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.

how to create realistic watercolor lettering in procreate
This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I only recommend products I use and love.



So throughout this tutorial, I am using this watercolor brush set. It’s only $16 and well worth the investment.

You can also check out my full Procreate tutorial to familiarize yourself with the program before trying this project or see my list of all my favorite Procreate brushes!

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.

Procreate watercolor lettering


For this tutorial, I’ll just be working with the word “watercolor”. Seems fitting.

Alternative Brush: 

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.

procreate watercolor lettering bleedsBy 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.

procreate watercolor lettering inner highlightWithout 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.

Step 5: Adding Texture

procreate watercolor lettering textureNow, you’re going to choose the texture stamp. I like to make the brush slightly bigger than the width of my letters. this gives it a more cohesive look since it’s a stamp brush.

Then for each letter, you are going to be using a dark version of the base color. 

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

There are two splatter brushes included with this set. I like to add a few splatters around each letter in that color. 


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!

Other posts you might like:

Ultimate Guide to Navigating Procreate

8+ Procreate Brushes Every iPad Letterer NEEDS

how to create realistic watercolor on your ipad in procreate
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  • Sarah

    July 6, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Pretty awesome! Never knew you could get that look on a computer!

  • Tonya Michelle

    July 1, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    This is amazing! My sister in law is super crafty and artistic so she’s gonna love this blog post. Thank you for sharing!

  • Becca Wilson

    July 1, 2018 at 10:41 am

    This turned out so very cool! I would love to be able to do something like this for a logo.

  • Kelly

    June 29, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    This looks so cool! I don’t have an Ipad – but I wonder if there is something similar for my tablet.

  • Kayla

    June 29, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    These are just so beautiful! I love how unique it is and how it really brings out the true essence of watercolor.

  • Prajakta Sharma

    June 29, 2018 at 9:45 am

    OMG…that is so unique and interesting. I would love to try this one day

  • Melanie

    June 29, 2018 at 5:00 am

    What wonderful water colouring. I think that this could end up being a new fav for me x

  • Nadalie

    June 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Oh wow, this tool is so cool! I’ve always wanted to take up water coloring! Perhaps it’s easier than ever now.

  • Jojo Hua

    June 28, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    I’ve only got an iPad 3 but I have seen all these amazing lettering videos on Instagram, done on the iPad Pro and I so want to get one! I saw the iPad Pro in the Apple store and I asked what app was used to create these lettering pieces and the Apple guy didn’t know! I’m so glad to know now that it’s called Procreate. Thank you so much!

  • Holly @ Mimi’s Dollhouse

    June 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Ooh…that’s gorgeous. I love it. Now I want to watercolor EVERYTHING!

  • Angela Tolsma

    June 28, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I love how it turned out! So beautiful I have never used procreate but I’ve been experimenting in photoshop. I’m not that good at it but you gave me a lot of ideas on how to tackle the blending problem!

  • Nikki A. Hall

    June 28, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Ohh this is gorgeous!! What a neat tutorial and I def want to try this out!!

  • Cecilia

    June 28, 2018 at 9:43 am

    This is so cool. I have never tried using procreate before. I will try it now. Thanks for sharing

  • Kayscha Pearl C. Ramirez

    June 28, 2018 at 8:39 am

    This is sooo cool. It looks really real. I hope I get better in making these lettering.

  • fashionandstylepolice

    June 28, 2018 at 5:46 am

    The lettering looks very pretty. I love how detailed this blog post is. I will be trying it.

  • Jana

    June 28, 2018 at 12:21 am

    This is so pretty. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this. Your tutorial is great, thank you for sharing it.

  • Vy Nguyen

    June 27, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Beautiful! I love to do everything on my electronic devices as it would be more convenient. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rachel

    June 27, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    This is so pretty. I could make so many fun signs with it.

  • Eloise

    June 27, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I would LOVE this app to start creating amazing letter artwork like this… super cool!!! I’ll have to check into Procreate ; )

  • Ola

    June 27, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    How cool is that?! I’ve never used Procreate, but I’m going to have to take a look at it after reading this. Thanks!

  • Niki McNeill

    June 27, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    This is such a helpful and useful tutorial! I had an iPad Pro and haven’t explored Procreate yet. This is motivating me to try!!

    1. admin

      June 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      ever since i downloaded this app i haven’t been able to put it down!

  • Taylor Aube

    June 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    This is so amazing! You are so talented, thank you for walking us step-by-step through your creative process. I love watercolor art!

  • Taylor Aube

    June 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    This is so amazing! You are so talented I love watercolor art!

    1. admin

      June 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you so much!!

  • Vicki

    June 27, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    This looks incredible, I don’t think I could ever get mine to look as good as yours but I’m definitely saving this post anyway so I can give it a go sometime!

    Vicki |

    1. admin

      June 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      honestly, if this kit didn’t exist i would not be able to make something even remotely that realistic!

  • Stephanie

    June 27, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Wow, I can’t believe that was done on an iPad! It looks so realistic, and your tutorial looks very easy to follow. I’ll have to see if my husband has this program and play around with it.

  • Caylin

    June 27, 2018 at 10:41 am

    This looks really good! It creates the same effect as a handmade watercolor.

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