Copybooks for Chinese calligraphy
Huangfu Dan stele
This work was by Ouyang Xun, who stood for fully developed regular script. His brushwork was easy and precise, and his expression was graceful and earnest.
Preface to sacred sutra
What behind Zhang Xu's wild cursive expression was his great attainment in regular script.
Temple of Nun Ma
Yan is the only figure comparable to Wang Xizhi for his regular script which was frequently cited the best example in the Tang. This work was written in his mature style.
Liu Gongquan was celebrated for his regular style. His strokes are easy to understand, but the accuracy is hard to achieve. This inscription, recording the life of a Buddhist monk, was his signature work.
Cai Xiang was one of Four Song Masters. His regular characters are gentle and peaceful with a beautifully elegant expression.
Statue of Buddha by Yang Dayan
This rubbing is from Dragon Gate Grottoes, where owns about 3,000 stone inscriptions. The brush strokes are square-ended, and characters are well-balanced.
Zhang Xuan stele
This stele employed both seal and clerical script techniques with great antiquity.
Yi Ying stele
The strokes are moderate with easy composition.
This inscription recorded an event of renovation of the Confucius Temple and the making of temple ritual implements. The handwriting was frequently quoted the best clerical script ever.
Cao Quan stele
This inscription is typically clerical. The characters are flat in the shape of turtle shell; the right-falling strokes were ended in the shape of swallow tail.
Thousand characters was an ancient children's primer. The rubbing in this book is from a 1109 stone inscription by Zhi Yong, a Buddhist monk who was skilled in cursive script, and the seventh-generation descendent of Wang Xizhi.
This work is Wang's most renowned writing, a preface of a collection of poems by his circle of friends.
This copybook consists of two Buddhist discipline poems by different poets - Master Hanshan, a legendary vernacular verse writer, and Pang Yun, a lay Buddhist.
The training of brush writing, like any other form of art, starts from the discipline - the copybooks. Regular script used to be the first style to begin with; however, clerical script, from which regular script evolved, has been reasoned for the order since the 19th century. Cursive script is generally lined behind.
There are two methods to make copies - tracing the characters through a sized rice paper or comparing to the model while write by imitation. While the former helps in stroke placement, the latter emphasizes on brushwork. The key to success is finding stroke pattern in a particular model. It may take a beginner more than two year to have a good grip of a certain style. A hundred days effort will not yield result, as an ancient saying goes.Home | Contact | Rice Paper