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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Blogmas Day 7: Fakin' It - 3 Easy Steps To Faux Calligraphy

It's Day 7 of Blogmas, and today's post is a super quick tutorial on one of the most commonly requested topics on my Instagram pictures - Faux Calligraphy!

Faux Calligraphy is a dirty trick I use in most of my Bullet Journal spreads, to make my lettering look a lot more elegant, and like I put way more effort into it than I actually did. And here's the secret to perfect Faux Calligraphy - it's all in the habit! When it comes to that cool, bouncy lettering that you see around Instagram, there is nothing as helpful as getting into the habit of freeing your wrist and allowing your letters to expand and flourish on the page.

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This tutorial comes with three easy-to-follow videos that will get you into the habit of writing in a Faux Calligraphy, or Faux Brush Lettering style. Once you get used to the style, faking it becomes so easy, you won't even be able to tell the difference between your lettering and actual modern calligraphy!

Today's tutorial goes hand-in-hand with the FREE Fakin' It Workbook, which you can find at the end of this post. Print it out for a thorough practice to get you to Faux Calligraphy Pro status!

So without much further ado, here's:
Fakin' It - 3 Easy Steps To Faux Calligraphy + FREE Workbook

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Step 1: Free your forearm

Before we think about shaping our letters and adding that cool calligraphy effects, let's start with a super simple exercise to get our writing arm nice and loose, so it will allow us to really flourish our letters.

Grab any pen and any notebook, and start creating large cursive-S shaped loops like in the GIF below. Notice that while I do these, I try to keep my hand off the paper, and the only support for my forearm is at the elbow. This allows for a much greater range of movement, and protects your wrist from hyper-flexing. 

Vary the sizes and shapes of your loops, so you can get acquainted with different types of upstrokes and down strokes.

Step 2: Form your letters

Now that our writing arm is prepped, let's put some thought into how we shape our alphabets.

For Faux Calligraphy to really work, our letters need to be large and expansive, with quite a bit of space between each letter, and within the letters themselves. (We'll talk a little more about the technicalities of lettering tomorrow, but for now, the GIF below should help illustrate this point!)

Practice forming large letters by watching the GIF below, then fill out Section 1 of the Fakin' It Workbook!

Step 3: Thicken the down-strokes

Having worked through Section 1 of the Fakin' It Worksheet, you will have noticed the tiny directional arrows. The third step is simple - every stroke with a downward arrow gets thickened!

These downward lines are called down-strokes, and they are what differentiate simple writing from calligraphy. In calligraphy, the down-strokes are where the artist applies more pressure on the pen, causing the nib to split and release more ink (gif below). As a result, the down-strokes appear considerably thicker than the rest of the alphabet.

In Faux Calligraphy, we replicate this effect of increased pressure by simply doubling the size of our down-strokes. In the GIF below, I show you how to create this effect by adding little boxes around the down-strokes, then filling them in. By following this method, our down-strokes appear significantly thicker than our up-strokes, and it is this contrast which creates the calligraphy-esque effect. After watching this GIF, practice replicating this technique in Section 2 of the Fakin' It Workbook!

Putting it all together

In this final GIF, I show you how to put all three steps together, to create a Faux Calligraphy effect on the words 'Fakin' It'. You can totally replicate this on the last page of the Fakin' It Workbook, and also practice a bunch of other phrases on this page!

And now, go fake it on every piece of paper in the house, you Faux Calligraphy pro, you!

I hope these videos have been super helpful, and I'll leave you with one final reminder: practice is everything when it comes to lettering!

Grab Your Fakin' It Workbook:

This Workbook has specifically been designed to be printed multiple times, so you can practice over and over again!

I hope you've found this post super helpful, and if you have, please take a moment to share it with someone who might benefit from this exercise too!

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Fakin' It - 3 Easy Steps To Faux Calligraphy + FREE Workbook

Remember to check in tomorrow for another awesome tutorial, where we talk all about brush lettering! Yup, that's going to be a good one! 

As always, I'm more than happy to receive questions, comments and requests on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or E-Mail, so go ahead and drop me a line!

Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you here again tomorrow!

All my love,

Read the Blogmas Series:

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