Let’s just get it out of the way: I am a complete idiot.
So, as some of my followers may remember, I use a brush pen for all of my fine calligraphy work in Japanese. It’s how my teacher does it and it’s what he taught me. But a few months ago when I started getting into English calligraphy and began to change my grip on various pens, I became interested in fine brushes and picked one up. I’ve been practicing with it on the side but from the very beginning have been having a ton of trouble. I just couldn’t understand how I went from writing what I could write with a brush pen to being as awful as I was with a fine brush.
Today I got the answer after googling to see if there wasn’t a kana-specific brush.
I have been holding the fine brush incorrectly like a dunce. In all fairness, I have never actually seen a person hold a fine brush, so when I bought mine I had to make my own assumptions. When using a regular-sized brush in shodo, you grab it in the middle of or higher when writing. So, I figured the same applied for a fine brush.
And that’s where the problem lay.
After looking at some google images, I realised that when using a fine brush, you hold it near the brush tip. And sure enough, after giving that a try I miraculously had almost no difficulty writing like I would have with a brush pen.
Here’s some kana with my previous grip. Note how there’s very little variation between the lines and just how thick everything is in general:
Here’s some kana after changing my grip, as well as some random stuff I tried while using up the last of my ink in my inkwell:
I will repeat: I am an idiot.