Chinese Scroll Painting

Create your own Chinese style brush painting. Ancient Chinese art typically depicts scenes of everyday life and landscapes. The scenes were painted with sweeping brush strokes and ink washes, giving the artwork a distinct style and beauty. On some paintings brush writing or calligraphy was part of the design.

Skill Level

Beginner. Adult supervision needed

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Cut a piece of A4 papyrus paper in half to make a 21cm x 14cm rectangle. Lightly outline out a simple scene in pencil. Traditional Chinese images include trees, landscapes, water and mountains.
  2. Water down some black ink in a mixing tray. Use a paintbrush to wash the ink over the paper to fill in some areas on the picture, like mountains or tree trunks. You could just use a black wash, or add small amounts of watered down green or brown ink. Leave some areas of the papyrus paper showing, to add to the aged effect. Leave to dry.
  3. When the paint has fully dried, use a brush tip marker pen to outline parts of the picture. Draw in some details over the areas with the ink washes. Brush pens can be used to define small shapes more clearly, like a house or a bridge.
  4. Paint some brighter colours onto the picture to enhance the design. Try adding pink or red onto branches for blossom or orange for Autumn leaves. Leave to dry.
  5. To make a loop to hang the picture cut a 20cm piece of coloured embroidery thread. Turn the painting over then fold down the top edge by 1cm to make a crease. Unfold the paper and stick a strip of double-sided tape along the edge. Peel off the backing strip from the tape, press the ends of the thread on top then press the folded strip down.
  6. To make a tassel cut an 80cm piece of coloured embroidery thread plus a 10cm and 20cm piece. Wrap the long thread 7-8 times around 3 fingers to make a series of loops. Carefully slide the thread off your fingers then tie the 10cm thread around the loops on one side. Let one end of the short thread hang down with the loops, separate the other end for hanging the tassel. To make the top of the tassel, wrap the 20cm piece of thread around the loops 1cm from the top then tie a knot. Cut through the loops to make the tassel fringe, trim the ends if there are any uneven strands. Make another matching tassel in the same way.
  7. Make another fold along the bottom edge of the painting, unfold the paper and stick a strip of double-sided tape along the edge. Peel off the backing strip from the tape, press the ends of the tassel threads on top then press the folded strip down.

Top Tip

Use 2 different colours of embroidery thread for the tassel to make it more decorative.

What you'll need






Total £0.00

Items you'll also need

  • Paintbrushes
  • A pencil
  • A paint mixing tray
  • Scissors
  • A ruler