Calligraphy – Bird

I was practicing some Chinese Calligraphy, this weekend, for a picture, and it occurred to me that although I have spoken a lot about Traditional and Simplified characters I may not have given any example on this website, other than numbers when putting the date on your paintings.

I, therefore, thought I would post up the Calligraphy for bird (niǎo) and then use this radical to form a type of bird – a pigeon, or dove (gē).

The Calligraphy for bird (niǎo) is shown below in both Traditional on the left and Simplified regular Script (kǎi shū) on the right:

Chinese Calligraphy - Bird - niao3 traditional/simplified
Chinese Calligraphy – Bird – niao3 traditional/simplified

I have also spoken a lot about the importance of stroke order when writing in Chinese. One thing I may not have made clear is that sometimes the stroke order for Traditional characters is different to that when writing Simplified characters. Below is the stroke order for the character, bird (niǎo):

Chinese Calligraphy - Bird - niao3 traditional/simplified strokes
Chinese Calligraphy – Bird – niao3 traditional/simplified with stroke order

This character shows clearly the difference between Traditional and Simplified characters. The Traditional character is slower to write and is formed of 11 strokes. The Simplified character is much faster to write being formed of less than half that number.

The next step is to use this radical to write a specific bird. This character is called a radical because it forms part of the character of all birds.

Below is the character for pigeon or dove (gē). Note the difference again between Traditional and Simplified characters and the use of the bird (niǎo) radical:

Chinese Calligraphy - Pigeon/Dove - ge1 traditional/simplified
Chinese Calligraphy – Pigeon/Dove – ge1 traditional/simplified

However, please note that, as often happens, the part of the character which turns bird (niǎo) into pigeon/dove (gē) is identical in both Traditional and Simplified versions, it is merely the radical which is different.

For more information on choosing when to use Traditional or Simplified characters on your paintings please take a look at our Dating paintings page.

If you would like to see some of my Bird paintings, please visit my Birds Portfolio.

Happy practicing,

Paul

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