Literati bonsai style is a style originated from Ancient Chinese. This style can be identified from a lot of paintings in which pine trees are depicted in similar styles. Generally, literati trees are growing in places where there is not adequate sunlight. Insufficient light will result in some pine trees without lower branches at all. Most bonsai styles are complete using pine trees. This style is a natural one which can stimulate inspiration for a lot of aspects.
As a special bonsai style, literati bonsai are not easy to create especially for bonsai beginners. Generally there are no general rules to follow to create such a style. The successful point is to create a artistic figure which are not upright. The final appearance should be elegant enough to build up a balance for every point of view. Some beginners may think that it is an easy job to create such a style. A high quality literati style take a long time to create because of the time spent on designing and choosing materials. Most of these bonsai trees are planted in round and unglazed containers.
As for tree varieties, many evergreen trees can be good options and pine trees are the most commonly used varieties. Apart from pines, other tree species like Larch, Hawthorne, Apricot and Quince trees can be chosen as well.
Image provided By Todd G. Brown (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons