Yearly Archives: 2020

Faux calligraphy with a red Sarasa Fineliner Marker

How to Create Faux Calligraphy in 4 Simple Steps

By: JoAnne Ovenell of @theletteringcompanion

Hello! I’m Jo of @theletteringcompanion. I am an Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pen USA, a calligrapher, and lettering artist based in Washington State. Today, I’m going to teach you how to create faux calligraphy.

What is Faux Calligraphy?

To understand faux calligraphy, let’s discuss a little background on calligraphy. As you might know, calligraphy is the art of creating beautiful letters. Calligraphy has a distinctive appearance with thin and thick strokes, unlike cursive, which is written with a single line weight. With calligraphy, each letter is “drawn” with separate strokes to create thin and thick lines. Calligraphy is created with a flexible nib dip pen or a marker.

Faux calligraphy uses fine tipped markers to imitate the effect of calligraphy. It is created by going over certain parts of your text with bolder strokes and filing it in. Practicing faux calligraphy can help you learn where to place the thick strokes compared the placement of thin strokes. It also gives you the ability to create calligraphy without a flexible nib pen.

Faux Calligraphy Materials

To begin, let’s gather our supplies. The only materials you need is paper and pen. I like to use the Sarasa Fineliner or a Zensations Technical Drawing Pen. Both pens are great to use for faux calligraphy because they have vibrant ink, write smoothly, and dry quickly—which means no smudging. This is very helpful if you are like me and get impatient while waiting for things to dry.


Cursive handwriting

Step 1: Write your word or phrase

The first step is to write your word or phrase in cursive on paper. Be sure to leave plenty of space between each letter, making sure not to crowd them. We will be adding thickness to each letter in the next step.


Cursive writing

Step 2: Retrace over your words to identify the downstrokes

The next step is to identify the downstrokes within your word or phrase. With your pen held above the paper, rewrite your text in the air. Each time your pen moves downwards toward the bottom of the page, this is considered a downstroke.

Whenever you form a downstroke, add a parallel line to thicken that stroke. Remember, we want the downstrokes to be thick and the upstrokes to be thin. I have drawn arrows in the photo above to show you where the down strokes should be. Continue adding a line to each down stroke to all your letters. Take your time and enjoy the process.


Step 3: Fill in the gaps

After you have added all your extra downstrokes, it’s time for the fun part! Color in all your double-lined down strokes to make them thicker. The Sarasa Fineliner’s thin tip provides precise control, allowing you to easily stay within the lines when laying down color. You can create additional vibrancy to the color by adding more layers of the same color.


Faux calligraphy

Step 4: Display your faux calligraphy

Practicing your faux calligraphy will help it become easier and easier. Learning faux calligraphy is a helpful steppingstone to learning traditional calligraphy since it teaches you where to add thickness in your letterforms.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and it inspires you to continue with your calligraphy journey. For more calligraphy inspiration, check out Shelley Hitz’s Brush Lettering for Beginners tutorial.

Desk flat lay with Sarasa Grand Gel Pen, mug warmer, cell phone, and blue light glasses

6 Desk Items You Never Knew You Needed

While stocking up on desk accessories generally doesn’t rank high on the list of office priorities—it should. Most Americans spend more than 40 hours a week sitting at office desks. Adding some interesting gadgets and having a well-thought out work area can help you produce your best work and keep you organized and tidy.

Go Wireless

Say goodbye to the phone charging cables that are cluttering up your desk or taking up space in your office drawers and say hello to wireless charging. A wireless mobile charging pad is sleek, sophisticated, and gives you one less cable to deal with every day. It also gives you the ability to grab your phone quickly without hassle when you’re running 5 minutes late to that important meeting.

Feeling Blue

Do your eyes feel tired at the end of the workday? According to the Vision Council, about 60% of Americans surveyed experience some symptoms of digital eyestrain due to extended time in front of computer screens from due to blue light. Investing in a pair of blue light glasses can help relieve some of the unnecessary strain on your eyes—and even help you get a better night’s sleep, as blue light can disrupt natural sleep patterns.

Stand Out

Nothing’s more reliable than old fashioned pen and paper—but that doesn’t mean your pen has to look old fashioned. Choose a pen that empowers you to Choose Different in your professional career. The Zebra Pen Sarasa Grand Retractable Gel Pen features a smooth and sleek metal barrel that’s available in five fashionable colors. It’s the perfect pen to make a statement without sacrificing quality. If you’re looking for something more rugged and durable, try the STEEL F-701 All Metal Ballpoint Retractable Pen. This pen will help you get through any tough situation without giving up on a comfortable writing experience.

Keep it Warm

There’s nothing worse than making yourself a hot cup of coffee and letting the craziness of the day take over and turn your cup of joe to ice before you’ve had a sip. The best way to avoid cold coffee (unless you like it like that—this is a no judgement zone) is to find a mug warmer. Keeping a mug warmer at your desk will allow you to keep your beverages at optimum temperature throughout a busy workday.

Stress Relief

Toys aren’t just for kids. When the stress of the day begins to feel overwhelming or you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on your phone instead of focusing the task at hand, a fidget spinner or stress ball can help. Studies show that fidgeting may occupy parts of your brain that otherwise would distract the rest of your brain with random thoughts. Keep one of these at your desk for the next time you need to focus on the important things.

Detangle the Mess

Between the phone, laptop, computer monitor, tablet, and however many more electronic devices you may have, there’s already enough cables and chords to make a tangled mess. Keeping a cable organizer at your desk gives each cable their own specific spot so you can get rid of the chaos happening underneath your desk and keep a clear mind.

Your desk needs to be somewhere you can focus and get your work done without unnecessary distractions. Whether you work in an office or from your personal desk at home, these essential items are sure to make spending all those hours at your desk a little easier and more enjoyable.