I believe by “handwriting” by jon|k by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonk/
Once you have learned the strokes it is then time to blend them into a style, as strokes rarely exist in isolation but flow from one to another.
No two series of strokes are the same whether that be in amplitude of the stroke, speed or amount of force applied to the blade.
It’s akin to taking individual letters and making them into joined up words, sets of strokes with the aim of moving the boat through the body of water, the features of which prescribe the rhythm of the passage.
Keeping the blade active is important, often beginners or less experienced paddlers lift their blades out of the water and this coupled with their less developed sense of boat balance can end in a capsize. Apart from the balance and capsize issues not having a blade in the water can result in poor control as you are at the mercy of your edge and current speed. See below for an explanation of active blade.
Active blade this can best be explained by being shown