Faux Real Calligraphy

Learn faux calligraphy from "A to Z" in our most popular FREE course!

Learning Faux Calligraphy is a great starting point for your lettering journey!

We love faux calligraphy because you can use it for any project, with ANY tool. For example: chalkboards. You won't easily find a brush pen that works on that surface. Instead, you can use faux calligraphy with chalk pens! Same goes for other tools that aren't flexible like a brush pen.

We will take you step-by-step through the lowercase and capital letters in our detailed video lessons. After completing the course, you will have a solid foundation of faux calligraphy.

Even if you already have experience, these lessons will reinforce the fundamentals of letterforms and shading which will help as you move on to tools like brush pens and pointed pen.

Collection of basic strokes showing where the thicker downstrokes are


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Faux Calligraphy FAQs

Wondering if a faux calligraphy course is right for you? Let the lessons begin right now with these faux calligraphy FAQs!

What supplies do you need to do faux calligraphy?

Don’t worry, you don’t need expensive supplies, a regular pen will do! The faux calligraphy technique can be replicated with ANY writing utensil:

  • ballpoint pen (a normal pen)
  • gel pen
  • felt tip pen
  • brush pen (a marker with a flexible brush tip)
  • chalkboard
  • paint
  • pencil

Even use your iPad for lettering! Print out the free practice sheet included in our course and use whatever utensil you have on hand to get started practicing.

What exactly is fake calligraphy?

Faux or fake calligraphy is a form of calligraphy that can be done with just a pen. It’s sometimes also referred to as:

  • hand lettering
  • modern calligraphy
  • faux lettering

These are all umbrella terms that describe beautiful lettering that’s really drawn piece by piece instead of written in one go.

For some instant faux calligraphy inspiration, see a super quick faux calligraphy tutorial here on our YouTube channel:
Intro to Brush Lettering ~ Basic strokes


What makes the faux calligraphy alphabet different from normal calligraphy?

At its core, calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting.

The main element that separates gorgeous calligraphy from normal handwriting (and makes it so darn beautiful!) is the varying thickness within individual letters.

Take a look at the difference between lines (in calligraphy, called strokes) here:

Transforming handwriting into faux calligraphy

Look closely at the alphabet on the left: see how every stroke has the same thickness?

Meanwhile, the faux calligraphy alphabet on the right has thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes, transforming the faux calligraphy letters (don’t worry, you’ll learn all about basic strokes in the course!).

We have a special blog post about the basic strokes of calligraphy that you can dive into anytime.

Rather than switching between thicker lines and thin strokes in real-time while you’re writing, you create faux calligraphy by taking normal handwriting and thickening it after you write.

How do you practice the faux calligraphy technique?

Looking at how faux calligraphy compares to real calligraphy, you'll see that it's very hard to tell the end result apart.

Faux calligraphy practice is all about learning how to write a letter in calligraphy and is essentially the first step toward learning modern calligraphy.

In calligraphy, each letter is built using thin upstrokes and thick down strokes. The foundation of all faux calligraphy styles is understanding the different strokes that make up each individual letter.

Once you know where all the downstrokes are in any letter, you can work on creating the shading.

Can you learn traditional calligraphy after fake calligraphy?

Absolutely yes! While fake calligraphy is a replication of the “real deal,” it’s not negative or cheating. It actually teaches you the very basics of calligraphy.

You can dive deeper into the hand lettering style, or transfer the same skills directly to countless calligraphy styles, even traditional ones like dip pen calligraphy.