Calligraphy Styles

Calligraphy styles such as Chinese calligraphy, Japanese calligraphy, Arabic calligraphy and Western calligraphy have been around for many years. Chinese and Arabic calligraphy styles are believed to be the first forms of calligraphy created in the history of mankind.

Chinese Calligraphy

The origin of Chinese calligraphy takes us back around 4000 years, during the reign of the Yellow Emperor. Since then, there has been no looking back. Today, Chinese calligraphy is one of the most popular forms of calligraphy practiced. The basic tools used for Chinese calligraphy are paper, inkstick, inkstone and brush. Paper used should be of soft texture so that the ink is quickly absorbed. The inkstick is a solid form of ink, made out of soot from oil, and is bound together by glue. To prepare ink out of the inkstick, you need to grind it against an inkstone filled with water. The ink produced should be of proper consistency otherwise it might leave undesirable dark patches on the paper. Brushes made from hairs of rabbits, dogs and mice vary from small and delicate to bold ones, so select one which suits your writing style. Some writing styles of Chinese calligraphy are Li, Xing, Kai, Cao and Xiaozhuan scripts.

Japanese Calligraphy

This calligraphy style was derived from Chinese Calligraphy by a master named Wang Xizhi, in the 6th-8th centuries. Japanese Calligraphy today, has developed different writing styles and thus, a separate identity of its own. The tools for writing Japanese calligraphy basically remain the same as that of Chinese calligraphy. However, Japanese calligraphers prefer using Mulberry paper because of its soft texture. Japanese calligraphy emphasizes on the graceful movement of letters. The commonly used styles of writing Japanese Calligraphy are Sousho, Gyousho and Kaisho.

Western Calligraphy

During 600 BC, Romans, being highly influenced by Chinese Calligraphy, created a form of calligraphy, which is better known as Western Calligraphy of today. Among all the forms of Western Calligraphy, English Calligraphy is considered to be the most prominent. This calligraphy style primarily uses the cursive style of writing and the letters have definite strokes. The various styles of writing Western Calligraphy include Gothic, Roman, Old English, Italic, Serif and Sans Serif, to mention a few. Western calligraphers use pens instead of brushes, unlike their Chinese counterpart. Liquid ink, available in various colors, is used to add a more creative touch to this style of calligraphy. Western Calligraphy, especially English calligraphy, has gained much prominence in the form of wedding calligraphy today, in designing wedding and other invitation cards.

Arabic Calligraphy

The origin of Arabic Calligraphy traces back about thousand years, when it was created to spread the word of Quran, the holy book of Islam. Arabic calligraphy uses tools such as pen or pencil, ink and various mediums to write on paper with glossy finish, stone, wood and even textiles. The various styles adopted by Arabic calligraphy are mainly classified under geometric and cursive styles. Today, Ruqah, a form of cursive writing style is mostly used to write Arabic Calligraphy. Today, Arabic calligraphy can be seen adorning monuments, mosques and carpets.

Before deciding on the right calligraphy style for you, go through some books on various calligraphy styles. Apart from this you can also search online for websites on your preferred form of calligraphy, and gain as much background information about it as possible. This will help you make an informed decision about the right calligraphy style for you.

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