The stele of "The Preface to the Holy Religion of the Yanta" was built under the Big Wild Goose Pagoda of the Ci'en Temple in Chang'an in the fourth year of Yonghui in Tang Dynasty (653). The first part of "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Tripitaka of the Tang Dynasty" was written by Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, in recognition of Master Xuanzang's 17-year journey to India to learn Buddhist scriptures, and his translation of the important books of the Buddhist Tripitaka after returning to Chang'an. The latter part of "The Preface to the Sanzang Shengjiao" was written by Gaozong. The calligraphy on this stele is strong and elegant. It was written by Chu Suiliang when he was 58 years old, and it best represents his unique style. Careful cursive, thin and vigorous, graceful and smooth, full of demeanor, full of abundance. So Zhang Huaiguan praised: "The beautiful woman, Chanjuan, does not seem to be lighter than Luo Qi; she is graceful and elegant, and she has a lot of attitude."

The Writing Style and Structural Features of "Yanta Shengjiao Preface"

Author Hongwenguan 

1. Features of brushwork:

1. Stippling. The pen is flexible and changeable, both square and round, and integrates the center, side, exposed and hidden fronts into one. Sketch. The hooking method of this stele follows the laws of the Six Dynasties, and the shape is changeable, simple and full, and frivolousness should be avoided. origami. There are two kinds of square folds and round folds. The transition between lifting and pressing, and changing the front and the pen must be natural and coherent. stippling. There are oblique points, round points, vertical points, vertical points, pick points and various combination points. When writing, fully express the gestures of various point methods. The oblique points are like falling stones from the peak;

2. Horizontal painting.Horizontal paintings are divided into long and short. Long horizontal, inverse, astringent, tight, with a drum in the middle, forming an arc shape, elastic; short horizontal, cut pen into paper, spread and run, lightly retract, and the lines are concise. Vertical painting. There are various vertical lengths, straight and straight, and hanging styles, all of which need to be straight and strong, and the end of the body should be carried out with strength. draw. Drawing a picture is an extension of the pick point, so we must control the strength and not be weak. write off. For long skimming, the starting pen should not be too heavy, and the pen should be pressed slightly to send force to the tail; for short skimming, the pen should be heavy when starting, with clear edges and corners, short and powerful. Na painting. Full of antiquity, fully showing the legacy of Han Li, from light to heavy, twists and turns.

2. Calligraphic structure

   The biggest characteristic of Chu Suiliang's calligraphy structure is the flat square, which laid the groundwork for the evolution of calligraphy styles in later generations. It becomes long and flat, spacious and sparse. Structural characteristics: Although the brushwork and structure of its regular script have certain rules to follow, it is not rigid, and its structure is correct, agile, generous and elegant. In the development of regular script, Tang Kai's "laws" are beyond the reach of later generations, but there is an exception, and that is Chu Suiliang. She is mainly charming, with a changeable body shape.

   It is expressed in both the use of the brush and the structure. The so-called use of the brush to create the structure, the flexibility of lifting and pressing the brush, turning and changing the front, etc., leads to the graceful and graceful structure. Enter regular script with lines, and echo coherently. The infiltration of running script strokes strengthens the internal connection between stippling, and makes isolated stippling communicate with each other through connection, remote connection, and setbacks, which are full of vitality.

   Misunderstandings in learning the calligraphy of Yanta Shengjiao: there is more than femininity, but not enough strength. During the practice, if you write the line shape and font shape according to the example, the line will have no bone strength. There are too many weak arcs and lack of rigid straight lines. There are many round pens and few square pens, which is one of the reasons for this disadvantage. There is more than enough symmetry, but not enough variation. This is caused by improper use of the strokes of the pen, and the lines are in an intermediate state. The misunderstanding of the aesthetic interest of "neutralization" means that "neutralization" means that there are no big ups and downs. Unspirited, mediocre and dull. More than thin and hard, not enough plump. The tone of the lines in "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Yanta" is mainly thin, which is easy to cause misunderstanding. If you only pay attention to the depiction of thin lines when writing, and press more and press less, the lines you write will be skinny and lack elasticity.

Let's talk about what should be paid attention to when writing.

Author: Xu Chengshang

1. Grasp the beauty of stippling

  Calligraphy is the world of abstract stippling. The reason why calligraphy stippling is so expressive is that stippling has extremely complex characteristics, such as texture, strength, and three-dimensionality.

   Texture refers to the true degree of people's feelings and associations to the surface texture (such as hardness, softness, smoothness, roughness, fineness, softness) and measurement of modeling objects in the process of aesthetics. Calligraphy and stippling all have a certain texture. The stippling in "The Preface to the Holy Teaching of the Yanta" is delicate and moist, some places are as thin as a cicada's wings, and some places are as heavy as a running stone, forming a sharp contrast. This has brought certain difficulties to our temporary writing, but the subtlety of Chu Shu is also reflected in this. So how do we practice it?

First of all, we know that due to the different performance of writing tools, different brushwork and different ink colors, it will cause different textures of stippling effects. When learning Chu Kai at ordinary times, generally use thick ink (but thick but not stagnant) to straighten the front, and the strokes should be crisp, so that it is easy to write solid ink and sink, the strokes are round and vigorous, the flesh and blood are commensurate, the strokes are strong, and the texture is strong. It will give people a feeling of thick and subtle, full and full. The texture is directly related to the strength of the pen and the thickness of the ink used. Weighty and powerful means texture. Generally speaking, strokes with texture can evoke aesthetic associations. "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Yanta" has many thin strokes, but it gives people a sense of tenacity, like steel wires that have been slightly bent. After thin strokes, thick strokes will also appear, which is pleasing to the eye. In short, the strokes should be done with force, the ink should be thick and full, and the strokes should be steady. The resulting strokes, no matter thick or soft, will give people a certain thickness. In addition, paper selection is very important,In fact, it is suitable to use more familiar paper for imitation writing, which is more conducive to expressing its exquisite brushwork.If the paper used is relatively raw, this will have a certain impact on the effect of temporary writing.

  For strength requirements, whether it is Chu Kai or others, one needs to concentrate and meditate when writing a book, so that the strength reaches the tip of the brush and pours it into the stippling, so that it presents powerful strokes and fonts appear strong and strong. Therefore, training in the sense of force is very important in calligraphy teaching, so how to write powerful strokes? It is related to holding a pen, handling the pen, and using ink.

  "Books use pens, and the use of them depends on the person. Therefore, those who are good at books use pens, and those who are not good at books use pens." The ancients attached great importance to writing. "Wrist flat and palm vertical", "straight heart circle", "empty hanging straight tight", "wrist alive and fingers dead" etc. can be integrated and flexible to meet the requirements.

  What kind of strokes are considered powerful? Generally speaking, sharp lines, rigid lines, thick and round lines, and thin, flexible and strong lines are easy to produce a sense of strength; while bubble lines, swelling lines, floating and light, and thick ink and limp lines are difficult to produce a sense of strength.

  Therefore, when we are writing "The Preface to the Holy Religion of the Yanta", we must be "accurate" in the beginning of the pen, that is, the pen must be clean and accurate. The writing must be "ruthless", that is, decisive. The collection of pens must be able to "stable" and be done cleanly. Sometimes you can also do an "empty return" action in the air when you close the pen, instead of returning to the front on paper.

  If the above three requirements can be met with a brush, the strength of the strokes will naturally be reflected.

  Among the aesthetic factors of Chinese calligraphy, apart from the cloth and white structure, the most important thing is stippling. In addition to the sense of force, the three-dimensional sense of strokes is a very important aesthetic criterion. Comments on calligraphy have always emphasized Yuan Jin. Strength refers to the sense of strength, while circle refers to the sense of three-dimensionality. Although there are differences between raw and cooked paper in Chinese calligraphy, it is rare to use paper that is completely impermeable. Change the depth to express the thickness of the stroke. The strokes penetrating through the back of the paper can show a three-dimensional thickness feeling on the edge of the stroke through the translucency of the paper; while the strokes that are swept across the paper surface and the ink color is not as deep as the paper have no such thickness feeling at all. Relying on "strength through the paper back" alone can only cause a three-dimensional effect on the thickness. To achieve the realm of circle, it must be expressed through high-level pen skills, so in Chu Kai's study, we must gradually make good use of the center.

  The reason why it is easy to form round strokes with a center pen is because of the pressure distribution when the pen touches the paper. The pressure is the highest along the center line of the stroke, and the pressure gradually decreases toward the two sides, resulting in different degrees of seepage and dryness. There are subtle differences in the thickness of the middle and thin edges or silky and dry edges in the middle, showing the three-dimensional effect of "round" strokes. You can feel this kind of roundness in some characters in Zhou Yihua's works. For example, characters such as "Gu" and "Hua" have strong strokes and full of tension, showing the feeling of Chu Suiliang's calligraphy with iron and silver hooks.

  To maintain the center forward, we also need to be able to change pens skillfully. Changing the pen is also called changing the direction. It means that in the process of running the pen, when encountering a turning point in the stroke, one must lift the pen and change the direction (that is, lightly lift the pen, pause repeatedly, and change direction). That is to say, try to keep the pen in the center position.

2. Master the rhythm of writing

  The development and changes of all things in the world have a certain rhythm, and so does the art of calligraphy. Calligraphers of all dynasties have attached great importance to this point. The artistic rhythm of calligraphy is inseparable from the time, space, and issues of brush, ink, paper, and brushwork, ink use, composition, and frame structure.

  My understanding of the rhythm in "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Yanta" is to appreciate the speed and severity in comparison. In the early stage of pro-writing, one of the mistakes we easily made was writing flatly. What is "flat"? Can be understood as little change. Although regular script is a relatively neat style of writing, it pursues changes in subtle places. If you have written "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Yanta" for several months, you have a deep feeling that regular script should be in the middle, unique and varied.

  The comparison in "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Yanta", the first is the comparison of stroke thickness, orthographic, and pitch in a single character. There are many horizontal strokes in a character, but their postures and pitches are sometimes different, and their starting strokes are also different, some are right-angled, some are only 30 degrees, and some are reversed. This also requires us to have a lot of Strong ability to read posts. In the teaching of regular script, there is a simple movement rhythm for the starting, running, and ending of the eight basic strokes. When turning or changing the direction of the pen, there is also a certain rhythm, which mainly depends on the flexibility of the wrist. Zang Feng and Lu Feng also have movement rhythms; when Zang Feng writes, he first needs to move in the air against the direction of the pen, while Lu Feng just writes. When using the pen, try to find the rhythm of these movements. In calligraphy training, the understanding of rhythm is an important criterion for judging the basic quality of calligraphy. Therefore, when copying "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Yanta", we must first write the strokes successfully. The second is to further write the strokes to the right position. If the structure is understood as a simple pile of basic strokes, it is superficial and superficial, and it is "writing".

  The second is that the size of the glyphs, and the contrast between retraction and expansion also reflect a sense of rhythm. The font structure of "Yanta Shengjiao Preface" is relatively compact, but when it was first written, many people would write it in a rigid manner and couldn't let it go. Although the characters in "The Preface to the Holy Teachings of the Yanta" are not large, its momentum is broad and can give people a sense of shock. Moreover, some characters have many strokes, while others have few strokes. When many characters are put together, a sense of size and weight will naturally form. Effective and reasonable handling of this size and weight will grasp the rhythm of the entire line in the work. feel.

  Expressing the beauty of change on the basis of overall coordination is the effect of rhythm. As long as we think more and practice more, each of us can write Chu characters well.