• Figure 1. Stroke order of simple Chinese characters.
right vertical lines in one continuous stroke, starting at the top left,
ending at the right bottom. It is okay
if the stroke has a smooth, arc-like
shape, as the three other corners
will ensure the rectangular impression.
• Close the rectangle with the bottom vertical line, using one stroke
from left to right.
Grids: The character ri (sun) looks
like a simple grid with two rectangles stacked on top of each other.
Construct it by first drawing the
strokes for the surrounding rectangle (rule 5, from outer to inner). Then
draw the middle horizontal line and
finally the bottom horizontal line.
The character mu (eye) shows
three rectangles stacked on top of
each other. Render it by first drawing the surrounding lines on the left,
top, and right. Then draw the three
remaining horizontal lines from top
Tian (field) looks like four rectangles stacked in a two-by-two pattern. Again, first draw the left, top,
and right lines outlining the frame,
and then construct the cross in the
middle by first drawing the middle
horizontal line, followed by the middle vertical line. Finally, draw the
bottom horizontal line that closes
the outside rectangle.
Sliders: Zhong (center) looks like a
slider, with its vertical line intersected by the rectangle in the middle.
First draw the rectangle without the
closing seal; then draw the vertical
line running through the rectangle;
finally, draw the bottom horizontal
line to close the rectangle. For long
sliders, one may deviate from the
rule and start with the vertical lines
to ensure the overall structure. Then
draw the knob in the desired position.
Arrows: Parts of the two characters tai (platform) and ling (zero)
resemble up and down arrows, such
To draw the “plus-like” character shi, meaning 10: First draw the horizontal stroke from left to right, then the vertical
stroke from top to bottom (rule 1).
Gan, meaning stem: First draw the top horizontal stroke (rule 1), then the second horizontal stroke (rule 4),
and finally draw the vertical line.
Wang, meaning king: First draw the gan character (above), then draw the bottom horizontal stroke.
The last stroke (rule 6, sealing last) ensures that the bottom line is perfectly aligned with the vertical line.
Chuan, meaning river: First draw the left line, then the middle line, and finally the right line (rule 3, from left to right).
All the strokes are drawn from top to bottom.
If the middle element is larger than the elements on the left and the right, as it is for the character xiao,
meaning little: First draw the middle element, then the elements on the left and the right (rule 7 overrides rule 2).
Tong (simplified), meaning colleague: Start from the outside and go inward (rule 5). First draw the surrounding frame, and
then draw the cross in the middle. The tong character is turned into a checkbox by sealing the bottom with a horizontal stroke.