I would always recommend you all to learn Shodo with a qualified calligraphy teacher. Even if each teacher has a different way of teaching, it is far better than learning at home alone with books and a youtube channel.
If you haven’t got any teacher near by, it is worth finding a good teacher and travel to learn the techniques every few months preferably.
The calligraphy books and the youtube channel are only supplying extra information to compare and provide possible input into your learning process.
I find it is a pity and heart breaking when an enthusiastic person tries to learn Shodo for a while by oneself – and sadly all what he/she did was just wrong movement.
One can not learn the art of Shodo by your self at all. You could maintenance it once you buid a solid foundation but not start it from scratch just like other Do-Art (Judo, Karatedo, Sado, Kado..). It is not possible because one needs to see the hands on guidance and practise it together in a specific process to complete the stage.
The way of doing basic techniques you learned from your teacher should always remain the same. Otherwise it would become terribly confusing if you pick up other ways of doing a particular technique.
I have some students around Europe who come and learn in some intensitive private sessions or workshops a few times a year. (at least once a year) They are from all levels like beginners to the master class and have various backgrounds and professions. Surprisingly they all keep up their skills and keep brushing up new techniques everytime I see them.
I am more and more convinced that my original method is working for many – including some Japanese students young to senior.
And I am constantly discovering new elements in the art of Shodo as well as the way of teaching.
These are from one of my distance learners, Marco-san in the U.K. – Seishos are corrected and feedback is given.
If you live in Germany, France or Switzerland- U.K., Europe, you are always welcome to learn through my method and later you could continue your practice by distance learning.
I hope you are enjoying these hot sunny days! Are you brushing up your calligraphy skills?! Or doing more stroke-practice?!
Before the summer holiday ends, I would like to post an Otehon for the month of August.
The summery text you can not avoid ….
“Aka-i-kin-gyo (Jap) ~ Red goldfish”
*Kingyo: Goldfish (Kin; Gold +Gyo; Fish)
*4 Kanjis and 1 Hiragana
Please check all balance lines, composition frames and some tips above.
Each Kanji have more less a clear middle line. Always start with a clear angle and check which brush technique should be applied.(side or direct brushings)
Recommended brush size is the medium to the big. Both hard or soft haired are suitable for this text.
I post the Otehon text which has the technique of SHINNYO”. It is not an easy technique to practise, but a very important one to learn in the art of Shodo and in the Do-Art.
This Otehon text is prepared for the beginners who already practised some Kanji texts and for the first time to practise “Do-Michi-道”
Yama Michi”- can be read as San Do”.
: Mountain path
*Michi~ The way, the path
-Big or medium size brush, both hard or soft.
-山: A combination of the side and the direct brushing techniques. A very strong corner technique. The dominant middlebalance. Rather thick and big.
– 道:1 x rectangular box + 1x”L” shaped composition. The key practice is a long flat MIGI HARAI(RIGHT SLUDE-OUT) in the Shinnyou radical. Always keep the brush upright. Concentrate on lifting the Qi energy up through your belly button. The extra “S” movement practice can be very effective.
-“SHINNYOU” in Michi/Do is one of the essential techniques in Shodo. Always ask your teacher again and again till you get the right brush movement and understand the correct energy shifting in this technique.
I am just introducing the Shakyou 写経calligraphy with the Heart Sutra (Hannya-Shingyo) to the advanced students.
They are doing very well!! Despite the tiny Shakyou brush….
Once one gets used to it, the brush movement would become lighter and smoother – and eventually you would feel very meditative just like hearing the hymn of Heart Sutra.