The First Stroke

The brush stroke is the first and the deciding step in all Chinese painting. One might even say that the first style stroke of the brush decides the whole fate of a painting, for its style will be determined by whether the brush stroke is made with light or heavy ink, with a wet or dry brush, with an even or varying pressure of the hand, with a brush held perpendicularly or at an angle. It is not true, as most suppose, that a brush stroke cannot be corrected; it can, especially if it has been done in light ink and with a dry brush. Nevertheless, this first brush stroke is presumably made with great deliberation and  care, so that actually it is a decisive one.

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