Fabulous Faux Calligraphy: A Beginners Guide to Creating Beautiful Lettering | Angie Bailey | Skillshare

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Fabulous Faux Calligraphy: A Beginners Guide to Creating Beautiful Lettering

teacher avatar Angie Bailey, Art & Soul

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Calligraphy Vs. Faux

    • 4. PDF Workbook: Upper/Lower Case Practice

    • 5. Forming Words

    • 6. Tips & Tricks

    • 7. Class Project - Sketching

    • 8. Class Project (cont'd) - Painting

    • 9. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this 40 minute class, you’ll learn a step-by-step way to create Gorgeous hand-lettering, and you'll see that you don’t have to have beautiful handwriting in order to do it.

Join Angie Bailey of Angie Bailey Art & Soul as she shows the beginner letterer how easy it is to create Fabulous Faux Calligraphy.

This class will give you all the skills you need to begin & continue a lettering journey & the desire to letter on anything and everything that you possibly can!

In the fun class project, you will create a little “Do NOT Disturb” sign to let others know you are busy creating. 

A downloadable PDF workbook is supplied in the Class Resources. A small chalkboard sign & white water-based Sharpie marker need to be purchased to complete the class project.

No previous lettering experience is required.

Meet Your Teacher

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Angie Bailey

Art & Soul


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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Angie Bailey of Angie Bailey Art and soul dot com. I'm a self talk calligraphy and hand lettering artist, and I'm so excited to share with you my very first class on skill share. Fabulous faux calligraphy. Beginner's Guide to Creating Beautiful Letter. Now I know what you're thinking. Calligraphy with hand lettering like mine. Well, you can just forget about it because I'm here to tell you that it is possible now. Although my writing is not as messy as, say, a stereotypical doctor's handwriting, it's also nothing like a teacher's handwriting. The thing is, when we write day today, we're usually doing it quickly and without much thought. The difference in learning this skill is that we will do it slowly and mindfully, and with just a little repetition and practice, you won't believe how quickly will improve. Now, here's what we'll go over in this class. We'll talk about all the supplies you need to get started. We'll talk about the difference between calligraphy and folk. Allegra Fee will then move on to the downloadable faux calligraphy pdf that I created will practice upper and lower case letters. Next you'll learn to connect and space letters to make words, and I'll share with you some useful tips and tricks. Then we'll move on toward class. Project will create a fun little do not disturb Sign that you can put on your door when you're creating working or just having a snooze, just a friendly reminder to tell others to keep out. I don't know about you, but it seems that when I finally find a little time to create, that's when everybody in the house suddenly needs me. This sign is meant to help protect your space a little bit. Here's an example of the sign that I need. Finally, I'll show you the many ways that you can use full calligraphy to create beautiful things, so let's get started. 2. Supplies: Let's talk about the supplies you'll need. First, you need access to a printer so that you can print out the faux calligraphy workbook, and then you'll need a pencil pen marker. You don't need anything fancy now the supplies we need for the project First, you'll need to purchase the chart. Course this'll When I got at Wal Mart, it's about an eight by 10 size and this one I purchased at Michael's. It's about a five by seven. It's already got these pretty floral embellishments. It could also check out the Dollar store. For such signs, you'll need a ruler masking tape to make a straight line, a white chalk pencil to sketch out your lettering. And finally, a Sharpie water based marker to do your final lettering. I'd like to use the water base in case I make a mistake. Then I can just erase it all with water and paper towel 3. Calligraphy Vs. Faux: Let's talk about the difference between calligraphy and folk. Allegra Fee Here's an example of two envelopes that I addressed. One was done in calligraphy with the traditional depend and ink, while the other was done with the black micron marker. Using a faux calligraphy technique. I can't see the difference. Can you see the difference? I'm just going to zoom in on it a little closer so you can see how very similar they are. Because I used the same script type. It's virtually impossible to tell the difference, So calligraphy is a way of producing decorative handwriting. It is traditionally made up of thin up strokes and thick down strokes. One way of achieving this is with a dip pen and live and think. First, the nib is dipped into the ink. As every stroke is made, very little pressure is placed on the new as you're making an upstroke. And then as the down stroke is made, pressure is put on the nib, which causes the nib to open up, allowing mawr ink to flow and thus creating a thicker line. Now I'll demonstrate this for you, so I've got my ink and my pointed dip pen I'll dip inside of the ink. And now, as I make my upstroke, I will exert very little pressure on the pen as they come around and make my down stroke and pressing hard. And that's allowing more ink to flow and my across stroke, I'll make a sin line. So this is calligraphy, creating thin up strokes and thick down strokes. The thick down strokes are achieved in a single stroke or step. Now the very same look can be achieved by doing faux calligraphy. I'm going to use a micron marker in black so that I can make virtually a repeat of this a that I made with the Dependent Inc. So this time I'll write the letter A, as I normally would. In other words, I'm not applying different pressure as I'm writing, as I did with the depend now, because calligraphy is made up of thin up strokes and thick down strokes, I'm going to need to think in the down stroke by drawing a parallel line next to the down stroke, and then I'll fill in the down stroke by coloring it in. So this is the upstroke because we created it upward. That's our upstroke. This is the down stroke. So now I'm going to draw in a parallel line to this line here, and then I'm going to color it in, and then I'll do my across stroke, and there we go. So creating the down stroke info calligraphy is actually a three step process. First you're creating the down stroke. Then you're drawing in a parallel down stroke, and then you're filling it in versus the one step down stroke when using calligraphy. So practicing faux calligraphy may seem like a lot more work than the one step down stroke in calligraphy. But there are advantages as well to folk Allegra fee. The great thing is that it's so versatile it can be done in a pinch without having to have any special tools. Another plus is that it can be created on a larger scale, as on the sign will create today, and the chances of smudging your work with faux calligraphy is a lot less. I never did tell you which one was the calligraphy and which one is the focal. A graffiti. This one hair is actually the calligraphy, and here you have it a smudge. It takes a lot longer for the ink to dry with a dip pen and ink than it does for a felt tip marker. Incidentally, I met the one and only Robert Downey Jr at the film festival in Toronto in 1992. I hope this helps declared by the difference between calligraphy and so calligraphy. Now get that pdf downloaded, and we'll get started in the next video. 4. PDF Workbook: Upper/Lower Case Practice: Okay, We're finally gonna get started on the hands on part of this class. So you have your foe Calligraphy workbook. When? Then take any utensil with a rigid. Okay, so these air all rigid tip markers, you can use a pan marker. This marker is a dual to Tomball marker on one side. It's a brush chip. We will not be using brush tip markers for this class, but you can use the other end of the marker, which is a rigid tip. Oh, right. I think we're gonna start with lower case alphabet. So now the rest of my pdf I printed out in black and white, so you'll see dark black and then a lighter gray color. So a few printed yours out in color. This will appear to be pink or green, So the black line is the primary line, and the shaded line is the down stroke that we will be thickening up. Okay, so let's start with the letter. A. So what I want you to do is first of all, just trace each letter that I have written. So I'm going up around all the way up and back down, okay. And that is my A. That is how you would normally right in a with this being the upstroke and this being a down stroke. Now, to make it into focal a graffiti, this upstroke, we do the upstroke, and then we come back down. So that is a down stroke as well. Well, thinking that up and up again and then down again so we'll thicken that up and then we'll fill it in. I'm actually gonna write it on the side here because it might be a little hard to see, So I'm going up stroke, and then I'm coming down, going all the way up and coming back down. So I'm going to thicken up every down stroke. So this is my up, So I'm going to thicken up the down, and I will do that by making a parallel line to this one. Now, you can imagine if you can imagine a line dissecting the letter. So that's the point where you will start coming down with your parallel line and you'll ended there, and then you fill it in, and now we make a parallel line on this other down stroke and fill it in. Okay, We'll do another A. So down and around and down. So up, strokes, ace. Then the down stroke. We will thicken upstroke and then downstream people think it. So you're thinking it like this and then you can close it off there and fill it in. Or leave it like this. You might like this. Look now once more, Uh, around and down. As I said, we want the line to be parallel to the down stroke, and we are still we are imagining this little line here, for example, we're not going to be just making the line straight, so that would be incorrect on an angle would be incorrect. What we want to do is follow the original line that we made, except we want to be tapering that line on this imaginary access so well started here, ended here. So it gets fatter, and then I get skinny again. Now, for a straight line like this, it's much easier. So we just go parallel and then taper it off at the bottom. Okay? And now we'll start with some bees. So I'm gonna go with the There's two variations here. I'm going to start with this one personal trace this just to get, uh, practice with this. Be going up then down than around and over. So the down stroke would be This is up. This one is down. So we're gonna sick in that lineup and then around and down will think in this lineup it may be a little hard to see for you, So I will just draw one here on the side. Up and down, up and around. Okay, so that's my upstroke Now, my down stroke, I'm going to thicken. I'm going to start it off here. Will taper off from the point and come down even that out. Okay, so that's up. That's the down stroke. Once again, this is the upstroke, and this is down. So we're going to imagine that line here. We're going to start at the tip here, thicken it up, and then ended at the tip. So without putting that line there, do another one so you can see it a little bit better. Okay, so here we go again. With the down. I feel that and and up and down. So bring that around like so Now practice doing some bees. Now continue on your own with the lower case alphabet by first tracing the letters that I have written out and then trying them out on your own. Now you may be asking, Which line is it that you will thicken? I mean, of course. We know we are thickening the down stroke, but you may be asking which side of the down stroke should we be thickening, So I'll draw on em. So really, it doesn't matter which side you decide to heavy up the down stroke. I typically do it on the right side, so I'll show you like this and then I'm filling it in. But this time we'll do it and I'll thicken up the line on the left side. So it's really just a matter of preference. But also when we start to put words together, sometimes we can vary which side we think it up in order to make the word more balanced. So continue practicing all of your lower case letters, and then we'll move on to the upper case. So here we are, with the upper case alphabet. We will treat the upper case letters just as we did with the lower case letters, again thickening all the down strokes. Okay, I found an example here where I put the weighted line or the parallel line on the inside of the letter that I drew again. It's a matter of preference. I think I must have drawn the A a little wider than I wanted, so I thinned it up by making the line on the inside. But it's all a matter of preference. Okay, we can continue with their alphabet R b. So basically, you're just tracing the letters and then drawing them out on your own. There's my down stroke, another down stroke and another down stroke. So this is up and down so will thicken the down, then up and then down so will thicken the down, then down again and up. So when the down portion we will thicken it up, the sea is up then down Then up so down and the D is up and down Well, sick in the down line up and down and up. Maybe I think that this dees a little narrow. If I don't like it narrow, then I will do the sickening outline on the outside like so and I colored in now please continue on doing all of the letters in the upper case alphabet 5. Forming Words: Now you can go to one of the blank pages inside of your notebook. So I'm writing the words Scram! A Ziff. This may be one of the words that I like to write on my do not disturb sign. So all right, out each letter individually and then in order to combine the letters to make a word, it's literally like when we are doing our normal handwriting. Don't these people know I'm busy? Why don't they just scram? Okay, so I wrote out the word. Of course I'm going to thicken all the down strokes. Connecting these letters looks very much the way we would be connecting letters in our day to day writing. The only difference is that we are being a little more deliberate here. We're going slower. We're thinking about what we're doing so that we can make it look nice and neat. So I'll do this again. The s for scram. Okay, Now the sea is up and down, and instead of stopping, I'm going to continue on with the are and down. And instead of stop being, I'll continue with my A and up and down, and I'm gonna finish up with my M. And then I got to thinking up all my down lines. That is how the most important thing you can do now is practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the more of a muscle memory you built and you'll be writing beautiful letters in no time. 6. Tips & Tricks: Okay, so you can print more copies of this. Pdf to practice on, or you can even buy tracing paper and trace over the PdF. Now this is an alphabet that I created, but there are many other lettering styles out there that you may like and want to learn. For example, here's a couple of different thoughts that are available on my computer. This'll was a Paducah script, and this one is bro Melo. So I simply typed out the alphabet and printed it off. Now I can practice that learning style. You can also experiment with different thicknesses of your down stroke. So as we know, the down stroke is thicker than the upstroke. But different thicknesses of the down stroke will produce different effects. Another thing that can be varied is the slant that you put on your letters. The thing is, as you practice and become more comfortable, eventually you'll see what you like, and you'll begin to develop your own style. So these words, for example, in the first practice I wrote it slightly slanted and, I think end up the down strokes, but only slightly. This second word that I wrote, I wrote it more upright and the down strokes were slightly thicker than those on this one. And then finally this word, I slanted it a swell, and I made very thick down strokes. The important thing is that as you're writing your piece, you need to keep it consistent. Now meet me in the next video and we'll finally get started on our signs. 7. Class Project - Sketching : Okay. Now for the fun part. Take care of your chalkboard. Sigh. There's nothing that you have to do to get it ready. It comes ready to be lettered on. We'll just caution you that if you decide to use a marker other than a Sharpie water based , tested under the back of the sign because you might not be able to erase it. For example, in the back of this sign, I got some new metallic sharpies and they're beautiful, but I put them on the back of the sign and I can't get them off, which is not a big deal, because this is the back of the side. So the sign I bought it. Michaels has already some pretty floral details, and the one from Wal Mart is plain. We could leave it plain or even fancy it up if we like. But before we make any marks on her chalkboard, we will practice first on paper. So I'm going to write on this little or sign but me to take a piece of paper, put my sign on top of it and trace it out. So this is just so I can get a good idea of what the wording is gonna look like on my side . So I think I'm going to write the word scram. But I think instead of writing it straight on, I'm gonna write it on an angle slightly going upwards like that. So you get out a ruler which don't happen have handy. But I'll use my clipboard as a ruler. The angle that I'm gonna want to write the word on because it wants to. I want it to be legible. So I gotta write it at it about an angle like this. Okay, that's where the bottom of the word is going to go. And I can also make a parallel line where the top of my letters will go. Okay, So that looks like about an even distance between the tooth. And I'm going to right my word in pencil. So I'll do the s in an upper case, and so therefore it's gonna extend beyond the middle line. Scram! Oh, okay. As you can see, I scram right off the page, so I'm making my letters way too big, so I'm gonna erase them. Since this is just the practice peace. It doesn't have to be perfect. Doesn't have to be perfectly erased. Okay, where's my border? Here and here. So we wanted to start about there. So the whole purpose of doing it first on the paper so that we can get a good idea of how we want it centered. So we want to leave a little space. And if we remember on the original sign, there's thes pretty little dot details as well, which I can try to mimic here. So we don't want the letters to run into that either. Um, now, to make it look good, we want it centered properly. So we want us maybe starter letters there, and then we want them to end about here. That would probably be good. So let's try this again. So we're gonna make the s a little smaller. And as you see once again, it's too far that way. Let's try this one more time. Yeah, So I would say that's just right. Okay, I'm quite happy with that composition. So now we want Teoh. Repeat that on this sign. Okay, So what I'm gonna do next is take my piece of paper here, turn it around, and with my broken chalk past Double. Never mind. Let's sharpen that up. Where's my show? Oh, right. Well, sharpened this up. We'll take our pastel pencil and scruple all over the back where the word way can actually see a little bit of where the word scram is. If we can't see it, we could put it over a window so that we can see where the word ISS scruple all over the back so that we can transfer it on to our actual final piece. Okay, I'm cutting out my scram sign, right. And now I'll take my pencil again, regular pencil and just trace over the word scram. And we will get more or less a tracing of this onto her chalkboard sign below Scram! Very cute. Okay, this sign is ready to paint. But before we do that, I'll do another variation. So I'm gonna take my other sign. And instead of doing it on the paper first, I'm gonna do it directly on the chalkboard. I can get a ruler and measure it out, or I can just take a couple pieces of tape asking tape there. Like so to make straight lions. I'm gonna write buzz off. So let's see the buzz will start here. The awful start here. Okay, so I'm gonna do this all in lower case. So take off tape and still in the letter. 8. Class Project (cont'd) - Painting: So as we lettered with the pdf, it didn't really matter when we think in up the down stroke. But when we're using a marker, we're gonna thicken up each down stroke as we go along so that we don't erase anything with their hand. Okay, so I'm gonna take my water based Sharpie, get a good shape. It's already prepped, but you prep it, um, according to the directions, I'm pressing it down to make sure that it's flowing and it is, and I'm going to start. So here's my upstroke, and here's my down stroke, so I'm going to thicken the down stroke right away. Another reason why I'm thickening it right away is if I write the whole word out and then come back and thicken. Not only do I have a chance of smudging, but also the paint starts to partially dry. And then when you try to go back on it and paint on top of it again, you can actually start picking up paint, and it could become quite a mess so we can do a second coding on this if we want. But we have to definitely make sure it's completely dry before doing that. Okay, so go on to the next letter C. So this is our down stroke that will thicken upstroke for the are That's the down stroke. I kind of thinking that up a little. Okay, so this is a down stroke, so we're gonna thicken that up a little bit Here. Here's another down stroke and will thicken it here. Oh, and back down. Thinking that up down with thick in that up and down Thicken the down, up and down Thicken the down, up and down and up again I think in the down portion There we go Scram! I don't know what my family is going to say when they see this on my door It's not as polite as Do not disturb Okay? Next, we'll get the other sign out the buzz off sign Take up the pen And I kind of exaggerated that this time. But I've been doing this for a while, and it kind of takes some liberties. And when I'm slowly developing my own little style here and down So now if I thicken the inside of this lying, that little loop might be a little small, so I think I'm gonna thicken up this side of the letter. So I want to do something on this side to make it look a little nicer. So I'm gonna take my pastel pencil and do little swirl here, and then I'm gonna trace the swirl with my marker. But I'm gonna make a dotted line because we're gonna end up with a little be here for buzz off. So it's gonna be like he's flown from all the way over here to hear. So again, I made my little loopy line. And instead of making a solid line, I'm going to do a dotted line as if to show motion just following it around. Great. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to check good old Google. So I'm going onto my iPad here and I'm taping in b illustration in the Google search bar. How about buzzing? Be illustration? There we go. Okay, I'm gonna click on images and here we go. Cute little bees. So I'm gonna find a really simple picture. There is a really simple one. Now, uhm, I'm going to use something like this. I'm not gonna copy it exactly because there are copy writing laws but I'm going to use that as a guideline and I'm gonna draw in a little B so it's gonna extra stripe than the one I saw in the picture. And instead of cute little, curly and 10 I I put straight ones. Okay, so now I'm just gonna trace this little B with the white marker. I could actually get those really nice permanent Sharpie markers that I bought at the store the other day to embellish this with. And there we go. I think I will get those metallic sharpies out and pretty up. This be a little bit. So as we're waiting for the paint to dry actually will go back to the first sign because it should be dry by now. The little chalk lines that air there we can erase. But really, the best way to erase those chock signs is by getting a wet paper towel. So it just have a paper towel here that's been dampened with water, and it's squeezed out quite a bit. And I'm just gonna lately go over my letters and that has erased the chalk. I drew a little flourish there, too. Fancy it up a little more Okay, now we'll go back to our buzz off sign. And I did smudge a little bit in a couple places as I was making my buzzing line here. I kind of hit it with my sweater. Go. Awesome. Okay, now the rest of this has dried, so I'm gonna take a paper towel. Actually, it doesn't even have to be a damp paper towel. It could be a drive one, And it would get rid of all my chalk lines. No, I'm gonna pretty up to be a little bit. I think I'm going to. Here's some gold marker here, So, as you can see, I wasn't crazy about that. So I erased all the white parts because I need black and gold. There we go. So that's the body. This will be the head. I think I'll do the wings and silver. And there we have it. Another cute little sign for our door 9. Final Thoughts: Oh, my gosh, You did it. Congratulations on finishing the project. Now that you've learned how to create for calligraphy surfaces that you create on our endless between you and me I think my family is a little tired of me lettering with every little thing that I could get my hands on. Oh, well, this new scale could be a sprint ward, creating all sorts of projects. You could let her on jackets on wooden signs on a acrylic, signs on mirrors, on place cards. The possibilities are endless. Check out my YouTube video. Oh, the places you'll foe to see a few of the places that I've created full calligraphy on. Even though the class is over, I want you to start a daily practice because if you practice a little bit each and every day, you'll gain that muscle memory that I spoke about before and in no time your lettering will improve tremendously. Please share with me all the practicing you're doing on the PDS. And please don't forget to upload your class project. I'm so excited to see what you wrote on your son. Please take me on Instagram, Angie Bailey, art and soul and use the hashtag over the places. You old fool. Thanks again for taking my class. Don't forget practice a little every day and never stop created. See you next time.