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Art of Chinese Characters & How to Write Chinese Character
Art of Chinese Characters
By virtue of time-honored history of four to five thousand years and rich and profound content, the art of calligraphy has attracted the attention of artists worldwide.
As a work of art, calligraphy uses the medium of form, way of handling the brush, presentation, and style to convey the moral integrity, character, emotions, esthetic feelings and culture of the artist to the art lovers, producing a strike to sense of vision by the power of appeal and the joy of beauty.
The oldest Chinese writing traced back to the pottery and bones with inscriptions where the characters are carved with sharp angles. Bamboo sticks book is very unique, on which columns of characters were written on each stick with a brush, which worked quite well with the Chinese way of writing columns of characters from right to left. It is the invention of Paper that boosted the development of art of Chinese Writing which uses brush as instrument because the brush makes some new freedom in the form of the characters.
At present, Chinese is written with all kinds of instrument such as pens and papers, but if you want to present the art aesthetic feeling of art of Characters, then an ink brush and rice paper still the most common choice.
The oldest Chinese characters were created to depict the most common and natural objects like "sun", "moon", "human", "hand", "foot", "mountain", and "tree". Coming up next was to establish logical relation among the simple characters. Even today, some of these simple characters and logical combinations still remain clear enough to allow us to see what they depict.
How to Write Chinese Characters
Remember the simple and basic characters, which are called ‘radicals’, when you want to construct even more complex characters. Followings are some examples to illustrate how the looks of Chinese characters have evolved during the last thousands of years. The far left characters (at least 3000 or 4000 years old) are oldest. The characters in the third column originated from the time around 200 B.C. The modern characters are at the far right:
If you want to learn to write Chinese, it's proper to begin by training the eight basic strokes. For that purpose I suggest a closer look at the basic strokes. Then you can train the simple characters (i.e. radicals) and gradually move yourself up to more complex characters where the radicals are involved. Nearly all modern Chinese characters are generally drawn with eight basic strokes. Normally all strokes are written from top to bottom and left to right – with exceptions for characters number six, which is draw upwards. To make sure that you train writing these strokes really well, thus it will be easier to continue your studies. After this, you shall need to know the order of the strokes you write. When writing Chinese characters, bear in mind the basic rule is to always write from top to bottom and from left to right. If a character consists of more than one radical, you always write each radical as a separate one.
Within each radical you have six basic rules: Top down, Left to right, horizontal lines and squares before crossing, vertical lines, Frames before contents, Centre before symmetrical sides and Secondary dots drawn last. Of course, there exist some exceptions. Based on practical experience, these rules reflect what has been learnt from employing brushes in practice, and they offer good guidelines. However if you want to write properly, it's probably best to find a dictionary or textbook that clearly shows the stroke orders of several characters. In some special cases it's even possible that there is more than one correct stroke order.
The character for "eternal" or "eternity" is a good example because it consists of all the basic types of strokes. Once you can write this character really well, then writing all characters well become easier. Please note: The numbers and arrows indicate in which order and directions the strokes are written.
Compiled by Alan and edited by Jackie from Chilture.com