If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about my recent obsession with Crayola markers. I can’t help it — there are just so many great things about them! They’re inexpensive, they come in tons of colors and, most importantly, they’re fantastic for lefties because THEY DON’T FRAY. As any lefty who has used a traditional brush pen knows, they fray after, like, two uses. Before I started using Crayolas, I had pretty much given in to the fact that I would be stuck using the smaller, firmer-tipped pens forever. I thought I would never get to make those big, juicy strokes that righties got to make with their brush markers unless I wanted to waste beaucoup bucks on markers I could only use a few times. Then, I saw the Crayola light. They were on a big back-to-school display at Target, and a pack of ten was only 97-freakin’-cents! I’d seen others using them on Instagram, and knew it was a sign to give them a try! The awesome thing about Crayola tips is that they aren’t “brushy,” so they can handle our “pushing” strokes without damaging the marker. They’re nice and firm, which makes it really easy to get those thin upstrokes without feeling like you’re fighting your pen. All it takes is a minor adjustment in between strokes.
Here’s how I use them to create thick and thin calligraphy strokes:
1. Hold them as you would your normal brush pens. If you need help with your grip, read this post!
2. The same principles apply as with other brush pens — more pressure on the downstrokes, less on the upstrokes. If you need help with pressure, read this post!
3. This is where it gets a little different. As you’re making your thick downstrokes, the fine point will sort of get “smushed” up. See how the tip is pointing slightly upwards in the photo below?
If you attempt to make a thin upstroke while the tip is pointing upwards, it’ll turn out thicker than you’d like because you’re using the broad underside of the marker. Rotate your marker in your hand until the fine point of the marker is pointing slightly downwards, like this:
That way, only that fine point will touch the paper on your upstroke, making it nice and thin. It seems like such a small thing, but it makes all the difference. Check out my Crayola videos on Instagram @theinkyhand if you’d like to see “The Marker Roll” (I literally just made that name up) in action! For much more information about using Crayolas for calligraphy, check out this amazing Crayligraphy website!