|Patience & Endurance|
Photo Credit: Bloomsberries
Once you have your tools for Chinese Calligraphy, the first step is to get comfortable with the brush. The proper way of holding the brush is straight up and down, keeping your hand relaxed, and using your wrist to make the movements. This in itself takes some getting used to - slanting the brush at an angle, like a paintbrush is very easy.
After playing with the brush and ink, and drawing lines, the girls practiced some basic strokes. And realized basic did not mean easy. They came to understand the discipline involved in mastering calligraphy - Elle was frustrated she hadn't perfected her strokes after a few attempts. I kept reminded them that we are just learning, and without a skilled teacher no less, and that this art form takes a lot of practice. They were determined, and we went through a lot of paper.
For our first foray into learning this art, the girls just got used to holding the brush, how to create differences in their strokes with movement and pressure. And they practiced what was hoped to be the simplest stroke: Dian (the dot).
(left) Basic strokes. Mastering the strokes is about knowing when to lift the tip of the brush and when to add pressure. It was challenging for the girls to not look at this as drawing, where you draw the shape and fill it in.
If you're family would like to try some Chinese calligraphy, you can find printable calligraphy practice sheets and the steps to practicing the character for Eternity, which uses the eight basic strokes of calligraphy at my post: The Eight Principles of Yong.
You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups:
All Things Beautiful, Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop, World Wide Culture Swap, Say It Two Ways Thursdays