Can’t get a hold of a brush pen? Have no fear, that doesn’t need to stop you from learning the foundations and creating beautiful calligraphy. In fact, as the title suggests, you can write calligraphy with just any regular pen. So as long as you have a piece of paper, and a pen, you can get started!
By now I hope you have read some of the previous posts about the basic rules, brush pens for beginners, and the best paper for brush calligraphy, but if not, here’s a quick recap of what you need to know for Faux Calligraphy.
What You Need To Know About Faux Calligraphy
The most important part of this style of calligraphy is knowing how to draw the letter. Still sounds like kindergarten, doesn’t it? You would be amazed at how many people I know who draw an “l” from the bottom-up or cross the “t” before even writing the vertical line. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to find out the right “way” a letter is meant to be written. It’s all about the “basic strokes” which shows you how letters are broken down into different strokes of the pen. The next post goes into detail about all the basic strokes, and there is even a resource library which is full of free worksheets that you can download and trace to practice, including a guide on how to write each letter of the lowercase alphabet using the strokes.
The image below shows the basic strokes but in faux calligraphy style. After you understand these basic strokes, the rest of faux calligraphy ends up pretty easy. If you want to learn these strokes in detail, head to the next post in this series as it begins going through each basic stroke in detail. For now, here are the general steps to write the basic calligraphy strokes with faux calligraphy.
Faux Calligraphy Strokes Step One: Draw the Basic Strokes
First, you draw the black parts of these strokes, following the arrows. TIP: Keep in mind which direction the pen was going, because it’s on the downwards strokes that we want to make thicker. Also, make sure you leave plenty of room to add in the thicker lines.
Faux Calligraphy Strokes Step Two: Fill In The Downstrokes
Secondly, you will want to add in the thicker lines but only on the downstrokes. Practice these with the basic strokes, and it becomes a fantastic foundation for writing calligraphy with a brush pen.
Regular calligraphy means you need to build up your muscle memory by applying consistent pressure on the downstrokes and a consistent light pressure during the upstrokes. It takes a while for this muscle memory to take place, which is why faux calligraphy is so handy as you don’t need the muscle memory to create beautiful words. It’s all done manually.
Now you understand writing the basic strokes using faux calligraphy, we can move onto the alphabet. Each letter is created using these (or a slight variation of these) strokes. So once you know the strokes, you can create the letters. Use this image as a guide to see what each letter is made up of.
Writing Words With Faux Calligraphy Step One: Write A Word
It might seem simple, but there are a few things you need to know. Pick your word and write it slowly using the basic strokes, keeping in mind where the thicker strokes are meant to be. You will need to make sure you give these strokes enough room, but without distorting your general spacing. Since you are writing with any regular pen, your words will look like regular words: the thickness will be the same throughout all the letters. In regular calligraphy, the downstrokes are naturally thicker, so we have to recreate this manually with faux calligraphy.
Writing Words With Faux Calligraphy Step Two: Fill In The Thicker Lines
Now we want to make the downstrokes thicker. Just like you did with the strokes practice earlier, identify which lines are the downstrokes and write a parallel line down the side and joining it with the original line. If the downstroke curves and turns into an upstroke, then the new faux calligraphy line should come to meet the original line gradually. Do this for the entire word.
After we write the first layer of stroke, we start on the same line and draw a stroke parallel to the existing one to create the illusion of a thicker line. This happens for every single downstroke so that the down/thick strokes are hollow. If the letter curves into an upstroke (like with an oval stroke) then the parallel line curves in, to meet the original letter cleanly.
Next, feel free to colour in the downstrokes into a solid colour (as you can see the “faux” above which is nearly all coloured in). This will give it generally the same look as a word lettered with a brush pen. Otherwise, you can have a bit of fun: decorate it with stripes, spots, etc to give it a modern lettered look.
Learn Brush Calligraphy Using Faux Calligraphy
If you have only got access to a regular pen for the remainder of these tutorials in the “Brush Calligraphy for Beginners” series, feel free to apply every bit of information to learning faux calligraphy. You just need to remember to add in the downstrokes after, instead of using extra pressure to create them.
- Basic strokes (part 1)
- Basic strokes (part 2)
- Basic strokes (part 3)
- Putting the strokes together
- Connecting the letters
- Flourishing basics
All of the worksheets for this brush calligraphy series (and loads of others) are available in the new super-secret resource library… If you haven’t already, pop your email address in below and the password and link will be sent straight to your inbox. Then you will have access to all the resources for free here at Cherry Pearl Creative to learn brush calligraphy easily!
Get the password to the brush calligraphy resource library here:
All The Basic Strokes (part 1) – Downstroke, Upstroke, Oval Stroke and Reverse Oval Stroke
All The Basic Strokes (part 2) – Underturn, Overturn, Ascending & Descending Stems
All The Basic Strokes (part 2) – Compound Curve, Entry & Exit Stroke