Ink, Yarn & Beer

my life a bit at a time

The August Project: Bone Strokes

August 7, 2010

Kaishu / Kaisho – standard or regular script, with some variations over time, is what most of us are familiar with as Chinese characters or Japanese kanji.  It fits nicely into squares, but it goes far, far beyond that.  There are a lot of dynamics at work in this script!  Dots and lines, hooks, and so on.  It is amazingly complicated in some ways, but not in others.  But doing it right is another story.

This is an example of regular script, from a long, long time ago.

If you look closely, you will find some long, horizontal lines, which are wider at either end and narrow toward the middle.  These are called “bone strokes.”  Here is one below – and the path the brush should follow as you create it.

The work of the day. 4 hours. Horizontal accomplished, but initial brush stroke and ending brush strokes are far from attractive.

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