Faux Calligraphy: How to Get Started With Hand Lettering or Modern Calligraphy the Easy Way | Shelley Hitz | Skillshare

Faux Calligraphy: How to Get Started With Hand Lettering or Modern Calligraphy the Easy Way

Shelley Hitz, Watercolor and Lettering Artist

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7 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Intro video

      2:33
    • 2. Supplies Overview

      6:12
    • 3. The Basics of Modern Calligraphy

      10:37
    • 4. The Alphabet

      8:58
    • 5. Lettering a Phrase

      9:14
    • 6. Bonus Video

      0:30
    • 7. Next Steps

      2:20
32 students are watching this class

About This Class

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Would you like to learn hand lettering, also known as modern calligraphy or brush lettering, the easy way?

Let's admit it.

It's not quite as easy as some artists on Instagram make it look. But, it is so fun. It is a hobby that can be turned into handmade gifts and bring you so much joy. But it can also create frustration as well.

When I was learning to hand letter, no matter what I did, even with the best of pens, my lettering was not turning out right. I was getting frustrated.

That's when I found faux calligraphy.

Faux calligraphy is truly the easy way to get started with hand lettering. It's super simple to get started with right away. In this class, I will walk you step-by-step through the process of getting started.

It's a great way to add words to coloring pages, fun art pieces, hand-lettered cards, bookmarks and so much more.

When you enroll, you will get my lettering practice sheets that I have created for you. I have demonstrated every letter in the alphabet in faux calligraphy so you can literally finish lettering a phrase today.

Click enroll and let's get started!

If you want to know when I release new classes, make sure to click the "follow" button on my profile here: https://www.skillshare.com/user/shelleyhitz

Transcripts

1. Intro video: Would you like to get involved in hand lettering, also known as modern calligraphy or brush lettering? The easy way. Let's admit it. It's not quite as easy as some of the artists on Instagram make it look, but it iss so fun. It is a hobby that can turn into handmade gifts. Ah, hobby. That could bring you so much joy. But it can also bring a lot of frustration in the beginning. Hi, my name is Shelly Hits. I have an author and illustrator and it was in the summer of 2016. I was learning how to hand letter because I was creating coloring pages for my book. Broken Kranz Still color. I was trying all the different techniques. I was watching all the videos. But no matter what I did, even with the best of pens, it seemed like the lettering was not coming out right. I wasn't getting the fix in the Benz, and I was getting frustrated, and that's when I found faux calligraphy. Faux calligraphy is truly the easy way to get started with hand lettering, and it's super simple to get started with right away. I'm gonna walk you through this class faux calligraphy. How to Get Started with him. Lettering The easy way in how to Get started. The basics of calligraphy is that you have the thick down stroke, but then upstroke and what you can do with focal Iger fees. Simply add the thickness in later. Instead of teaching your hand in training it toe. Have muscle memory, which months later. I am much better at brush lettering, and I'm getting better every day. But until then, or if you don't have the time to invest in practicing every day, Faux calligraphy is an amazing way to get started, and it's a great way. Teoh AdWords to coloring pages to fund our pieces to hand lettered cards, bookmarks and so much more. So when you enroll in this class, you will get my practice sheets. I have created these for you, with the lines on them and the examples, and it's really easy because I have every letter in the alphabet already laid out for you on how you make it into focal Iger fee from just a regular cursive letter. So click and roll and let's get started today 2. Supplies Overview: in this training video, I am going to talk about the supplies that you'll need. So for this particular class, since we're focusing on folk Allegra Fee, you really only need a pencil, a pen and paper. So you literally can do this with any paper in any device that you have laying around at home so you can just use your regular pen that you have unions. A pencil. This is a Sharpie fine, ultra fine point that you could find just about anywhere, and then the one that I love. The pen that I love the most is the micron, and the 05 is a really great size. But you can get a pack that comes on Amazon, and you can get a variety of sizes. 05 is the size of the tip and so you can get the pack and you get different sizes of tips. But this is my favorite, but you can use just use whatever you have on hand. As far as writing goes, This is not a class that requires expensive tools, and that's what I love about it. You can also use just regular like Rayola super tips, markers or even, you know, whatever markers you might have on hand, they don't have to be brushed lettering, markers. They can be any kind of marker, any kind of pen or pencil. And that's what's so fun. You can get started with what you have on hand at home right now. Now, this is kind of cool. At Walmart, you can get thes plane index cards four by six inches, and I think they were less than a dollar. So you can get 100 of these. And these air just really great for practicing. The thickness isn't great, and it's not the best paper in the world. But I just I like it because I don't feel like I'm wasting expensive paper for practicing, So this might be an idea for you. If you feel that same way now, you can also find just card stock. So this is some card stock that I've gotten also at Wal Mart, and so you can get something like that. You can even just use regular copy paper for this class again. Use whatever paper you already have on hand. I am almost certain you probably have some notebooks that you are not using and you have paper somewhere laying around. Now this right here, this cancer in marker paper. This is specifically to be used with obviously markers. And I'm not recommending you get these for the class. But I have these Tom Bo brush pen markers. So eventually, if you do want to get into brush lettering, I love these markers thes air, the ones that that you'll see a lot of him letters using on instagram. And these work best with this marker paper because what can happen is the tip. And let me just get a piece of white paper against this so you can see the tip of this can get frayed if you use it on other papers that are not as smooth this water or this marker paper. It's so smooth. And I really just bought it to use with my Tom biomarkers because they're expensive markers . And I didn't want to waste that investment by getting frayed tips. While we're on the topic of Tom Bo, let me also just mention if you are getting in to be getting brush lettering instead of getting those Tom Bo markers. I just showed you the dual tip the best ones to start with. Typically for beginners are these hard and soft. And I got this in a pack on Amazon there, the food and a Suki, um, pens. But I actually put little little tags on here because I had a hard time remembering these air from Japan and has Japanese on there. So the more black one is the soft Pim, you can see the tip is like that. And then the more purplish one is the hard pen. And these are definitely me. Show you the tip on this one. These air definitely better for beginning because you can get more control out of thes But the's air not required for this class either. I just want to mention it, since I did mention the Tom Biomarkers and then another. One of my favorite papers is this skansen mixed media paper and I have a big one. It's 11 by 14 inches and then I'll cut it down into smaller sizes. And this is good with pretty much any type of any type of medium says on here acrylic, watercolor, pen and pencil. But really, the basic thing is to use whatever paper you have on hand. You may have different notebooks, and you know, I bought Let me grab this real quick. I bought this inexpensive notebook at Walmart, and I love it because it says yes, you can. And when I was first starting art, I had a lot of mine blocks. And so if you're having that, too, and you're you're struggling with with, you know, just getting into art I also have another class here on skill share, all about how to just giving yourself permission to explore that creative side. And it's all about affirmations. But it was This was just a really inexpensive notebook, and so you can use something like this to if you get a notebook like this. What I like to do is I like to take two of the pages and glue them together. So this one has the two pages glued together. It makes it a little thicker so that if I do use markers and things, it doesn't bleed. But again, I just want to tell you, don't go out and buy a bunch of supplies. Use whatever pens, whatever supplies you have on hand gets to get started in faux calligraphy, which is going to look the same as modern calligraphy, and I cannot wait to see your results. So that's pretty much all you need. And so let's get started with an introduction to modern calligraphy. 3. The Basics of Modern Calligraphy: So in this training video, we're gonna talk about the basics of calligraphy, specifically modern calligraphy. But this is the Tom Bo food and a Suki hard pen, and what you can see is basically, when I've written with it, I have thin up strokes and thick down strokes. So thin up strokes, then down strokes and the way I can get that is because this brushed pen, with the pressure that I put on it, will give those thin up strokes and thick down strokes. However, this is a skill that has to be learned, and it has taken me months of practice to get to the point where I am today. I'm continuing to improve every day, but basically you have just the then upstroke, and then you ply a little more pressure and thick down. Typically, you want to hold your pen at a 45 degree angle, thin up thick down, and you can see depending on how much pressure I put on. The pen is going to vary how thick the Linus. And so that's the basics of how it's toe look. However, like I said, it can take a long time to master this skill. And so I want you to get started right away. I want to get started today. And what I discovered as I was learning brush lettering is focal a graffiti. And so that's what we're really gonna be teaching you and we're gonna I'm gonna be teaching you how to get this same look without having to build the muscle memory of your hand. However, I wanted to show you the basics of how that works with the thin upstroke could see that's the upstroke. And then when you come down, you'll have a sick line. No. When you're doing calligraphy, you will see, And as you learn, you'll start to see a lot of different lettering. Practice sheets. Now, I did purchase some lettering practice sheets when I was first getting started, but now I am creating my own. And so I have created these practice sheets for you, and they're available for you and your class resource is, and you can download them as pdf's, print them off and use them however you want, and I also will provide in the class. Resource is a pdf of all the different letters and how you create them with the faux calligraphy. But when I first was getting started, it confused me on what all these different lines meant. So there's basically four different lines that are created here, and then they're just repeated four different lines over and over and over. What I wanted to do in this video is just give you the basics and explain that a little bit so that you can understand. So, the sicker line I had created, I had this created thicker. You won't always see this on every practice sheet because I wanted you to really be able to just at a glance, find the baseline. So your baseline is your most important part of the of this practice sheet. I'm gonna go head switch back over to my micron so I don't need my rush pun Justo Right on . And one of the things that you know you want to know is always Where is the baseline? As you can see, all of my letters fall along that baseline, and so you want to immediately No. Okay, that's where my baseline is. That's where that's where the bottom of my letters need to rest. Now, after you learn the basics of modern calligraphy. You can start playing with that. You can start adapting things, and I have learned a technique called bounce lettering, and so that's something you can learn later. I am still not doing a ton of it, because I really think it's important to master the basics first before you start trying to switch everything up. But, um, just just so you know, sometimes you'll see artist that don't have their words all along the same baseline, and that's just because they're using a technique called bounce lettering. So that's the baseline. And then what you have is this dotted line is the X height, and they just call it the X height because that's basically the height that the letter X will be. It's also the height of the letter E C. A. You know, it's it could be called the a height, but they just they call it the Excite. You will also see this called the Waist line. I am going to be referring to it as the X height, but that was confusing to me, a person. So I want to make sure you understand the terminology and then the top line here is called cap hype, and that's gonna be the height of your capital letters cap height. It will also be the height of letters that ascend higher, like the F in the B. The cap hype is also called Be a center line, so you can also see this called as Theus Ender line. And then the final line is this fourth line down here, and this is called the D Sender line. You have your baseline, which is always going to kind of anchor you. You always want to know where that baseline is. That's why I personally decided to create the baseline as thicker for you on this so you can always identify it. Then the dash line on this sheet is the X height. The top line is the cap hype, and then you have the D sender line below it. What you'll also see is like on, let's say, on the letter f anything that goes above the X height. This is called the a sender. It ascends. That makes sense, and that's why this is called the A center line. And then anything that goes below the baseline is called the D Sender. So this part of the loop is called the A Sender. This part of the loop is called the D Sender. So that's just something to keep in mind as well. Now, one of the things that I've already mentioned issue of your up strokes and you're down strokes. So, like on the A, this first part is the down stroke, and this part here is Thea Upstroke. And then what I want you to think about is I want you to think about the fact that modern calligraphy is not handwriting. So it is not he and writing my handwriting is very messy. Even though I got 100 percents on hand writing in school, you know, modern calligraphy is not handwriting. I want you to think of it more as drawing or illustrations. So it's It's an art form. It's drawing or illustrations. This is something that I wish I would have learned early on because I was trying to do it too fast. And if you try to go fast with hand lettering, you're just not going to get the same results. So you really need to make sure you go slow and that's something I constantly tell myself is Shelly. Slow down. And that's something that, actually lettering has taught me. You know, art has taught me so many things, but lettering has taught me just to relax. I could be a type a go, go, go person and has taught me to go slow and just, you know, relaxed my shoulders. Make sure you're breathing. You know, it's easy to hold your breath while you're lettering and slow down if you know as you're learning Brush lettering, modern calligraphy, Focal Eager fee Just keep that in mind to go slow. And so again, let me just reiterate the thin upstroke and the thick down stroke, then upstroke thick dom stroke. And that is your basics. So I wanted to cover some of these basics with you before we get started so that you have an idea of where we're going now with traditional calligraphy, it is written traditionally at a 55 degree angle, so a lot of the practice sheets you'll see they will have like, um and gold lines like this through the practice sheets at that 55 degree angle, so that you can stay on track. However, modern calligraphy can be any angle modern calligraphy breaks the rules. You know, modern calligraphy can be any angle, and I personally like the look myself of more of an upright look. So what you can do is you know, you can have it at what angle you want. You can see these letters are at a slight angle, but it's not at a 55 degree angle. If you're doing the traditional calligraphy, you definitely wanna have that angle. But what we're gonna be learning is with the modern Kliger feet, so it can literally be at any angle. You will see all variations of all different angles when you follow different artists on instagram. And if you would like to follow me, I offer a lot of different like videos and tutorials as well as you could just watch my own , my own brush lettering. It's at color, my world beautiful. You can find me on Instagram, and I would love to connect with you there as well. So let's go ahead now let's now that we have the basics. Now that we know kind of the basics of what we're doing now, we're gonna learn the the skill of faux calligraphy and faux calligraphy. You will literally be able to have a finished work that you're proud of today. And I am so excited toe walk you through these steps, so let's get started. 4. The Alphabet: all right, so make sure you have your paper and you have your pen, whatever pen you're using and or pencil and make sure it's a flat surface. So this art table that I have in my studio, it's not smooth. So I'm just I just have the back side of my marker pad, and I'm using that just as a smooth surface so you can see here. I've already done an example. The top line was done with the Tom Bo Hard Tom, both food and a Suki hard pen, and the bottom was done with my micron. So the basics of faux calligraphy is you're going to write out. The first step is you're going to write out the letters. The second step is you're gonna add the thickness on the down strokes, and then the final step is optional. You know, if you're using this for coloring pages, which I have another skill share class all about how to create coloring pages that you can publish in books and online. If you're using this for coloring pages, you may want to leave these open, but traditionally with faux calligraphy. What you do then is you'll fill these in, so you'll just take your pen and again. Like I said, it doesn't have to be any kind of it can be a pencil. It could be a marker to be anything that you want and then you start feeling that in. And so that's how you get a similar look and you can see I have a Samore. Look, I didn't do these exactly the same, but you get a very similar look with the faux calligraphy as you would with a brush pen. And that is what's really fun about this is that you don't have to be an expert at lettering yet to get really professional looking designs. And so I am going to now, you know, just take you step by step through the process. Just want to give you a quick peek into I know what it looks like, and so what? What we'll do is you will write the letter and you can write the letter any style you want . I am going to focus for this class on lower case, and I'm going to focus on the style, the script style that I use with my brush lettering. But you can use any letters you want. And so let's say for this A you want to think about what's the down stroke? So when I was creating it, I went, I started the top. I went around and down this way. So that's my down stroke. There is my upstroke, and then there is a down stroke again. So the first step is just writing out the letter. And as you're writing it out mentally, think to yourself. Where is the down strokes? Because that's what you're gonna fill in. Then you're going to come back and you can put the extra weight either outside the letter or you can put it on the inside. It doesn't matter which side you put it on. You're just gonna have add some extra weight to that, and what you want to do is try to keep it the same with so whatever weight you end up doing , try to keep it the same consistent throughout all your letters, and then you can fill it in, and that's as easy as 123 So the first step is writing your letter, and you can do it in any style you want. The 2nd 1 is adding the thicker down stroke, and then the third step is filling it in. So you're gonna fill the down stroke in its literally as easy as 123 And that's all you have to dio and you literally have a beautifully drawn calligraphy letter and it's that easy. It really doesn't have to be hard. So what we're gonna do is I'm gonna go through and I'm gonna actually draw out each of the letters for you on this page. And I'm gonna go ahead and speed up the video as I do this so that you can just watch and see as I do it. But I also have this practice sheet. So this sheet that I'm creating right now, I'm going to have this available in the class resource section as a download so that you can go back and you can see what it is that I've done and you can replicate it. You can print off these practice sheets and you can trace over them. Use tracing paper. You can just use them as a guide to be like, OK, where do I need to add the extra height to and so forth? so I'm gonna go ahead and get started, and I'm gonna go through each letter of the alphabet and I'm just gonna speed it ups that I don't bore you. That way you can get a quick idea of exactly how to do this. You e e e e. Right There you have it. You have the entire alphabet now written out info, calligraphy and what you can do then, is now you can practice. You can practice using this style of letters, or you can use other styles. Whatever style you want to use. You can now do this just by knowing where the down strokes are and then just adding an extra edge to it. Like I said, to get started, you can use this practice sheet and have tracing paper over it, sometimes just regular copy paper. You know, when you put it over, you'll still be able to see it. But you can use this just as a visual guide. I know. When I was first getting started, I got kind of confused at times, which a little areas were the down strokes. For instance, on the r, I kind of forgot about this little loop here. That's actually a down stroke. The same thing with this, the way I did my V and W Those little loops are down strokes. So this will just give you a guide to go by. And I cannot wait to see what you create. So in the next video, what we're gonna do is we're actually going to write a phrase, so I will see you in the next video. 5. Lettering a Phrase: all right. So now that you know the basics of faux calligraphy, you know the three steps and you've seen the entire alphabet done, you also have the reference sheet that you can download and print off in your resource area . Now it's timeto letter, a phrase I recommend using the lettering guides I've created for you. There are blank ones in the class. Resource is as well. I have one like this that is a smaller size. And then I also have one that's the bigger size. When we grab this again so you can see this is smaller. This is bigger. And and technically, the reason I did that is because some of the markers need a right bigger. So you're Tom Biomarkers, the regular Tom biomarkers like this. You know this marker, it will write big. And so these practice sheets are better for these types of markers. The smaller practice sheets are better for more like the mambo food and a Suki hard and soft because they write smaller. But for the focal graffiti, it doesn't really matter. I guess it just matters what size you want to create your letters. If you want smaller letters or bigger letters. It may be easier when you're learning to write it bigger, but really, it's whatever you want to do. So just choose one of the practice sheets and then right out your phrase. So I'm just gonna write it out on this same sheet here that I have, and I've I've actually provided a list of 30 different phrases that you can let her. So these air just inspirational, motivate vocational phrases. And I find this helpful because when I was first getting started, sometimes it's like you go draw blank. What should I dio? Why should I let her? One of the phrases is Thank you. You can actually use these. You know these little index cards and you could let her out, Thank you and fill it in and color it. You could purchase card stock and you could cut it and fold it for a card. And you could write Happy Birthday on there. I've created my own custom. Thank you cards, birthday cards, congratulations, cards. So it's a really fun thing to do for cards. You could make your own bookmark. You could use this for a coloring page. Like I have mentioned I have my other class all about how toe create coloring pages, adult coloring pages so you can use this anywhere you want, but just a practice. I think it's good to use this fish the lines because it gets you in the habit of knowing where the lines are. So again on this, the big, thick line is your baseline, and that's where you're gonna wanna be. So you're gonna just choose a phrase and then you're gonna write it out. I'm going to choose the phrase just breathe. And so with this, you can see you're gonna have to connect the letters now and write out the word. I wrote out the word just now, I'm gonna write out the word breathe. And typically with calligraphy, you won't pick up your pen in between letters, and you will, instead of being like typical cursive writing where you never picked up your pen, you will tend to pick up your pen. And I know for me when I was first starting and even now watching other people letter really helps me and so you can follow me on instagram at color, my world beautiful. You can also see the people that I'm following, and typically they'll be people that are into he and lettering and art, and so you can also follow them. And you can watch the videos as well, just to like just to get the idea of how this goes. So that's the first step. Step one. Writing your letters. Step two is adding the thicker down stroke. So now you're just gonna come back in, you're gonna add the thicker down stroke. You can make it as thick or us then, as you want. Just make sure it's consistent throughout all your letters. And if you need a reminder, if you get stuck, you can always come back. Grab this noise, come back to the sheet. So if you get stuck with the eat like where is the the the thick down struck? You can always come back and say, OK, that's the way it's supposed to be, and then you can put it in there so you get stuck. I have that reference sheet for you in your member area in your class. Resource is so that you always have it as a reference, and then you'll come back in and color it in all right, There you have it. Now you have your phrase lettered out and it looks beautiful. Modern calligraphy. But don't tell anyone. It was focal a graffiti. What such a stands for fake calligraphy. But really, it looks to Justus beautiful. And as you practice, you'll be able to practice getting it consistent. This isn't perfectly consistent, but that's what I love about lettering. It's not supposed to be perfect. It's not supposed to be this computer generated perfect image. It is supposed to be from your hand. And I think that's what people are really liking about. It is, Everyone has a unique style. And you, you're going to develop your own style as you go. And you know, as you go through the process for now, you can start with the style that I have provided for you. This is the style that I have right now and that I'm using. And you're going to eventually, though, develop your own style. Maybe instead of having the k that way. So I have my k this way. Maybe you decide toe have it like that, and you just, you know, have the street touch. And maybe instead of having the be like I've done it where I come back around like that. Maybe you decide to do your be with a smaller loop there. I mean, you could do any different variation. Maybe instead of the hard V. So the hard V like I have, Maybe you make it soft like that. So you're going to start, develop your own style. You're going to start to develop and see what how you like the letters. And that's the most important thing is as you go to develop your own style. I had recently been doing this, and I created just a image of what the current alphabet that I like to use looks like. Now this will change over time, and there will be different styles I use for different types of lettering, but this is kind of my style. This is Shelly style right now, and you don't want to exactly copy another artist in the beginning. Yes, in the beginning, yes, used the practice sheets. Copy and get your muscle memory get used to the way you form the letters. But over time you're going to find your own style, and that's what's really fun. So congratulations. You have now finished this class. You have learned the basics of modern calligraphy, how to create faux calligraphy, and you have created your first phrase. Now what you can do is you can take that phrase from your practice sheet and create something that you can give away whether it's a card you can create. Something that you are are a piece of artwork that you display in your home. You can use us to create coloring pages that you either color yourself giveaway to family and friends or publishing books or published them online. You know, have a skill that you can use in many different ways. And I'm so excited to see what this opens up for you as you gain confidence. That's the thing I think folk calligraphy does. It gives you confidence in the lettering. So many people give up, I think, because if they start with something like a Tom Bo pen like this and these air really difficult to learn to control in the beginning might get frustrated and give up. So try the focal. A graffiti. Let me know how it goes, and I cannot wait to see your projects. Take a picture on your phone of your project and posted in the project area 6. Bonus Video: I wanted to create a bonus video for you all about how to use faux calligraphy with your own handwriting. And so I have loaded this up into my private Facebook group. It's free to join. The link is in your class, Resource is, or you can look in the discussion area of this class. So come watch the video. Let me see what you create with your own handwriting, and I cannot wait to see what you create. 7. Next Steps: there you have it. That's all it takes to get started with hand lettering. Literally. Today. It's exactly what I did when I was creating my coloring pages, and I really had no idea what I was doing. I was able to create a finished product that I now cell inside a book right away without months and months and months of practice. So I'm excited to see what you've created. Please post your project in the project area of this class. If you enjoy this class, I would really appreciate you simply taking a moment to post your review here on skill share. There should be a pop up at the top of your screen that says, Would you recommend this class to other students? Simply click yes and post a sentence or two about what you learned, what you appreciated or what you've gained from this class, and it would mean the world to me. It also helps to reach more people with this training, and so I appreciate you taking a moment to do that. This truly is not the end. It's just the beginning. This is such a great stepping stone into rush lettering or modern calligraphy where you actually start with a rush or a pen like a Tom Bo pen, And that is an additional skill that you can now add. On top of this skill, you've just learned a faux calligraphy if you'd like. Otherwise, you can continue with the focal a graffiti and use it for years to come. You can use this skill in creating coloring pages, and if you haven't yet, you can take my other class easy coloring book design and now use this Golfo calligraphy to create your own adult coloring book pages. You can use it in he and lettered cards, thank you cards and birthday cards and all sorts of cards, which is just fun. To be able to give something personal, you can create personalized bookmarks and so much more. So this is just a stepping stone for you, and I do hope that you'll continue to learn and grow. Thank you for joining me on this journey again. My name is Shelly Hits and I will see you in the next class