Lettering on Procreate: Create a Grainy Drop Shadow

lettering procreate Sep 20, 2020

Today I'm sharing with you a classic drop shadow tutorial because this is something you can create whether you've been using Procreate for years, or if you've only been using it for a few minutes. The level of depth or detail you want to accomplish is all up to you! I'll be using a new brush set (the Oh So Grainy Brush Set) to add a TON of textural depth to my lettering. While the details can seem small, they're noticeable!  Fire up the ole iPad, RUN don't walk to get this brush set, and let's get to work! 



The variety of textured brushes that come in this pack is insane. The gritty monoline brushes have my whole heart!


PSA moving visuals learners: If you're a THAT type-of-person (like me), I've attached the video tutorial that goes along with this in-depth blog at the bottom of the page!



Step 1: Write Your Base Word with Grain Filler Brush



Pick a word or phrase (if you want a challenge), and write it out. I chose "monoline" as my word because I obviously wanted to be very clear about what's going on here. That's one of my neat jokes.

Your word or phrase when first lettered out will be your base! Make the lettering small enough so that it doesn't get squished when adding the drop shadow. You guuuuuuys, I'm loving the combination of this pack's monoline brush with its incredible TEXTURE! I'm using the Grain Filler brush. Definitely a favorite of this brush pack! Other fun brushes in this pack to try for this step are the "Grain Filler II" or the "Wood Roll".


Step 2: Duplicate First Layer and Change the Color of the Bottom Layer



To start your shadow, duplicate the first layer, and change the color of your lettering on the first layer. This helps you differentiate between the two. You can always change the color later, but choose something that feels like eye candy right now! 



Step 3: Duplicate the First Layer Again and Drag the Bottom Layer Down to Start Your Drop Shadow



Duplicate your first layer again and then drag the bottom layer down to set the placement of your drop shadow. If you want your shadow to be super thick, drag the selected lettering down even farther. If you're normal, follow what I do! If you've seen my video on monogram letters, then you're already a pro! 



Step 4: Select the Middle Layer and Select "Merge Down" to Combine the Bottom Layers, Connect Your Shadow to Your Lettering and Fill 



Don't be scared of how this may look at first; just don't turn off any layers and you won't get confused. Combining these layers is going to make a much cleaner workspace for your grainy goodness. 



This may look like a hot mess at first, but stick with me and you'll be alright, kid! Anywhere you can assume there would be a shadow on your lettering, create a line to connect those two elements. Once those lines are connected, go ahead and fill it in! If you miss something, don't sweat it - I honestly love little oopsies. They call it HAND lettering for a reason! Take that, technology. 



Step 5: Create New Layer Above the Bottom Layer and Apply Clipping Mask



Create a new layer on top of the bottom layer and apply a clipping mask. I chose to use a clipping mask versus an alpha lock because the alpha lock is going to be destructive and make it more difficult to build our texture. So instead, use the magical power that is a clipping mask. This is definitely one of my favorite features on Procreate.

To apply a clipping mask, tap the new layer, and select "clipping mask."



Again, using the monoline Grain Filler brush from the Oh So Grainy Brush Pack.



Step 6: Select the Same Color as the Bottom Layer and then Make it Slightly Darker to Start Adding Depth with Scatter Grain Brush



Select the same color of your shadow, go a tad bit darker, and grab the scatter grain brush! Create even MORE depth using this textured brush on the bottom of each letter. Add more of this texture to the areas that you assume would have shadow spots. Some other brushes to try for this step as "Perfect Grain" or "Grungy" (on a very light opacity).



My favorite part of this brush is that it's SO easily buildable, which isn't always the case for brush packs.  



Step 7: Create New Layer on Top of the Third Layer, Apply Clipping Mask and Make Your Color Darker to Add Another Layer of Depth



Create another new layer on top of the third layer and apply a clipping mask. Because the underneath layer is also a clipping mask, it's going to clip to the layer that isn't a clipping mask - this is exactly what you want. Add even more texture to the bottom of the lettering, just like in the previous step, but less, to create a blend of the two! 



Depending on the color you choose for this layer, you may only have to do a small amount of shading, but again, this brush is VERY buildable so try not to get carried away!



Step 8: Play with the color!



This should be everyone's favorite part, time to RECOLOR. Select the magic wand tool for adjustments and select recolor. I love this tool because you can recolor in LIVE time, which has helped me many, many times. 



Step 9: Create a New Layer and Drag it Below the Bottom Layer to Adjust  Your Background Color if Desired



Personally, I don't love changing the actual background color so I just create a new layer and drag it to the bottom layer. Definitely try some colors you wouldn't usually pair together and maybe you just might find a match made in heaven! 



Step 10: Add Finishing Touches with Bobbly Brush



Create a new layer on top of this background layer and select a new brush. The bobbly brush is SO fun because it creates this random grit, instead of being full coverage. Try using either the bobbly brush, the speckly brush, OR the sparse brush. All of them are great options for some gritty texture! 

Pro tip: Change the color of your grit to add even MORE color




I hope you guys had fun using this tutorial today, I know I had fun making it! Whether you're a beginner or a certified pro, this step-by-step is really what you make it. You can do this tutorial with any word, any letter, or even an illustration. This is just a really rough way to add some texture to make your piece really POP. Hope it's helpful! I have SO many tutorials so make sure to check out all of my other procreate tutorials around the blog. See you next time!

If you missed the link for the game-changing brush pack I used in this tutorial, do yourself a favor and tap that button above!