Monday, August 20, 2018

Faux Calligraphy Sign

My local library had contacted me to teach a calligraphy workshop. That's something that can't really be done in a 2 hour time format. However, I can teach hand-lettering, so I planned a workshop called Faux Calligraphy. Participants would learn the faux calligraphy technique and go home with a small, wooden sign they lettered in the workshop

Faux calligraphy isn't done with a calligraphy pen and ink, but using simple, everyday tools can mimic calligraphy and it begins like this.


An 8 1/2 in. x 11 in. sheet of plain paper was cut in thirds. This was roughly the size of the wooden sign that was used. The width of a wooden ruler was used to mark the base-line and waist line (top line). The writing would fit in this space.

Using a pencil, participants were asked to write on the paper, in cursive, the word or phrase they wanted to use on their wooden sign. Suggested words: welcome, hello, Someone's Name Room, laundry, peace, believe. Since I already have a welcome sign, I chose the phrase, "disturb me" as my sample.

The word or phrase is written out with a little extra width than normally would be used. All down-strokes of the letter were to be thickened so an extra pencil line was added.

I decided I would make a double-sided sign so also did the phrase, "disturb me not" A black-eyed Susan with a petal dropped was used as the tittle (the dot over the letter "i"). 


When I was pleased with the spacing and design, the design was copied onto a wooden sign using a white colored pencil (The sign was found in the unfinished wood section of Michael's. Before the workshop, I sealed the wooden signs with an acrylic sealer.) The pencil line was then traced over with a Sharpie pen. (The Sharpie marker ink feathered and bled on the wood. The Sharpie pen ink didn't feather as much)

Because pencil, chalk and other methods for making lines wouldn't clean up easily from the wood, I used two piece of draftsman's tape (it has less tack and removes without marring the surface) as the guide lines to write between.  Loops or flourishes that went over the tape just had to be connected when the tape was removed.

The down-strokes were then colored in with the Sharpie pen or colored pencils could be used.This would create the illusion of a thick and thin line which is the cachet of calligraphy. 

Because the wood sign was a bit rustic, I used a piece of knotted twine glued with white glue to the sign. Other suggestions for hanging the sign were to use ribbon, yarn, or a saw-toothed hanger on the back depending on the decor. It was also suggested that the sign be used indoors and not exposed to weather. I wasn't sure if a sealer would cause the Sharpie pen ink or colored pencil to bleed.



17 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great class. Your sign is fantastic. Have a good week, Valerie

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    1. I had a good time. I think everyone else did, too.

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  2. You do calligraphy, faux and real, perfectly! Beautiful sign, beautiful hand writing!!

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  3. Cool sign. I like the little yellow flower. Congrats on being offered to teach a class. Hope you get a good turn out. Hugs-Erika

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    1. For a Friday night, we had a decent turnout.

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  4. Very cute! I could use the 'Disturb Me Not' one! LOL

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  5. I love the sign! Sounds like you are a local celeb at the library. Do you sell your signs?

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  6. Such a cute sign! I wish I could sit in on your classes. I would only heckle a little....

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    1. And I would only give you a little time out :-D

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  7. Lettering sounds like a fun intro to calligraphy. Maybe they'll give you time to do a series of classes as a follow-up that'd introduce folks to calligraphy. I'd bet there'd be plenty of takers for that :)

    I like your disturb me/disturb me not design.

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  8. N-I-C-E!! You have such a wonderful talent!

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  9. I really love this!!! Great class! I love what you wrote on the sign! I might have to copy! LOL!

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