Tag Archives: calligraphy

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.

January themed bullet journal

How to Set Goals with A Level 10 Life Spread in Your Bullet Journal

By Andrea of @wildeyesbujo

Hello! I’m Andrea from @wildeyesbujo. With the start of the new year, I’m going to show you how I set up a January monthly overview and a Level 10 Life layout in my bullet journal.January bullet journal month at a glance

January Monthly Overview Bullet Journal Design

Each month, I create a cover page and a “month at a glance” page in my bullet journal. The theme I’m going with this month is mystical stars and moons. Now, let’s get started!

First, I draw everything out in pencil and then outline the design in pen. To outline, I used Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pens in sizes 0.3 and 0.8. These are great for outlining because the black ink doesn’t bleed when I go back to add color.

Next, I used Zebra Mildliner Double Ended Brush Pens to add color. I’ve always been a fan of Zebra’s Mildliner products because of its mild, translucent color—which is perfect for this month’s theme. They’re also great because they don’t bleed through my journal pages, even when I color more than one layer.

Finally, I added the January title and colored in the border using Zebra Zensations Brush Pen in the medium tip. The brush tip is firm but flexible, making it easy to control when lettering. I love using this “month at a glance” layout because it’s very straight to the point and allows me to see what events and appointments I have going on each month.

 

Level 10 Life bullet journal spread

Level 10 Life BUJO Design

Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I wanted to use a Level 10 Life layout to set and track goals throughout the coming year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Level 10 Life, it’s an honest assessment of where you are in 10 different areas of your life with the goal of living your best at ‘Level 10.’

The ten areas can be different for everyone depending on what stage in life you are in. The ten areas I’ll be tracking are:

  • Spirituality
  • Finances
  • Career
  • Relationship
  • Fun & Recreation
  • Giving & Contribution
  • Physical Environment
  • Health & Fitness
  • Family & Friends
  • Growth

I first created an assessment page to measure where I believe I am in the 10 areas. Then, I developed a goals page of how I plan on reaching a Level 10. For both pages, I used Zensations Technical Pens to outline, Mildliner Brush Pens to add color, and Zensations Brush Pen for lettering. For all my work, I love using Zensations Technical Pens because the pigment is so rich—so it doesn’t fade when I go back to erase any leftover pencil marks. And once again, the mild color of the Mildliners Brush Pens adds a dreamy pop of color and the perfect finishing touch. They are definitely a must-have for any bullet journal enthusiast.

I’m looking forward to tracking and seeing my progress towards a Level 10 Life. I hope you’re all inspired to create similar pages in your bullet journals. For more bullet journal inspiration, check out @wellellabujo’s tutorial on 3 Ways to Use A Bullet Journal to Stay Active.

 

Peace, love, and joy Christmas tree ornaments

Quick & Easy Holiday Ornaments

By: Hazel Ung of @hazel.lefty.lettering

Hi everyone! I’m Hazel, Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pen USA and lettering artist on Instagram, better known as @hazel.lefty.lettering. This project is a fun way to gather family and friends to get into the holiday spirit. You decide what colors you want to use for your paints and ribbons. Unleash your creativity and personalize your Christmas tree!

Materials you need:

  • Zebra Metallic Brush Pens
  • Acrylic Ornaments
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Ribbons for decoration
  • Twine or String to hang ornaments
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Glue, double sided tape or any other adhesive
  • Modge Podge clear acrylic spray

Homemade ornaments with Zebra Metallic Brush Pens

Step 1

Before you get started, cover your work surface with newspaper or kraft paper to avoid any unwanted paint on your table. Gather your acrylic ornament and a paintbrush and choose your paint color. Take your microfiber cloth and wipe one side of the ornament to get rid of any debris, oil or fingerprints. Add a small amount of paint in the center of the ornament and spread it toward the edges. You may need a second coat; if so, dry between coats. Dry for an hour.

 Step 2

While the paint is drying, you can decide how you want to decorate your ornament. I chose to keep it simple by adding bows. You can buy some pre-made or you can make some with ribbon. Cut your ribbon to the desired size and tie into a bow. Now embellish the ornament with your bow on the side opposite that you painted. You can use glue or any adhesive to affix the bow onto your ornament and allow it to dry.

Peace, love, and joy homemade ornaments

Step 3

Once your paint is dry, you’re ready to letter on the other side of the acrylic ornament. Again, wipe away any debris with the microfiber cloth. Decide what you want to say or you can also write a name. One word will be best as your lettering surface is limited. Be careful not to touch the ink or it will smear. Allow it to dry completely. To set your design, spray Modge Podge Acrylic Sealer onto your ornament. Allow it to dry.

Step 4

Cut a piece of twine or string and insert it through the drilled hole at the top of the ornament. Tie the ends together. Admire your creation and hang them on your Christmas tree. You can get really creative with different designs or phrases. The options are limitless. I hope this inspires you to create a memorable holiday for you and your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

For a print-ready PDF downloadable, click here. And, for more creative inspiration, visit our blog.

Thanksgiving placecard

Personalize Your Thanksgiving Table with These DIY Place Cards

By Mai of @mai.notebook

Hello! It’s Mai from @mai.notebook and I’m here today to share with you four easy ways to make a place card for your Thanksgiving dinner table. Creating place cards doesn’t always have to be elaborate. I will walk you through some very easy-to-follow examples that will be sure to help you spruce up any table setting. Let’s get started!

Place card with written calligraphy

Burlap Place Card Design

For this first place card, I used one of my favorite Zebra brush pens—the Mildliner Double Ended Brush Pen in red. These pens come in beautiful colors, making them a create choice for this project. I chose a textured paper that reminded me of fall to go along with it. One way you can add a little extra design is by using ribbons or string. In this case, I chose a structured burlap ribbon.

 

Place card with calligraphy in a wine cork stand

Wine Cork Holder Place Card Design

For this next place card, I wanted to go very simple and elegant. I used the Zebra Sarasa Clip Gel Retractable Pen in shiny gold and regular cardstock paper. The Sarasa Clip Gel pens write so smoothly and come in so many fun colors. For the place card holder, I repurposed an old cork from a bottle of wine. I simply shaved the bottom of it with a cutter to stop it from rolling, and then made a slit down the middle to hold the name card.

 

Calligraphy placecard on a pinecone holder

Pinecone Holder Place Card Design

In this next example, I used the Zebra Metallic Brush Pens in Metallic Silver. To highlight the metallic aspect of the brush pen, I opted to use black paper. When I use black paper, I always think of using the Metallic Brush Pens. They’re so juicy, which a quality you want in a brush pen.

Of course, you may use whatever kind of paper you have on hand. Have some fun and experiment to find what kind of paper you like best! I advocate repurposing things, so for this place card I collected pinecones from around my house. They sure do give you that fall feeling, don’t they?

 

Placeholder tag on a pumpkin

Gift Tag Place Card Design

For this last example, I decided to be a little more involved. I thought it would be a cute idea to add a “gift tag” to a pumpkin that your guest can take home. You can of course use a ready-made tag, or you can make one yourself. I used cardstock to make this one. First, I cut it down to make a 3×2 inch rectangle. Then, I cut the sides to add some shape and interest. You can really get creative and do whatever shape you like!

To create the lettering, I used both the Zebra Zensations Brush Pen and the Zebra Zensations Technical Pen with an extra fine 0.5mm tip. One of the things I love about the Zensations Brush Pens, aside from how well they write, is that they come in so many different brush tip sizes. It’s great because you can choose the best size for your project. The Zensations Technical Pen has rich black color and is smudge-free.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed. Happy creating, and happy Thanksgiving! For more hand-lettering inspiration, check out @the.lettering.fern’s hand lettering tutorial with Zebra Metallic Brush Pens.