Chinese Calligraphy: Learn Chinese Calligraphy
by Lee J Avery
The Han Dynasty in 100 A.D. is the first origin of Chinese characters. The Chinese dictionary completed at that time included around 9,353 characters. The next version of the Chinese dictionary came out of Qing Dynasty and was called the "Kangxi" dictionary. The 42 booklets contained over 46,964 characters, which most are not even used today. There are variants on the characters, revised and refined in the current simplified edition of the Chinese language. This edition was put out by the People's Republic of China in 1956. This book narrowed the characters down to about 6,500. This is considered a simplified form and is the most common form used now, though some remain committed to using the old traditional ways.
This graceful serene art form called Chinese calligraphy is a greek word meaning "beautiful writing" and is seen everywhere from art galleries to restaurants, and tattoo shops. Which takes me back to the search for the perfect Chinese word. Once I had the words I wanted to immortalize on my back, after learning so much more about Chinese calligraphy, it occurred to me I would have to choose a form as well.
What kind of brush strokes would best represent the meaning of the words I had chose? I could go with a more classic, traditional style used in ancient times or even something called the "grass" style, looking more whimsical to me. I had not realized the depth of expression involved not only in searching a tattoo, but the actual essence, personality, and layers upon layers of meaning associated with this beautiful art.
As you learn Chinese calligraphy, you will notice that traditionally certain materials are used in a particular way to produce the eloquent results. The Chinese use special brushes made of rabbit hair or sheep. One brush is for sharpness in line drawing, and the other for rhythm and depth all equaling to the subject's inner self. Also used in Chinese calligraphy, is a thick ground ink combined with water and applied to Chinese paper (also called rice paper) or silk. This form shows depth, contrast, density and texture and creates a rhythmic balance. When the Chinese apply color to this art form, it is to show the subject's characteristics or moods.
Another unique quality to Chinese calligraphy is the poetry inscribed within it. It becomes the artist's signature or inscription exclusive to them. Chinese Calligraphy minimizes the use of space, sometimes leaving a canvas almost blank, with just a few brushstrokes leaving a word to contemplate on. The styles of this writing do not embrace crowding compositions with too much and badly placed brushstrokes.
The rules behind learning Chinese calligraphy are to invite simplicity, balance, beauty, and originality of style. You should possess graceful execution and represent the depth of meaning of each stroke, whether using a brush or ink. The idea behind Chinese calligraphy is to find understanding and beauty is simple delivery of who you are as the artist and what you are projecting as meaning with the chosen style adopted.
If your focus is art, then by all means, stick with the art only instructions, as there is so much to master within that form anyways. You will learn the different tools, mediums, and colors used for expressing your personality in depth on a simple surface. There are many diverse varieties of applications in Chinese calligraphy only to express one word. The results will refer to as a living moment, or living thought. And it is the results that loved and appreciated.
Chinese calligraphy is a worthy and nice experience to launch into. Expect Countless hours of enjoyable practice into an ancient, respected, old world art. If you wish to learn Chinese calligraphy, then by all meanscontinue on.
About the author: Lee J Avery runs an information site about Learn Chinese
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