8. Writing after a model

Now you are ready to write from a sample. 


[the significance of following sample]
In calligraphy, it is important to try to acquire writing skills, to be sure,  but the art of calligraphy, or shodo (the Way of the Brush), like all the other Japanese traditional arts with the term "-do (the Way)" at their end, attaches great importance to cultivating one's mind. Therefore, if you try to understand the sample and picture its image to yourself before actually handling your brush, your brushwork will reveal your spirit and individuality, even if you are not aware of it, and be regarded as your "self-portrait."

stroke order]

As there is an order in constructing a house, there is an order of making strokes in writing any Japanese or Chinese character. This order must be learned by heart before you hold the brush.

[points of writing]

The thick lines running in the center of each character indicate the frame; "a knack" in another words.  The mastery of a knack is indispensable for the right configuration.

Ue (up): The numbers indicate the order of the strokes.
Samples with faint lines will be also helpful.

1.  is started vigorously in the center and drawn straight downward with your whole body.
2. is a short line ascending to the right.
3. is a long horizontal line which terminates steadily with the tip of the brush tucked under.


Shita (down):

1.  is a long line ascending to the right and is slightly retraced at the end of the stroke.
2. is drawn in the center with your whole body and terminated steadily.
3. is a dot which should be put carefully at the proper place.




Confirm your brush tip.

The darker part on the left or upper side of each stroke indicates where the brush tip should pass.
Check whether your brush passes correctly.


You should never stop practicing whatever you choose to learn.
If you want to improve your calligraphy, have your works examined by your teacher or criticize them yourself.
Repeat this, and you will know that practice makes progress.


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