Xialongbao that I had was filled with crab meat. It was not just any crab but the much sought-after kind from the Yangtze Delta (read related post and see another painting of this restaurant).
In Chinese cuisine, crab meat is considered yin because of its cooling characteristics. Therefore, it is often eaten together with something else that has a warming (yang) effect such as vinegar.
Yin and yang - they are two opposites that interconnect and interact, and together make a whole.
Whether conscious or not, we painters think in terms of yin and yang when we design and execute a painting. After gaining a little knowledge on what makes a painting, the importance of understanding the polarity of many elements in composition, paint application, color choices and types of brushstrokes, becomes clearer to us. Our brain is constantly making choices between light/dark (values), warm/cool (hues), positive/negative (shapes), wet/dry (surface), etc. while working on a painting.
So, when I look at a finished painting, it has to feel, in a way, as if I just had the most delicious crab meat together with rich, flavorful aged vinegar. If not, I just have to try again.
Yuyuan, Shanghai, China IV
Click here for an enlarged view.
Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)