In this course, you'll learn:

A guide for non-Asian sumi-e artists to sign art in Chinese characters (Kanji)

  • Top and side view of 8 fundamental calligraphy strokes

  • Essential line work to convert Standard to Cursive

  • Simple words to easily add a date when signing

  • Four seasons in Standard and Running Scripts

This workshop includes:

Convert from my popular full day workshop

  • Enrollee's names customized in standard and cursive

  • Almost 3 hours of instruction with 23 videos in manageable segments

  • Downloadable Calligraphy Brushwork Samples

Watch Intro Video

Welcome and Content Preview Video

Course curriculum

  • 1


  • 3

    Basic Calligraphy Strokes

    • Overview of Basic Calligraphy Strokes

    • Dots

    • Vertical Strokes

    • Hooks (Verticals with Hooked Endings)

    • Horizontals

    • Bends (Horizontal plus Vertical Combinations)

    • Raise (Check Mark to the Upper Right)

    • Kicks to the Left

    • Boats (Steer to the Right)

  • 4

    First Word - Forever in Standard Script

    • Revision of Basic Strokes

    • Forever in Standard Script

  • 5

    Exercises Using the Standard Script

    • 1 to 10, Thousands and 20 in Standard Script

    • Year, Month, Day, and the Four Seasons in Standard Script

  • 6

    Preparation for Cursive Calligraphy

    • Different Kinds of Calligraphy Scripts

    • Practice Strokes for Cursive Calligraphy

  • 7

    Exercises Using the Running Script

    • 1 to 10, Thousand and 20 in Running Script

    • Year, Month, Day and the Four Seasons in Running Script

  • 8


    • Wrap Up

Bonus Support

Extra resources for enrolled students

  • Online Access

    Unlimited online access of course content for enrolled students for two years.

  • Zoom Chat

    Virtual meetings of Q&A with Joan and fellow students with active enrollment.

  • Coursework Critique

    Share up to three pieces of your signature calligraphy for Joan's comments,


  • What tools will I need?

    You only need sumi-e ink, a brush, rice paper or newsprint to practice. That's all.

  • When and how often can I access the course?

    Once you enroll, you can access all the lessons as often as you want for two years.

  • What's the best way to learn with the course?

    Practicing along is the key to learn. I recommend gathering your supplies after seeing the supply list. Watch the videos in the order of the chapters. When a video stops, work on your artwork following the steps I just described for as long as you want. Go back to the course when you are ready. Re-watch any lessons you like. Take the course as if you are attending an in-person workshop with me. We have lots of time to practice. You will understand the technique more with frequent practices than just by watching the whole course from start to finish in one seating.

  • When is the Zoom Chat for enrolled students?

    It is currently on the second Saturday of even month (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct & Dec) at 2 pm (U.S. eastern time zone) for 30 minutes via Zoom. I will email all enrolled students a week before with the link, meeting ID and Passcode. New students will be invited as well. Private/customized live chat can be arranged with a group of students as long as every attendee is individually enrolled.

  • Do you offer private or group workshops?

    I offer private or group workshops in-person and via virtual meetings. Please email me.

  • How do I enroll? How do I sign-in again?

    Click on any "Get started today" buttons . You will create an account with your email and add a password. You pay online with a credit card. The Thank you/Confirmation email will give you a link to the course to start right away. You can stop at any time. When you want to start again, go to and click on Online Workshop. Sign-in on the top menu with your email and password. The system will remember where you stopped and will ask if you would like to continue where you left off, or start elsewhere. It is that smart. If you enroll in multiple courses, when you login, you can pick which course you want to work on.

  • Can I share my log-in?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! I aim to keep the online course affordable, especially now when we practice social-distancing. Login-sharing is prohibited to sustain the high maintenance cost of the online system. I reserve the right to un-enroll individuals without refund for usage abuse, and will pursue all damages and loss revenue the action may have caused.

Meet Joan

Joan Lok

I have been teaching sumi-e workshops for over 25 years. My art is a fusion of old and new, east and west, and the balancing play of yin and yang (positive and negative forces) to link Asian tradition to an adventurous, modern viewpoint. I am excited to share my favorite way of using expressive brushwork with you. Joan served as the President of the Sumi-e Society of America for 10 years, and taught Asian American Arts at the University of Maryland. Her book "Chinese Brush Painting: Flowers" is a best-seller in English, Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch. Joan has received awards from art competitions in the United States, Canada, and Japan. She resides in Maryland, USA.