Chinese calligraphy lessons at the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School.
Chinese calligraphy, the writing of characters, is an art which has developed over many centuries in China and is still widely practiced today. Although it can be used as a form of communication, its primary function is as an art form; it is not necessary to understand Chinese to appreciate the beauty of this art form.
There are six primary scripts that have emerged from the long history and development of Chinese calligraphy; all of these are still used in the art. Each style-seal, clerical, running, cursive, standard, and oracle bone, have their own features and distinct appearance. in appearance.
To start learning calligraphy, you will need to have some basic tools. The four elements of this art, known as “The Four Treasures of the Studio,” are Brush, Paper, Ink Stick and Ink Slab. Starting in the Han Dynasty, these have made up the core of this tradition and for over 2,000 years have not changed.
The standard brush for Chinese calligraphy has a defined tip; the core or spine of the tip is formed from shorter hairs while longer hairs form a point at the ending of the spine.
The area between the spine and shorter hairs form a reservoir where ink can be held without the need to add more.
Learning brush strokes and the correct order is very important in learning to create the characters and writing them smoothly. A calligrapher’s skill is shown in the preciseness and smoothness of brush control on a page and understanding how the tip bends and moves with the paper. Using the correct amount of pressure on the page is also important and learning how to vary this pressure is a skill that, just like perfecting stances and strikes in kung fu, comes with practice and dedication.
While Chinese ink sticks have traditionally been used in Chinese calligraphy and many artists today still grind their own sticks and mix their own ink, many art supply stores carry a variety of Chinese ink that can be poured and used instantly, with the same artistic results on the paper.
The type of paper chosen has an impact on what kind of script you might use. The absorbency of the paper is the key to the type of control the calligrapher will have. For example, if the absorbency is high, it will be difficult to control the ink, so highly absorbent paper may be used for a very fluid script such as Xing Shu. The different varieties of Chinese paper are often called ‘rice paper” in English, but this is not an accurate name. Mian paper is an inexpensive paper often used for calligraphy practice and can usually be found in art supply stores. Mao Bian Xhi (Mao Bien Chih) is the paper used for practice grids and is perfect for a beginning calligrapher. A beginner does not need to buy expensive paper to practice on. Inexpensive Practice Xuan paper can be purchased or Magic Water Paper can help practice brush strokes.
Just like Chinese martial arts such as kung fu, an aspiring calligrapher can travel to China to learn Chinese calligraphy; the art of calligraphy is a thriving and popular one in China there are classes and teachers available that can help students to learn more about Chinese calligraphy. Students at the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School also have the opportunity to take Chinese calligraphy lessons in addition to learning other styles of kung fu.