How to Use a Pencil for Faux Calligraphy

Faux Calligraphy, also known as Faux Lettering or Fake Lettering is a super-easy way to cheat your way into Lettering. It is the easiest Hand Lettering Style and you can use any pen/pencil on any paper for this technique, no special supplies are required at all!

What does Faux Calligraphy mean?

Faux calligraphy basically means creating the look of brush lettering without a brush pen. You don’t need different papers or pens and you do not need to know how to apply pressure to the tip to create the calligraphy look. Even a pencil will work here.



Start by Hand Lettering the alphabet with any pen in this Easy Faux Lettering Alphabet Video!

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Which pens are used for faux calligraphy?

ANY PEN!! That’s right! You can use any pen you already own to write prettily! A ballpoint pen, marker, gel pen, colored pencil, or even a pencil!

Furthermore, you don’t need any particular sketchbook or sketch paper even.

So just pick up your journal/sketchbook/ scrap piece of paper and the pen nearest to you and let’s start practicing!


How to do Faux Calligraphy

faux calligraphy

Step-by-step illustration showing how to do Faux Calligraphy on paper

Total Time: 5 minutes

1. Write your letter on paper as you want. I have used a cursive style here, but you can also choose a block style- upper or lower case works.

2. Draw a second line to thicken the downstrokes.

3. Fill in the thickness we have created by either scribbling or cross hatching

And that it! You’ve created your Faux Calligraphy alphabet!


Practice your Faux Letting with all the alphabets

I used a simple font here, no cursive either, so it is super simple to create stunning hand-lettering! Faux Lettering is an easy way to make your lettering look pretty without any experience or techniques.

You can fill in the downstroke thickness area completely with one solid color or use any kind of fun pattern of your choice!


In this version, I used a Ball Point Pen I had and enjoyed filling in the cursive lower case letters with patterns and details!


Here is my very first Faux lettering page friends! I used the Tombow Dual Brush Pens, but the marker tip here. At that time I did not know that the paper of my sketchbook was very rough and hence the brush tip of my pens would not glide at all! So I instead make the letters look how I wanted them to- by faking the look.


Pencil Lettering:


A great place to start your Faux Lettering practice is to simply use a pencil. Pencil Lettering can teach us so much!

  • Here I started by first lightly sketching out my words with the HB pencil. I doodled a few leaves and berries around as well.
  • Once I was happy with how it looked, I went in with the darker 3B pencil, and darkened the lines and thickened the downstrokes. This pencil is so smooth and nice to work with and the color is dark and even.
  • The lettering is simple, yet the faux calligraphy adds a neat touch of drama to it!
  • I love using a pencil to ALWAYS create a rough sketch or mockup of how I want my piece to look.
  • Darkening it with a 3B or darker pencil is so much fun and the results are always amazing! 

Colorless Faux Lettering

In this below example, I love how the quote looks without filling in the downstrokes! By simply adding a second line to each letter we add more drama and pizzaz.



Start with a light pencil like 2H or 4H. Draw your words and erase them as much as you need to till you have something that you like. So just with the pencil, mark all the downstrokes. Then add in some extra details and flower doodles too. Next, using the marker tip fill in all of those downstrokes, and voila’ your faux calligraphy is complete. Gently erase all the pencil lines once done to have a neat finished product.


More Fake Calligraphy Quote tutorials:

Enjoy this Fake Calligraphy with a Normal pen video. You really can use any pen!



Faux calligraphy worksheets

Thank you for being here today and spending some creative time with my friends! I’m so thankful for your kind words and support.

If you recreate this tutorial and share it on social media don’t forget to tag me! @smithakatti #smithakatti

For yarn projects, find me at @smittenbyyarn #smithaknits #smithacrochets

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One comment

  1. Thank you so much! The pencil technique is enabling and fun, and just what I was looking for to finish my project. Thanks for taking the time and sharing with us.

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