You’ve learned the basics of hand-lettering and now you are ready to take your lettering to a new level (the digital level). This is so exciting!! There are endless possibilities of what your lettering can become when you use Procreate. For instance; turn it into stickers, printables, social media graphics and more!
For now, let’s go over the basics of lettering on the I-Pad. What do you need to get started and how do you create your first lettering masterpiece in Procreate?
1. Creating Your Canvas Size
Choose your canvas size. Depending on what your end-use will be, your canvas size will vary. For instance, if you plan to print out your work, you’ll likely want to setup your canvas as if it were a piece of printer paper (make the canvas size 8-1/2″ x 11″. For social media graphics, my preferred size is 1,200 px x 1,200 px. Remember when in doubt, start out larger as you can always resize down but resizing up will cause you to loose quality and may cause blurriness to your artwork.
2. Brush Tool
Select your brush of choice to letter with. Again, this selection is based on your preference. However, the two brushes I use the most are the Monoline brush and the Calligraphy brush. Here are some examples of each.
3. Streamline Trick
Once you have your brush selected, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Ok, well it may not be a secret to those who letter often but if this is new to you, chances are you may want to know this… If you adjust your streamline (adjustment made within the brush tool bar; see image below) it will improve the look of your lines. Have you ever written your signature on one of those credit card signing things and you were mortified?? Yeeeah, you can definitely sign better than that but those machines make it look like a two year old got ahold of the pen. Well that’s kind of what it’s like if you have your streamline turned all the way down! It will show all those little shakes and bumps in your lines. So, don’t be afraid to increase that streamline way UP… It’ll make for a smoother prettier line. I like to have mine turned up to about 90%. Play around with it to see what feels natural to you and adjust accordingly.
4. Adding a Grid
Add a grid to your artboard. Go to the top left tool bar and click the wrench tool icon, then select canvas (as shown in the photos above). Click the slider on for “drawing guide” and then click edit drawing guide. Once you are in the edit drawing guide adjustment panel, you can adjust the opacity of the grid (drop opacity to about 40% so you can still see the grid but it is faded). You can also change the size of your grid squares (make them a little smaller or larger depending on what you are creating).
Select your layer. When starting out, you will always have a background (permanent layer; color can be changed) and 1 additional layer. Go ahead and start on that selected 1st layer. It is important that as you build your artwork to think of it as building layers. If you draw everything on one layer, you will struggle more with coloring items and removing/repositioning items. It is much easier to make changes when you can work with each layer individually.
6. Color Palette
Select your color of choice. (more on how to create your own designer color palette coming soon)
7. Start Lettering!
Now for the fun part you’ve been waiting for!! Adjust your brush size up or down depending on your preference, then begin lettering!
Pick a few of your favorite words, letters or quotes ahead of time and start practicing them. Here is a Pinterest board I created just for you – find motivational quotes, lettering styles and more. Keep checking back as I’ll add more to this board as inspiration strikes.
Need more lettering practice and tips?
Happy Lettering! Want some extra encouragement or have a question? Please don’t hesitate to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram. I love seeing your progress and rooting you on!