Script Styles of Chinese Calligraphy: An Overview of Kai Shu (楷書) – the Standard Script Style

 

What is the Standard Script Style (Kai Shu / 楷書) in Chinese Calligraphy?

What is today known as the Standard Script, or Kai Shu (楷書), entered the Chinese writing tradition as a well-defined and mature script only in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). It dispensed with the overt formality of Clerical (隸書/Li Shu) and Seal Scripts (篆書: Zhuan Shu). Likewise, it eschewed the liberation and near-illegibility of the Cursive Scripts. Fully embracing the tools of the Calligrapher, Kai Shu became the favored script for everyday writing, and remains so to this day. Although Seal and Clerical scripts may be chosen as the first to learn, choosing to start with Standard Script will best allow the novice to experiment with greater freedom or formality in later stages.

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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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