Kevina Lee

In the previous video in the what you'll need section, you were introduced to different brushes used in Chinese calligraphy.

Now you can choose which kind of brush best suits what you're trying to produce on paper. According to The Art of Calligraphy, here are some things to consider:

A calligraphy brush may have two or more layers, but for the sake of simplicity, we analyze the standard calligraphy brush with two layers: An inner core of shorter hairs, which form the belly of the brush, and an outer layer of longer hairs that make the tip of the brush. A good Chinese calligraphy brush or Japanese brush should have four qualities:

SHARPNESS - The brush should have a fine tip and come easily to a point.

STRUCTURE - The longest hairs that make the tip of the brush should all have the same length and stay evenly together. No individual hairs should stick out.

RESILIENCE - The brush tip will only be able to react immediately to the pressure exerted by the calligrapher when there is a correct balance between supple and firmer hairs.

ROUNDNESS - The body of the brush should be full and round.

There are brushes that are made with either goat hair or wolf hair. Here are some differences from The Art of Calligraphy to help you pick which one to get:

The goat's hair brushes are white-haired brushes made from the hair of sheep, goats, cats or even deer. They are very absorbent and supple, and produce rounded forms and saturated fleshy brushstrokes. This calligraphy brush is particularly suitable for the hidden brush tip technique, which requires many subtle bending movements of the brush tip.

The wolf's hair brushes are brown-haired brushes made from the hair of marten, horses, weasel or rabbits. This calligraphy brush is stiff and resilient and brushes sharp bony strokes. It is suitable for the direct attack technique of Japanese calligraphy that forms strokes with sharp beginnings and endings.

The mixed hair brushes are a special category. They are used very much in sumi painting. These calligraphy brushes are made from different types of animal hair, and combine brown and white hairs. The stiff brown hairs from the inner core of the brush are used for their resilient quality, while the outer white hairs ensure the suppleness of the brush tip.

There are many places to find Chinese calligraphy brushes, especially in Chinatowns across the country. If you are looking to buy online, another website besides Amazon is

Now that you have selected everything you need, you are ready to create Chinese calligraphy! Congratulations and don't forget to tell us about your friends and send us your feedback! Here is an extra video for you to learn how to hold a Chinese calligraphy brush and start writing: