What You Will Learn in Each Lesson
Welcome and Basic Strokes
Studying calligraphy is one way to realize how much we have to learn from the wisdom, aesthetics, and depths of our ancestors. In this time of rapid technological advancements, in taking up the brush we become humble and feel privileged to be part of an ancient, creative civilization. In this first lesson of the course, Kaz will explain the materials you need for practicing East Asian calligraphy and show you some basic, standard brush movements.
Beginning a calligraphy practice with the study of ancient master samples, as Kaz does in his book and this course, is unique. It goes counter to the usual way of initially studying the standard brush movements with a manual written by a contemporary master but it is what Kaz has come to know as the ideal approach to East Asian calligraphy. In this lesson, you will explore the five modes of studying an ancient sample, consider the ideal mental approach for practicing East Asian calligraphy, and do a close study of the ideograph “Human.”
East Asian calligraphy is the art of writing characters or ideographs. It took hundreds of years for ideographs to develop in China. As they were gradually standardized, basic strokes were established. In this lesson, you will learn the definition of ideography and gain an understanding of the development of this system of writing and do a close study of the ideograph “Heaven.”
So far in the course we have been practicing formal script. In this lesson, in addition to practicing formal script, we will start practicing semi-cursive script. The lines in semi-cursive script are fluid and strokes are sometimes connected. In this lesson, you will identify the different types of East Asian calligraphy scripts, learn about applied strokes in semi-cursive and cursive scripts, and do a close study of the ideograph “Tree.”
Calligraphy is an experience of space. We experience space in the world and then we create a space within the line. It is two-dimensional lines drawn with a three-dimensional brush movement. In this way, calligraphy is also an art of time. In this lesson, you will examine principles of calligraphy as well as points of appreciation in the three styles, do a close study of the ideograph “Moon,” and practice all three scripts: formal, semi-cursive, and cursive.
In this lesson, you’ll study the ideograph “Eternity.” This character is very important in East Asian calligraphy, because it includes all eight of the most basic movements. In addition to doing a close study of the ideograph “Eternity,” you will learn more about the aesthetics in semi-cursive and cursive scripts and continue to practice all three scripts: formal, semi-cursive, and cursive.
Because anyone can practice calligraphy, people can easily tell attentively drawn lines from those that were mindlessly drawn. To create a piece that many regard as outstanding requires excellence in theme choice, aesthetics, and skill. Thus, calligraphy is a profoundly creative art. In this lesson, you will consider the heart of creativity in calligraphy and learn about seals, techniques for mounting artwork, and other elements on ongoing practice. You will also do a close study of the ideograph “Breath” and continue to practice all three scripts: formal, semi-cursive, and cursive.
The practice of calligraphy teaches us that anyone can be creative. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced calligrapher, you can expand your creativity and enjoy making artwork. In this final lesson of the course, you will do a close study of the ideograph “Way” and continue to practice all three scripts: formal, semi-cursive, and cursive. You will also consider how to apply calligraphy practice to your everyday life.