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Chinese Calligraphy – Calligraphy with pens

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Calligraphy with pens is a bright pearl in the garden of calligraphy art. Its writing tools include fountain pens, gel pens, fine art pens, pencils, chalks, etc., using ink or powdered media as the main carrier to express the writing skills of Chinese characters. It has the characteristics of convenient carrying, quick writing, and wide use-value. The visual difference between it and brush calligraphy lies in the thickness or slenderness of the strokes, which is like removing the flesh and tendons to preserve the bones. But the principles of imaging and exercise skills are very different, they are two different exercise modes.

Calligraphy with pens-1


Classification characteristics

Hard pen calligraphy is divided into hard pen calligraphy and practical hard pen calligraphy. The former mainly emphasizes artistry and the latter mainly emphasizes practicality. The artistry of hard pen calligraphy mainly expresses the writer’s knowledge and feelings of calligraphy through changes in lines and structure. It pursues beauty, emotion, interest, artistic conception, personality, etc.; while practical hard pen calligraphy refers to daily writing, Mainly to meet practical needs, can be easy to write and easy to recognize, the key is to write fast and standardized, so practical hard pen calligraphy is based on the running script.

Hard pen calligraphy art

The characteristics of hard pen calligraphy are mainly compared with brush calligraphy. 1. Because the material of the hard pen nib is relatively hard, its line changes are not as large as that of soft pens-writing brushes; 2. Because the hard pens generally used are mainly fountain pens, the lines are much more subtle than that of a writing brush. Therefore, the font is much smaller, even smaller than the lower case of a writing brush; 3. Because of the material of the pen, a hard brush is easier to control than a writing brush.

Practical hard pen calligraphy

It is based on the running script and borrows part of cursive writing to meet the needs of daily work, study and life. Mainly fountain pens, Practical hard pen calligraphy, mainly emphasizes practicality, but more emphasis on artistry. Practical hard pen calligraphy can be easy to write and easy to recognize. The key is to write fast and standardized. The characteristic of running script is that it is easy to write, and can be written quickly. Standard running script is also easy to recognize, so Practical hard pen calligraphy, is based on the running script.

Calligraphy with pens-2

How to write

If you want to write a good character, you must first raise your aesthetic awareness, that is, know what kind of character is written and why it looks good; secondly, you can use the pen in your hand to write the beautiful shape you want to write, this is your control pen The ability of the pen is the basic skills of writing pen. So if you have a certain sense of aesthetics and certain basic skills, you will be able to write well! Whether it is to improve aesthetic awareness or strengthen basic skills training, it is required to read more, write more, and think more, so as to be able to see hands, and hearts. There is no shortcut to practice calligraphy.


So what kind of character is considered to be a good-looking character? The quality of a character depends on its lines and frame structure; for a character, in addition to a single character, it also depends on its quality. Layout (i.e. chapter law). The beautiful lines should be clearly explained, the strokes are smooth and free, and the priorities are appropriate, showing a beautiful shape and demeanor, full of vitality, light or heavy, slow or urgent, rigid or soft, and return to nature. Lines that are unclear, dull, and inconstant, are naturally unsightly; the interframe structure, that is, the combination of strokes of a character, such as a length, straightness, and angle of the strokes, the spacing and thickness (weight) between strokes. , Anaphora relationship, etc. For beginners, it is advisable to first seek symmetry and dignity in the structure of the characters, and then consider changes according to needs and personal habits (personality).


Layout, also called “chapter”, is the arrangement of words. Such as the size and shape of the characters, the position of the arrangement and the angle of placement, the anaphora relationship between up and down, left and right, and so on. As far as brush calligraphy is concerned, it is necessary to consider the change of ink color and dryness, but practical hard brush calligraphy can ignore these. As far as general and practical writing is concerned, the layout of the chapter should be two points: first, in a row or column, so that the center of gravity of each word is basically on the same straight line; second, the size and shape of the word should be slightly distinguished. In other words, write more compact characters with more strokes, thin lines as much as possible, write looser characters with fewer strokes, and write thicker lines as possible for characters with small strokes. But in general, the characters with more strokes are bigger, and the characters with fewer strokes are smaller. However, there are few strokes, but the strokes are stretched, and can be written larger, such as the vertical drawing of the character “中”, the horizontal drawing of the character “安”, the drawing of the character “人”, etc., which can be based on the preceding and following words. Matching needs vary. In the regular script, the size distinction of characters is not very obvious; while in the running script, the size distinction of characters can be very obvious, and it is more obvious in some cursive scripts. In addition, proper exaggeration of the main strokes of individual characters in the running script will produce vivid and beautiful effects for the whole text. For example, in Mao Zedong’s calligraphy, the size of the characters varies greatly, scattered in a precise manner, and majestic, with a majestic momentum.

Mao Zedong's poet

If you know how to write the characters better, then go and practice! Practicing with interest, diligent practice, and more copying can not only strengthen the ability to control the pen but also learn other people’s good writing methods. Read more copybooks, copy repeatedly, practice makes perfect, this is the best way. As long as you insist on doing this, you will have a big gain, and fun will come from it! If you don’t know how to practice calligraphy, it will bring you unexpected gains in your life! Or it will improve your life from now on! In fact, it’s not inaccurate, but yes. There are many benefits of practicing calligraphy. For example, it will be of great benefit to the improvement of your writing level, for example, it will be of great benefit to the improvement of your character, etc., here, because of space It is limited, so I won’t repeat it, and I will experience it in the future practice of calligraphy.


Tool materials and writing

You can use ordinary paper to practice calligraphy. Of course, when writing with a pen, it is required that the paper does not bleed. The pen used for calligraphy is an ordinary pen. It is best for the pen to have smooth water, especially when using carbon ink. It is often necessary to wash it with water because carbon ink tends to clump and plug the pen. When using a pen, pay attention to putting on the pen sleeve when you are not writing, so as to prevent the ink from agglomerating and clogging the pen due to the volatilization of water.


There are different opinions on writing methods. For brushes, there is a saying that there is no fixed method for writing, and some people say that “beginners should hold the pen more tightly and can practice strength. After proficiency, they need to be able to tighten and loosen and move the pen freely.” Even the writing position is different, the shape of the written characters will be very different. For a hard pen, the general method of holding the pen is to hold the pen with the middle finger at the bottom and hold the pen with the index finger and thumb at the top to control the pen. It is comfortable and natural to write, and the pen can be used freely in all directions. . The pen position is low, the ability to control the pen is enhanced, but it is difficult to stretch it when writing; the pen position is high, the pen is more difficult to control, but the long, stretched strokes can be used more freely, so you have to think about it yourself, Experience carefully, and find a writing method that suits you. You might as well take a pen to give it a try, and write some easy-to-write characters on the manuscript paper, large or small, fast or slow, or hold the pen firmly or lightly, or hold the low point or the high point, more Try it and see if you can use it freely. By doing this often, you can not only find a method that suits you, but you can also move your wrists and become familiar with the pen so that your hands, eyes, and heart can achieve better coordination and unity.

Calligraphy with pens-3

Sitting posture is also very important when writing. Foot safety, head upright, chest erect, arms open, and the abdomen closed are the best postures for learning, and naturally, they should be followed when writing. Some people can write the words correctly only when the paper is slanted, and the writing will be skewed when the paper is slanted. This is just a matter of habit. Gradually, gradually correcting it bit by bit can get rid of this habit. In the end, the head, body, eyes, paper, etc. should all be correct.

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