Design and paint your own Chinese plate
This Chinese dish was discovered in a rubbish pit in Exeter. It dates from the Wan Li period, around 1680, which shows there were trade links between Exeter and Asia more than 300 years ago. The dish is decorated with a landscape scene showing fishermen and boats. It also features waterfalls which symbolise continuous fortune and wealth.
Enjoy designing and painting your own blue and white plate inspired by the plate in our collection.
What will you include in the decoration? There are lots of images of Chinese painted plates on the internet which might give you some ideas.
You could choose to paint a scene or individual images of, perhaps, prunus blossom or a Chinese building or a seated Buddha
You will need:
A paper plate. These can be bought in packs for a very reasonable price
A pencil. You might prefer to sketch out your design before painting
Watercolour or acrylic paints
Paint brushes. Different thicknesses can be helpful and try to include a very thin one for finer detail
Pot of water
If you don’t have paints, you could use crayons or felt tip pens instead.
Many Chinese plates have lines painted around them so you could choose to start with these
If you wish to sketch out your design first, do it very lightly so the lines don’t show when the plate is finished
Take your time and remember, even if you are decorating in one colour, you could use different shades of light and dark.
If you don’t want to paint only in blue, you could use other colours . The Chinese painted in colours that featured one particular colour. They called these ‘Families’ and include Famille Rose (red), Famille Verte (green), Famille Jaune (yellow), Famille Bleu (blue), Famille Noire (black) and Famille Brun (brown).