So, you know how to create basic lettering on your iPad. You know the ins and outs of Procreate and you’ve had fun playing around with the different brushes and effects. However, one of my favorite things to do on my iPad is making lettering pieces that look like they were done on paper, not on a tablet. And my personal favorite thing to do is to create realistic watercolor drawings. This post is going to show you the exact tools and technique I use to create watercolor lettering that looks like it was done with a paintbrush instead of an Apple Pencil.
So throughout this tutorial, I am using this watercolor brush set. It’s only $16 and well worth the investment.
Step 1: Writing Your Word or Phrase
So the brush set comes with its own watercolor lettering brush which is really awesome. Set the color to black and then draw out your word or phrase. You can sketch this out first but just make sure that everything is where you want it to be before moving on.
For this tutorial, I’ll just be working with the word “watercolor”. Seems fitting.
Step 2: Adding Color
So for this step, I like to choose a color palette before I start coloring in my piece. This makes the later steps much easier (you’ll see why later).
I can then set the colors I chose as my default palette. This way when I’m switching between colors I don’t always have to be looking for the ones I need. I then lock the layer so that I am can’t add any color outside of the drawing I already did. I then color in each individual letter in the order of the colors.
You can use the coloring brush that is included in the pack for this step. Alternatively, you could bump up the size of the stock monoline and do it that way. Don’t worry too much about where you end and if you accidentally get color in the wrong letter. We’ll be smudging everything out in the next step.
Step 3: Bleeds
Choose the large smudging brush and for each color in your palette smudge some of that color into the letters that are to the left and the right.
By adding the color of neighboring letters you are creating color bleeds that would happen if you were using actual watercolors. I try to focus my bleeds going to the right because this is the way we write. Therefore, bleeds are more likely to happen to the right where the paint is wetter.
Step 4: Inner highlights
Now you’re going to choose the light smudging brush. You want it to be slightly smaller than the width of your letters. Now for each letter, you are going to be using a lighter version of the base color.
Without putting too much pressure on your Apple Pencil, add this lighter color to each letter focusing it in the center. This will create a nice highlight which will make your watercolor lettering have more dimension and look more textured.
Now with the stamp brush, stamp each letter with the darker color from top to bottom. Then with the same darker color use the water pool stamp. Add a few water pools to each letter. I like to focus mine at the bottom of curves or where strokes intersect.
Step 6: Darkening the Edges
Still using your darker colors, go back to your light smudging brush and make it as small as possible. I usually have mine at 1%. Then darken up the edges of each word. Do this lightly and don’t make it seem like it’s an outline.
While I try to keep it lighter on the majority of my letters, do focus the darkness around pools!
Step 7: Adding Splatters
And there you have it!! Make sure to download this amazing Procreate watercolor lettering kit so you can start creating your very own realistic digital watercolors!