I get asked a lot how I make my writing look like calligraphy on a larger scale or without a calligraphy pen. So I thought I’d share how I do it with y’all! It’s quite simple, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it quickly. It does help if you know how a calligraphy pen makes fatter or thinner lines, but I’m giving y’all a crash course here!
First up, tools of the trade. Any pen or pencil will work, but here are some that I have. I’m going to be honest, that top pen is NOT my favorite. It bleeds on just about any paper I’ve used it on, although surprisingly not the current sketchbook I’m using (a Picadilly sketchbook from Barnes & Noble). That pen is a Royal Lancaster Nano-Liner that I bought for $2 at Hobby Lobby. Next up, my favorite thin pens. Microns by Sakura. I own like 10 or 12 of them, and my favorite sizes are 08 and 03. Finally my new
obsession perfectly healthy collection I’m starting. Copic markers. (Insert angelic singing here.) They’re ridiculously expensive… $8/pen…but I discovered Michael’s gives me a 40% off coupon every time I go, so I use them on Copic markers now. But they are so worth the price. Super pigmented, gorgeous colors (think Pantone.) and they make me stupidly happy. Oh and before you go and assume I’ve spent my life savings buying every color, you can relax because I only own three.
Okay, now that we have supplies out of the way, The first thing you would do is write out whatever word, phrase, quote, etc. that you want to look like calligraphy. If you look at the top picture I was super original and wrote the word “calligraphy.” You want to be sure and give your letters some spacing in between, as you’ll be making parts of the letters fatter.
The next step is to fatten up your lines. When you look at “real” calligraphy you’ll notice that only some parts of the letters are fatter than others. That’s because with a real calligraphy pen, pressing harder gets a fatter line, using less pressure gets you a thin line. When you write, you press harder on any “down” strokes you make, lighter on any “up” strokes you take. So the part of the C that is fatter is the curve of the C where I draw downwards. The connecting line between the C and the A is barely there, because I press lightly there.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been dying to know about calligraphy/typography/design…I want to bring y’all some tutorials about what YOU’D like to know!