Calligraphy with pointed nibs is based on the principle of alternating thick and thin lines. This effect is achieved through varying the pressure of your hand – press on the downstrokes, go light on the upstrokes. Faux Calligraphy needs a bit more time, because you have to fill the thick lines by hand.

This technique is great for beginners who are still unaccustomed to the pointed nib, but it also comes in handy for seasoned calligraphers who need to write on unsteady surfaces or materials like chalkboard, walls, wood or stone – places where the traditional nib won’t work.

For learning faux calligraphy just pick a short sentence, a normal pen (I like gel pens, they’re available in many different colors) and write down the words in connected script. The loops of letters like h, a, e, l shouldn’t be to small.

thin-line

Now you’ll have to thicken the downstrokes. Downstrokes are the lines that you draw while moving your hand downwards. You draw a second parallel line to those. All lines should have the same weight. Leave all upstrokes (the lines that go upwards) alone.
As you can see in the first letter („T“), you can also use this technique to correct slightly crooked lines that way.

add-lines

When you’re done, you can begin filling the spaces between the lines – this is the part of faux calligraphy that takes a bit longer.

fill-lines

And that’s the end result:

filled-lines

If you want to experiment with this technique, you can try many different effects, try varying the downstrokes’ thickness or fill them with color.

Faux calligraphy is a helpful technique to understand how „real“ calligraphy works, but not a requirement. Faux calligraphy is great everywhere where you can’t write with nib pen and ink, or when you can’t bring your equipment.

If you want to practice your faux (or real) calligraphy skills, consider signing up for my newsletter (yxou’ll get 4 free alphabet worksheets that way) or have a look at one of my workbooks – they’re 20-page PDF books full of letter and word practice prompts.


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If you have any questions or comments on this topic, please feel free to contribute! Just leave a comment below.