Aside from simply ensuring that your tools and accessories are laid out in an organized manner, the placement of the Studio itself is important for a truly traditional Calligraphy experience. Light, of course, is vitally important. Many calligraphers prefer to write with natural light. Placing your desk by a window will allow you to observe the world around you and ensure that, while you remain focused on writing, you are conscious of, and part of your surroundings. While good access to natural light is the ideal, this will not be possible for everyone. It’s always a good idea to find a good articulated desk lamp to ensure that you have direct light on your workstation. Selecting the light bulb is also important. It’s best to avoid fluorescent light, as this can tire your eyes out quite quickly. If your light creates glare on your paper, it needs to be further away or of a different wattage. If the light is to dim, this will also strain your eyes. If the light is too bright, or too close to your work, it can be very distracting.
What is the Right Body Movement in Chinese Calligraphy?
Chinese Calligraphy is not unlike other expressive art forms. Emphasizing as it does the movement of the Brush just as much as meaning of the Characters, the best Calligraphy embodies and exposes the natural movement of the body. Thus, just like other natural movements, contrary body movement can ensure the balanced, confident movement of your hand and by extension, the Brush. All of us make use of this principle every day without even thinking about it. Have you ever noticed that when we walk we naturally swing our arms contrary to the position of our legs? Each step forward is matched by a forward swing of the opposing arm. This is central to how we maintain easy balance while walking. Likewise, when focusing on our Calligraphy, we can use contrary body movement to keep our movements smooth and balanced. Remember: your writing hand is not a discrete entity. It is connected to your arm, shoulder and core. When you write, try to anticipate and lead your arm and hand starting at the shoulder. This will help you keep your movements fluid; you’ll encounter no resistance in executing the proper turns and the Brush will be much more free on the page.