To read more on other types of strokes in standard script (楷書), please click here.
Vertical strokes of standard script are among the most difficult brush strokes in Chinese calligraphy. They are complex (many micro brush movements) and require a lot of practice.
The differences between the vertical strokes of Chinese calligraphy can be brought down to stroke endings. The foundation on which each of those strokes is built, is known as the "iron pole" (鉄柱), and it is one of the 8 core strokes of standard script (永字八法).
The name "hanging dew drop" (垂露) comes from the appearance of the ending of this type of vertical stroke. It resembles a drop of dew hanging at the very end of a branch, or a twig. Chinese calligraphy and its theories are heavily related to nature. Many Chinese calligraphers based their calligraphy styles (書風) on natural phenomena. A falling rock, moves of a female sword dancer, geese turning their heads, etc.
The difficulty of writing a hanging dew drop stroke, is in the challenge of presenting the kinetic energy of the water droplet, that is growing on the tip of a small branch. The video (below) shows only one style of writing the hanging dew drop stroke, which evolved during the Tang dynasty (唐朝, 618 - 907), and it is often found in the masterpieces of Ouyang Xun (歐陽詢, 557 – 641) .
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