Last Updated on January 2, 2022 by Keri
Whether you don’t know how to brush letter, or you can’t afford the supplies needed, Faux Calligraphy provides a great alternative, and is such a fun lettering style! In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can learn Faux Calligraphy using FREE resources, and budget-friendly supplies!
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What Is Faux Calligraphy?
Faux Calligraphy is simply the practice of creating the look of calligraphy using any pen, and you don’t need any fancy or expensive supplies to get started! It is a lettering style of its own, and the possibilities are endless!
Personally, I use Faux Calligraphy in my Bullet Journal to add some variety to my lettering! Of course, you can utilize this lettering method for many things such as card making or designing pretty signage!
Faux Calligraphy is really great if you don’t know how to brush-letter, or you just can’t seem to get it right. I personally watched tons of tutorials and practiced for weeks. However, I tend to draw with a heavy hand which resulted in all my expensive brush pens fraying at the end. Since I can’t afford to go and buy a new brush pen every week, I started looking for alternative methods. That is when I discovered faux calligraphy. My favorite part about the method was how easy it was to learn! After just a couple of hours, I had mastered one font, and I am always learning more!
To learn the basics of faux calligraphy, you do not need any fancy supplies! Grab a pen, a sheet of paper and find a comfortable seat! Once you have decided that faux calligraphy is for you, you may decide to purchase some additional stationery supplies!
These are the pens you will find on my desk, and the ones I most commonly use in my Bullet Journal!
- Crayola Super Tips
- Papermate Inkjoy
- Staedtler Triplus Fineliners
- Sakura Pigma Microns
- Sharpie Pens
- Uniball Gel Pens
Please don’t feel like you have to run out and buy everything at once! I accumulated my collection over a few months. Do some research, and choose the one you think you will get the most use out of first!
If I could recommend one item for a beginner, it would be the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners! They come in a variety of sets, so you can find the one that fits your budget! The colors are extremely bright, and there is a wide variety of them! They even sell a set with 50 different colors! They are also nice and thin, so you can use them to jot down notes, for doodling, and they are fantastic for faux calligraphy!
Understanding The Basics of Calligraphy
In order to learn faux calligraphy, you first need to have a basic understanding of how calligraphy or modern calligraphy works.
The foundation of calligraphy is the upstrokes and the downstrokes of our pen (what direction our pen is going). In calligraphy, the upstrokes are thin, and the downstrokes are thick.
When someone does brush lettering or modern calligraphy, they are referring to the use of a brush pen like the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Others may choose to use a pen and nib with ink. Whatever pen they choose to use, they create a variety of thick and thin strokes by holding the pen in different ways, or by applying more or less pressure.
How To Draw The Letters
You are going to start by writing out a letter in cursive. In my example below, I am using an “a”.
Next, you need to identify your downstrokes in the letter. The best way to do this is to determine when you write out your letter, where was the pen going down towards the bottom of the page. In the picture below, I drew arrows to identify the downstrokes of the letter “a”.
Once you have determined your downstrokes, you are going to draw parallel lines along each of the downstrokes.
Finally, you are going to color in your downstrokes so that they appear as one thick line!
Note: You may wish to skip shading it in! This creates a fun and unique look to your lettering!
Sometimes the best way to learn how to do it is to watch someone do it in practice! Check out this quick 3 minute YouTube video from Loveleigh Loops!
Putting Your Letters Together
Now that you know how to draw your letters, you need to be able to put them all together! There are two ways in which you can do this.
The first option is to write out your entire word in cursive before filling in your downstrokes. If you do this, be sure to leave enough space between each letter so that you have room to fill the downstrokes in.
The other option is to complete one letter at a time. Draw out the letter in cursive, fill in your downstrokes, and then draw out your next letter.
Personally, I tend to lean towards the first option, but try out both, and see which you prefer!
Learning Different Font Styles
Once you know the basics of creating faux calligraphy, you can begin to practice new fonts! This is a great way to add variety to the lettering in your Bullet Journal!
Do a quick search on Google or Pinterest, you will find a lot of really great fonts!
Sometimes, I like to find a font with the entire alphabet, print it off, and trace over the letters to learn how to draw them. You can also find lots of free lettering printables that can be applied to faux calligraphy.
If you want to get started with some different font styles, be sure to check out my free faux calligraphy guide! This 32-page workbook has practice sheets with 3 different font styles!
Using A Pencil To Draw Out Fonts
Sometimes, I feel like trying new fonts when I want to create a new layout. However, I don’t always have time to practice before putting pen to paper! What I will do is go onto Pinterest, and find a cute font style that I like. With a pencil and eraser, I will lightly write out my header using the font as inspiration. If I don’t like a certain letter or section of the letter, I can just erase it and try again!
Once I like how it looks, I will trace it with my pen, and erase any leftover pencil marks. Then, just create your thick downstrokes, and viola! You have a cute new font added to your Bullet Journal!
This simple lettering style is sure to give you the confidence to add some fun lettering styles to your Bullet Journals! I hope you are inspired to try this lettering style! Be sure to send me the results of your faux calligraphy!
Until next time!