Calligraphy 书法

The Chinese esteem calligraphy above all other arts. Despite the characters’ aura of mystery, anyone can learn to create them. Chinese believe that calligraphy exercises both body and mind. As a form of meditation it is thought to promote concentration, relaxation, and longevity. Brushing characters onto the paper, helps qi (vital energy) circulate, producing a feeling of well-being. In contrast to alphabetic calligraphy which values uniformity, Chinese calligraphy encourages creative variation.


书法-- 一条线的诱惑

没有线条就没有书法。书法就是线条的艺术,反映着中国人独特的线性思维。 一条静止的线是单调的, 书法艺术却有本事把一条线弄得出神入化而引人入胜。书法运用点、线、面来说话。 一条线就可有曲直、粗幼、乾湿、浓淡的变化。书体又有篆书的圆融含蓄、隶书的浑厚质扑、楷书的工整端庄、行草的飞动灵逸。这样还不够吗? 那还有飞白、回锋收笔、蚕头雁尾、和那一气呵成的行气!所以这个游戏真是够你玩一辈子的, 因为这条线的诱惑实在太丰富了。难怪苏东坡说学书法的人“意态自足,妙在笔画之外。”


In this course, you will learn the few simple rules for writing Chinese characters. Each session will begin with a brief explanatory talk illustrated with examples of the great calligraphy of the past.  Most of each class will be devoted to actually doing calligraphy.

By the end of the course, you will be creating elegant characters using traditional materials.  Please come and join this informative, relaxing and fun course!


Photo: Mingmei teaching calligraphy workshops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.


Chinese Calligraphy Class/Workshop

Course Description and Schedule (8 sessions)

Mingmei Yip Ph.D.

书法课程 (八讲)

Session 1: Origin and Development of Chinese Calligraphy 中国书法的源流及发展

Slide show: The beauty of Lines in Chinese Calligraphy and Culture 中国艺术的线条美

Basic materials: brush, brush holder, ink, rice paper, grid paper, ink stone, small water dish, paper weight, and others (wrist rest, seal). 书法用具与文房四宝

Introducing “Four treasures of the literary studio”

Rituals: incense burning, meditation, relaxed breathing. 仪式:焚香、冥想、调息

Demonstration: how to hold a brush and form characters 如何运笔书写

Handout: standard script model calligraphy

Practice: standard script on grid paper 楷书练习

Session 2: Calligraphy as an Art Form 书法的艺术形式: philosophy of yin and yang

as exemplified in different brush strokes: centered, diagonal, wet, dry, “flying white.” 笔法中锋、偏锋、干笔、湿笔的运用

Techniques of Chinese calligraphy: 

What makes a good stroke 如何写正确笔划

Mistakes to avoid  如何避免败笔

Analysis of the character “Yong” eternity, exemplifying the basic structure of Chinese calligraphic strokes   王曦之“永字八法”

Practice different strokes of standard script on grid paper to form balanced characters

Session 3: Seal Script 篆书

Ancient characters on 3,000 year old bronze vessels, characteristics and aesthetics 青铜器铭的书法特色与美学


Handout: seal script model calligraphy

Practice: seal script on grid paper 篆书练习

Session 4: Benefiting from the Dancing Brush笔尖上的舞蹈 -- 书法与养生: calligraphy and longevity, relaxation, concentration, energy circulation, inner peace.

Demonstration: Official script 隶书

Handout: Official script model calligraphy

Practice your favorite characters

Session 5: Walking style: characteristics and aesthetics 行书:特色与美学


Handout: Walking style model calligraphy

Practice: Walking style free hand行书练习

Session 6: Slide show: Calligraphy as decoration 书法与装饰


Practice: Walking style free hand行书练习

Session 7: The Drunken Calligrapher 颠张狂素 --草书与狂草

Cursive and mad cursive: characteristics and aesthetics  草书的特色与美学

Handout: cursive style model calligraphy


Practice: Cursive style free hand 草书练习

Session 8: Different Formats for Calligraphy: hanging scrolls, double scrolls, fans, album leaves, and others 书法的格式:中堂、条幅、扇面、斗方、册页。

Write your favorite lucky character on red paper to bring home.

Critique and appreciation of each others’ works.

Program can be modified in accord with interest of the class

Click here to download Mingmei’s calligraphy notes. (Coming soon)

Mingmei’s Calligraphy 叶明媚书法作品

Students’ Work (adults and children) 学生作品: