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Chinese calligraphy lesson 1 : Before started

Before you start to practice, a few things need to be prepared.

1. Find some paper.

The best paper to do Chinese calligraphy is xuan paper. Xuan paper is actually pretty expensive for practicing. Yuan Shu paper and Mao Bian paper are used by most people for practicing Chinese calligraphy since they are cheaper. If you can not find any of those papers, you can do it on old newspapers. Old newspaper is very easy to find and cheap.

2. Get at least one calligraphy brush.

If you can not get the brush in local stores, you can get it on the internet.

3. The ink.

You have to use the special ink for calligraphy. The traditional ink is ink stick. Nowadays most people use liquid ink. And you can buy it on the internet easily.

4. Select a tie to study.

This is the most important part before you start. The first tie will actually have a great influence on your calligraphy style later. Since the speed to write Xing Shu and Cao Shu works is fast, it's harder to write fast when you don't know how to write at all. We should start from a Kai Shu, Li Shu or Zhuan Shu work. Since Kai Shu is the official script today, we start from Kai Shu. There are a lot of Kai Shu master works can be used as the starting tie. We select Dong Fang Shuo Hua Zan by Yan Zhenqing. Yan Qin Li Bei is highly recommended. Other pieces like Duo Bao Ta Bei, Kong Zi Miao Tang Bei, Ma Gu Shan Xian Tan Ji, Yan Ta Sheng Jiao Xu, Jiu Cheng Gong Li Quan Ming, Xuan Mi Ta are also good. Check the pictures of these ties and you can also select the one you like the most. The reason I select Hua Zan is it is relative easier to study and it's good for your further study of Chinese calligraphy. The ties we listed above are also great calligraphy art works and they are in fact very popular in China to be the first tie for beginners. But some of them may have a negative impact on your study without notice.

5. Learn how to hold the brush.

Before we try to write anything, we need to learn how to hold the brush. The graph below shows how most people hold the brush. There're actually some other ways to hold it. Some people hold it as holding a pencil. But most people hold the brush as the in the picture. This seems like the best way.

If you finished the above steps, then your can proceed to Chinese calligraphy lesson 2 : Basic stokes

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