Easy Faux Calligraphy for Your Valentine’s Day Cards

Have you been wanting to create beautiful calligraphy but don’t have the proper utensils for it?  Use The Art of Brush Lettering and create easy faux calligraphy for your Valentine’s Day cards!

A very popular way to imitate brush lettering is called faux calligraphy. “Faux” is the French word for “fake” or “false,” and I think “faux” sounds much nicer! Using a regular marker or pen, you create fake thick down-strokes simply by drawing and filling them in.

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You can actually be quite skillful with this technique, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between fake and real brush lettering. Let’s take a look at this example and try to guess which one is fake and which is written with a brush pen.

faux,The Art of Brush Lettering

Placing the Downstrokes
Where do you draw the thick downstrokes? There are varying opinions of how to add the extra thickness to letters. Some artists draw the extra lines on the inside of the original letterform, while others draw it on the outside.

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I find myself doing both, depending on which looks better visually, but the rule of thumb is to maintain the integral structure of the letter. This is probably most noticeable when drawing the letters with ovals. So, generally, I add my lines to the inside.

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I highly recommend practicing the alphabet first before moving on to words. When I do faux calligraphy, I write out my words with a pencil first. Then, still using a pencil, I add the extra lines to create the thick down-strokes. When I’m happy with the result, I trace over my pencil lines with a good fine-tip permanent pen and then fill in the downstrokes. I like the Sakura Pigma Micron pens that come in different size tips. After waiting awhile to make sure the ink is dry, I erase all the pencil lines.

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It’s also fun to write faux calligraphy without filling in the interior spaces and leaving the downstrokes as outlines.

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Any color of pen or marker can be used, not just black, for both writing and filling in the downstrokes.

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Here’s a sample lowercase alphabet with dotted lines drawn to indicate where you draw the faux thick downstrokes.

alphabet, The Art of Brush Lettering

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The Art of Brush LetteringA complete guide to brush pen lettering, The Art of Brush Lettering takes a meditative approach to creating beautiful letterforms, plus freestyle lettering, faux calligraphy, and special effects.

Instagram brush lettering artist Kelly Klapstein (@kellycreates) takes a simple, serene approach to teaching the art of creating beautiful letter forms with easy-to-use and richly colored brush pens. Kelly begins by guiding you through the tools you’ll be using, and the best ways to position pen, hand, and paper.

She goes on to demonstrate a range of basic strokes along with drill sheets for practice and improvement. In addition to providing detailed instructions and tracing guides for both lowercase and uppercase alphabets, Kelly gives tutorials on freestyle lettering, faux calligraphy, and special effects. Also included are lowercase and uppercase A to Z exemplars for both large and small brush pens.

Drill sheets, tracing guides, worksheets, and exemplars also come included at the back of the book, so you’ll never have to look too far to find the best examples to practice from,