Lost art of Feng Shui Painting Part 1

Previous article, we discussed on toilet Feng Shui audit. In this article, we will be talking about one of the complex topic – Feng Shui Painting.

We split this article into 2 different parts; a) basic  b) meaning of each painting (traditional & modern)

Few factors to consider before purchasing a painting for your house. It can be a tough decision to make especially for those hand drawn ones. This rings more true if recommendation comes from Feng Shui master. 

However, final choice and decision lies with the owner, you, on which art piece to purchase. In olden days, painting are often found in those wealthy or academic-based families. Those who are poor do not have the luxury of time to appreciate art.

As such, their home often have only 4 bare walls (家徒四壁) which is later inferred as poor or not wealthy. Observed those around you who are above average and you can often find art pieces lying around.

Deciding Factors

Before even buying a painting, some important factors to take note or consult your Feng Shui master.

  1. Size of the painting and the room proportion

  2. Length and width of the painting without art frame

  3. Color of the art frame

  4. Material of the art frame

  5. Artist reputation

  6. Main colors of the painting content

  7. Painting content and its meaning behind (e.g. Buddha or deity painting is not recommended for bedroom)

  8. Painting content; if animal drawing, will this clash or complement the family member zodiac

  9. Direction of the painting content (e.g. ship steering direction/ waterfall flowing direction)

  10. Placement of the painting

  11. Cost of the painting which can be quite costly

  12. Date & time of hanging the painting is not important at all

As you can see, there are around 10 over factors to consider before buying a painting! This is why Feng Shui master seldom recommend them as this takes up a considerable time of theirs. For simplicity sake, we will group above factors for discussion by theme instead of per point basis.  

Measurement & Proportion

Art painting size has to be proportional to wall of the room. This may seem common sense. However, often owner may face the challenges of searching the right size with reasonable budget for his/ her favorite painting. This required patience, luck and opportunity to find the desired painting with right content, budget and size. Rule of thumb in term of aesthetic is

a) painting size should not be less than half of the wall

b) painting size should not be less than 1/3 of the wall Above depends on whether the painting is hanged onto the main wall/ side wall/ pillar wall. On painting length and width, rule of thumb is based on Feng Shui ruler known as Ru Ban Chi (鲁班尺). Carpenters in the olden days used these measurement when constructing house and main door.

Do note the ruler has two types of measurement; Yang(阳) and Yin(阴) respectively.

a) Yang: upper portion of the ruler, used for measurement for the livings.  Furniture, door, painting, house and etc…

b) Yin: lower portion of the ruler, used for measurement for the ancestor or deity.  Altar, ancestral tablet, grave and etc… For both aspects, red measurement signify auspicious and black as inauspicious.  To illustrate, below image source from public domain.

Image 1. Ru Ban Ruler (Feng Shui Ruler)

Art Frame

Art frame is normally sold separately; either customised or purchased in standard frame size. In Feng Shui context, frame color need to complement two areas:

a) Room owner Bazi (八字)

b) Painting content five elements (五行) For color elements, you can refer to this article for a quick guide. As for material wise, it also need to complement Bazi or five elements.  The materials are:

a) wood

b) plastic

c) aluminium

d) frameless

Other areas such as frame shapes or pattern are not discussed here.  They belong to the same context as the five elements.  You can refer to this article for a quick guide.  

Artist Reputation

In Feng Shui context, famous artist painting are sought after as they are seen to bring luck, fame or prosperity. Example is past emperor painting or calligraphy as it is often associated with great wealth, prosperity or nobility. Thus, below artists category are highly sought after:

a) artist famous in their own field

b) rising star artist

c) wealthy or famous people who took up art as a hobby

Painting Content

Regarding content, there are different styles.  Broadly, we classified them into Chinese traditional or modern painting.

Traditional theme:

a) Flowers painting such as peony, osmanthus, lotus or four season flowers (You may refer to this article for quick guide)

b) Bamboos or trees painting that signify prosperity or evade disaster (You may refer to this article for quick guide)

c) Landscape painting such as ship harbor, mountain view, big lake

d) Animals painting such as chicken, horses, fishes, cranes, tiger, deer or dragon

e) Deity or human painting such as “Three Stars”(三星 福禄寿), eight deities crossing sea (八仙过海), hundreds children (百子图)

f) Calligraphy

Modern theme:

a) Buddha face painting

b) Abstract arts in shapes and colors

c) Famous painting replica such as Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers

d) Abstract/ modern painting of animals that represent the animals painting

Painting content greatly depend on the placement and Feng Shui desired result. Example on study room Feng Shui: Objective is for owner to prosper in his/ her career. In the study room, a painting will be hanged on the wall facing back of the seat. Else it will be hanged on the wall facing the desk.

Back of the seat: normally will be landscape painting with mountains and tress to signify strong backing.  It can also be animal painting such as eagle flying high or tiger going up hill.

Front of the desk: usually will be landscape with painting of a far view scenery. You may refer to this article for quick guide on Study room Feng Shui audit.

Pitfalls to look out for Feng Shui painting:

a) Usual case in point are the animal paintings.  Often, they do not complement with family members‘ zodiac and thus rejected.  A general example, horse painting are not to be used where there is a rat zodiac family member.  This can be based purely on zodiac or Bazi.

b) Main colors of the painting that clashes or do not complement with owner’s Bazi.

Painting Placement & Direction

Two other important areas to consider when hanging your painting. They are painting content direction and their placement. Below illustrates 2 examples.

Image 2.  Smooth Sailing Journey

Above painting depict a ship with all the sails in position and steering through the ship. This means that when outside of the house, all will be smooth sailing for the owner. For this direction, the ship mascot should be facing outward of the house. As for painting placement, normally placed in living room or main door area.

Image 3.  Safety return to harbor

Above painting depicts a ship safety back to harbor. This painting normally place in the living room area and the ship mascot is facing inwards of the house. Not towards main door. For the same theme on ship, above painting illustrate the importance of their different directions in Feng Shui context.  

Cost & Alternatives

Lastly, painting price tag is often the showstopper that turns potential owner away.  Therefore, some alternatives for consideration.  Best choice if possible is still hand drawn.

  1. Replica of the painting hand drawn by other artists
  2. Computer print of the painting with high resolution
  3. Hand sewn of cloth painting
  4. Print of cloth painting

Hopefully, this article on Feng Shui painting concept shared give you a basic understanding before getting one next time. For relevant article, you can read about our article on Living Room Feng Shui Audit.

Thank you & Good Luck !

Fengshui astrology

Simple quote FSDH in Da Wei Arts website or “家居风水” when you purchase in store. If you need help on Feng shui arts, simple reach out to us for advice.

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