• White Faux Calligraphy Tutorial

    Creating faux calligraphy is great for beginners who are intimidated by a dip pen, and also for seasoned calligraphers who want to write on irregular surfaces. Try out this fun and easy tutorial to create some of your own faux calligraphy today!

    White Faux Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Those of you who have been reading the TPK blog for a while may remember my “Cheating Calligraphy” tutorial from last year. I’d like to do a little re-vamp in this blog post — and also start referring to it as “Faux Calligraphy” {the French make everything sound nicer}!

    I just made a lovely hand-written wedding suite predominantly featuring white ink for an NYC couple . While I used a traditional calligraphy pen to make this suite, I want to share an alternative that also renders opaque white results. To make white faux calligraphy, you don’t have to know how to use a dip pen and nibs. Not only that, but making faux calligraphy will help you in creating real calligraphy.

    Hand Written Wedding Invitation Suite | The Postman's Knock

    I commenced my calligraphy career in 2011 by making faux calligraphy. Believe it or not, I even sold art pieces that featured faux calligraphy. It has a nice, round “feel” to it. The main advantage, by far, of creating faux calligraphy is the advantage it will give you in creating “real” calligraphy. Basically, as you create faux calligraphy, you begin to gain an understanding of what the downstrokes of a letter are. As you create real calligraphy later, then, you’ll know to apply more pressure as you create those downstrokes to get a nice, fat line.

    Faux calligraphy can also be used on surfaces that aren’t conducive to real calligraphy. For example, I wouldn’t attempt making real calligraphy on wood because it would wreak havoc on my nibs. Effectively, when I create baby shower clothespins, I use faux calligraphy.

    Clothesline Baby Shower Clothespins | The Postman's Knock

    I also noticed that Molly Suber Thorpe uses faux calligraphy to make chalk place cards in her book Modern Calligraphy. In short, faux calligraphy is a good bit of knowledge to have in your lettering artillery … and it couldn’t be easier. You begin by writing out your word or phrase in pencil, like this:

    White Faux Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    {I have chosen “Je te plumerai”, which in French means, “I am going to [pluck out your feathers].” All that French language training, and this is what I use it for!}

    Next, go over your pencil word or phrase with a Sakura Gellyroll white pen. If you want to make black cheating calligraphy, I recommend using a Pilot G2 gel pen.

    White Faux Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Now, you’re going to determine where the downstrokes are and create a little space to fill in. What do I mean by downstrokes? Essentially: the parts of the letter that you drag your pen down to make. You can draw little letters in the air to determine where the downstrokes are. On “j”, for example, I would have swooped up at a 20 degree angle on the first line, then pulled my pen down {that’s a downstroke}, then pushed the pen up at a 45 degree angle, then pulled sharply down to make the trunk, then pulled my pen up at a 45 degree angle. Leave the “upstrokes” {the lines your pen had to go up to make} alone; just draw lines parallel to the downstrokes, like so:

    White Faux Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    {Here’s a close-up:}

    White Faux Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Once you’ve made these lines, simply fill them in, wait a while to erase your pencil guidelines, and voilà! You’ve got faux calligraphy.

    White Faux Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    It’s a snowy night in Boulder, which means it’s a wonderful time to stay in and create some calligraphy! Snow or not, enjoy trying out the technique outlined in this tutorial.

    Talk to you soon!

    XO, Lindsey | The Postman's Knock