Chinese Calligraphy Technique and Learning – How to Load the Brush and how to Position your Fingers on the Brush?


A Chinese Brush is not a Pen

The first thing to note about writing Calligraphy is that a Brush is not to be held like a pen. Unlike Western alphabetic writing, Chinese writing requires equally fluid movement in all directions, not just across the page. As such, the Brush should be held perfectly vertical to the page, using all fingers and a relaxed wrist.

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Chinese Calligraphy Technique and Learning – Basic Brush Techniques


Brush Control: Executing Pressure by Pull and Press in Chinese Brush Painting

Clearly, knowing your Strokes and Stroke Order are important for visualizing how Characters are structured, and for smoothly executing them. Still, Calligraphy is more than just writing correctly. Much of the Calligrapher’s skill lies in precise and smooth control of the brush on the page, and an appreciation and experience of how the tip bends and moves.

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Chinese Calligraphy Technique and Learning – Advanced Brush Techniques


Concealed Tip Technique Brush Movement in Chinese Brush Painting

One will quickly notice when viewing works, especially those executed in Zhuan Shu, Li Shu and Kai Shu, that the ends of many strokes do not expose the fine tip of the Brush used. This strategy for creating strong, forceful and contained strokes is usually due to use of a Concealed Tip. Concealed Tip is a technical term used to describe a very specific way of moving the brush on the page so as to strengthen certain strokes and ensure good Bone Structure within each Stroke. Concealed Tips are often used for the primary strokes of a character, and may be combined with Exposed Tips to create movement and contrast.

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