- Bihua - Wall painting - were produced in great numbers in the early period of China's history, but because so little early architecture in China has remained, few of these large-scale paintings have survived.
- Standing screen painting, used as a functional home furnishing element. Deteriorated rapidly through frequent handling. The paintings were often salvaged and remounted as hanging scrolls. Many of the paintings that we know today in one format may well have originated in another.
- Lizhou - Hanging scroll - From the Song dynasty onwards, paintings in a variety of portable formats were collected and passed on to later generations in significant quantities. Hanging scrolls displays an entire painting at one viewing. Usually two to six feet high. Can be thought of as a lightweight, changeable wall painting. The earliest hanging scrolls may be related to tomb banners, known from the early Han dynasty. More common from the tenth century and onward.
- Shoujuan - Handscroll - Typically between nine and fourteen inches (23-35 cm) in height but varies in length. Lightweight and portable. Only a portion is viewed at a time. The viewer can look more quickly at some sections and linger over details in others.
- Ceye - Album leaves - first used for painting during the Song; probably stems from printing and book binding practice. Small and intimate in scale, often with poetry and painting on facing pages.
- Shanmian - Fan - flat and oval, known from Tang times or earlier. Popular from late Northern Song through Southern Song since well suited to the abbreviated, lyrical images prevalent at the time.
See also Painting themes and Qianjiang