Zhao Mengfu's Preliminary Writing Guidance for "The Front and Back Chibi Fu"

   Zhao Mengfu and "The Front and Back Chibi Fu" Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322), styled Ziang, named Songxue, also known as Shuijinggong Taoist, was born in Wuxing, Zhejiang, and was a descendant of Zhao Defang, the royal family of Song Dynasty. Zhao Mengfu was elected to the court in the 23rd year of the Yuan Dynasty and was an official all his life. After his death, he was named Wei Guogong and posthumously named Wenmin. 

   Zhao Mengfu is erudite and talented, with excellent knowledge, good at poetry, calligraphy and painting, and rhythm. However, he was the royal family of the Song Dynasty, and later he was attached to the "enemy country" and became a second official. Therefore, there were upright people such as Fu Shan and Kang Youwei who underestimated him, so he hated his books and ridiculed him. 

   Objectively speaking, Zhao Mengfu's calligraphy prevailed in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, first of all, it should be attributed to his profound artistic attainments, and to his precise interpretation of tradition. Zhao Mengfu is a very complicated character. We can criticize his backbone, but we should treat his calligraphy in two parts. The author thinks that Mr. Jiang Qing's evaluation is more accurate: "Calligraphy did not finally establish the status of 'graceful' until Zhao Mengfu. The appearance of Zhao Shu is in response to the trend of the times, and it is not accidental." (See "Chinese Calligraphy Thoughts. history") 

   As the founder of the sect, Zhao Mengfu studied Song Gaozong in his early years, and specialized in "two kings" in his middle age. Yu Ji called it "the regular script to explore "Luo Shen Fu" and took the mark, and the running script harmonized with "Shengjiao Preface" and entered his room. , as for the cursive script that fills the "Seventeen Tie" and changes its shape." At the same time, he studied seal script, official script, zhangcao, etc. Zhao painstakingly, and focused on Li Beihai in his later years. Therefore, the profound traditional accumulation has made Zhao Ti brilliant. 

   "Ode to Chibi Front and Back" is a famous article written by Su Dongpo when he was relegated to Huangzhou when he was most frustrated and gloomy in his life. In 1301 AD, when Zhao Mengfu, who was 47 years old at the time, reread this article, his inner pain hit his heart. At this time, when "Brother Mingyuan" (recorded in the postscript of this volume) submitted a paper requesting a book, his inner depression and sadness flowed along with Dongpo's words. He writes in graceful and poignant style, expressing his feelings peacefully and quietly. This is the creative background of Zhao Mengfu's calligraphy work (the attached picture is a part). 

2. Pre-writing preparation 

   Before we start writing, we should make two preparations: one is accurate thought entry, and the other is the selection of relevant tools. The volume of "Front and Back Chibi Fu" (the attached picture is a part of the work) was written by Zhao Mengfu when he was 47 years old. In terms of art, he was at the stage of studying the "two kings" calligraphy style, and he had already had a very high understanding of cursive techniques. In terms of thought, he was proud of his official career at this time, but he was still a little sad in his heart. One was because of the indifference of his friends, and the other was some kind of depression from the bottom of his heart. He needs a pure land to carry his emotions, and he has integrated himself into the world of pen and ink. 

  The "Graceful School" is euphemistic and reserved, so Zhao Mengfu's calligraphy does not have many "emotional ups and downs" (Xiong Bingming's words), and does not pursue ups and downs in stippling. Before writing, we must adjust our mentality and be calm. First of all, we must be as close to it as possible in thought. 

   This volume is a running script banner, with simple and simple paper color and exquisite brushstrokes, very elegant. As a small character (about 1.6 cm square) of the lineage of "Two Kings", you must choose a high-quality Langhao pen for writing. You have to know what kind of ink to use. If the ink is too thick, the pen will become stagnant, and if the ink is too light, it will bleed and hurt the mind, affecting the freshness of the lines. A proper amount of water can be dripped with calligraphy and painting ink. The choice of paper is also very particular. Do not use raw Xuan, it is advisable to choose more familiar ones. For writing, you can use the rough surface of rough-edged paper to create Xuan with sprinkled gold Xuan. Sprinkling Jinxuan can not only show the change of color and ink, but also express the subtle lines, which helps to stimulate the desire for creation. 

   If conditions permit, you can also learn more about Zhao Mengfu's life, read his poems and paintings, and study the development history of the "Four Treasures of the Study" in the Yuan Dynasty. These are all of great benefit to us in learning the tradition more accurately.

 3. Analysis of the brushwork in "Fu Qianqian and Chibi Fu" 

   Regarding the use of brushes, Zhao Mengfu has a famous saying: "The characters of Gaijie have been passed down from time to time, and it is not easy to use them through the ages." In terms of brushwork, Zhao Zi directly inherits from the right army, and is mainly flowing and straight, with gentle and concise lines, showing outward appearance and inner strength. Running script stippling is full of changes, the so-called "several paintings are applied together, and their shapes are different; many dots are arranged together, and the body is well-behaved". For the convenience of beginners, the following is a classification of the characteristics of stippling in this post. 

(1) Horizontal painting 

1. long horizontal 

As the main picture of a character, the long horizontal line should generally be written straight and strong, with the left side low and the right side high, so as to stabilize the center of gravity of the character. 

The most common way to write long and horizontal is to cut the front and drop the paper, and then turn the wrist up to the right after a short pause. , "boat" word. 

   Secondly, as shown in the attached picture, the characters "Xiao" and "Wu" are long and horizontal. When the pen enters the paper with a sharp point, the wrist is quickly turned inward and the pen tube is turned left and then upwards to the right. Another example is the long horizontal line of the two characters "Ju" and "Mu" in the attached drawing. The starting stroke is connected with the previous stroke, taking the opposite trend, and then turning to the right. 

   The above-mentioned three kinds of long-horizontal drawing brushes only have the difference of whether there is a drawing wire or not, but they are quite different in the starting action. Judging from the line effect, one is crisp and clean, the other is relaxed and free, and the third is concise and vigorous. 

2. Dash 

The frequent use of short horizontal strokes naturally requires its posture to be changeable, but all changes remain the same.

 ①The difference in writing. For example, the two characters "Tian" and "Zai" in the attached picture are formed by the sharp point entering the paper and the wrist is turned inward, and the upper horizontal line of the two characters "Yu" and "Zai" is formed after the sharp point enters the paper. The belly of the pen pauses for a while and then goes up, showing a full and reserved state; "Jiang" and "Ju" quickly turn inward after the horizontal front enters the paper, and the force is turned inward quickly, appearing muscular and vigorous; the characters of "Qing" and "Wu" The lower horizontal stroke and the upper stroke are coherent, which can be regarded as the reverse entry of the Tibetan front, which appears round and graceful. 

②The difference in receiving pens. For example, in the attached picture, the lower horizontal stroke of the Chinese character "美" is lifted up quickly, connecting with the breath of the next stroke; The lower stroke brings out the next stroke, which looks harmonious and natural; while the other "咱" character is pressed down horizontally and lightly closed, with a long aftertaste. 

(2) vertical painting 

The most important way to make a vertical stroke is to seek the curve in the straight center, and at the same time, pay attention to the change of the back and the length; in the stroke and the brush, the fronts should be gathered together to show a strong posture. 

1. Long vertical 

Long and vertical, there is a difference between hanging needles and hanging dews, and their postures are very different. In the picture, the two characters "斗" and "常" use a hanging needle. When starting the pen, the wrist is slightly turned outwards and supplemented by turning the pen to the right, and then the pen is drawn down. While walking, it is lifted, and when the front is struck, it is quickly closed in the air. It is generally used at the end of a character, that is, "the needle hangs when the power is exhausted". The two characters "Huai" and "fei" are used to hang down. When closing the pen, the wrist is slightly stationed, and after a light pause, it is turned upwards to close. The expressive and expressive long vertical lines in the word "velvet" rarely appear in this post, and they gallop down after starting to write, like an arrow leaving the string. The expression of the long vertical curve is completed by lifting and lowering the pen, and it must not be deliberately arranged. 

2. Short vertical 

There are many short and vertical shapes, as shown in the picture, the vertical point of the character "Zhi" is rounded at the top and the bottom is round, like jade beads hanging in the air; the vertical and heavy square folds in the character "Wu" are like the gray of jade chopsticks painting; the vertical shape of the character "Chuan" is simple, quiet and decisive , which complements the strokes on both sides; the end of the word "duan" dances gracefully and vividly. The vertical paintings have their backs. For example, the vertical paintings of the character "Ye" are slightly curved to the left, facing away from the right part, and the vertical lines of the character "You" are slightly curved to the right, facing the right part. In the same character, the double vertical and parallel must also face the back, such as "xiang" and "yes" always have the same back. In addition, the short and vertical lines should also be changed randomly in specific applications to coordinate with the entire character. For example, the vertical lines in the Chinese character "幽" are thin and upright, contrasting with the thick lines on the side to achieve balance; the vertical lines in the Chinese character "地" are of different lengths, which make the characters lively; Create contrast. 

(3) Skimming 

Leaving aside what the ancients called "Luduan rhinoceros", the most common problem is frivolity. The key to writing is to avoid dragging the pen straightly after it is put into the paper, but to cooperate with the wrist and fingers.

At the starting point of writing, the wrist finger needs to be turned outward quickly to drop the paper, and the wrist finger also needs to be turned outward slowly to cooperate when writing downward to the left. 

1. Changes in writing 

Most of the writing methods are cut in and paused at the beginning of the pen. This pen-entry action helps to adjust the stroke and express the vigor of writing. For example, the three characters "bu", "yu" and "ling" in the attached picture. And Lan Yeji writes sharply at the beginning, full in the middle, and elegant in closing, and there is a wonderful singing and three sighs between the light and heavy changes. For example, the words "Pan" and "Ming" in the attached picture.

2. Changes in receipt 

In the accompanying drawings, the strokes of the characters "鹿" and "纱" are Huifeng strokes, and the ending point is turned upwards to echo the next stroke; the strokes of the characters "Zai" and "Shao" are forward strokes. When the pen is drawn, the wrist fingers are turned outwards and quickly drawn out, showing a long meaning; the characters "Yu" and "Tian" are painted with a hidden front, and when the pen is closed, the front is slightly stopped for empty closing, showing a warm and reserved state. For the change of skimming, it should be used in conjunction with a specific glyph camera. If there are still dots on the upper right after the stroke, you can use the back stroke or the hidden front stroke to echo it. If the stroke is the last stroke, you should use the front stroke. In addition, skimming varies greatly in angle. It is used for the flat writing of the beginning of the character. It is short and flat and the strokes are clean, such as the two characters "Qiu" and "Dong" in the attached picture. It is used for the vertical writing on the left side of the character. The shape is vertical and relatively strong, such as " There are two characters of "gang", "xu", and the most widely used slanting, with various postures, such as "yi", "square", and "you". 

(4) Na 

   We often use twists and turns to describe the shape of Na. To be precise, this is just an overview of the general characteristics of Na. In fact, Na has other different forms. 

   The Na in Zhao characters is generally more stretched, and the line and weight of the strokes are very clear, which is quite suitable for copying and fun. 

1. calm down 

It is mostly used to walk to the bottom. One is a typical way of writing with twists and turns. First, go up and down with a light front, press the pen to fold back, lift it up slightly, and then move down to the right, gradually increasing the force. "Character. The other type starts straight with a sharp point and does not pause. This type of stroke appears lighter and more elegant, such as the characters "yi" and "dao". There are also those who become anti-power in writing. For example, in the word "Guo" in the accompanying drawing, after the folding front enters reversely, the pen moves upwards to the left, and then the pen tube turns downwards. The Na painting written by this method is somewhat graceful. 

2. Oblique Na 

Compared with the writing method of flat strokes, the writing method of oblique strokes is much richer. There are twists and turns, such as the word "long" in the attached picture; , Those with a strong official meaning, such as the character "cong"; those with the sharp edge reaching the wrist, such as the character "gu"; In cursive script, Na method is also one of the varied stippling. In addition to the different processing methods on the brushwork analyzed above, it also has changes in angle, weight, square and circle, retraction and other aspects. When we are about to write, we can first classify and practice, and after we are proficient in the brushwork, we can find out its change law in combination with specific word examples so that we can master it. It is worth emphasizing that when the foot is pressed down, the wrist must be valgus when striking the front, so that the writing will appear plump and well-proportioned. 

(5) Folding In regular script, folded pictures can be regarded as overlapping horizontal and vertical strokes, but running script moves faster, so the accuracy of movements is required in writing. 

1. horizontal fold 

When the horizontal fold is turned down, it changes from square to round. Fang Zhe requires that when turning the pen, it should be sharp and straight, with a firm and sharp air, just like the word "see" in the attached picture. In Zhao Mengfu's "Front and Front Chibi Fu", square turns are rare, and round turns are the most common, which also shows Zhao Mengfu's familiarity with wrist and fingering. For example, the four characters "Yan", "Jia", "Gao" and "Yu" in the attached picture show no trace of turning point, which is quite skillful. When we are writing, we may have the problem that it is difficult to express the energy of circle when turning around, which requires strengthening the coordination of wrist and fingers. 2. vertical fold 

There are few vertical folds in "Fu of Front and Back Chibi". When writing, it is only necessary to handle the turning of the wrist from the outside of the vertical to the inside of the horizontal. 

4. The characteristics of the concluding words in "The Front and Back Chibi Fu" 

   Here, I want to mention Zhao Mengfu's famous saying "Gaijie characters are passed down from time to time, and it is not easy to use a pen through the ages". For brushwork, the ancients had a relatively strict set of rules, which is also specially discussed in the book "Calligraphy There Are Methods" by Sun Xiaoyun. 

   But the knots are all different. With the development of the times, it constantly deduces new points and lines. The meaning of "handed down from time to time" may mean that the calligraphy will vary due to different times, customs, and personal tastes, hobbies, and aesthetics. 

   As an outstanding representative of artists, Zhao Mengfu certainly has his own understanding of calligraphy. He once said that "the pen is the most important thing in writing, and the structure must also be worked hard." In the next lecture, we will focus on analyzing the characteristics of the structure of "The Front and Back Chibi Fu". 

1. Patchwork 

How to add a smart and free and easy air to the meticulous and well-balanced knot characters, in addition to the above-mentioned use of cursive, there is also a fuss about the striations. In "Front and Front Chibi Fu", the left and right structure of the characters makes it long and short, and the height is pitched, such as the three characters "Qi", "Gu", and "Cu" in the attached picture; the upper and lower structure of the characters makes the width change, slim posture, such as "surprise", "dream", "shang" three characters. The single-body characters make the stippling uneven and vivid, such as the three characters "Yi", "Ye" and "Yue". 

2. Motion and stillness 

   This calligraphy feature injects a bit of agility into the seemingly calm and dignified Zhao characters. 

   The contrast of movement and stillness in this volume includes the mixing of lines and cursive in the treatment of composition, as well as the use of calligraphy. "Quiet" refers to the quiet running of the brush, like the lines of regular script; "moving" of course refers to the flying movement of the brush, adopting the meaning of cursive script. For example, the four characters "Shun", "Jing", "Ying", and "Ying" in the attached picture enrich the expressiveness of the calligraphy with the half-quiet and half-moving strokes. 

3. Go hand in hand 

   If you focus on the composition, the light and heavy changes between the lines in this scroll are very clear; if you focus on the calligraphy, the combination of light and heavy lines can be found everywhere. The weight is achieved by lifting and pressing the pen, or the left and right contrast, or the difference between the top and bottom, or the difference between the inside and the outside, as can be seen from the three characters "qi", "shield" and "hole" in the attached drawing. 

   Of course, this kind of calligraphy should be handled naturally and properly, and should not be too mechanical. Generally, a radical should be regarded as a unit, and a stroke should not be regarded as a beat, and the severity of each stroke can vary.