How to Grind Ink when you write Chinese calligraphy
To do Chinese calligraphy, traditionally, the first step is to grind the ink.
- Gather your supplies. A good ink stone will have a hard, polished surface. You don’t want it too rough because a rough surface can damage the brush.
- Fill the water pot, or well, with water.
- Place a little water on the grinding stone.
- Select the color of ink stick you will use.
- Grasp the ink stick between your thumb and your index and middle fingers. Place the end of the ink stick into the water and pull some water up onto the plane of the grinding stone.
- Rub the stick on the stone in a circular motion until you have the color of ink you need. If the ink is too thick, it will not flow easily off the brush. If the ink is too thin, the color will be light. Practice getting the right consistency.
- Grind only the ink that you need for that day, and do not permit ink to dry in your ink stone. Clean the ink stone with water and a soft sponge or cloth. Never use anything that could damage the stone. Cover the stone to prevent the ink from drying if you will take a break.
How to Use a Chinese Calligraphy Brush
- Soak it in a cup of water.
- Take the brush out when it is soft.
- Hold the brush in your right or left hand. Holding the brush higher creates weaker, softer strokes while holding closer to the bristles create solid, more defined strokes.
- Use your ring finger, middle finger, and thumb to hold the brush.
- Dip the ink stick in water and grind against the ink stone until the ink has an oily consistency. See how to grind ink.
- Bottled ink: Pour ink into the ink stone.
- Begin writing characters, tilting the brush using the fingers, not the hands. Tilting the brush can add certain effects to the character that may or may not be desirable.
- Do not put the brush in your mouth.
- Do not use ink stone to hurt anyone.
- Wash your brush every time you use it.
- Do not press too hard or paper will tear.