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Please Note: I am not dispatching orders between 27th March and 4th April. Any orders made during this time will be dispatched on the 5th April.
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How to create realistic watercolour lettering in Procreate

Tutorials Watercolour Lettering

Watercolour Lettering in Procreate

If you are curious about how to create a realistic watercolour lettering effect in Procreate, then this tutorial is for you!

Throughout this step by step tutorial I am going to be using the brushes from this set:


Procreate Watercolour Brush Set

You can purchase this set now from my Etsy shop.

I created this brush set myself and so I am confident that if you follow the steps below with the brushes from the set you too will be able to create this watercolour effect in your lettering artwork.


So, once you have your new watercolour brushes installed, let’s get started!

The first brush in this set (the ‘Watercolour brush’) is the one you are going to be using for your letters. Now everyone’s lettering style varies and here your own creative style is going to be what makes your artwork unique.

With this brush you can select a colour and get lettering. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’d recommend choosing one word that you can work on throughout.

I’ve chosen to work with the word ‘creative’.

watercolour lettering the word creative

You can see by using this brush alone you get a lovely textured stroke with an integrated watercolour effect and slightly rough edges. It even includes little water splashes!

You may want to vary your lettering style, brush size and colour as you get used to the features of this brush. Below I have chosen to letter in all caps rather than a cursive font.

watercolour lettering in caps


Adding colour

Our next step is to add some different colours.

The beautiful thing about watercolour lettering if you're using a real brush and paint, is that with each new brush stroke you can introduce a new colour and due to the nature of the watercolour paint it can blend with the colour before.

We can replicate this effect in a few simple steps in Procreate.

Firstly you will need to select the layer your lettering is on, tap it once and select 'Alpha Lock'.

How to select alpha lock in procreate

This means that anything you now add to this layer will only show up on the lettering itself and not on the background.

Then selecting the 'Colour brush' in the brush set you can add some complementary colours to your word and the colour will only show up on the letters themselves.

You could add a different colour to each letter, or just select two or three colours for your whole peice.

Adding colour to your letters

You'll notice from the picture above that when you first add colour there may be quite a stark line where one colour finishes and the next one starts. Don't panic, we're going to work on blending those colours together in the next step!


Blending colours

Blending the colours together is a fun part of the process and it is during this step your word will begin to start looking like a watercolour painting.

To do this you need to select the 'Watercolour Brush' but not in the brushes section as we have done previously, but in the Procreate Smudge Tool. This is located right next to the brush icon and looks like a pointing hand.

Once you have this selected you can gently brush the lettering in the places where the two colours meet and it will blend them together.

blending colours


It's up to you how much you want to blend them together. You can play around with the effects until you get a result you are happy with.


Adding watercolour effects

Another feature of watercolour painting is that the paint tends to pool at the edges of the painted area and is often lighter in the middle of the area as the paint naturally spreads when mixed with water.

This is an effect we can also replicate in our digital watercolour lettering by using the 'Effect Brush'.

Remeber to keep the layer in Alpha Lock' so the effects you add will only show up on your lettering.

Select the colour black with the effect brush and you can gently brush the edges of the letters to create the effect of the paint pooling there. Then by selecting white you can create some white spaces in the middle of your letters.

 watercolour effect lettering

You can see in the image above how the edges of the letters are slightly darkened.


Adding water splashes and smudges

If you'd like to create a 'sketchbook-style' look there are also included in this brush set some Procreate stamps.

Stamps are similar to brushes, but you just tap once to get your effect rather than dragging the brush across the canvas.

In this set there are three stamps. Two water splashes and a water splatter.


Water colour brush set


To experiment with these, add a new layer to your work under the current one. (It's always best to use layers when experimenting as they are easier to delete if you want to go back!)

Then you can have a go at adding splashes and splatters in various colours. Don't forget you can also change the size of the brush stamps and the opacity using the sliders at the left hand side of Procreate. These will all create different effects.

realistic watercolor lettering


And voila! You have some beautiful authentic watercolour lettering!

If you've enjoyed this tutorial don't forget to leave a note in the comments, or you can tag me on instagram in your finished artwork @the_lettering_tree. I'd love to take a look!

And just a reminder, you can get this watercolour brush set from my Etsy Shop.

If you'd like a FREE set of outline brushes click the image below to start creating some fun effects with these three custom brushes.


Free Procreate Outlione Brushes

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