What is the Running Script Style (Xing Shu / 行書) in Chinese Calligraphy?
It was not until after the development of Zhuan Shu, Li Shu and Kai Shu that Calligraphers began to increase the contrast of Lift and Press, improvise with Stroke Order, and even link strokes together. The Running Script is not really a script in the sense that the former, regular Scripts are: there are not nearly as many rules or conventions. Running Script may more accurately be described as a Style, and each Calligrapher will have his or her own personal approach. The Running.
What is the Cursive Script Style (Cao Shu / 草書) in Chinese Calligraphy?
Chinese Cursive is usually referred to as a Style and not a Script. This is due to the lack of discernible rules. The name, meaning ‘rough writing,’ likely refers to the style’s evolution as a quick shorthand for personal notes or drafts never meant as final products, to say nothing of artworks. Following the Han, however, Cursive Styles gained currency as a worthy method of expressing the artist’s innermost feelings. The rapidity and unburdened brushwork certainly has a great appeal to the eye, even if it sacrifices legibility.
Chinese Brushes are usually shipped with water-soluble glue on the hairs to maintain and protect the tip. It is imperative that this glue is removed entirely before you start using your brush. The best way to do this is to first rinse out as much glue out as you can, and then soak the brush tip. Use cool water, and make sure that you aren’t overly aggressive in rinsing, especially where the bristles meet the handle. Brushing the Tip against the palm of your hand is sufficient to loosen the glue. Once you’ve done this, a brief soak of about 30 minutes will free up all the hairs so that the ink will flow easily and fluidly. Do not leave the brush standing on its tip in a cup of water: this might damage the tip before you’ve even used the brush!