Positive & Negative Lettering with Procreate: Digital Lettering on the iPad | Alisiah Hug | Skillshare

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Positive & Negative Lettering with Procreate: Digital Lettering on the iPad

teacher avatar Alisiah Hug, Lefty Hand Letterer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Airbrush

    • 3. Airbrush & Fill Tool

    • 4. Airbrush & Freehand Selection

    • 5. Exclusion

    • 6. Mixing It Up

    • 7. Overlays

    • 8. Summary & Project

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About This Class

So this looks kinda cool, but what is positive and negative hand lettering? What does that mean? In this context, I am defining positive and negative lettering as:

  • A background with a couple solid colors in defined boundaries (i.e. a black circle on a white background)
  • Then hand lettering in which the color is determined by the background. For example, if my two colors are black and white, any lettering that overlaps black background will be white and any lettering that overlaps white background will be black.

After I learned the basics of digital hand lettering, I started looking for ways and new techniques to spice up my hand lettering work. I came across images positive and negative text, and knew I had to find a way to use this for digital hand lettering on Procreate. In this class,  I will be teaching 4 techniques that I found for creating a positive & negative look with your digital hand lettering using the app Procreate on the iPad. Familiarity with hand lettering on Procreate is key to making the content most accessible for you. So, if you have never worked with procreate before, I would highly suggest taking one of the many wonderful Procreate overview classes offered on Skillshare before joining me here :)


The project for this class will be:

  • To create your own positive & negative piece, which can be as simple as or as complex as you would like
  • To share which technique/method you used to create your piece


I cannot wait for you to join me in this class and to be able to see what you create!

Meet Your Teacher

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Alisiah Hug

Lefty Hand Letterer


Welcome! My name is Alisiah (uh-lissie-uh) and I am lefty hand letterer. I went to school for teaching, but along the way I fell in love with hand lettering and I am here on Skillshare to combine the two. My heart is to share impactful messages through hand lettering. Modern calligraphy is more than pretty writing, it is a platform from which to impact others. In my work I want there to be a message, some meaning behind the piece. For it to be a conversation starter, a reminder of encouragement, a tool to lift others up and empower them.

When I'm not teaching or hand lettering, I am probably dancing, anytime anywhere. I am addicted to learning, I love figuring out how things work or how to do new things. I will eat just about any ice cream that has cookie dough or cake b... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, My name is Alicia, and welcome to my class. Positive and negative lettering with procreate digital lettering on the iPad. I am a teacher and hand Lederer, and I am so excited to be able to combine these two passions into do some fun ways to spice up your hand lettering. My heart is to share impactful messages through hand lettering because it is more than just pretty writing. It is a platform from which to impact others, and the bull nous of positive and negative letter pieces will allow you to share your message in an eye catching way. So in this class we will be using the iPad, an apple pencil or stylus with the APP appropriate. And we will be learning four different techniques to create a positive and negative piece. And then I will say some ways that you can spice it up even more with color shapes and overlays. By the end of the class, you will be able to design your own positive and negative piece. Let's get started 2. Airbrush: Welcome to the first lesson. I am going to start with a screen sized canvas. Turn it. All right. Now, first I am going to go to my brushes to the air brushes. I'm going to select the hard airbrush. I'm gonna make sure that the size is pretty big, like 60 70%. I'm gonna choose my color up here. Now I'm going to select black and then I just tap and I have unicycle. Then I will go and create a new layer, which is super important. You want to do it on a separate layer. So I created my new layer here. Then I am going to turn off the transparency in the background so that when I do my lettering and white, I can see it. You could also choose to do just pick a different color for the background. For now, I'm gonna choose white. I'm gonna choose the lettering brush that I want and procreate does have a couple calligraphy brushes in there. You could also do a quick Google search to find some free free calligraphy brushes that you could use. Now I'm going to let her money word and as you can see right here the letter in our sex with it rather wide instead of a narrow. And you want the intersections to be more narrow because that'll be easier when we have to paint the outside later. So I'm going to delete that letter in try, make sure it's more. The intersection is more narrow, and now all the intersections are nice and narrow. Then I want to go back to my layers and on my lettering, Lier went to swipe with two fingers to turn on out flock. So that way, when I paint over the layer, it's not painting on the background and staying in side the letters. So you go to make brushes, choose the hard airbrush again, so I'm gonna make it a bit smaller. And I also want to turn the opacity down. So I attacked the end and I would slide this stone. That way I could see the intersections better. So first, I'm just gonna start with the outside that are easiest. And then I will go back to the border more carefully. All right, so I have the general outside done, then wanna go closer and carefully make that a little smaller carefully letter in side car , right where the lettering meets the circle. And I'm going to repeat that for all of the intersection. And when I do it, I like to pinch and zoom in, Turn it as I do it. It makes easier for me instead of staying out here. So I go like toe, pinch in and out and turn the circle. All right, now that I have done all of the outer lettering, I'm gonna go back to the layers going to bring the capacity back up to 100. And then I went to change the background color back to wait. Or if you had the background transparent, he would just turn it back up, cooking the little check box. And there you haven't our first positive and negative piece for the next technique. It'll be pretty similar to this, but instead we will be using the air brush tool with the fill tool 3. Airbrush & Fill Tool: This next method is similar to the first. But this time we will be using the air brush tool. And the fill tool to the beginning of this technique is similar to the first where we will make our ship through an airbrush going to that hard brush. I want to just do black again, make it big enough, a little bigger. All right? And then I want to create a new layer. We're going to do my lettering and white selecting you lettering brush. Then it will turn off the background so that it's transparent and I can see what I'm writing. All right, that looks good enough for now and similarly to before. I am going to turn on out flock for that for the lettering layer and a little bit differently than before. We are so gonna use the airbrush. But instead of starting with the outermost part, I'm actually going to start right on the edge. Change the capacity? No, I'm just gonna trace a life right to change it to black first. There we go, right on the edge. Then I will use my fill tool tap on the color. Derogatory wanted to go and it feels in the rest, and depending on the brush, there might be a little bit. You have to just go back over. But that doesn't take too long. That would go to the next one smart drag food brush over and just keep repeating it right now. If you have a letter that has a loop were the same part in our sex in two different places , then you will need to do a line on both of them before you do. The fill tool actually won't happen if you don't. If you just did one, then it's going all the way inside your circle as well. There's no barrier between. No, I did both sides and I'm gonna fill, and this time it stayed just on the outside. Now that have all the parts card and I want to go back to the opacity, bring it back up to 100% and I went to turn the back home back on more. Change it back to white. If you Chelsea what, every car suddenly transparent and now it is finished. In the next lesson, we'll be working with the airbrush again, but this time we'll be using the free hand selection tool as we create positive and negative piece 4. Airbrush & Freehand Selection: Welcome back in this next technique, we will be using the free hand selection tool with our airbrush. So again, I'm going to go to me your brush going to make it rather big. Then I'm going to create a new layer. You know, I'm going to turn the transparency on my background off. So it's hidden. Going to go to wait, select my lettering brush and get started. Great. No, I will go to the Slayer, turn off a lockout. In this time, I am going to go to the free hand selection to appear. That looks like a little bacon s. Fisher thought freehand selection down here. And then I will soon and find where I want to start. So, essentially, we will be using this tool to create a boundary between the outer lettering in the lettering inside the circle. So I'm going to make a line on the edge of where the lettering and the circle meat? No, back to my capacity. And make sure I like that so I can see it. No tap One side, I tap the other. And essentially, it creates a little border in line. If you so you mess up you can just undo it will only undo the part you just did. Now, since the frequent selection is on Lee on our lettering layer, it doesn't matter if it dips inside. The circle is long. That's it. Doesn't cross lettering on the inside next to keep going tap on months, I top on the other. Tough go inside the circle. It doesn't matter only on the outside groups. You want to get back to the beginning. I'm going to tap the great circle you know is now creating a selection for me where you see the stripes. You can't color on that. You can't draw on that. So what I'm gonna do, I'm going to invert it. So that way I can only add it. The lettering on the outside and not what is not inside. Then I want to go to my hairbrush, select the big one. Then I will go to black. And it doesn't matter where I brush because it will only go on the part I have selected so I can rush anywhere. It's only gonna be on the outside. What they have finished going over that that I can de selected by going back to the selection tool, and then I will go back to my layers, change the opacity back 200 in turn, my back room back on in there. It's my piece. So these 1st 3 techniques are pretty similar, so it's really a matter of preference as to which tools you find easier to work with. In the next lesson, I will be showing you the fourth technique. 5. Exclusion: so this fourth method will feel a bit easier and perhaps more accurate. But you have filled limitations that I won't explain later in this lesson. With this method, I'm going to start again my black circle go to airbrush. It's like the heart brush. Make sure it's on black. Then I will create my new layer like before. But this time I'm going to tap on and to get to the layer features. I'm going to go down here in select difference that I'm going to select exclusion. Now I'm gonna choose my lettering brush, and I'm going to make sure that I'm using a weight that I just start writing and it's automatically does look for me. And now you may be thinking, Why didn't I show you this right away? That seems way easier, but the limitation is that this really only works with black and white. The exclusion future is pulling the universe of the colors in the background, which works great for black and white. But when I try and do two different colors, hide these will show you That's my hairbrush. Select purple E on a credit new layer turn on exclusion se wanted to use this pink car. It isn't using the colors that I wanted. So if I wanted to do color pairs are than black and white, one of the 1st 3 methods would work best. So to review, we started with making our black circle. We created a new layer. We went. He tapped the letter. He went down to difference and selected exclusion. Then we made sure he chose white and just started writing. There you have it. 6. Mixing It Up: So in my examples, I did black and white and a circle. But you can really mix this up and you could use any shape that you want or a combination of shapes. You could also use different colors and in addition to lettering, you could also add things like flourishes or like designs, flowers, little drawings. And so I'm going to show you what it could look like to combine different elements. I'm gonna go to my color from the select It is bright yellow and I'm gonna may hurt brush But I wanted to draw a triangle now to make it more short by just tap Hold it tap And you can edit the shape so that it becomes a triangle And I'm gonna just it I'm what he used to feel tool to just feel that in quick Then I would choose the color I want to use for my lettering Use its bright red For now I'm gonna keep the background white so that I can see what I'm writing But later I will change that to the red color. So I want to make sure it changed to my lettering brush. And I'm also gonna make sure I create a new earlier I almost forgot. And that's super important. I'm gonna also add Okay, like this. I am going to use the free hand selection tool with the airbrush for this one. Um, when you have a shape that has nice straight edges, that technique works really well. So we're going to like to my color I'm going to picture off. Lock has turned on change the opacity go to my free hand selection. Starting the corner tap tap. Okay, again. It had the great circle, and I'm done going to invert that going to select They're reddish color. It was talking the yellow car. Go to my airbrush and just brush over. Yet he selected go back twilight years bring up capacity, and I'm gonna change the background color to the red. And there is my piece using various elements changing up the color, the shape, the details you want ad So you can really make this piece your own 7. Overlays: another way that you can really switch up your positive and negative piece is by using and overlay. So if you are wanting to give us an early make, sure the peace um you create is in black and white. So first I'm gonna do a quick demonstration about what an overly is If maybe you have not used that before and showing you why it works best with black as opposed to other colors. So I'm just gonna do example on a plane word first. No, to do it overly. Haven't texted in black. Go to my files at a photo, Have a measure of positioned over my lettering I want to click the end Going to go to lighten and tap plate And now my lettering has the texture of that image. But say I had done this in a different color. I'm just gonna brush over It was a different color. Quick. Now I turn that overlay back home. You can barely even see it Now if that's the look that you want, Great thing. Go for that. If you want just the image, then make sure you do your lettering in black. Great. So I'm gonna delete that. So if you wanted to do white and one other color, you could still use method of four using the exclusion future. While you would have to do it's creating a layer. Pick the color you want. Fill that layer, then go the layer Futures lighten, lighten, and it would be much quicker way to get white and one other color you can also like I showed you before, overlay a photo by going to the layer Features lighten, lighten, and you can get a pretty cool look using a photo. You can also add a new procreate layer. So I'm gonna fill mine with White. Does not white felt with weight, And then I am just going to go to my hairbrush. I want to just mix in a whole bunch of colors. I'm gonna go to the magic wand button the adjustments men you wanna go to gase Ambler. I want to just slide it so that the colors all right, I seem blurred them. We'll go back to my layers. Well, your future. Layton Layton. So that's one thing you could dio you could also Phil. For the layer. You could use some texture brushes I want to use, uh, don't do that cloud. Then again, going to kill years according to Leyton lighten. And now my piece has a cool cloud. Texture Look. So these are a few different ways that you could use and orally to enhance your positive and negative piece. 8. Summary & Project: thank you so much for joining me in this class. To recap, we learned four techniques for creating positive and negative lettering using the airbrush , the airbrush and the fill tool airbrush in the free hand selection and lastly, the exclusion layer future. We also learned how to mix up elements like shape and color and adding overlays to really make your peace pot. So now it's project time. The project for this class is simply to create a positive and negative piece using any one of the techniques. It can be as simple as you like, or you can really vary up the different elements. You'll upload your image and tell us which method you chose to create it. It cannot wait to see what you make. If you want to connect beyond this class, you can find me on instagram at Alysia Meggett hug and share your work with hashtag a hug skill share. I'd love to see what you're making and cheer you on and even feature the awesome work you're doing on my page. I hope you enjoyed our time together as much as I did. I hope to see you in another class