One of my favorite ways to add dimension to my lettering pieces is to add shadows in Procreate. It’s simple, quick, (usually), and really brings your lettering to life. In this blog post, I’m going to show you the three different ways that I add shadows in Procreate to my lettering!
How to Add Shadows in Procreate
The Blurred Shadow
This technique is probably the easiest and the most realistic!
The first thing you want to do is duplicate the layer you want to add a shadow to and then lock the bottom layer.
Then, fill the locked layer with black (or any darker color). Drag this layer down and to the right (or wherever you want the shadow to fall).
Unlock the shadow layer and then go to adjustments > gaussian blur. Slide the blur until it’s at about 24% or whenever you’re happy with how it looks. This step will NOT work if your layer is still locked.
Now, this next step is optional, but I personally think that this shadow is too harsh. To fix that I go to the layer settings and reduce the opacity to about 50%. You can also do this by going to adjustments > opacity.
You might also be interested in:
- How to Create Realistic Watercolor Lettering in Procreate
- 8+ Procreate Brushes Every iPad Letterer Needs
- The Ultimate Guide to Navigating Procreate
The Drop Shadow
Now, this technique I think looks best with a monoline brush, but you can use any sort of brush!
Now, you’re gonna start with duplicating the layer you want to add a shadow to. You can fill this layer with black but I think this technique looks best if you use just use a darker/lighter version of your main color.
Then, you’re going to take your shadow layer and move it down and to the right.
Now, depending on how thick you want your drop shadow the next steps depend. If there’s no white space after you move the shadow down than you don’t have to do anything else.
Because I used a thicker monoline it was easy to add a decent shadow without having to fill anything in. However, if you wanted a really thick shadow you would have to move your shadow layer even further down.
Now you want to fill in all the space in between the main layer and the shadow layer with the shadow color. Make sure you unlock your shadow layer and work on that one. This ensures that you won’t get any color on the main layer since the shadow layer is underneath.
In Text Shadow
This is the most advanced and tedious technique. For this to really look realistic you’re definitely going to want to use a thick brush. Lock your layer, fill it with white, and make your background black.
Now, using an airbrush, add black to all the places within the text there should be a shadow. I usually do this where a letter loops and when a letter joins into the next one.
Then, I like to change my background color to red so that I can see the entire word. I then go in with white and get rid of any black that is in places where there shouldn’t be a shadow.
With your airbrush, set the color to white, and lower the brush opacity to about half. Start to add this white so that it blends seamlessly and there’s only a small amount of dark left. Do this by starting where the shadow you already added and bringing the white all the way down. Add the most white so that it’s totally opaque to the beginning of your stroke.
iPad Lettering Course
One of my favorite courses is Amanda Arneill’s Limitless iPad Lettering. If you want to really take your iPad lettering to the next level, I HIGHLY recommend this. Everything from shadow techniques to coloring techniques this class is sure to step up your iPad lettering game!