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How to Draw Ribbon Lettering in Procreate
  • By Design Bundles
  • 18 Jun 2021
  • 13 Mins
  • Procreate Tutorials

How to Draw Ribbon Lettering in Procreate

In this tutorial, we are exploring a few ways of creating Ribbon Lettering in Procreate. You can sketch and draw the ribbon from scratch, you can first write your word using a thick, broad-edged brush and then add the shadows and highlights or you can create a brush that already adds them. Each technique has its pros and cons and can be modified, or maybe combined, to fit your needs.
In this tutorial, we are using some Procreate lettering brushes as well as some brushes that come included with Procreate.
First start by creating a new Screen Size Canvas. If your design is going to be more complex you may want to give your Canvas a higher Size and/or Resolution (like 4000 x 5000 px @300 dpi) this will let you have a bigger amount of layers to work with.
Create New Canvas


Create ribbon text using the pencil brush


Step 1: Sketch your design


In a base layer, start by roughly sketching your design. We used a pencil brush for this.
Sketch

Step 2 - Duplicate the layer


Duplicate the layer, and move it to the side to get the ribbon look. This will work as a base for your design.
Duplicate and move

Step 3 - Refine your sketch to add depth


Add another layer on top and create the composite look of the ribbon lettering. Remember that the downstrokes should be in the front and the upstrokes should be in the back.
Add shades
Don’t forget to add the folds. It is a good idea to color the back parts of the ribbon in black and leave the front ones in white to better visualize your letters.
When you are happy with your sketch, lower the opacity, and lock the layer so you can use it as the base for your artwork.
Lower opacity
Lock layer
Step 4 - Draw your words
Create a new layer, select a proper brush (we used a monoline brush), choose the base color for your ribbon, and start outlining the ribbon lettering.
New Layer
Select color
Select monoline brush
When you are done, fill in all the words in the base color regardless.
Outline letters
Fill with color
Fill with base color

Step 5 - Add depth, shadows, and highlights


Move the sketch layer to the top so you can see where the darker and/or lighter parts should be.
Create a new Clipping Mask layer. You can choose a darker color shade or just lower the lightness of the base color to about half and start filling the darker (back) portions of the ribbon lettering.
Clipping mask
Darker shade
Add darker shade
Create a separate Clipping Mask layer for Shadows. Now, you need to select the layer below (darker color), tap on it on the Layers menu open the menu and choose Select, then click on back the Clipping Mask layer so you are working on it.
Select layer
Use an even darker shade and a softer brush to add shadows to the folds and crossings.
Select color
Select brush
Add shading
Add shading
If there are some parts of the text that overlap a bit, use the Selection Tool to pick the portion that will be shaded (under). Then use the same dark color and brush to add the shadow.
Select overlapping
Add shading
Add some more toned-down shadows to the lower parts of the ribbon and some highlights to the top to make them pop out. 
Shading

Create ribbon text using a broad-edged brush


Step 1: Choose your brush


Choose the brush you want to work with. For his example, we used a thick brush from Design Bundles.
Select imported brush

Step 2: Color your artwork


Pick the color you want to use as the base and write your text trying to get an undulated look, just like some folded ribbon.
Write text
If you need to clean up your text use the Eraser.
Use eraser


Step 3: Add the shaded parts


Create a new Clipping Mask layer. Click on the small N to open the menu and choose Overlay from the menu.
New Clipping mask
Overaly
Now, use black and select a proper brush (we used a monoline brush) to outline and fill the parts of the lettering that should be dark. Since your layer has a blending mode the color should be a darker shade of the base one.
Add shading

Step 4: Add shadows


Create a separate Clipping Mask layer for Shadows. Now, you need to select the layer below (darker color), tap on it on the Layers menu open the menu and choose Select, then click on back the Clipping Mask layer so you are working on it.
New Clipping layer
Use a soft Airbrush brush and pick Black as your color and add shadows to the folds and crossings.
Select brush
Add shading

Step 5: Add highlights


Now, change the Selected layer to the original one (base color), then click on back the Clipping Mask layer so you are working on it. Change the color to White and add some Highlights to the letters. Go back and forth between selections and colors to add shadows and highlights to all the ribbon text and give it more depth.
Change selected layer

Remember to play around with the Size and Opacity of the brushes to achieve better results.

Step 6: Fix the overlaps and details


If there are some parts of the text that overlap a bit, use the Selection Tool to pick the portion that will be shaded (under). Then use the same dark color and brush to add the shadow.
Select overlapping
Add shading to overlapped areas
Duplicate the original layer (base color), move it down and right a bit, In the Effects menu, choose Gaussian Blur, pick Layer, and slide your finger on the right on the screen to create a Drop Shadow. Then, click on the small N to open the menu and choose Luminosity from the menu. 
Duplicate layer
Gaussian Blur
Luminosity
Final result


Create a ribbon brush to make ribbon text


Step 1: Create a new brush


You can also create your own Ribbon Brush inside Brush Studio. Just click the white + (Plus) button on the top right side of the Brush Library to create a New Brush and use the following settings or tweak them a bit and experiment.
Create New Brush
Stroke Path:
Stroke path
Taper:
Taper
Shape: To choose a Shape Source different from the default one, click on Edit, Import, Source Library (use the one default one provided by Procreate), scroll down, and choose Calligraphy 1
Shape 1
Shape 2
Shape 3
Shape 4
Grain:
Grain
Rendering:
Rendering
Wet Mix:
Wet Mix
Dynamics:
Dynamics
Apple Pencil:
Apple Pencil
Properties:
Properties

Step 2: Test your brush


Now, test your Brush. You can tweak the settings to your liking and maybe create different versions of it.
Test Brush

After using your Brush you can use some of the techniques used in the prior steps to add Depth, Shadows, and Highlights if you want.
If you liked this tutorial, make sure to check out our other tutorials such as how to make sublimation designs and how to create 3D typography in Procreate.

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