Tag Archives: valentine’s day

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.

8 Heartfelt DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

 

While it’s important to show appreciation for our loved ones year-round, Valentine’s Day offers us a special opportunity to treat them to something special. Flowers, jewelry and chocolates are great, but the best gifts come straight from the heart and not from the store. It is incredibly impactful to spend time and effort on something rather than simply buying it. Show your friends, family and loved ones how much you care by creating your own Valentine’s Day gifts. Use these tips for inspiration to make this Valentine’s Day one to remember with memorable, cost efficient gifts.

Handmade Cards

Creating handmade cards is a personal, fun and inexpensive way to show someone you care without breaking the bank. Be as creative and personal as you like by designing your own cards from start to finish. Pick high quality stationary, stickers and other finishing touches and use Zebra Zensations brush pens to hand letter your own messages. Use an inside joke, a meaningful quote or a heartfelt message to complete a card they will hold onto forever.

Sugar Scrubs

Sugar scrubs are a great way to exfoliate your skin while relaxing and practicing selfcare. While there are many sugar scrubs to choose from, they’re super easy to personalize and make at home. Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar, ½ cup of coconut oil, and essential oils of your choice into a decorative jar. Lavendar, peppermint, chamomile and tea tree all have calming effects and are ideal for unwinding. Decorate the jar with ribbon, twine, or a colorful handmade label using Zensations fineliners. Enjoy for smoother, healthier skin.

Book/Bookmark

There’s nothing quite like the gift of knowledge and enlightenment. Give your significant other a book about a subject or person that interests them, and pair it with a handmade, heartfelt bookmark. Hand letter a phrase, encouraging message, or illustrate a unique design. Laminate the bookmark when you’re done so your partner can use it for years to come.

Candle

Candles can help create a sense of calm, peace and serenity that is invaluable during a busy week. Grab a friend and attend a local candle making workshop for a fun activity that results in the perfect gift for a friend or significant other. They are also easy to make at home, using scents, containers and sizes of your choice.

Soap

Soap is a pleasant, practical and cost-efficient gift that keeps on giving. The color, scent and shape combinations are practically endless, giving you plenty of creative freedom to make soap for significant others, friends, family and coworkers.

Shadow Box

Our lives are made up of tons of tiny defining moments, and the same can be said for our friendships and romantic relationships. Celebrate the little things in a big way by creating a shadow box craft. Purchase a shadow box from a local craft store, and fill it with small, meaningful objects including ticket stubs, photos, and other sentimental things that signify your relationship.

Homemade Sweets

Store bought candies, cookies or other sweets are great when you’re pressed for time, but homemade treats mean even more. Baking gives you an opportunity to create many gifts at once, making it perfect for a large group of friends or an office setting. Package your baked goods in festive bags or boxes and enjoy.

Bath Bombs

In our busy lives, taking the time to relax and reconnect with yourself is invaluable. Bath bombs are a staple of selfcare, which makes them a perfect gift for anyone on your list. Bath bombs can be easily made at home, and can include all natural ingredients and essential oils. Use heart shaped molds to create perfect gifts for a group of friends.