Library of Heaven is Path
158 It“s Your Turn
Chapter 158: It's Your Turn
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
"However, it hasn't been long since you two came into contact with painting. Not only would it be ineffective to have you paint for your examination, it would be an insult to the craft. Thus, after discussing with Yuanyu, we came up with a new examination format.”
It has just been a month since Huang Yu and Bai Xun first came into contact with painting. Even if Master Lu Chen were to have them paint, what kind of painting could they come up with? It would just be embarrassing to have that. Thus, Master Lu Chen chose to use another method to test them instead.
Speaking to this point, he chuckled and continued, "The format would be that... I, Yuanyu, and Brother Zhang Xuan will first paint, and the two of you will then appraise and rate the paintings. The person, whose review is the most accurate and precise, will be presented the Ink Daylily Canvas!"
"To paint? Hm?"
Sipping on his tea, Zhang Xuan had merely intended to show his presence for the examination. But upon hearing Master Lu Chen's words, he staggered and nearly spat his mouthful of tea onto the elder’s face.
You must be joking! I am just here to add to your number, yet you want me to paint... Are you examining them or me?
I don't even know how to hold a brush, what kind of painting can I draw?
"I think it's better for me to not to paint..." Zhang Xuan said anxiously.
"Don't reject this offer, let's bond over literature. There are many literature gatherings that require one to come up with poems or drawing. It's rare to have you and Brother Yuanyu here at the same time, so let's interact through our paintings. At the same time, we can have these juniors understand the true charm of painting. Perhaps, they might even fall in love with the craft and become a master in the future."
Master Lu Chen stroked his beard and chuckled.
Zhang Xuan was on the verge of tears.
Are you listening to my words carefully?
What I mean is that I can't paint, and I don't want to paint. Yet, you go on rambling about interacting through painting…
The heck that we interact through painting!
"Cough cough, there's really no need for it. It's enough to have you two draw. I haven't done any preparations for this..."
Zhang Xuan could only phrase his words even clearer.
"I have already prepared the brush, paper, and ink slab. Brother Zhang Xuan, there's no need to be so restrained, treat this as your home and draw as you please. At the same time, let them understand what true painting!" Master Lu Chen replied.
"Restrained? Understanding what true painting is?"
This isn't what I am trying to say at all!
"Alright, Ah Cheng, go and prepare the painting tools. Xiao Yu and Bai Xun, watch carefully as we paint and learn from it!"
Lu Chen thought that Zhang Xuan was embarrassed and waved away his concerns with a smile.
"Yes!" The butler Uncle Cheng waved his hands, and a few maids carried in three sets of painting tools and placed it on the table before them.
Zhang Xuan's eyebrows twitched furiously.
He couldn't even draw with a pencil, and he has to do it with a brush now...
If he knew that the examination would be like this, he would never have come.
"Since we're here to get acquainted with one another through our paintings, let's not constrain ourselves to any topic!" Once the preparations were in place, Master Lu Chen looked at Master Yuanyu with a grin. "Brother Yuanyu, you are a guest, so it'll be best if you go first!"
"Alright. I will be displaying my inferior skills then!"
Master Yuanyu stroked his beard with a smile and walked forward to the table. Picking up the brush, he mused for a moment before starting on his painting.
His brush flew around the paper with astonishing force and elegance. The moment he started painting, his kind face and disposition transformed. He exuded the aura of an expert painter without an equal, garnering respecting from the onlookers.
"There are four main levels to painting. They are namely 'Reality Depiction', 'Spiritual Canvas', 'Infused Intentions', and 'Breathtaking Verisimilitude'. Reality Depiction means the recording of the sight one sees in reality perfectly. Even though such a drawing may be remarkably lifelike, it is the lowest level of a painting."
As Master Yuanyu started painting, Lu Chen explained the various levels that a piece of painting can be assigned to the crowd.
"Spiritual Canvas refers to the level where the scenery and objects one draw comes alive through the infuse of spiritual energy. The entire painting will look as though it is a living scenery. For example, if one drew a fish, the spectators would feel as though the fish is alive, and that it would leap out from the canvas at any moment."
"The third level, Infused Intentions, refers to the level in which one is able to infuse one's intentions into a painting! One must first attain a certain state of mind before they start painting in order to produce a painting that can move and allure others. My 【Summer-Autumn Painting】and 【Chi Xiong Howling to the Heavens】 happens to reach such a level. That's why one would feel as though the paintings are unfolding before him, as though he has been pulled into its world."
"Brother Yuanyu and I happen to have reached this level. If we're sufficiently lucky, there is a small possibility that we might be able to produce a level 4 painting. Breathtaking Verisimilitude refers to a painting in which characters carry a disposition of their own, to the point that even animals and savage beasts are unable to tell the difference between a painting and reality. The Ink Daylily Canvas that Xiao Yu wants and Brother Yuanyu's River Canary Painting of such a level."
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
He thought that whoever whose drawing was the most lifelike would be the better painter. Only after listening to the explanation did he realize that drawing a lifelike painting... was simply the lowest level.
Only when a drawing was infused with the painter's spirit and unique artistic conception can it be considered a true masterpiece.
In the midst of the discussion, Master Yuanyu's painting slowly began to take shape.
It is a painting of a Mountainous Jungle Sparrow. Within the tranquil forest, two sparrows are dancing around. Even though they are motionless, one can almost hear the bright chirping of the birds in the air, as though one had entered the mountainous forests, and is surrounded by the fragrance of the flowers and the melodious twitter of the birds.
"Master Lu, is this an Infused Intentions painting?
Huang Yu couldn't resist asking.
For it to induce such a sensation, this showed that the painting contained a profound artistic conception. One couldn't help but be absorbed into it with a single glance.
"Un!" Master Lu Chen nodded his head. "This painting has indeed reached the level of Infused Intentions. However, it barely meets the mark. As for why I say so, it is your job to analyze and appraise it. Whoever who is able to come up with the most precise answer will be the victor."
"Yes!" Huang Yu and Bai Xun immediately focused their gazes on the painting.
In no time, Master Yuanyu placed his brush down.
He had completed the Mountainous Jungle Sparrow Painting.
"Hehe, looks like my skills have gotten rusty after resting for too long. Here is my humble painting!" Master Yuanyu smiled. "Lu Chen, it's your turn!"
"Alright!" Master Lu Chen walked up to the table, picked up the brush, and his hands started to fly about.
Even though they are both master painters of the third level, it is clear through Lu Chen's fluid movements that he is more adept.
In his painting, a lone boat could be seen floating on the surface of a river. There were no astonishing waves or fearsome storms, but it gave the feeling as though one was trudging ahead against all odds, that the entire world was hindering the boat's path. Even though the person on the boat was drawn with just two mere strokes, his courage in charging ahead despite the dangers that lurked ahead induced the spectator's hot-bloodedness.
"Looks like Brother Lu's technique is superior to mine!"
Even before the painting was finished, Master Yuanyu couldn't help but comment.
He is skilled in painting and is renowned in the field as well, but when compared to Lu Chen, he is still a long way off.
While the artistic conception behind his Mountainous Jungle Sparrow Painting isn't bad, if one were to analyze the two paintings thoroughly, Lu Chen's artistic conception would be a tier higher than his.
He had only contrasted the silence of the forest along with the liveliness of the birds, but the other party had brought out the inner struggle of a person. It is clear that the other party is much more skilled than him.
"How is it? Can you tell anything from it?"
Master Yuanyu turned his attention to Bai Xun and Huang Yu and questioned them with a smile.
"I can tell that Master Lu had used three types of painting techniques and twelve types of painting strokes in his Flowing River Painting. Also, there seems to be the shadow of the renowned painter eighty years ago, Chen Jiao, in his painting." Huang Yu pondered for a moment before replying.
Chen Jiao was a famous female painter in Tianxuan Kingdom back then. Her strokes were delicate, and she specialized in painting mountains and rivers. In that aspect, she was said to have reached the pinnacle for river paintings, and she was honored as the number one painter in the Tianxuan Kingdom in the last three hundred years.
"I saw that too..." Bai Xun hurriedly said.
"Un, seems like you have good eyes!"
Master Yuan Yu chuckled.
"Three types of painting techniques? Twelve types of painting strokes?"
Zhang Xuan was speechless.
From his perspective, all he saw was Master Lu Chen picking up the brush and drawing randomly. He couldn't tell anything unique about it at all.
Even though he had infused all of the knowledge from the books which he had flipped through into his head through the golden page in the golden book, they were all mainly related to cultivation techniques, battle techniques, and pill forging. There were barely any painting-related books in the teacher Compendium Pavilion, and as such, he is nearly completely ignorant on the topic.
"Haha, Brother Yuanyu, you are way too humble!"
In a moment's time, Master Lu Chen completed the Flowing River Painting as well. Chuckling, he walked over and said, "I have been touring the Benma River these few days and accumulated several days of emotions before unleashing them all on this painting, that's why I was able to up you one in this painting. Brother Yuanyu is normally busy going around treating others and isn't as free as me. If you were to be like me and immerse yourself into painting, I'm afraid that I would be far from a match for you!"
"Painting is dependant on talent. It is because I find myself lacking talent that I chose to tread on the path of a physician!"
Master Yuanyu shook his head.
"Alright, we two old folks shouldn't be praising one another here like that. Speaking of talents, Brother Zhang Xuan is truly a genius. Despite being young, he possesses a unique view and understanding of painting. I believe that his painting ability is in no way inferior ours."
Master Lu Chen shook his head smiling and gestured Zhang Xuan forward. "We are already done painting. Brother Zhang Xuan, it's your turn!"
The moment he said those words, everyone's eyes turned to look at Zhang Xuan.
Master Yuanyu also nodded his head in approval. His eyes were filled with curiosity, he was interested to see what kind of painting Zhang Xuan would come up with.
He had heard Lu Chen spoke of Zhang Xuan's matter before. Even though he does not doubt his words, he still found it a little unbelievable that Zhang Xuan could reach such an incredible level of expertise at such a young age.
Painting is different from martial arts. It isn't something one can succeed in just because one has talent. One needs to accumulate a multitude of experience and emotions in order to comprehend life so as to produce good paintings. Even for him, it was due to him treating innumerable patients that he gained the inspiration required for his mastery in painting to soar, reaching the current level he is at.
However, Zhang Xuan is not even twenty. Even if he was born with natural compatibility to painting, at the very most, he only has a solid foundation that allows him to reach the level of Reality Depiction. If he wants to create paintings of the level of Spiritual Canvas and Infused Intentions... He probably needs a lot more training.
Of course, he wouldn't vocalize these thoughts. After all, it would be impolite.
At that moment, when Master Lu Chen invited him to paint, he couldn't help but peer over to see what standards that fellow possessed.
Even Bai Xun and Huang Yu looked excited.
Zhang Xuan had performed impressively the previous time he was here, pointing out the flaws and secrets behind Master Lu Chen's painting, even giving him pointers. They couldn't help but admire him for that. Right now, they are truly curious to see what kind of level had this Zhang laoshi, who isn't much older than them, had reached.
Sensing their eager gazes, Zhang Xuan felt his head swelling up.
He thought that the other party was just casually bringing the matter up... To think that he really needed to draw.
How can he draw when he doesn't know a single thing at all?
He can't possibly draw a little chick, add a halo to it, and call it Divine Phoenix.
If he really did so, he probably wouldn't have to dream about stepping out from the residence alive. He would surely be beaten to death.
"This... this... Can I first browse through some books?"
Scratching his head, Zhang Xuan suppressed his embarrassment and asked.