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.
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.
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.