At some point or another, we have all wandered across a beautiful piece of calligraphy and wanted to write just like the artist. I know I have. Inspired by it, we have picked up a pointed pen and then ended-up feeling broken-hearted because we just couldn’t get the writing to look as dreamy and fluid. Either the nib caught on the paper and spattered ink all over your page, or you put too much pressure and your nib broke. Frustrated, you gave up.
We’re gonna change that today.
Like any other art, calligraphy has a rather steep learning curve. To be honest, even I haven’t mastered it yet (oh you, copperplate!). But we do have a substitute for pointed pen calligraphy.
Enter (drum rolls please)- faux calligraphy!
“What is Faux Calligraphy?”
Faux calligraphy is similar to pointed pen calligraphy except for one major difference- it doesn’t use a pointed pen.
“What the… !”
Faux calligraphy uses any regular pen, including your high school pens still lying around the house. Hell, you can even do faux calligraphy using a pencil, or a Sharpie, or a paint marker, or a chalk, or your lipstick, or… You get the idea.
“Then, how do you make it look fancy?”
The secret, my dear friend, is to ‘pamper’ the downstroke. Which is why, let’s get started so that I can tell you ALL about downstrokes and everything else under the sun!
“Yes! Show me!”
Now, before we get started, I need you to quickly grab these few things:
- Because I was feeling fancy, I used HP 32 lb (pound) Laserjet Paper. I use this paper a lot because (a) its affordable, and (b) its smoother than regular printer paper because of which the nibs don’t catch the fibers. So if you’re serious about your calligraphy journey (which, I hope you are!), it might be a good idea to invest in it.
- A pen. Use any pen. I used a Uniball Vision Micro.
- A pencil. To mark your downstrokes.
- An eraser. To erase the downstrokes.
Alright, lets get going!
- Write down your favorite word or phrase using cursive letters. The letters need to connect to each other and have a smooth, rounded finish. Also, make sure your font size is decent- not too big, not too small.
My favorite word is Friday (Why? Because its full of hope and I’m under no obligation to sleep early or dine early or do whatever early).
So here it is:
Next, mark your downstrokes using a pencil. The downstrokes are the lines you made as your pen was going down while writing. Imagine writing a word. Whenever you see the pen come from the upper to lower position, that’s the downstroke.
Once you’re familiar with the downstrokes, add parallel lines next to them. These can be on the either side, it doesn’t matter. Try to make their thickness consistent. This is also a great way to cover up small errors that you might have made (another reason to love faux calligraphy).
Once you’re done, your text should look something like this:
You’re almost done! All you need to do now is to fill in those gaps using your pen, and voila! You’ve created your first piece of faux calligraphy!
Now, before you go and decide to faux calligraphy the shit out of everything, I need you to keep a few things in mind:
(insert pic- write quote below)
- Yes, the key to good faux calligraphy is consistent shading of the downstrokes. Pay special attention to this.
- You can skip shading the downstrokes and choose to go nude as well.
- To add a fun element you can also use different colors to shade the downstrokes.
- Like I said earlier, you can use any medium to create faux calligraphy. Check out a few samples:
There you go! You’re all set with the basics of faux calligraphy. I would LOVE to see your creations, so email me a picture of your work : email@example.com
And if there’s something that I missed or you have another question, please comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!