Long before the availability of cameras, portraits played an important role in capturing the real face of human figures usually commissioned by royal families, nobles, officials and socialites in order to highlight the extraordinary power, status and wealth of their own. And they naturally hoped to present their prefect self or in a manner of being perfected, therefore, meticulous strokes have been employed by the artists to depict the dignified or graceful countenance, the magnificently elegant clothing and the background.
However, the portraits in Qiu Yacai's oil painting jump over the boundary and further illustrate the unique attitudes of literatus with the reflection of life. He never objectively describe the features of human figures, instead, he stays with his absolute artistic identities of modernization. By putting less emphasis on three-dimensional strokes for the completion of the pictures, he stresses the original presentation of strokes and colours. Significant facial features of the figures can seldom be found in his painting with their faces have always been flatly composed and even appeared to be stuck with a layer of smooth, creamy and white film, as if to push them to the ultimate simplicity. Gently slender and smooth body is Chiu's preference of depiction with half-bodied figures usually being located in the centre of the pictures, tending to look at a certain point outside the frame. He chooses to totally give up the decorative purpose of the background where a random indoor space is created, or even adopt the same colour base as the human figure to imply the relations between the background colour and the subject.
Only a thorough realization of one's origin, education background, work, ideals, character and accomplishments can present a special temperament, targeting the abstract nature by a subjective image which is the real temperament behind one's back, the thing that Qiu really cares. Accomplished Young Man (Lot 1527) shows gentility and humbleness, Woman in Checker (Lot 1524) reveals elegance and intellectuality, Architect (Lot 1526) expresses professional confidence and calm by supporting the body with opening arms, and Confucius (Lot 1525) speaks for maturity, staidness and unusual knowledge. In addition, the subjects in Qiu's painting develop a mutual temperament and feature of sublimity and heavenliness, constructing unified face which is the specific representation of ideal temperament in painter's mind. This kind of artistic fashion may be associated with the idea of "Spiritual Conveyance by Image" in traditional Chinese portraits where the presentation of "Spirit" has become more than facial expression but directed to the purely true dimension of human nature.