Written by (作者): Cooka Huang 黄翌云

Photos by (图片来源): BigStock


I started learning “Pen Calligraphy” when I was in kindergarten. During our early studies we had to memorize and memorize until we knew the characters by heart. My mom helped me practice regularly. I write down a word and she would erase it until she was satisfied with the penmanship. I hated this and therefore came to hate calligraphy. The practice eventually paid off though, because when I was in primary school my calligraphy was so good that it was often used as an example for lessons. Having learned of my skills, I began taking calligraphy seriously and moved on to “Soft Brush Calligraphy.”

The use of a brush for writing calligraphy in China goes back for ages. There are three kinds of brushes: stiff, soft, and mixed. Stiff brushes are good for practice and writing small characters. Soft and mixed brushes allow for more fluid characters and creativity.

I love writing calligraphy with a soft brush because it is the traditional method. I also like the feeling of writing on Chinese parchment with a soft brush. Coherency plays a key role in the art of calligraphy, so it’s important to practice. If you’re new to writing, I’d recommend using the calligraphy copybooks of Xun Ouyang or Shen Yimo.

I’ve found that calligraphy is a sort of meditation. It is my greatest joy to feel the stroke of the brush across the parchment, soft strokes, hard strokes. Today, most people are busy with work and don’t have much time for anything like proper meditation. Practicing calligraphy, or taking time out of the day to do so, helps with this. Writing calligraphy is like writing your own Heart Sutra (Xīnjīng), and it is very relaxing. As the saying goes “an hour in the morning is worth two in the evening.” Morning is the best time to write calligraphy, with the gentle breeze and scent of sandalwood and ink.

Calligraphy isn’t something that you pick up in a day. It takes years and years of arduous practice. It takes time to adapt and get used to the stroke patterns and methods. When you begin learning, it may be dull because you need to try practicing one word for an entire day. Therefore, patience is the most important thing when starting out. Even though it may take weeks to get one character right, don’t give up! Your attitude and outlook should be positive. It’s best to keep this in mind: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”






习字是一个漫长的过程。这指的是你需要一个很长的时间去适应它,习惯它。刚开始学习书法,你可能会觉得枯燥无聊,对着一个字写上一整天。学写字的路很漫长,你的耐性就显得尤为重要。可能你坚持练了一周的字,你发现没什么进步,好像和第一天练的时候差不多。所以你就想放弃了。其实不然,可能你再坚持一个礼拜,就会发现有很大的不同。没有谁生来就可以把字写好。重要的是,你对写字的态度.中国有老话说“有志者事竟成”。即你的勤奋和努力终不会被辜负,只要你踏踏实实地往前走就可以了. 要始终相信天道酬勤。