Brush lettering and faux calligraphy are super trendy nowadays! With practice, the skill is easy to implement in your business or for personal use. You can practice faux calligraphy in your bullet journal. The lettering stands out on the paper as another form of art and design. The basics of the bullet journal and spreads to get started can be found in this earlier post.
Faux calligraphy is an unfussy and gratifying way to achieve gorgeous handwriting.
I was a cursive rebel so my handwriting is a mix of cursive and print. Curious about what that looks like? Chicken scratch.
However, when I write in faux calligraphy, it is actually feminine, swirly, and legible. I’m not embarrassed by the way it looks as I am with my own handwriting. My handwriting is so bad that before I learned faux calligraphy, I had my husband address our greeting cards!
I wanted a way to practice my new-found skill of faux calligraphy. I started adding elements of hand lettering to my bujo or bullet journal. It is perfect because if I mess up, the mistakes are just in my personal journal.
This post goes beyond the basics of the bujo, introduces calligraphy as an art form, faux calligraphy how-to, how to use faux calligraphy in your bullet journal, left-handed calligraphy, and a printable freebie worksheet!
Calligraphy used as an art form
Calligraphy: letters as a form of visual art. There are so many creative uses to practice your calligraphy and brush lettering in the form of wedding invitations, event signs, font design, logo design, commissioned art, memorial documents, props, signs, labels, maps and other display design.
Most millennials know calligraphy as an old form of handwriting using nibs and ink. I can imagine Shakespeare writing his works in old calligraphy style or crafting sonnets written in calligraphy’s precise strokes and rhythm. (Source: Wikipedia)
Modern calligraphy is equally stylized, individualized,
informal, and beautifully eclectic.
What is faux calligraphy?
Calligraphy is not just for the elite aristocrat types – you too can write in this gorgeous style and wow your clients or friends. Faux calligraphy can be self-taught or you can take a course. Many courses are free.
If you are intimidated by all the rules and order of old-style calligraphy but want to practice this highly sought-after skill, here are some tips:
Start with a draft
Use a pencil. Since calligraphy is lettering as a form of visual art, you can sketch your words and compositions with a pencil. Sketching is not just for beginners, even the more experienced calligraphers start with a draft.
Time and muscle memory
Perfect practice makes perfect. Like any art form, faux calligraphy is not going to come easy. It’ll take time and practice. The great thing is you can teach yourself!
Start with 45 minutes of practice twice a week and you’ll see huge changes in your pieces of art. Faux calligraphy will become natural as handwriting. I even have a free practice sheet for you below!
Slow loops and downstrokes
When you are practicing, remember faux calligraphy is not like your handwriting. We are not in a race to go super fast. It is stylized art in the form of words. It’s not meant to be fast like cursive writing.
In my first tip above, I mentioned sketching your faux calligraphy piece first. Do this by just writing something in print or cursive.
Next is the magic. Yay!
All you need to do is add more weight to the downstroke of the letter! Your original lines should be thin, now make part of the letter thicker.
The contrasting thin and thick strokes are what make faux calligraphy appealing to the eye.
Lastly, fill in the lines and voila!
Flourishes really add spark to your designs. The extra oomph swirls provide upgrades to your faux calligraphy a notch. Flourishes can be used as decoration on a heading in your bujo or as art itself! Get creative with it. 🙂
You can download a FREE workbook of flourishes from Dawn Nicole Designs. For your personal use only.
Invest in tools
So we’re friends here right?
Y’all are my people so I’m not going to be embarrassed to tell you how many types of pens, markers, and other stuff I’ve purchased for my hand lettering hobby. Let’s just say I could fill a few buckets of just pens.
Here are a few favorites:
Fudenosuke Brush Pen Duo (Note: The ink is black and super smooth. I was confused when I got the package the color was blue, but the ink is really black, just so you know.)
(Tip: I would suggest not to place the ink inside the water brush, just because it can be a challenge to clean the tube. Instead, just dip the water brush tip into the India ink. If you do use the ink inside of the tube, get an empty syringe for easy transfer of the liquid to your water brush.)
Here are more tools from my Amazon wishlist:
Mixed Media Paper Pad or smooth paper like HP Premium Choice Laserjet, 32lb
Ways to use faux calligraphy in your bullet journal
Here’s a list of ways you can add faux calligraphy to your bullet journal:
Source: Tombow USA
List of Books or Films
Future Log and any bullet journal headers
Left-handers, this is for you!
I’m a righty, but I can only imagine the hesitation with starting hand lettering art as a left-handed person. In particular, I’m talking about smudges. With faux calligraphy, the struggle is easier because you can sketch your text first and then create. Follow other lefty’s on Instagram with the #leftycalligraphy hashtag.
Elisabeth (who is a lefty) wrote a guest article for the Post Man’s Knock. She has some awesome tips for you including gripping and practicing. Elisabeth is a real deal calligrapher who creates beautiful wedding invitations.
The pros from Martha Stewart have calligraphy tips for left-handers too!
This guide from Tombow USA has several pages dedicated to my left-handed ladies.
Can these tips make you get beyond your hesitation to try this beautiful lettering style? Even if you are left-handed?
Yes. And Yes.
Can you fit this hobby into your busy schedule?
Can faux calligraphy add art and creativity to your bullet journal?
Faux calligraphy helps you achieve calligraphy’s artistic style even if you don’t have a pointed nib set or ink. It doesn’t need a lot of fuss, just a pen and paper unless you want to level-up with the tools mentioned above. Faux calligraphy made need more time because you fill the thick lines after you sketch. Besides that, it doesn’t need set up or breakdown time so you can do this on the go!
Where else can you add faux calligraphy to your life? Get creative and let me know in the comments below!