The Paper Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy for English Speakers - Vincent's Calligraphy

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The Paper

Traditional Chinese Calligraphy is formally written on rice/mulberry paper (or known as Xuan paper)(1), which is mostly made up of fibers of the Pteroceltis tatarinowii tree (青檀樹)(2).  The better quality Xuan paper is made in Anhui which looks like this:



Note that the paper color is not pure white; it carries a slight yellowish colour to it.  In addition, there is a rough and a smooth side to the paper with the smooth side on the top on which the calligraphy is written.  

As Xuan paper is relatively expensive, we usually use lower grade paper for practice.  This type of paper is usually gridded so beginners can learn spacing as well as orientation in writing calligraphy.  A common example of this type of paper is known as "nine squared grids" (九宮格):




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