Today is National Handwriting Day, one of the most fun national holidays that exists (in my opinion, anyway). I’ve always loved writing in all definitions of the word. I like to make things up and write stories, I write poems, I write scribbles in my notebooks, and I absolutely love penmanship. I was that weirdo in elementary school who totally dug learning cursive and then practiced making my own fonts (remember bubble letters? I’m still about that life.)
So, in honor of my love of penmanship and National Handwriting Day, I thought I’d give you a tutorial of how to do fake calligraphy. “Fake” because I once took an actual calligraphy class with the ink and nib and it was so much fun but so difficult, so this fake calligraphy lesson will be a little easier for anyone and everyone to use.
First, pick your pens of choice. I used a thin black precision pen and black felt-tip marker.
Here, we start with just writing in cursive. I chose an easy word (doesn’t get easier than hi) to demonstrate this. Any sort of cursive is fine: it can be curvy, slanty, tall, bubbly, etc. Mine is pretty basic.
When writing calligraphy with ink and a nib, the general idea behind the technique is to make thicker lines on the downstrokes and thinner lines on the upstrokes. In the picture above, I drew arrows to where the downstrokes are.
After you figure out which strokes are the downstrokes (literally the strokes when you bring your pen down), the next step is to draw a little outline on those strokes.
Then, you fill it in with your marker. Ta-da!
See?! Easy, breezy, beautiful.
Once you become comfortable doing the basics of this, you can add fun things like flourishes, variations in sizes of letters, and spacing exaggerations.
Practice makes perfect, so don’t stress if things don’t turn out exactly right the first time. I’m still learning to perfect my flourishes and loosen up a bit. The best way to practice is to keep writing the letters over and over, just like you did in the third grade when you learned cursive.
You’ve got this!