Learn Simple Steps to Hand Letter With Faux Calligraphy

When I first started my bullet journal I had no idea how to make pretty hand lettered text.  I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get my writing to look like that and didn’t know where to start.  Learning how to use faux calligraphy helped me to start practicing hand lettering.

In this post I will teach you the basics of faux calligraphy.

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What is Faux Calligraphy?

What the heck is faux calligraphy?

The word “faux” means fake, so I am talking about making fake calligraphy here.

I love this because it leaves it open for me to make mistakes.  Yay!

Using faux calligraphy will help you get started because it’ll give you a way to think about how to form your letters when doing actual calligraphy.

How To Do Faux Calligraphy

Faux calligraphy allows you to take your regular handwriting and make it look like callligraphy.

Now, you probably want to make your handwriting a little neater than what you would usually write with.  This means you want to make your letters carefully and think about the spacing.

For faux calligraphy what you are going to do is make the downstrokes on your letters thicker than the upstrokes.

Downstrokes are when you are pulling the pen toward you when writing, whereas upstrokes are when you are pushing it away.  So downstrokes go toward the line you are writing on and upstrokes go away.  Here is an example showing where the downstrokes are:

Showing the downstrokes on the letters of the word Monday

With calligraphy, you thicken the line on the downstrokes.  With a brush pen this means you will push harder on the downstrokes while going much lighter on the upstrokes.

This takes some practice with a brush pen but with a regular pen and faux calligraphy, you get to make lines to color in for the brush strokes.

As you can see in the following picture, I wrote out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I then went back and figured out where my downstrokes were and drew those lines a little thicker so that I could color them in later

learning to do faux calligraphy

Once you make the lines to color in for your downstrokes, then next step is to color them in and WAHLAH!  You have some calligraphy looking words.

I used a regular gel pen for this, though you may wish to use something a little nicer, like the Tombow Mono so your color lines don’t show as much as mine do here:

Showing what faux calligraphy looks like once colored in

How will this help you learn lettering?

Doing letting this way is the first step I took in learning to hand letter.  Obviously, it isn’t perfect, but it works!  It looks pretty and it helps you to learn clearly where the thicker lines go in lettering.

With any lettering, practice is key.

I spend a lot of time in meetings and practice by doing faux calligraphy on my notes.  🙂  Over time, this has helped me tremendously in my quest to learn hand lettering.

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