This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline chinese characters for beginners pdf. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. In Chinese calligraphy, Chinese characters can be written according to five major styles. These styles are intrinsically linked to the history of Chinese script.
When used in decorative ornamentation, such as book covers, movie posters, and wall hangings, characters are often written in ancient variations or simplifications that deviate from the modern standards used in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or Korean. Modern variations or simplifications of characters, akin to Chinese Simplified characters or Japanese shinjitai, are occasionally used, especially since some simplified forms derive from cursive script shapes in the first place. In Korea, the post-Korean War period saw the increased use of hangul, the Korean alphabet, in calligraphy. Qín system of writing, which evolved during the Eastern Zhōu dynasty in the state of Qín and was imposed as the standard in areas Qín gradually conquered.
Although some modern calligraphers practice the most ancient oracle bone script as well as various other scripts older than seal script found on Zhōu dynasty bronze inscriptions, seal script is the oldest style that continues to be widely practiced. Today, this style of Chinese writing is used predominantly in seals, hence the English name. However, because seals act like legal signatures in the cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, and because vermillion seal impressions are a fundamental part of the presentation of works of art such as calligraphy and painting, seals and therefore seal script remain ubiquitous. Warring States period to Qin dynasty, which then developed into clerical script in the early Western Hàn dynasty, and matured stylistically thereafter.
Seal script tended towards uniformity of stroke width, but clerical script gave the brush freer rein, returning to the variations in width seen in early Zhōu brushwork. Most noticeable is the dramatically flared tail of one dominant horizontal or downward-diagonal stroke, especially that to the lower right.
Chinese Warring States period to Qín Dynasty and early Hàn Dynasty can often be difficult to read for a modern East Asian person, but the mature clerical script of the middle to late Hàn dynasty is generally legible. In writing in the semi-cursive script, the brush leaves the paper less often than in the regular script.
Characters appear less angular and rounder. In general, an educated person in China or Japan can read characters written in the semi-cursive script with relative ease, but may have occasional difficulties with certain idiosyncratic shapes. Entire characters may be written without lifting the brush from the paper at all, and characters frequently flow into one another. Strokes are modified or eliminated completely to facilitate smooth writing and to create a beautiful, abstract appearance.
Characters are highly rounded and soft in appearance, with a noticeable lack of angular lines. Due to the drastic simplification and ligature involved, this script is not considered particularly legible to the average person, and thus has never achieved widespread use beyond the realm of literati calligraphers. The cursive script is the source of Japanese hiragana, as well as many modern simplified forms in Simplified Chinese characters and Japanese shinjitai.
Chinese Hàn dynasty and Three Kingdoms period, gaining dominance in the Southern and Northern Dynasties, and maturing in the Táng Dynasty. It emerged from a neatly written, early period semi-cursive form of clerical script. As the name suggests, the regular script is “regular”, with each of the strokes placed slowly and carefully, the brush lifted from the paper and all the strokes distinct from each other.
The regular script is also the most easily and widely recognized style, as it is the script to which children in East Asian countries and beginners of East Asian languages are first introduced. For learners of calligraphy, the regular script is usually studied first to give students a feel for correct placement and balance, as well as to provide a proper base for the other, more flowing styles. In the regular script samples to the right, the characters in the left column are in Traditional Chinese while those to the right are in Simplified Chinese. These styles are typically not taught in Japanese calligraphy schools.