The flow and spread of the black ink in many shades, from black to light gray on rice paper represents the subject. The addition of color may be employed. Sources of color are varied, including powdered jade, white pearl and other natural elements. An integral part of the composition is the red chop, or seal, which is the artist's signature. It can signify the artist's name or home village or a bit of philosophy.
Brush painting speaks simply from the power of its basic inspiration. Themes from nature are the usual subject matter, but brush painters do not try to imitate, control or master nature. Rather, they appreciate every aspect of it and enjoy the natural process.