I have always loved beautiful calligraphy.
Years ago, my former boss brought me back a calligraphy pen and ink from her trip to Italy. I was so excited to try it out and figured it would be super easy to turn my handwriting into calligraphy with just the flick of a nib (that’s the technical term for the metal pieces that go in the pens – not to be confused with my go-to treat, the Twizzlers nib).
It didn’t go so well.
Then I met Lindsay and figured since she’s a pro, surely she could give some pointers and it wouldn’t be too hard.
Again, the pen and ink proved too complicated for my impatient hands. Have you ever tried it? The ink sure does splatter!
I have yet to learn how to use a real calligraphy pen (although it is on my list of skills to master someday) and have just stuck with my tried-and-true fake calligraphy technique.
I thought I’d share it with you today. Here’s how to create fake calligraphy.
Step One: Choose a good fine tip ink pen
Your choice of pen is mostly based personal preference, but I do think a good quality pen makes a difference in the quality of lettering. You don’t have to go super fancy; there are hundreds of great pen options at your local office store. I prefer an extra fine tip and a rolling ball head to make the pen glide easily. I like the pilot precise extra fine pen the best, but just bought the foray stylemark at the office store and it’s a good one too.
STEP TWO: Write any letter of the alphabet
You can do this in pencil first if you prefer, or just freehand with a pen. Cursive works great, but so does regular printing.
STEP THREE: Fill in the downstrokes
Every time your pen stroke goes downward (as seen with the arrows above), you will draw a line right next to it and fill it in. This will give your letter the calligraphy look with some strokes being light and airy, and the downstrokes slightly thicker. A fancy calligraphy pen will do this automatically – as you press on the nib, the tines open and allow more ink to flow through, creating a thicker line. When you press lightly (as you do on all upstrokes) the tines stay closed and only a small amount of ink passes through. With this fake calligraphy method, we’re trying to achieve the same thick-thin stroke look, but without the fancy tools.
See how easy it is?
The beauty of fake calligraphy is you can do it on any lettering style, and you can vary the width of the downstoke as much or little as you wish.
Here’s another example. I wrote the word love in cursive:
then filled in the down strokes:
Doesn’t it look fancy? You can transform your handwriting to make it look like calligraphy very simply and easily with just a few extra pen strokes.
To help you out, I created a set of worksheets for practicing and perfecting your fake calligraphy.
Enjoy and happy lettering!