the pigeon letters blog
Create Halftone Lettering Effects in Procreate

Create Halftone Lettering Effects in Procreate

procreate Feb 14, 2021

I've returned to bother you all with a spankin' new tutorial. I came across this brush pack on Design Cuts and it really inspired me to sit down and create sooo here we are today.

I'm constantly looking for new ways to spice up my lettering game because listen, I've been in this game for a long time now. Sometimes you have to get creative to spice up your work! Embrace that feeling, don't fear it. If you're someone who prefers moving pixels, I've included a video tutorial at the bottom of this page!

 

 

Supplies

If you want to work alongside me, go grab this brush set real quick! 

 

 

 

Step 1: Write your word or phrase

 

 

Create whatever canvas size you prefer. Start by grabbing your 6B pencil (under Procreate > Sketching brushes) in a stand-out color so that you can easily differentiate between what's the sketch and what... isn't! 

Write your word or phrase out first before thinking about form or anything. Have you decided what your phrase will be? Mine's "Try art". 


 


 

Pro tip: If you like to use guides, go to the wrench icon, select "canvas" and choose "drawing guide" to apply a grid for extra help! You can also use a grid builder or a letter builder, which are both amazing tools. 

 

 

Step 2: Create another sketch layer

 

 

Create a new layer and snag an opposing bright color to make the layer separation easy to see. Build up some block lettering around your word, as shown above. Make adjustments to sizing and spacing where needed.

If you're struggling with positioning your phrase, I highly recommend checking out my tutorial on lettering composition for quotes. 

 

 

Once you finish building your block lettering, feel free to turn off your first layer and make any adjustments to the positioning of your word or phrase. I decided to add "try" on top of "art" in a slanted fashion to bring out a vintage feel. 

 

 

Step 3: Create a new layer, begin tracing your sketch and color fill your letters

 

 

Create a brand new layer and outline the initial sketch of your word or phrase, then color fill that bad boy.

I'm so excited to use these new Dirty Halftone brushes from ShoutBAM, they're seriously amazing for Procreate. If you don't have them now, I highly recommend snatching those up. 

 

 

I'm using the old inker from this brush pack, it has a TON of delicious texture to it. If there's one thing you should know about it, it's that I'm a texture fanatic. 

 

 

Step 4: Select a monoline pen

 

 

For this next step, I'm using my Monopigeon brush which you can get for FREE. 10/10 would recommend it because it's mine, but mostly because it rocks. If you're only doing block lettering, feel free to skip this step. I added "try" in a cursive lettering style instead of block lettering. 

 

 

Step 5: Add a shape

 

 

Create a new layer and drag it underneath your lettering layers. I'm adding a beautifully wonky star behind my phrase. If you want a more perfectly shaped star, try using a guide for your star. Personally, I like the free-handed look. 

 

 

Step 6: Optional: Split up outline and fill color layers on your shape

 

 

Separating these two layers makes it 1000% easier to control the colors independently and I'm all about having full control. Doing this will help you if you want to change colors later on.

Create a new layer on top of your original star layer and grab a lighter shade of yellow to color fill your star with. I really like the contrast between the outline of the star and the fill color, it adds an extra pop to it that plays into the vintage/retro theme. 

 

 

Step 7: Create a new layer on top of your star color fill layer and create your banner

 

 

Start by drawing a horizontal "S" shape. From there, you can either duplicate it and drag it down for the bottom portion OR you can draw another one for a more free-handed look. Connect the two at the ends and reposition if needed. 

 

 

If you're not familiar with or comfortable with drawing a banner, I do have a class called 25 Banners Anyone Can Draw which is a great class for all levels of artists.

*That link also includes two weeks free on Skillshare (if you aren't already a member), woo! 

 

 

Make a vertical line in the same spot of the dips on both lines, then mimic the curve of the banner and draw the line out farther than your original banner. 

 

 

Then, eyeball the length of your bottom ribbon and copy that same length to draw the top portion of your ribbon.

 

 

Next, create a "V" shape on both sides to connect the two ends of your banner.

 

 

And lastly, connect the banner altogether by drawing a curved line between the two levels. Be sure to make your line more flowy than straight so it makes your banner look softer as if it's waving through the wind. 

 

 

Step 8: Fill the banner with color

 

 

Because we put the banner on its own layer, we can adjust the size and positioning of the banner. This is great for people (like me!) who can't make up their minds until they try a few positions! You can also adjust the positioning of both star layers by selecting one of the star layers and swiping right for the other. Then, move and position the star to fit better behind your wording and banner. 

 

 

Color fill your banner with whatever color makes your heart happy. I picked blue for now so I could easily separate colors before I go back in later to choose colors that I actually want to use.

 

 

Step 9: Decrease the opacity of your banner layer and add a mask  Wrap the banner behind your shape

 

 

Select your banner layer and decrease the opacity to get a better visual of the shape behind it. Add a mask to the layer so you can remove certain lines of the banner without actually erasing it.

Masks are one of the BEST parts of digital design and I will never ever stop shouting it from the rooftops. Non-destructive workflows, yes, please.

Doing this step will help make it look like your banner is wrapping around the star, rather than it looking flat. Watch the video below for a better visual.

 

 

Make sure you switch back and forth between the star layers and the banner layer. As you're "erasing" pieces of the ribbon, fill in those spots with yellow from your star. Doing this helps make your piece look more interactive because it has so much more depth.

 

 

Turn your opacity back up and get excited because your piece is going to look SOO good. 

 

 

Step 10: Create a drop shadow

 

 

In a past tutorial, I went over how to create a fun drop shadow on a word or quote, and today we're incorporating the same thing.

Duplicate the layer that your wording is on and drag the new layer down to begin your drop shadow. It's super helpful if you make the new layer a different color so it's easier to differentiate when you're connecting the two. 

 

 

Make sure you're filling in the spaces between the two layers to really accomplish that drop shadow look. 

 

 

Step 11: Apply halftone effects using Dirty Halftones brush set (or whatever you have!)

 

 

 

Create a new layer underneath your wording layer and grab the horizontal line shader. Use that brush to apply some texture directly over your word (for example, mine is "art"). 

 

 

Then go to the layer below the texture layer, hit selection, make sure it's on automatic, and select the outer area of the letters. It's going to look super weird at first but once you go back to your texture layer, take three fingers to swipe down and select "cut". Again, if this sounds tricky, watch the video for more of a seamless understanding!

 

 

Now that you've done that, you're able to move that texture around without losing shape which is so fun. 

 

 

Step 12: Apply halftone effects to the top of the lettering layer

 

 

Create another layer on top of your base wording layer to add a different texture on TOP of the text. Grab the big dot shader brush and apply this cute polka dot texture to the top of your wording. One of my favorite features of this brush pack is the pressure sensors. The harder you press, the more you're going to get.

 

 

 

Again, go to the layer below, hit selection, make sure it's on automatic, and select the outer area of your letters, INCLUDING the holes inside A and R. Go back to the previous layer, take three fingers, and swipe down and select "Cut."

Continue using that method to add texture with the different brushes in the Dirty Halftones brush set by ShoutBAM to your banner layers, as well as wherever the heck you want to! 

 

 

If you're a texture queen/king you definitely need to snatch this brush pack right NOW because it's so versatile and fun to use. 

 

 

I hope you loved this step-by-step tutorial as much as I loved making it for ya. The texture is hands down one of my favorite things to play with, especially when using Procreate. It's something that inspires me to try creating new things, which is something most artists are striving to do. You're not alone!

 


 

 

 

HEY YOU. Yeah, I'm talking to YOU. Wanna save this for later? Pin this thing!