Strokes and stroke order

There are 8 core strokes to Regular Script (kǎi shū) characters. From these all other variants flow.

These 8 strokes are: dot (diǎn), horizontal (héng), vertical (shù), lift (tí), hook (gōu), bend (zhé), left sweep (piě) and the right sweep (nà)

Each of these strokes is present in the character for eternity (yǒng).

The numbers shown below represent the stroke order required to create the character. Changing this order would be noticed and remarked upon by an experienced Calligrapher so it is important that it is adhered to:

Chinese character: Eternity (yǒng)

Stroke order becomes increasingly important as you practice your Chinese Calligraphy. This is especially so as you become more comfortable and start to move from forming individual regular stroke characters and start to form phrases where the characters, like your handwriting, start to run into each other…

The eight ways

The eight ways, or brush movements, which are necessary to create the character for eternity, illustrated above, are:

To shove (cè), to rein in (lēi), to incise (nǔ), to kick (tī), to whip (cè), to sweep (lüè), to peck (zhuó), and to slash (zhe).

There are always questions with regard to Chinese Calligraphy so please get in touch if there is something I have not covered or not explained in sufficient detail. Please email:

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