Sit upright, and hold the brush like a pen. Dip only the tip of the brush into the
ink. -If the brush is stiff, the tip can be soaked in cold water for 5 minutes to get rid of the manufacturer's glue.
But don't soak the whole thing, or you will have a limp, useless lump of hair!-
Now, practice just using the tip. Hold the brush upright to make
thin lines, both vertical and horizontal. You will have to dip the brush in the ink every 3 or 4 strokes.
Then, practice using the side of the brush. -By now, the ink has soaked up the hairs, filling up about half of the brush
Instead of holding the brush upright, let it fall to the side, as if you were writing with
a pen. Practice making broad strokes, with the tip and heel of the brush touching the paper. You will have to
not only dip the brush in the ink, but also re-sharpen the tip by pulling it towards you, across the mouth of the ink bottle.
-You can make the tip pointy again with your fingers, but this is very messy!-
Sometimes when you are writing characters, you will start with the
brush held sideways for a broad stroke, but then slowly turn it upright and pull the brush away from the paper to make a fat
stroke that ends with a sharp tip. -See the stroke order for HEART again to see what I mean.-
Now try to copy the chart of good luck characters, using broad and thin strokes.
The diagram below shows the evolution of Chinese characters, from pictures
scratched on shells, stone or pottery, to the modern forms written on rice paper with a flexible hair brush.
Click on the picture to enlarge.