Traditionally, there are two approaches by which the Chinese learn calligraphy - and they work together. One is to actually trace finished calligraphy to get a feel for stroke movement and control. The second is to emulate the works of masters until your technique is developed enough to begin working on a style all your own.

Chinese Calligraphy is an art form as well as a physical exercise. As an artist, either in brush painting or calligraphy, you must learn to channel your emotional and physical energy into your artwork- and calligraphy can help you do just that. As you focus on the ink and the paper, on the strokes and the forms, the energy within takes shape, moving from the center of your being through your body and onto your paper. Seasoned calligraphers can tell you, this process becomes highly personal and the discoveries made along the way translate into a writing style all your own something that reflects the subtleties of who you are. Thus learning calligraphy has the three-fold potential of not only making you a calligraphic artist and more literate, but a better brush artist as well, in either of the traditional styles be it Gong-bi(fine line) or Hsieh-i(spontaneous) style painting.

If you are using bottled ink, there is no preparation necessary. For the traditional method of ink stick to grinding stone, pour 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of water into the grinding stone/slate. Hold the ink stick upright and with firm force grind the ink stick against the stone in a circular motion.
The ink you produce should have a cream-like consistancy (if not use more or less water).

Figure A - Exemplifies the correct positioning of the body when executing calligraphy while seated; this is usually the best position for beginners. Start by sitting straight up in your chair, feet flat on the floor,brush perpendicular to the table, and drawing arm off the table.


Figure B - Use the grip shown whether you are sitting or standing. Again, your brush should be mostly vertical.






Figure C - As your technique improves, advance to the standing position. This will free you to do larger shapes and freer strokes. Again, hold the brush as shown.
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