Watercolour Style Text in Procreate

Watercolour Style Text in Procreate main article image
Posted on May 27, 2021 by Becky Liddle
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I love using watercolour in both physical painting and on Procreate, keep reading for a quick tutorial on how to create lettering digitally, in Procreate with a watercolour effect – no water required! All brushes we’ll use are presets and you can download the colour palette used here, or you can use your own colours.

We want to start by opening a new canvas in Procreate by clicking the + button in the right hand corner.

Click again on the + within that window, and set the below dimensions:

Width 3000px
Height 2000px
DPI 400

Setting your DPI at 400 ensures a good quality printout.

Next – once your canvas is open – click on the settings tool in the top left corner, and then select add, and then add text.

I’m using the font The Islander, downloadable from Creative Fabrica here, however please use whichever font you want to.

Type in your text, size it, and position it on your canvas however you wish. It doesn’t matter what colour you use as we’re going to change it, however I’ve just used plain black for now, and the size is 150.

If you click out of your text box, you might get a message asking if you want to rasterise the layer. Only rasterise if you have your desired wording and size, basically if you are happy with your text! Once happy, accept the message and rasterise your layer.

Now we need to choose colours. I’m going to use five, you can choose your own or download the Muted Peachy Pink Palette 501 if you want to use the same colours as me.

Now you have your colours, we need to start changing our text. First though, we need to lock our layer so that we can only colour the text and not the background.

Click on your layer from the layers menu and tap Alpha Lock. This ensures that our colour only stays on our text.

Colour your text however you want! I am going to use the Hard Brush, which is a Procreate Default, and I’ll use brush size 4% with 100% opacity. I’ve painted each letter a different colour. You don’t have to be too accurate when doing this, we’ll be blending and smudging everything together later on.

Next we’re going to use the smudge tool to get rid of the harsh colour changes between our letters. Click on the smudge brush, and in the Painting section, select the Watercolour brush. I’m using brush size 7% with 48% opacity. You don’t have to be too neat here, we just want to get rid of the harsh lines.

For an extra bit of blend and an ombre effect on your colours, use another smudging brush to drag even more colour over into each letter to really bring them together. I’m using Fresco, in the Painting section, on 54% size with 54% opacity too.

Next add a new layer, and make this a Clipping Mask. This ensures our paint only goes onto the letters. It’s important to work from new layers so that we don’t lose all of our work if we make a mistake!

Now we’re going to add a little texture to our letters. Grab the Wet Glaze brush which is in the Water section. We’ll use size 36% and opacity 32%. These sizes may be a bit different if you originally made your text smaller or larger, however the brush should be quite large to cover a reasonable part of the letter, so you may need to change the size up or down.

If you’re using the colour palette mentioned above, you will see a lighter version of each shade under it. If you’re using your own colours, pick a shade a bit lighter than each original colour. We’ll use each coloured letter’s “lighter” version for this part.

Grab your brush and add splats to the middle of your letters, this gives a little bit of dimension and looks like where your real-world watercolour would change tone due to different water consistency.

We’re now going to add even more texture, so for this we’ll again use the Wet Glaze brush (in the Water section), on 17% size and 29% opacity. In the bottom row of the colour palette you’ll see a darker shade of the original colours, or you can again select your own darker versions. Stamp around the left hand edge (a little messily!) on your letters in their darker shade.

Now our text is done – although feel free to add more or less colour and smudging, have a play around!

To finish off the effect, we’re going to add some water splashes. You can find three brushes for this in the Water section; Water Flicks, Blotch, and Water Drip. Use these as much or as little as you want, adding blotches and splashes in different colours, sizes and opacities. A tip for making sure your water splashes look different – go into the brush settings and play around with the Spacing and Jitter. This will add a more uneven and realistic effect.

So, now you’re finished! You can keep your artwork as a virtual image or e-card, or you could print it out and make it into a physical greetings card. I usually matte and layer my cards however with watercolour, I enjoy the plain, clean looking background – sometimes simple can be effective, but again, you can use your own style.


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