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 - Lettering
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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.

duplicate the layer you want to add shadow to and lock it

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).


Move the darker layer down and to the right

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.

Add a gaussian blur to the shadow layer

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.

Reduce the opacity of the shadow layerThis makes it much more subtle and realistic in my opinion.

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3 techniques I use to add shadows to my ipad lettering
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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.

How to add a drop shadow

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.

how to add a thicker drop shadow in procreate

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.

Filling in a thicker shadow.

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.

In text shadow

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.

use airbrush to add shadows to the word

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.

remove shadow from where it shouldn't be

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.

blended shadow.

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!

Sign up for this awesome course here!!!



  • Aine Mulloy

    July 25, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Great tips! Love how creative the ideas are – must try to be a bit more adventurous with my own work

  • Christie Brown

    July 24, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    You’re so creative! I wish I had good enough talent to be able to make better looking graphics than what I can. I’ve never actually heard of Procreate before – maybe it’ll be a good place for me to learn? Gorgeous font, Sachi. 🙂 x

  • Ana Ojha

    July 24, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Wow! These are some amazing lettering techniques! I’m learning graphic designing these days and can’t wait to check out Procreate!

  • Courtney

    July 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Oooo so many helpful tips! I’ve been playing around with fonts lately! So fun to custom make things!

  • Fashion and Style Police

    July 24, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Fab techniques here. Looks really look. I will try my hands on them.

  • Niki McNeill

    July 24, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Wow! These are all really great techniques and you made them so easy to follow! I have an iPad Pro but have yet to download Procreate. This makes me want to!

  • Paula Stewart

    July 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve never used or heard of Procreate. I’ve always used PSP. Will have to check it out since it sounds so easy.

  • Narkis Moshe

    July 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Wow, these are incredibly cool! I love designing and lettering. I don’t know Procreate but I’ll have to check it out 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  • Szebastian

    July 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Looks like I found an answer for my design team who have been looking for something that provides them a bit more creative ability and is not as resource heavy as Photoshop. Thank you for the detailed tips.

  • Kristi McAllister

    July 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    This is absolutely lovely! I really like how it looks and I especially like the step-by-step instructions! It’s amazing how adding just a hint of something here and there can make our words POP! Great post!

  • chelf

    July 23, 2018 at 11:54 am

    this is extremely useful! I always try to spice up my promotional images and pins and thise shadow effects are really eye-catching!

  • Jess Scull

    July 23, 2018 at 10:32 am

    I’ve always wondered how to achieve this! Your tutorial was super easy to follow!

  • Danielle

    July 23, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Great tips here. My husband does all of this kind of stuff for our blog, so I will pass this on to him.

  • Maysz

    July 22, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Wow! I just decide to make my logo in my blog! And I think this is perfect I’ll try to find the Procreate app thanks for sharing!

  • Christa

    July 22, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    This is wonderful! I have so much to learn and this is a fantastic resource.

  • Stephanie

    July 22, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Awesome! Such an easy way to create a shadow. I usually use Photoshop on my computer for everything, but I’ll show this to my husband who uses Procreate on his iPad for design work.

  • lau

    July 22, 2018 at 10:39 am

    great! I am trying to learn more and more things to edit my pictures


  • Eloise

    July 21, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    I think technology is amazing, all of the functions available to make things look professional. I’ll have to keep the shadow techniques in mind the next time I’m messing around with pix, thank you!

  • Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks

    July 21, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    I’m not familiar with Procreate, but you have me intrigued to check it out now! Such fun and simple ideas – I’ve done this with digital image manipulation but had never thought to do it with text! Cool.

  • Heather

    July 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I will have to check out Procreate! I can do this easily in Mac Pages!

  • Nicole

    July 17, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    I’ve never heard of procreate before! Holy Cow!! I’m seriously missing out. I seriously need this to up my graphic game! Thank you for the awesome tutorial, now when I download it I won’t be totally lost.

  • Whitney Kutch

    July 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    These are great tips! Thanks for walking us through everything in such detail. I’ve never used Procreate before, but I need to add it to my list.

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