On classic works

Yán style (顏真卿)

“I chose Yán style because the characters seem clean, readable, and organized. The strokes are similar to those we have done in class with some variation. Other styles seem to be faded, but I like the boldness of the Yán style.”

“I chose to imitate the Yán style, I made this decision based on the way in which it looks as if the characters were quickly written down without much thought or effort, yet at the same time it is this fact that makes it look so beautiful – effortlessly beautiful. The strokes have imperfect, rough edges and are sometimes almost incomplete. In addition, there is good variety in stroke thickness, although overall it seems relatively thicker. If we were to use a term from earlier in class, the strokes look ‘powerful.’” 

“I chose Yán style because it caught my eye when looking through all of the options. I think the way that 子 and 之 are written, like of disconnected, looks interesting and I wanted to try it. I think it looks relatively more rigid and strong in structure as well as clean and very neat.”

“I chose Yán style because the strokes remind me of how math is written (on the blackboard and on the computer). The thickness of the strokes and the composition both feel natural to me; there’s a bit of precision involved, it seems. (On most, if not all, the characters.)”

“I chose Yán style. I like the variation in thickness within the characters. The beginning and ending of the strokes are good. The style is simpler than the other styles in my opinion and simplicity is beauty.”

“Yán style: I enjoyed the bold thick lines. It also wasn’t super tidy. The style has good ‘flow’ to it. It brings strength and fortitude to the piece in an unwavering fashion.”

“I chose Yán style because I love how compact the characters look. There is a range of brush stroke thickness that makes the style look pleasing. The endings of the strokes are very neat and precise. This style looks clean and deliberate.”

Liǔ style (柳公權)

“Liǔ style: I chose this style because it has long, sharp strokes which I find nice, and also because of the variation in stroke thickness (tend to start wide and end with a sharp point).” 

“I chose Liǔ style because it is very aesthetically pleasing with the bold, blocky characters. Each stroke is well defined and formulated, and very sharp looking. I also really like the 家 character (looks and meaning).”

“I chose to write in Liǔ style because I really like how the strokes are very carefully and precisely made and how the thickness varies not only between different strokes but also within strokes. Overall I find the characters very clean and pleasing to look at.”

“I chose the Liǔ style because I like how many of the strokes are thin and straight. I also like that the edges tend to be very crisp. I don’t think I will be very good at this style because I cannot draw straight lines, my vertical strokes are always too thick, and my edges are very round.”

“I chose the Liǔ style because it looks very neat and straight. Every stroke looks clear and precise. It also looks the most like the style we have been practicing in class. I tend to think writing styles that are the most neat and straight are the most beautiful.”

“I chose the Liǔ style because I like how every character is unique. The characters are different sizes and have noticeable differences in thickness of strokes. Also, the spacing between strokes make the characters more legible and elegant.”

“My choice of Liǔ style arose by two factors: an appreciation for the style itself and a preference and greater admiration in comparison. First, I will discuss comparison. While Wáng’s style certainly has artistic value, I personally find some of the meaning lost and prefer seeing clear stroke order. As for the others, I feel there is either an overemphasis on certain strokes (piě) or a seeming vertical distraction. What I like about Liǔ’s style is that, in addition to clear strokes amd variation, the emphasis is not too great – rather, it is more subtle.”

“I chose the Liǔ style because it has some variation in strokes, but it is still more legible than other styles like the running script. The strokes are most similar to the style we have learned in class.”

“I chose the Liǔ style because the strokes are well defined but do not appear rigid. The characters are balanced but natural. Additionally, there is variation between strokes and no stroke seems too emphasized more than others.”

“I chose Liǔ style because I really like the balance of the charactrers. The stroeks are very narrow and clean, like they were made resolutely and with confidence. However, they do not seem too bold to me, amd still manage to flow elegantly. They are all quite balanced and have a good overall shape.”


Wáng style (王羲之)

“Cursive style speaks the most to me. The characters aren’t just aesthetic, they each have the same internal motion and sense of direction. Rather than model a manmade word, cursive style speaks for itself and showcases inherent, primordial meaning.”

“I chose the Wáng style. I really like how smooth it is and how connected it is. I think it looks pretty difficult to recreate since I can’t really tell where the strokes are, but I wanted to try to step outside my comfort zone. It kind of reminds me of water and bubbles and shapes that nature would naturally create.”

“Wáng style: fluid and elegant, yet still strong and bold. The variation in thickness of brush gives a lot of character. The out of order strokes display mastery of efficiency and the brush, as it does not distract from the art or legibility. I feel a sense of humble confidence in his work.”

“I selected Wáng XīZhī’s style because it is fluid and there is clear force and energy in the strokes. For example in the 舞there is a dynamism in the varying brush strokes. There is also a very rapid switch from thick to thin elements of a single stoke which I find appealing.”

 “I picked Wáng XīZhī’s style because in my opinion, it’s the most beautiful. I love how the strokes look like they are flowing, like running water. I like the proportions of his characters. I like the bold, deliberate strokes and how every character looks like a work of art that could be framed.”

“I chose the 王 style because the running characters are so elegant. The fluid strokes are very expressive.”


Oū style (歐陽詢)

“Oū style: The strokes are elegant without having either very thick or very thin lines. The angles of the ends of each stroke are neither pointy nor too rounded. Each character also seems to fit in together with the whole style, not having a group of obvious standouts. Even the characters with other 20 strokes do not look crowded and each line remains distinct and graceful.”

 “Oū style has well-defined brush strokes, with variety, powerful but not too pointy (Liǔ) or coarse (Yán). Well-balanced, straight but not perfectly symmetrical (interestingly)”