with Tarashikomi

    • 7. Background Gradation

    • 8. Cockatoo - Strengthening the shades in the body; Base Wash for Eye and Bill

    • 9. Leaves - Wash to intensify Layers/Shadows

    • 10. Cockatoo - Applying White to the Body

    • 11. Cockatoo - Feather Details; Complete Eye and Bill

    • 12. Review of White Cockatoo Artwork

  • 5


    • Gongbi Artwork Inspirations

    • Wrap-Up and Discussion Space for Artists

Watch Intro Video

Welcome and Content Preview Video

Bonus Support

Extra resources for enrolled students

  • Online Access

    Unlimited online access of course content for enrolled students for two years.

  • Zoom Chat

    Virtual meetings of Q&A with Joan and fellow students with active enrollment.

  • Coursework Critique

    Share up to three pieces of your artwork for Joan's comments and suggestions.


  • What tools will I need?

    All courses include a downloadable supply list. If you practice sumi-e or watercolor, you'll likely have all or most of the supplies.

  • When and how often can I access the course?

    Once you enroll, you can access all the lessons as often as you want for two years.

  • What's the best way to learn with the course?

    Practicing along is the key to learn. I recommend gathering your supplies after seeing the supply list. Watch the videos in the order of the chapters. When a video stops, work on your artwork following the steps I just described for as long as you want. Go back to the course when you are ready. Re-watch any lessons you like. Take the course as if you are attending an in-person workshop with me. We have lots of time to practice. You will understand the technique more with frequent practices than just by watching the whole course from start to finish in one seating.

  • When is the Zoom Chat for enrolled students?

    It is currently on the second Saturday of even month (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct & Dec) at 2 pm (U.S. eastern time zone) for 30 minutes via Zoom. I will email all enrolled students a week before with the link, meeting ID and Passcode. New students will be invited as well. Private/customized live chat can be arranged with a group of students as long as every attendee is individually enrolled.

  • Do you offer private or group workshops?

    I offer private or group workshops in-person and via virtual meetings. Please email me.

  • How do I enroll? How do I sign-in again?

    Click on any "Get started today" buttons . You will create an account with your email and add a password. You pay online with a credit card. The Thank you/Confirmation email will give you a link to the course to start right away. You can stop at any time. When you want to start again, go to and click on Online Workshop. Sign-in on the top menu with your email and password. The system will remember where you stopped and will ask if you would like to continue where you left off, or start elsewhere. It is that smart. If you enroll in multiple courses, when you login, you can pick which course you want to work on.

  • Can I share my log-in?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! I aim to keep the online course affordable, especially now when we practice social-distancing. Login-sharing is prohibited to sustain the high maintenance cost of the online system. I reserve the right to un-enroll individuals without refund for usage abuse, and will pursue all damages and loss revenue the action may have caused.

Meet Joan

Joan Lok

I have been teaching sumi-e workshops for over 25 years. My art is a fusion of old and new, east and west, and the balancing play of yin and yang (positive and negative forces) to link Asian tradition to an adventurous, modern viewpoint. I am excited to share my favorite way of using expressive brushwork with you. Joan served as the President of the Sumi-e Society of America for 10 years, and taught Asian American Arts at the University of Maryland. Her book "Chinese Brush Painting: Flowers" is a best-seller in English, Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch. Joan has received awards from art competitions in the United States, Canada, and Japan. She resides in Maryland, USA.