Hand Lettering in Procreate: Fundamentals to Finishing Touches | Gia Graham | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Hand Lettering in Procreate: Fundamentals to Finishing Touches

teacher avatar Gia Graham, Designer, Letterer, Illustrator

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

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Lettering Basics


    • 4.

      Technical Terms


    • 5.

      Procreate Basics


    • 6.

      Drawing Overview


    • 7.

      San Serif Letters


    • 8.

      Serif Letters


    • 9.

      Script Letters


    • 10.

      Illustrative Letters


    • 11.

      Tricky Letters


    • 12.

      Building Words


    • 13.

      Inking Your Sketch


    • 14.

      Adding Color


    • 15.

      Shadows & Detail


    • 16.



    • 17.



    • 18.

      Style Guide


    • 19.



    • 20.

      Final Thoughts


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

If you’re new to digital hand lettering and you’re not quite sure where to begin, then this class is for you! 

Hand lettering is a versatile skill to add to your creative arsenal. If you’re a graphic designer, it can add a unique, personal touch to your layouts; if you’re a crafter, it can be a great addition to handmade projects or if you’re an artist who typically works with traditional mediums, this is a great way to dip your toes into the digital world without completely losing the freedom of drawing by hand.

Although this class is perfect for beginners, even letterers with a bit more experience can learn a few new tricks and techniques. In this class you’ll learn:

  • The Fundamentals: Basic lettering terms to help you understand the language of lettering, and the basic features of Procreate so you can start feeling comfortable with the app.
  • Sketching: How to draw letterforms, starting from basic shapes and building from there.
  • Inking: How to achieve clean lines & curves, which brushes to use, and how to effectively use layers.
  • Styles: How to build a style library and how to choose the best styles for your piece.
  • Finishing Touches: How to enhance your lettering by adding details like texture, drop shadows, ligatures, and flourishes.

By the end of this class, you’ll be able to create a polished piece of hand lettering and have the tools you need to continue your lettering journey with confidence. 

I look forward to seeing you in class!

. . . . .

As you build your lettering skills, you may find my other Skillshare classes helpful as well:

How To Create A Perfect Color Palette For Digital Art
Learn the technique I use to create cohesive color palettes

Fun With Florals: Create Flowers with Dimension & Personality in Procreate
An easy step-by-step guide for drawing fun, imaginative florals

Level Up Your Layouts: How to Effectively Letter Long Quotes
Once you've learned the basics of lettering, this class will help you improve your lettering compositions

You'll also find many other wonderful lettering and illustration classes in Skillshare's Illustration category. For now, let's learn a little Hand Lettering in Procreate. 

Let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Gia Graham

Designer, Letterer, Illustrator

Top Teacher


Hello and welcome – I'm so glad you're here!

My name is Gia and I'm a designer, hand lettering artist and illustrator. I was born and raised in Barbados but I live and work out of my sunny home studio in the southern city of Atlanta, Georgia.

My creative experience ranges from corporate design and branding to art direction, photo styling and stationery design but my current focus is licensing my artwork to product based companies.

I've picked up several handy skills, tricks and techniques along my creative journey and I'm excited to share them with you!

. . .

I can't wait to see what you create so please be sure to post your class projects and if you share them on Instagram, be sure to tag me!

&... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: If you're brand new to digital hand lettering and you're not quite sure where to begin, then this is the class for you. Hi, my name is Gia Graham and I'm a lettering artist and illustrator based in Atlanta, originally from Barbados. I have 20 years experience in graphic design, but I started digital hand lettering in 2018 and it has completely changed my career and the way I work. I now spend my days working from my sunny home studio, drawing on my iPad. I license my artwork to companies which sell a variety of products from greeting cards to home goods, and I also sell hand-lettered and illustrated prints in my own Society6 shop. Hand lettering is a wonderful skill to add to your creative arsenal. If you're a graphic designer, it can add a unique personal touch to your layouts. If you're a crafter, It can be a great addition to your projects, or if you're an artist who typically works with traditional mediums, this is a great way to dip your toes into the digital world without completely losing the freedom of drawing by hand. This class is perfect for beginners, but even letterers with a little more experience can learn a few new tricks and techniques. In this class, you'll learn the fundamentals, starting with basic lettering terms to help you understand the language of lettering, and the basic features of procreate so you can start feeling comfortable with the app. We'll then move on to sketching, and I'll show you how to draw a letter form starting from basic shapes and building from there. I will walk you through how to achieve clean lines and curves when inking your lettering and we'll talk about how to find inspiration and choose the best dials for your piece. Lastly, we'll move on to the finishing touches and I'll show you how to enhance your lettering by adding details like drop shadows, ligatures, and flourishes. By the end of this class, you'll be able to create a polished piece of hand lettering and have the tools you need to continue your lettering journey with confidence. I look forward to seeing you in class. 2. Class Project: The project for this class will be to letter someone's name. This can be your name, the name of a loved one, or even a pet. Rather than watching the entire class then jumping right into creating a piece of lettering, we're going to approach the project in stages, so you can build on the techniques you'll be learning in each lesson. You only need to share your final project in the gallery. However, I do encourage you to share each phase of the project for feedback along the way. Phase 1 will be to sketch just the initials of the name you'll be lettering. For Phase 2, sketch the full name. Phase 3 will be to ink your sketch, and Phase 4 of the project will be to complete the lettering by adding the color of your choice and incorporating no more than two of the following techniques, a drop shadow or drop lane, inline detail, one flourish, or one ligature. Your final hand lettered piece can serve as a personal logo, or you can use it as the wallpaper on your phone, or to create a personalized card for a friend. To share your project, scroll down below the class video and go to the projects and resources tab. Then click on the class project button. Name your project and upload as many images as you would like by clicking the image icon here where it says "Add More Content". You can also type notes or ask questions within the project area. Don't forget to upload a cover image because that's what will appear in the gallery view. I've created a PDF guide for this class, which you can click to download in the resources section. Also, if you have any questions for me, you can type them here in the discussion area. I'm really looking forward to seeing your creations in the project gallery. Up next, we're going to cover the fundamentals of lettering. Let's get started. 3. Lettering Basics: I've divided the content of this class into four parts to help us track our progress. Here in part 1, we will cover the fundamentals. Let's get started with the few lettering basics. There is often confusion about the distinction between lettering, calligraphy and typography. Let's start by clearing that up. Hand lettering is the art of drawing letters rather than writing them, so each letter is essentially an illustration and each word or phrase is a unique composition of those hand-drawn letters. Calligraphy is the art of writing letters using specific tools such as brushes, brush pens and deep pens. Rather than sketching or drawing each letter, calligraphers like my friend Moya of MM Ink shown here use various combinations of single strokes to create their letter forms. Typography is the way that letters and words are arranged in print and design. It's the art of carefully arranged text. While lettering and calligraphy are created by hand, typography uses fonts as you can see in these examples. We most commonly see typography at play in graphic design, advertising and branding. I just mentioned fonts which brings me to another point of confusion I often see which is distinguishing the difference between fonts and lettering styles. The technical definition of a font is a set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size. We all use fonts like these in our everyday lives in one way or another. On the other hand, a lettering style is the creative way you choose to interpret the letter forms you're drawing. These are a few examples of lettering styles I've drawn in the past. I can see why this would cause confusion because they're both representations of letter forms. But the key thing to remember is this, you type fonts on your computer whereas you draw lettering styles by hand. Now, let's talk more about those styles. There are four main lettering styles you'll see being used most often. First up, the serif style. Now, a serif is the small extra stroke found at the end of main vertical and horizontal strokes of some letters. In French, the word sans means without. A sans serif is a letter formed without serifs, so it doesn't have those little extra strokes. Script is a lettering style that essentially mimics cursive handwriting and the letter forms are all connected to each other. Illustrative lettering is the most fun and whimsical category. This is where you add your imagination and creativity to basic letter forms. Now, a word of caution about the style, it's really tempting for beginners to want to jump right into creating fun expressive styles like this and I myself was guilty of this when I first started out. But it's really important to first get a handle on how to build solid letter forms. Otherwise it's like an aspiring pastry chef skipping ahead to creating fancy icing techniques before they've learned to properly bake a cake. It's important to learn to bake before you decorate. First, begin with the ingredients. These are the fundamentals which in this case means learning lettering basics. Then you need to put those ingredients to use and start baking. That means using your knowledge to draw solid letter forms. Once you've accomplished that, then you can add the finishing touches and get creative with all the fancy bells and whistles. So to recap, serif, sans serif, script and illustrative are the four most commonly used styles. But there are many subcategories and variations within each of those four styles. Now that we have all the correct definitions, next we're going to get into a little more detail with a few technical terms you'll need to know. I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Technical Terms: Let's learn a few technical terms, so you can start speaking the language of lettering like a pro. First, let's talk about guidelines. It's important to use guides because they help ensure that your lettering is tidy and consistent. So let's take a look at how they work. The baseline is the line on which the letters sit. This is the X height. It indicates the height of the lowercase letters. Now if you look closely, you'll notice that the rounded letters like the d here extend slightly above and below the guidelines. Now this is an important tip. This is called overshoot. It's an optical adjustment we make because if the rounded letters remained within the guides, visually, they will seem too small. So always remember to add overshoot to rounded letters. The cap height indicates the height of the uppercase letters. The slope indicates the angle at which the lettering leans. This is very useful when lettering script styles. The ascender line indicates the height of the ascender, which is a vertical stroke in a letter that extends upwards, like the d in this example. The descender line indicates how far down the descender should go. A descender is a vertical stroke in a letter that extends downward, like the y in this example. We just spoke about ascenders and descenders. Those are just two of the many body parts letter forms have. Let's take a look at more lettering anatomy. The arm is straight or curved part of a letter that extends outwards or upwards. It's attached at one end and free at the other. Similarly, a leg is a part of a letter that extends downwards. It's also attached at one end and free at the other. The shoulder is a part of a letter that curves downwards and to the right. Letters like m and n also have a shoulder. The main curved part of the letter S is called the spine. A tail is a curved or diagonal descending stroke as seen in the letter Q. Lowercase g, p, j, and q also have a tail. The crossbar, or sometimes just called a bar, is the horizontal stroke in the letter H. It's also seen in the uppercase A and lowercase e. The apex is the point at the top of the letter where two strokes meet. The end of the stroke in a letter that does not have a serif is called the terminal. The bowl is the fully closed, rounded part of a letter. Several letters in the alphabet have a bowl. Here are a couple more examples. The counter is the enclosed space in a letter, as seen in this lowercase a. Letters like b, o, and d also have a counter, and you'll notice that counters are created by bowls. So we've gone over some of the most commonly used anatomical terms for letter forms, but there are many more. I have a PDF for you in the resources section which includes a link to this website, typedecon.com, where there's a type glossary which lists all the technical terms for letter form anatomy. Here you can scroll through the glossary, or if there's a term you hear but you're not quite sure what it means, you can do a search. In their shop, there's a listing for a free digital download if you'd like to save or print the full glossary for easy reference. Now, let's move on to talking about strokes. When we refer to a stroke, we're usually talking about the main vertical or diagonal line in a letter. You might have heard the terms upstroke and downstroke before. As the name suggests, an upstroke is a stroke that moves upward and a downstroke is a stroke that moves downward. Now you might be wondering, how do I know when it's supposed to be an upstroke versus a downstroke? Just think about how you would write a basic letter in your own handwriting. For example, when you're writing the letter A, you'd start at the bottom and you'd go up, and then you'd come down on the other side. So that was an upstroke and that was a downstroke. For the letter N, you usually would go up, down, up. Let's do a K. For letter K, you would start from the top and work your way down, that's a downstroke, up and then down. So it's usually quite intuitive. But don't worry, we'll go into this in more detail when we start sketching in part 2 of the class. For now, the important thing to remember is that upstrokes are thin and downstrokes are thick. So thin up, I'd like to think of the phrase chin up to help me remember, and thick down. Now, these thicks and thins brings us to contrast. When a letter like this A has a thin stroke and a thick stroke, it's called contrast. A letter form with very thin upstrokes and very thick downstrokes has high contrast. When there's not that much difference between the thicks and thins, it's called low contrast. Okay, so let's recap. In this lesson, we covered quite a few technical terms you'll need to know, including guides, letterform anatomy, strokes, and contrast. Up next, we'll go over a few Procreate basics to get familiar with the app. See you in the next lesson. 5. Procreate Basics: Let's take a look at a few helpful Procreate features. Now, I'm not going to do a deep dive into every feature of the app, but I do want to touch on a few things that will help in your lettering journey. If this is your first time using Procreate and you'd like a more in-depth overview, I've included links to a couple of helpful videos which you can find in the resources section. Let's get started. I am using the most current version of the app, which at the time of this recording is Procreate 5. I'm often asked what canvas size I use. Let's start with that. Click on the plus to open a new canvas, and then click on the plus again to create a custom size. Now, if I'm just creating art for personal use or I'm just going to post it on Instagram or any other digital platform, I typically use a 2,000 by 2,000 pixel canvas for square posts, or if I'm going to do a vertical post on Instagram, I will use a 1,600 by 2,000 pixel canvas, which is Instagram's 4-5 ratio. Now, whatever size I'm using, I'm going to stick with 300 DPI. These sizes give me a decent amount of flexibility to still be able to print the art if I need to. For example, at 2,000 pixels square, I can print the art as large as 12 by 12 inches without losing resolution. One thing to note, if you're creating art for a client or if you want to sell prints in a shop like Society6, files will usually need to be larger, so be sure to confirm those size requirements before you get started. If you look here under "Maximum Layers", this is the number of layers I have available at this size. One thing to keep in mind is that as the size of your canvas goes up, the number of layers you have available to work with will go down. For example, if I change this to 5,000 by 5,000 pixels, my layers available have gone from 130 down to just 17. Another thing to note is that the number of layers you have will all depend on which iPad you're using. The more storage you have on your iPad, the more layers you'll have available. Now, let's look at a couple of frequently used tools. Now that we're in canvas view, this wrench icon is where you'll find the "Actions" menu, and "Video" is where you'll find your time-lapse options. We all love watching time-lapse videos of artwork being created and Procreate makes it really easy to do this. Just make sure time-lapse recording is turned on. Once you turn it on, it should stay on as the default whenever you create a new canvas. I brought some art in so that we can move on to the "Arrow" menu, which is the transform tool. As you can see, we have four options to choose from. "Free-form" will let you change the size of the art freely, and you can always hit reset to revert back to the original. "Uniform" will allow you to change the size but will keep the object's shape intact. "Distort" and "Warp" will let you do all kinds of wacky things to the shape. For lettering, I recommend keeping this option on "Uniform". That way, you don't accidentally skew the shape of your letters when you're moving them around. For more precision, you can also tap on "Magnetics" which will restrict your movement to stay on the horizontal, vertical axis, or on a diagonal in 15-degree increments. Now let's take a look at the brushes. If you've used the app before, you'll know that it comes with several pre-installed brushes under different categories like sketching, inking, drawing, painting, and so on. For lettering, you're going to need at least one or two brushes for sketching and at least one brush for inking. Let's look at the sketching brushes first. There are quite a few different pencils to choose from here. My personal favorite is the HB pencil. I like it because it can go from light to dark and the point is fine enough that you can work on small details. If I were to reduce the brush size, you can get even finer lines. Now the 6B pencil is also another good option. If you want to mimic the look of a pencil with a softer lead, the 6B pencil will give our rougher mark that can go quite dark. For sketching letters, I also recommend having a wide brush on hand. I often use the flat brush, which can be found in the painting section because you can get some really nice wide strokes with this brush. Now if you scroll down to the inking section, there are also several options to choose from. Here, you'll want to pay attention to whether or not the brush has a taper. You see how this sample stroke goes from thick to thin? This tells you that this brush responds to pressure. Let's actually use this syrup brush as an example. When you draw it really lightly, it appears quite thin, but as you apply pressure, the stroke thickens. Depending on what you're doing, this can either be really handy or really difficult to control. For inking letters, I recommend using a brush that has very little taper. I personally like using the technical pen. It has a little bit of taper, but not much. The monoline brush found here under calligraphy is also a good option because it has no taper at all. Once you've done some testing and you've decided which brushes you like best, I suggest grouping them into one set so you don't have to do lots of scrolling when you decide you want to switch to a different brush. As you can see here, I have a set right at the top called faves, and this is where I keep my most used brushes. To create a set, scroll to the top of the brush library till you see the plus sign, tap the plus to create a new set. Give it a name. As you can see, the set is empty. To add a brush to your new set, scroll to the brush that you want. I'm going to go to sketching, I'm going to choose this HB pencil, swipe left, and hit "Duplicate". It will add a one to the name to show that it's a copy. What you're going to do is you're going to tap and hold, and start dragging the brush. You'll see a little plus sign added there. Then with your other hand, scroll to your new set that you just created, and just release and it will drop your duplicate brush into the set. Just complete that process until you've filled your new set with all the brushes that you'll be using most often. It's super important that you duplicate the brush that you want to use first, so you're not messing around with the original. To rename, delete or duplicate a set, just tap on it once to highlight it, tap again, and you'll see all the options available. All the brushes we've talked about so far come free with Procreate, but I'm sure they'll come a time when you'll want to buy custom brushes. Let me quickly show you how to import a custom brush. First, purchase and download the brush from whichever source you'd like. In the resources section, I will include links to the sources I often use. For this demo, I will be downloading this sketch and lettering set from Cynlop ink. Once downloaded, I just double-click each file to unzip. Then I'll drag all the files to my Dropbox folder where I keep all my brushes organized. Once the files are downloaded, unzipped, and saved to Dropbox, then I go to the iPad. I open up my Dropbox app and navigate to where I've saved the files. Now I tap on the brush that I want to import. It won't show a preview, but that's okay. Then you go to these three dots in the top right corner and tap that, and then you want to tap "Export". Then you go here and you scroll through until you find the Procreate app, and tap that to open it up in Procreate. It automatically imports and drops it into your brush library. There you have it. Your new imported brush is ready for use. Now let's talk about guides. When we start sketching, we'll be drawing our baseline x-height and cap-height guides. Procreate's built-in guides are very helpful as well. You can turn on your guides by going to the "Actions" menu and then here under "Canvas", tap the "Toggle Switch" next to "Drawing Guide", to turn the guides on, then tap "Edit Drawing Guide". At the top, you can use this slider to change the color of your guides and along the bottom, you have the option to choose 2D grid, isometric, perspective, and symmetry. For this class, we're just going to use the 2D grid. Below, you can use the slider to change the size of the grid, you can change the thickness, I usually leave this alone, and you can change the opacity. I like to keep mine in the 40-50 percent range because the guides are visible but they're not too distracting. If you're going to be lettering at script style and you want to set the slope, tap on this little green dot and hold and then just move the guides to adjust the angle. If you need to undo this change, just tap the green dot again and tap "Reset". Another question I often get is, how do you make lines and shapes look smooth in Procreate? Quick shape is the secret. Here's how it works. Draw a line freehand, keep your pencil on the canvas and hold, and it will automatically snap to a perfectly straight line. I'll show you that again, hold, snap. This works with curved lines as well. Draw your curve, keep your pencil down, hold, and it snaps. Now if you keep your pencil on the canvas once it snaps, you can move it around and adjusts the shape of the curve. This works with the lines as well. Draw, hold, snap, keep your pencil down and you can adjust the angle and the length of the line. Now this works with other basic shapes as well. You draw an imperfect circle, just hold, wait for the snap. Now when you release, you'll see that an option appears here that says "Edit Shape". If we tap that, we have the option to keep it as an ellipse or turn it into a perfect circle. While these blue dots are highlighted, you can change the size of the circle by dragging it around. Let's do a quick recap. In this lesson, we reviewed many of the tools you'll be using throughout the class, including setting up your canvas size, a few helpful tools, which brushes you'll need, importing custom brushes, how to use canvas guides and the quick shape feature. There's one last bonus tip I want to share. I highly recommend using a matte screen protector on your iPad if you aren't using one already. The tiny bit of friction and provides really makes the drawing experience feel more natural, and you hardly ever have to wipe your screen to remove fingerprints. I've tried a few and the one I like most is by Paperlike. Up next, we're going to move on to Part 2 of the class, starting with a drawing overview. See you in the next lesson. 6. Drawing Overview: You've made it to part 2 of the class. Now that we've covered the fundamentals, we're going to move on to sketching. I know that as a beginner it can be daunting to look at someone else's beautiful lettering and not know where to begin to create your own. But don't be discouraged. There's a lot that happens between the initial sketch and the final piece. Once you break it down step-by-step, you'll see that it's not that daunting after all. Here's how we're going to approach the drawing process. We will first start with very basic strokes to create a skeleton sketch. Then, we will use our layers like tracing paper to build up our letter forms in the desired style. In an earlier lesson, I talked about baking the cake before you decorate, or you can think of the skeleton sketch as your simple, very basic cake, then each new layer you work on is like adding a new layer of icing. The first layer or two will be a little rough, but it smooths out with each new layer. When our sketch is looking the way we want it, then we will move on to basic inking in black. The last step will be to add color and finishing touches like drop shadow, in-lane details, and so on. I should note that we won't be using guided worksheets or templates in this class. Instead, we'll focus on developing the skill of building letter forms from scratch. This way, you'll get comfortable with the principles of letter building from the very start. Worksheets can be a great tool for practicing, but I do think it can become a little bit of a crutch if it's your primary way of learning. I think of this like training wheels on a bike. I'll tell you a little story. When my eight-year old was four, we didn't get him a tricycle or a bike with training wheels. Instead, we bought him a strider bike. It's one of those little two-wheeled bikes with no pedals. From the very beginning, he started to learn the technique of balancing on two wheels without any extra support. He became so comfortable and so confident in his technique, that when we eventually did buy him a big kid bike, he learned how to ride in less than 10 minutes, and he never needed training wheels. Worksheets and templates might give you the result of beautiful lettering, but much like riding a bike with training wheels, you may not be fully internalizing the technique required to achieve that result on your own without any support. So we're going to be jumping in without any training wheels. I actually think it will help you achieve your lettering goals a little bit faster. In the next lesson, we're going to draw a few San Serif letters. 7. San Serif Letters: Let's start drawing. First, we're going to draw a few san serif letters. For the sake of simplicity, we're just going to be drawing uppercase letter forms. Let's start with the letter A. Using the technical pen, I've drawn my baseline and cap height in pink on a separate layer, which I've named guides to keep things organized. I switch to the HB pencil and I'm going to start with a very basic skeleton. For the letter A, the first stroke will be an upstroke and then a downstroke. By the way, I think it's important to get into the habit of drawing your letters in the right direction, so that you build up the muscle memory and eventually you won't even have to think about whether or not something needs to be an upstroke or a downstroke. I've provided a cheat sheet in the PDF guide to make it easier for you. Let's go ahead and build out this letter. To do that, we're going to use layers like tracing paper to add thickness and structure one layer at a time. Tap on the Layer to highlight it, then tap on the end, and drag the slider to the left to reduce the opacity. Tap the plus sign to open a new layer above. The goal here is to add thickness to the A, so I'm using the skeleton as a guide, and I'm going to draw my new lines just outside of the skeleton strokes. The second layer will be fairly rough. Since I'm just drawing a very basic san serif, I will have a flat apex, so I'm only taking my stroke to the cap height line. If I were drawing an A with a pointed apex, I would need to go slightly above the cap height line to create overshoot. Now, when I'm drawing the downstroke, I'm going to make sure it crosses the upstroke and I will use the width of the upstroke as my guide. This is a low contrast letter form, so the upstroke and downstroke will be the same width. Here's a tip for the crossbar, you want to make sure the crossbar is slightly thinner than the other strokes. It's another one of those optical illusions. If it were as wide as the other strokes, the crossbar would visually appear to be too thick. Making the crossbar thinner brings more balance to the letter form. Now I'm going to reduce the opacity, add another layer, and clean the sketch up a bit. Remember to make clean lines; draw the line, hold, and let it snap to straight. Continue this process until you've cleaned up all your strokes on this sketch layer. Finally, you can use the eraser tool to remove the overlapping lines, then you can turn off the other sketch layers, and your first sketch is complete. Now, let's move on to the letter B. We're still drawing a simple san serif, but this time I'm going to show you a little shortcut. Rather than drawing the skeleton with the HB pencil, I'm going to use the flat brush. The vertical stroke of the B will be a downstroke, then each bowl will start on the horizontal then curve downwards. Remember, this is just the skeleton, so it can be quite rough and you can draw over it as many times as you need to get the shape right. Using the flat brush like this is an easy way to quickly set the width of your letters. Once you have the basic shape, reduce the opacity, add a new layer above. Now you can switch back to the HB pencil and trace over the skeleton with a little more precision on the new layer. Remember how we crossed over the first stroke when we were drawing the A? You can do the same here in the center where the two bowls meet. Don't be afraid to turn their Canvas in whatever direction you need to make it easier for you to draw the shapes. Once you're happy with the shape, reduce the opacity, create a new layer, and clean it up. You'll notice that sometimes I draw a line and then tap the screen, this is another trick to help with precision. We already know that holding your pencil down will make a line snap to straight, but then tapping the screen will adjust that straight line to make it perfectly vertical. It may take a few tries to get the curves right, and that's okay, you can tackle a curve one section at a time and also use your eraser tool to adjust the shape. Erase any overlapping areas and you're done. Let's tackle one more san serif sketch together before you move on to practicing on your own. Using a wide brush is particularly useful when drawing the letter C because it can be a challenge to maintain consistent thickness when drawing a curved shape. Adjust the size of the brush if you need to and work on getting a nice curve. In a san serif C like this, the terminal is usually at an angle. So use your eraser tool to finish off the ends. Now when you get more comfortable with the process, you can move straight to inking from here because this counts as a pretty complete sketch. But for the sake of practice, we'll create a new layer and clean it up in pencil. Before we move on, I'm going to give you a little homework. Download the PDF guide from the resources section and use it to draw letters L, P, and Q in a simple san serif style using the techniques we just covered. Up next, we're going to draw a few serif letter forms. I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. Serif Letters: Before we dive into drawing a serif letter, let's quickly talk a bit more about serifs. Serifs, they can be stylized in several different ways. The slab serif is a thick, bold serif with blocky angular features. A bracketed serif has a curved connection, so it's not as angular as the slab serifs. A glyphic serif has a tapered triangular shape. These are sometimes considered to be semi-serifs since the shape can be quite subtle. A bifurcated serif is one where the serif is split in two and it's usually quite curved. This one can be a little tricky to draw. These are the basics but there are many different ways you can get creative and stylize your serifs once you get the technique mastered. Let's start with the three most commonly seen; the slab serif, the bracketed serifs, and the glyphic serif. Let's draw the slab serif first, since it's the simplest. The D, we'll start with a downstroke. Since we'll be adding a slab serif to this, start the bowl a little ways out from the stem. A slab serif has a very simple square shape, so it's easily created by simply extending the stroke. Now, reduce the opacity on this layer, create a new layer, and add thickness, just like we've done before. For the bowl, rather than adding thickness on either side of your skeleton, start from the edge and work your way in to add thickness. This way, the letter won't be extended to far above and below the guidelines. Since I'm drawing this free hand rather than using the wide brush, I'm going to add one more layer so I can even out the shape a bit more. Now, just clean up both overlapping lines, turn off the other sketch layers, and you've drawn your first slab serif. For the letter E, we're going to draw a bracketed serif. Start with a simple skeleton. One important thing to note about the letter E is that the center arm is slightly shorter than the top and bottom arms. Now, let's add a weight to the skeleton. This time, I'm going to draw this letter with contrast. So the stem will be slightly thicker and the arms will be slightly thinner. To draw this serif, add a little line at the end of your strokes. Then, you'll add a curve or a bracket to connect the serif to the strokes. So the shape of this serif will be flat on three sides and curved where it attaches. Continue adding serifs to the rest of the letter. An easy trick to make sure the serifs extend evenly is to draw a guideline from the edge of your top serif down to where the bottoms serif will go. Then, just erase the guide after you've drawn your serifs. Finish adding serifs to the rest of the letter. I'm going to go ahead and fill this in so that we have a better sense of the overall shape. There you have it, our bracketed serif is complete. Now, let's try a glyphic serif for the letter F. I'm going to go back to the wide brush for this one. The first stroke will be a downstroke and remember to reduce the brush size slightly for the horizontal arms. Just like with the E, the second arm of the F is shorter than the first. That quick and easy skeleton is done, so reduce the opacity of this layer, switch to the HB pencil, and add a new layer to make a clean sketch. The glyphic serifs are going to look like this. They will be flat on one side and curved to a sharp point on the other. So first, draw the flat side. Then, connect with the curve. Remember, these serifs are fairly small so you don't have to extend your line too far out. Once all the serifs are added, go ahead and erase the overlapping lines. There's our F with glyphic serifs. Now, here's your homework. Use the PDF guide for reference and draw the letters R, T, and U and use the serifs style of your choice. Up next, we're going to tackle a few script letterforms. I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. Script Letters: Now, it's time to draw a few script letters. As I mentioned earlier in the class, script lettering essentially mimics cursive handwriting. This time, we're going to draw both uppercase and lowercase letters. Let's tackle the letters G, H, and I. Remember, script letters are slanted. Before getting started, you'll want to set a slope on the Canvas guides. You'll go to the Actions menu, make sure you're in the Canvas section, tap Drawing Guide, then tap Edit Drawing Guide, then you'll tap and hold the green dot to drag the Guides to the desired angle. Before, I had just been using the Baseline and Cap Height guide since I was just drawing uppercase letters, but this time, you'll notice that I've also included the X-Height guide for the lowercase letters. Using the angled grid as a guide, start lightly sketching your letterforms. You can stylize script letters in many different ways. This G will have a descender that goes down below the Baseline. The H and I will be lowercase. The H starts with a downstroke, then the shoulder of the H will go up to the X-Height line, then curve down to the Baseline. Then, you'll need to curve back upwards from the baseline so that you create a nice smooth transition into the letter I. Now, reduce the Opacity, add a new Layer, and then add thickness. This is where we really need to pay attention to the upstrokes and downstrokes, so we add thickness in the appropriate areas. This side of the G was a downstroke, so I'll first add thickness here. Then I will make it thinner where the stroke curves upwards. Here, the loop curves downward, so I'll need to add thickness here as well. The descender was a downstroke, so I'll thicken that up, and it will thin out as it curves upwards. I'm just going to stylize it a bit at the terminal. This area needs a bit more contrast from thick to thin, so I'll use my Eraser tool to make it thinner. Now, do the same for the H and the I. The downstroke of the H will be thick, and where the shoulder attaches to the stem will be thin, but the downstroke here needs to be thick. Then you'll want to thin it out again as the stroke moves upwards. Remember to pay attention to the connections between the lowercase letters. You want that connection to be as smooth as possible so the letters flow into each other nicely. In the Resources section, I will include a link to a great Skillshare class by Ian Barnard, which gives really helpful tips on how to make smooth connections in your script to lettering. The stem of the I will be thick, and again, it will thin out where it curves upwards. This sketch is still pretty rough, so I'm going to create one more layer and clean it up. During clean up, I try to use longer, smoother pencil strokes rather than the short sketchy strokes I used in the initial sketches. Sometimes that means rotating the canvas to get the right angle. Just like I did in this Serif lesson, I sometimes find it helpful to fill in the letterforms to get a better sense of the solid shapes and see if any adjustments need to be made. Now, I'll turn off my guides and have a look. I can immediately see that there is more space here than there is here. So I'm going to use the Transform tool, select the H and the I, then move them over to the right, to create more space between the G and the H. When you're working on this script lettering, there are few things you'll want to check. Make sure the letters are evenly spaced, make sure the downstrokes are thick, and make sure the upstrokes are thin. Now for your homework, use the PDF guide for reference and draw the letters V, I and X in a similar script style. The V should be uppercase and the I and X should be lowercase and connected to each other. Up next, we're going to walk through a few tips on creating illustrative letterforms. I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Illustrative Letters: Now it's time to have a little fun. There's a wide range of things you can do with illustrative lettering and it's an opportunity to let loose and really get creative. You can take a whimsical approach as seen in these examples. Here, Brooke Holland and Caren Kreger both used fun, playful shapes to create their letter forms. You could also incorporate actual illustrations into the lettering. On the left, Alix Northrup used the shapes and patterns from the surrounding illustration to bring that jungle feeling into her lettering, and on the right, Hazel used illustrations representing each season to build the numbers in this piece. Another option is to make your letter forms look like other objects. Belinda Kou is really good at this, as you can see with this B she created to look like a couple bubble tea and this end made of noodles. In many ways it seems like there are no rules to this type of lettering, but that's actually not true. This is a perfect example of that Pablo Picasso quote that says, you must learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. Once you understand how to build letter forms correctly and you feel comfortable with those basic rules, then you can play around and get creative. Let's work on two simple illustrated letters together. First, let's try a letter that's created by an illustration. I will show you how to create this floral J. Since the illustration is going to take the shape of a letter form, you'll first want to start with the basic skeleton of that letter. I'm going to use the flat brush for this because I want the shape to be wide enough to fit the illustration. Now, that I've drawn that skeleton, I'll reduce the opacity and create a new layer. Now, just loosely begin to place the leaves and flowers inside the shape of the J, and let the shape guide what elements you fit into the piece. For example, here where the J curves is a good place to add a curved stem or a leaf. Keep in mind that the final piece will not have any outlines. The illustration itself will be doing all the work. So you want to make sure you fill the area in such a way that it will create a recognizable shape when you're done. As you go along, test your shape by hiding the skeleton layer underneath to see if there are any open areas that need to be filled or if any shapes need to be adjusted. As always, once your loose sketch looks the way you want it, create a new layer above and clean it up. By the way, if you'd like to learn how to draw these stylized florals, be sure to take my fun with florals class where I walk you through the process step by step. Next, we're going to tackle an object-based letter form and create this knitted K. When you're turning an object into a letter form, the first thing you need to do is think through your concept. For an individual letter like this, the most straight forward approach would be to choose an object that begins with the same letter. Then think about what details in the object can mimic the anatomy of the letter form. Start with a very basic skeleton, so you have a framework to build on. Then in a new layer, start playing around with the placement. I could turn each of these strokes into knitting needles, but that doesn't quite make sense since you typically only use two needles at once. Also, I need context clues to make it clear that they are knitting needles. So I'm going to make the stem look like a strip of knitted fabric and the needles will make the arm and leg of the K. I'm also going to add a ball of yarn to really make it obvious. So now I'll reduce the opacity on this loose sketch, turn off my skeleton layer, and clean it up. Now it's your turn. For your homework, draw the letters Y and Z in any illustrative style. Have fun and do a little experimenting. Also, be sure to share with us in the project gallery. Up next, we're going to take a look at a few letters that can be a bit challenging to draw. I'll see you in the next lesson. 11. Tricky Letters: Now it's time to tackle a few tricky letters, specifically the letters M, N, O, W and S. These aren't necessarily difficult to draw but they're often drawn incorrectly. Let's learn a few rules and a few tricks, so you can avoid those common mistakes. First up is the letter M. The biggest issue most people have with the letter M is not knowing where the thick and thin strokes should be. I've seen them misplaced here or even here. I've also seen these slanted Ms. One could argue that this is a stylized version of the letter form but when beginners do it, it's usually an unintentional mistake. Here are the guidelines to remember when drawing the letter M. Start with a straight upstroke, the first diagonal line will be a downstroke, the second diagonal line will be an upstroke, and then you'll end with a straight downstroke, so that means that this line and this line will be thicker. If you recall, an apex is when two strokes meet to create a point at the top of a letter. Well, when two strokes meet to create a point towards the bottom of a letter, it's called the vertex. With the letter M, the vertex can either go all the way down to the baseline or it can be higher, landing closer to the x-height line. This is just a stylistic preference. To draw the M, you'll start with the skeleton as usual, up, down, up, down. Then you'll want to add thickness here on the first downstroke. Then add thickness here on the second downstroke as well. Try to keep the thickness of your strokes as consistent as possible. I'm going to finish this off with some serifs. Now moving on to the letter N, this also causes similar problems in terms of the misplaced upstrokes and downstrokes but that's an easy fix. The guidelines for the letter N are, start with the straight upstroke, the diagonal line is a downstroke and then you'll end with a straight upstroke. In a nutshell, the diagonal line in the letter N should always be thickest. Draw your skeleton like this, up, down, up, then add thickness to the diagonal. Now for the letter W. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an upside down M. Unlike the M, all strokes in the W are meant to be angled, which by the way, makes it the widest letter in the alphabet. Here are your guidelines for drawing the W. Start with an angle to downstroke, then a diagonal upstroke, a diagonal downstroke, and finally one last diagonal upstroke, so that means that this line and this line will be thicker. The apex can either go all the way up to the cap height line or it can be shorter, landing closer to the x-height line. Draw your skeleton down, up, down, up, then add thickness to the appropriate areas. Now let's move on to the letter O, which looks very simple but can actually be quite tricky to draw. A few things to remember about the letter O are, although there are no straight lines, the upstroke and downstroke rules still apply. When drawing the O, you'll start at the top in a horizontal direction, then draw a curved downstroke on the left side, horizontal for a short distance along the bottom, then finish with a curved upstroke on the right side. Draw your skeleton, slightly horizontal, curve down, horizontal again, curve up and connect. Now, it's almost impossible to draw a perfectly symmetrical O freehand. I've seen one or two gurus do it but for average people like us, it's highly unlikely. Lucky for us, procreate has a few tools we can use to our advantage. One trick is to use the Symmetry Tool. Go to the Actions menu, tap on Canvas, make sure you're Drawing Guides are on, then select Edit Drawing guide, choose Symmetry. Now you just need to focus on getting one side of the O to look the way you want it and the Symmetry Tool will create a mirror image on the other side. Remember, when you're done with the Symmetry Tool, select the layer you're working on and make sure you turn off Drawing Assist. Then go ahead and switch back to the 2D grid. To give this the thickness we need, duplicate this layer and on the new layer, tap the Selection Tool and choose Freehand and reduce the size. Remember there was a downstroke on the left side, so offset the shape to create more thickness on that side. When you're done, pinch the two layers together to merge them into one. For a low contrast O, there will still be a slight difference in thickness at the top and bottom because those areas are essentially on the horizontal. In that scenario, you can just flatten out that center O, ever so slightly so those areas are thinner. Now for the trickiest of them all, the letter S. It's actually not so intimidating once you know what to look out for. There are actually three parts to the letter S, two open counters and the spine. The open counter at the top is slightly smaller, the spine is on a diagonal and the open counter at the bottom is slightly larger and it extends further out than the top counter. Rather than attempting to draw an S in one continuous curve, it's best to break it down into sections, and there are two ways that we can do this. The first method is the two circle technique, I don't know if that's an official name but that's what I'm going to call it. First, draw two circles stacked on top of one another and make the bottom circle's slightly larger than the top circle. Now, make your skeleton using the circles as a guide. So your line will follow the left edge of the top circle. In the center, where the circles connect, crossover to the lower circle, then follow the right edge of the lower circle. Now you can add thickness. Since the spine is a diagonal stroke that moves downwards, it will be the thickest part of the S. Once you have the shape looking the way you want it, clean it up on the new layer. You can add serifs to both ends or just the top of the S. Here's a second method for drawing an S, I'm calling this one the sliced oval. First draw an oval and slice the oval with a diagonal line just above the center point. Now you'll use this as your guide. The top part of the oval will help you form the top open counter, the diagonal line will be your guide for the spine and the bottom part of the oval will guide you for the bottom open counter. There you have it. With these tricks and a little practice, you will be drawing stellar S's in no time. For your homework. I'd like you to practice drawing each of these tricky letters in either a serif or san serif style. Up next, we're going to put some of these letters together and start building words. I'll see you in the next lesson. 12. Building Words: At this point in the class, between the lessons and your homework assignments, we've covered every letter of the alphabet. Now it's time to put those letters together and build a few words. The first thing you'll want to do is to jot down your word or words so you can see how many letters you're going to be working with. Since our project for this class is to let her a name, I'm going to jot down my own name and I have three letters in my first name and six in my last name. Now, create guides for the width of your letters. This will help you maintain consistency with each letter in your word. Let's call these guides letter blocks. Once you become more proficient with your lettering, you won't need to do this, but it's a helpful tool for beginners. Using the Canvas guide as a unit of measure, I'm going to make my letter blocks two squares wide. You can just draw this once and duplicate it as many times as you need. Make sure to leave a little space between each letter block. Once you have all the blocks you need, pinch all those layers together to merge them to one. Now, create a new layer and start drawing your letters inside the boxes. Keep in mind that some letters will be a little wider or narrower depending on their shape. For example, a narrow letter like I will not fill the box and M is a very wide letter, so it's going to extend beyond the box. Now it's time to add weight to the skeleton and we have to be mindful of keeping the weight of the letters consistent across each word. This is where the flat brush comes in really handy. So I'm going to set the width that I want and then draw over the skeleton. As you can see when I hide the letter blocks, some letters are much further apart and others. So now we have to make visual adjustments. The I needs to move closer to the G, so I'll select it, switched to the transform tool and make sure it's set to uniform. I'm also going to enable magnetics to help it move smoothly along the horizontal. Then I need to move the A a little closer to the I. Here's something to note. All three letters are now equal distance apart technically, but since the A is angled, it appears to be further away. So I will need to bring the A even closer to the I to accommodate for that. Check the spacing of all the other letters and make adjustments where necessary. Now add a layer above and clean up the sketch and pencil. To recap, the things you need to think about when building words are consistent letter width, consistent stroke width, and making space adjustments where necessary. Up next, we're going to move on to part three of the class, starting with a few tips on inking. I'll see you in the next lesson. 13. Inking Your Sketch: Great progress so far. We've covered the fundamentals, sketching, and now we're moving into Part 3 of the class. We've done quite a lot of sketching so far, but of course, at some point, you'll want to finalize those sketches. So let's walk through a few techniques for inking. In case you were curious, this phase is called inking because if we were working traditionally, this is the point where we would trace our pencil sketch with a pigment ink fineliner, like this, to complete the lettering. We're going to recreate that process digitally. As I mentioned earlier in the class, you'll want to get familiar with the different brushes already preloaded in Procreate's brush library. Here are a couple of my recommendations. I've been using the monoline brush almost exclusively for inking these days. It can be found in the brush library under calligraphy. The technical pen is also a great choice, and you can find it in the brush library under inking. I recommend doing your inking in black and then add color later. First and foremost, the contrast makes it really easy to see even the smallest details, and it helps keep the focus on drawing the letter forms without being distracted by color. Let's get started. Remember to always do your inking on a separate layer. Now, set the size of your brush. With the monoline brush, I like to drop the size all the way down to about two or three percent, because it allows for more detail control. Just like with sketching, you can utilize the "Snap to Straight" feature to make sure your inking looks clean and precise. Everything here looks good, so I can now tap and hold the color swatch, then drag it to my outlined letter to quickly fill the shape. It's important to zoom in to make sure you're lines are fully connected so that you can easily fill the shape with color. If your lines are not fully connected, when you try to fill the shape, the color will spill out of that open area and fill the entire page. Again, to avoid that, always double-check your connections. Now let's tackle a letter with curves. The trick to making your inking look nice and clean is to tackle the curves one section at a time, and use the "Quickshape" feature to make smooth arcs. I'm going to start with this section. Hold until Quickshape smooths it out, and adjust the size if necessary. Then move on to the next section of the curve, making sure to overlap the section you just created to make it as smooth and seamless as possible. Continue until you've completed the letter. To recap, these are the things to remember when inking your sketch; ink in black and white and add color later, always ink on a separate layer, zoom in to check your connections, and tackle curves in sections. Up next, we're going to have a little fun with color. I'll see you in the next lesson. 14. Adding Color: Once you've done your inking in black, then you can play around with the color. There are a few different ways you can pick colors in procreate. One option for choosing colors is to use the color disk. The outer ring will change the hue and the inner circle will let you adjust the shade. With the classic view, you can use these sliders to change the hue then fine-tune your selection here. If you know the RGB or hex codes of the colors you want, you can enter them here in the value section. When you find the colors you want, you can save them to a palette. Tap the plus sign to create a new palette, then just tap inside the new palette window to add it to your palette. To make it easier to add colors to your new palette, you can go back to the color disk view and you'll see that your new palette appears along the bottom of the window. As you choose colors, you can just easily add them here. When you switch back over to the palette view, you can see all the colors you've added. To remove a color from the palette, tap and hold for a second, release and the delete option appears. To remove an entire palette of colors, swipe left then tap delete. If you're stuck on how to pick colors that work well together, watch my color palette class for a step-by-step guide on the technique that I used to pull together the perfect color palette. Now, let's try something fun and create a gradient like this. It's actually quite easy to achieve this look and we're going to use a clipping mask to do it. These are the four colors I'll be using but first I'm going to choose a base color for my letter. I'm going to go with this pale blue because it will blend nicely with my palette and next, I'm going to add a layer above, tap on that new layer and select ''Clipping Mask.'' When you see this little arrow, you know that there's a clipping mask on that layer. I want this to have a little texture, so I'm going to use the chalk brush. This one is free with procreate and you can find it in the brush library under calligraphy. I will start at the bottom with my darkest color, remember you're drawing on the clipping mask layer. As you can see what the clipping mask, anything you draw will be confined to the shape of your letters. Now I will add the next color which is slightly lighter and I'll continue all the way up to the lightest color. Now, to blend this nicely, I'm going to use the smudge tool. Double-tap the tool and select the chalk brush here as well. Make sure the brush size is pretty large then go in and blend the areas where the colors meet. Just like that, you've turned a simple word into a piece of art. Up next, we're going to learn how to add drop shadows and other details to your lettering. I'll see you in the next lesson. 15. Shadows & Detail: Be proud of your progress so far, you've made it to Part 4 of the class. Now it's time to tackle those finishing touches. As we saw in the last lesson, color can really transform the most simple lettering. Now let's explore adding dimension and a few other decorative details. Drop shadows can really add life to your lettering, making it pop off the page and feel more impactful. The size can range from a simple dropped line to a really bold, chunky shadow and the level of detail can also range widely. To create a drop shadow, the first thing you'll need to do is duplicate your lettering. Select the layer, swipe left, tap, duplicate, and name the shadow layer so it doesn't get confusing. Also make sure the shadow layer is below your lettering layer. Now decide which direction you want your shadow to go. Keep in mind that the shadow will be opposite of the imaginary light source. If the light source is here, the shadow will be on the bottom left of the lettering. If the light is coming from the top left, the shadow will be on the bottom right. When the light source is coming from above, the shadow will be below the lettering which then of course means that when the light source is coming from below, the shadow will be at the top of the lettering. For this example, my light source will be in the top right, so I will drag my shadow layer to the bottom left. As you can see, it can get really confusing really quickly, so I like to change the color of my shadow layer right away. I'm just going to use gray for now and I can decide on the final color later. The quick and easy way to change the color on a layer is to use Alpha Lock. Tap the shadow layer, tap Alpha Lock to turn it on. Tap layer again, then tap Fill Layer. When Alpha Lock is on, it restricts the color fill to just the inked areas on that layer. Tap the shadow layer one more time and tap Alpha Lock again to turn it off. Now that I can see what I'm doing more clearly, it's time to make the shadow connect. For letters with straight lines, simply draw a diagonal line from the corner of the shadow to the corner of the lettering above. Then fill the open spaces. Then just go through and connect all the corners. Also double-check to make sure you're drawing on the shadow layer and not on the layer with your original lettering. For letters with curves, you'll want to follow the curve on the shadow until it connects smoothly to the lettering above. Now I can add color. First, add color to the original lettering, then choose a color that's a shade too darker for the shadow. The process is similar for creating a drop line, duplicate the layer, rename it, offset the shadow in the direction of your choice, but make sure it's not too far away. This time, just reduce the opacity of the shadow layer because we're going to use it as a guide. Now add a new layer above a name it drop line. On the drop line layer, trace the outer edges of the shadow, but do not connect the lines to the lettering above. You're essentially just giving the impression of a shadow. There's your simple drop line. An inline is exactly what it sounds like, lines inside the letters. As always, you'll want to work on a separate layer above the original lettering. Simply recreate the shapes of the letters using thin lines. It's almost like creating an x-ray view and revealing the skeleton underneath. Curved lines can be a little tricky because you'll want to match the curves as closely as possible, so just take your time here. We can push this further and make the inline detail even more interesting by adding dots, little leagues, or any other elements you choose. Just remember to zoom out frequently to see what it looks like because you don't want too many details to affect legibility. For your homework, try creating your own drop shadow or drop line and remember to share it in the Project Gallery. Up next, we're going to dive into ligatures. I'll see you in the next lesson. 16. Ligatures: If you're brand new to lettering, you might be wondering, what is a ligature? This is when two or more letters are combined to make one character. Ligatures conserve a practical purpose by combining letters that share features that might overlap. For example, the cross bars can be combined when there are two t's or two lowercase f's next to each other. Another example, is combining an f and an l to create a ligature. They can also serve as a creative tool to make the composition more unique. David Sotos work is a great example of this. He incorporates ligatures into his lettering beautifully. Here, he connected the ear of the g to the swash on the h, and then he connected the descenders as well. In this example, the R and S are connected seamlessly. It's best to think about potential ligatures during the sketching phase. Jot down your words, and see if there are any opportunities to connect letters. As I mentioned before, double letters like tt or ff are easy ones to spot. Also, Th, ri, and rs can easily be combined to create ligatures. If there are no obvious ones, ask yourself, can one be created in an organic way? Are there any letters that might flow into each other seamlessly? Can any of the strokes be extended or curved to connect? But what you want to avoid is forcing a ligature, because it just ends up looking awkward. Let's see what options I have with this piece. If I drew my name in all lowercase letters, there would've been an opportunity to join the g with the dot of the i. But since this is all uppercase, there's not really a seamless way to connect the letters in my first name, that wouldn't seem forced. In my last name, however, the A's and the H have crossbars, so I could possibly connect those to make my ligature. I fleshed out my sketch and inked everything except those areas where I could potentially create the ligature. Since the A and H are right in the middle of my name, I think this is the best place for it, for the sake of balance. I think this works. These are the main things to remember about creating ligatures. Don't force it, look for natural connections. Secondly, ligatures should not affect legibility. Your lettering should still be easy to read. Finally, less is more. One or two well-placed ligatures will go a long way. Now it's your turn. Jot down the name that you'll be lettering for your class project, step back and take a look and ask yourself, are there any opportunities for a ligature? If so, try it out, and share it with us in the project gallery. Up next, we're going to look at one more way to add a finishing touch to your lettering. I'll see you in the next lesson. 17. Flourishes: Now for one of the most fun finishing touches, flourishes. Flourishes are those beautiful loops and swirls you sometimes see in lettering. They are a wonderful way to add artistic flair to a piece. As you can see, they can range from stunningly ornate to beautifully simple. The biggest challenge, especially for beginners, is knowing when to show restraint. Just like with ligatures, remember that less is more. You don't want to over flourish a piece to the point where it's illegible. Also, as a beginner, you don't want to jump into adding flourishes too quickly. As I mentioned at the beginning of the class, it's very tempting to skip ahead to the cool stuff before you have a firm grasp on lettering technique. I've been guilty of this and it's the universal telltale sign of a beginner. Look at this piece I created back in 2013. I was a graphic designer but at the time, I had never done any lettering. I did a lot of typography work using fonts but I had no clue how to properly draw a letter form. Nonetheless, I thought I'm a designer, I can totally do this. But what I created was so wrong in so many ways. Aside from the strange and wonky letter forms, I added these two very ornate flourishes, then I also added way too many curlicues and then I topped it off with an awkward forced ligature. It's all just too much. I recreated the same piece in 2019 after I had been consistently practicing my lettering for just over a year. As you can see, the updated version is much simpler but more effective. I included just two simple flourishes and I saw the opportunity to create a ligature with the ampersand and the crossbar of the A. I kept the lettering simple and legible and chose to put the detail and decorative elements in the surrounding illustration instead. Now let's go back to this piece I'm working on for my class project. The leg of an R or a K lend themselves beautifully to flourishes. I could do something with this R or I could potentially do something with the A but that might feel a little forced. Let's try something fun with lots of loops and swirls first. I like to flourish but it's perhaps a bit too ornate for this particular lettering. It also throws the balance off because it makes the lettering too heavy on the left side. I'm going to scale it all the way back and do something much simpler. I think this works better with the overall simplicity of this piece and it adds a little interests without feeling overdone. Having the leg of the R curve upwards like this, also helps the eye move across the word. To recap, remember that flourishes should be the icing on the cake, not the main focus. Keep it legible. Your flourishes should not make your lettering difficult to read. Again, less is more. For your homework, experiment with adding one flourish to your class project. If you'd like some feedback and pointers along the way, feel free to upload it to the project gallery. Up next, we're going to chat about different lettering styles. I'll see you in the next lesson. 18. Style Guide: Although we may not always be conscious of it, one of the first things we notice when looking at a piece of lettering is the style. The way an artist designs to express their letter forms has a huge impact. It drives the mood of the piece and can affect how the content of the work is interpreted. The question I get asked most often is, how do I choose lettering styles? To be honest, it's always difficult to answer this question because there's no one simple, straightforward answer. There's also no one size-fits-all solution. Each person will approach this differently. But I can show you what works for me. I'm sure that as you develop your skill as a lettering artist, you'll also discover, and develop your own process. These are the five factors involved in my style creation process. Build a reference library, be observant, inspiration, not imitation, consider content, and practice, practice, practice. One of the first steps is to surround yourself with good lettering. Go to Pinterest, do a search for hand lettering, and saved the work you love, that inspires you. In the resources section, I will add a link to a couple of my own Pinterest boards, which might help you get started. You can do the same on Instagram. When you see something you really love, tap the flag icon to save it. Books are another great source of style inspiration. There are so many amazing lettering books out there. I encourage you to start building a library of your own. I share a few recommendations for great books in my level up your layouts class so be sure to check that out. The important thing to note is that you're saving references to serve as inspiration, not for the purpose of imitating them. We'll talk about that more in a second. It's not enough to just collect beautiful examples of lettering, you must also be observant. Look at the work with attentive eyes. Look at how the letters connect, what quirks or details do you notice? Make mental notes or even written notes. You'll begin to store all this information in your own personal lettering database, which will eventually start to pull from without even realizing it. Now this is a big one. Inspiration does not mean imitation. It's extremely important to make that distinction and avoid copying the work of others. The key is to pinpoint what it is about that persons are at that inspires you. This goes back to being observant. Once you've determined what it is about that person's work you love, use that to spark your own ideas. I'll show you a few examples of how I've approached this, Alix Northrup strong women piece on the left was the inspiration for your worthy piece on the right. I loved the way Alix made the lettering play together, interlocking, and filling the whole nooks and crannies almost like a puzzle that clicked into place. I used that as inspiration for my approach to this piece, where I played with the ascenders and descenders to fill open spaces and make everything feel more connected. The inspiration for my little things piece actually came from this one T in Lauren Hom's work. I really loved the look of Lauren's bifurcated serif and it felt friendly and approachable and even playful. I knew I wanted to incorporate that feeling into my piece. So I started with the word little, attempting to create a similar feeling of playfulness, and it just evolved from there. The carefree, retro looking style, which Mark Caneso does so beautifully, was the inspiration for my Dew drop piece. I love the curves and the lettering and the chunky drop shadow. I used that as an inspiration to create my own version. As you can see, none of my work is a direct copy of the work that inspired it. It was just about finding those interesting details in their lettering, and letting that spark an idea for my own piece. Another helpful tip is to consider the content of the piece you're about to create. What is the piece about? Is it serious, playful, dramatic? If you're lettering a piece about a serious topic, cutesy bubble lettering would of course not be appropriate. Here are a few examples of when style and content perfectly align. This fluid lettering style with lots of movement was the perfect choice for Belinda's drink more water piece. Here, this colorful, playful lettering works perfectly with the message in Rosie's piece. The word thrive means to prosper or to flourish and Jill's illustrative lettering expresses that beautifully by incorporating scenes of a thriving community within each letter. Lastly, there's no getting around it. Practice is the key to developing every aspect of your lettering skills, including creating, and using various lettering styles. A good way to do this is to challenge yourself to choose one style each week and practice lettering only that style for the entire week. Then switch to another style the following week and do the same. With this kind of focused practice, you'll gain confidence and you'll become much more fluent in creating each of these lettering styles. Eventually, it will become much easier for you to incorporate various styles into your work. Up next, we're going to wrap up the class with some tips on exporting your work. I'll see you in the next lesson. 19. Exporting: Now that you've done all this beautiful work, how do you get it out of Procreate and off your iPad? Let's talk about exporting and backing up your files. To export your work as an image, go to the Actions menu, tap ''Share.'' If you're just sharing to social media or if you want to use the image in your online portfolio, a JPEG or PNG file will usually do the trick. You do have the option to share the art as a layered Photoshop or a Procreate file as well. Select the file type, then you can choose how you want to share it. You can share via e-mail, AirDrop, Dropbox and more. Let's say I want to e-mail this to myself. I'll select the "Gmail Option", enter the e-mail address, then hit ''Send.'' That's it. Exporting your time-lapse video is just as simple. Go to the ''Actions Menu''. This time go to "Video", then tap ''Export Time-lapse Video''. I usually export the full length video. Then choose how you want to send it. Keep in mind that the time-lapse videos can sometimes get quite large. So e-mailing might not always be an option. If your computer is a Mac, AirDrop might a better choice. As long as your other Apple devices or nearby, they will show up in the AirDrop window. Although Procreate will save your changes as you work, it's important to note that at this time, there's no option to automatically back up your files. I strongly encourage you to do manual backups regularly. In gallery view, tap ''Select'', select a file, tap ''Share'', and be sure to choose Procreate as the file type, so that you're saving editable files. Then tap "AirDrop". If you prefer, you can use a file hosting services like Dropbox. Choose the folder where you want to save the file, then tap ''Post''. Again, if the file is too large, you might see this message. If that's the case, you can also try the drag and drop method. Go to the file's app on your iPad, and under Locations, iCloud Drive should already appear, and you can also sync your Dropbox account. I'm going to select "Dropbox", then I'm going to locate the folder that I want. Now make sure the window of the desired folder is open. Go back to the gallery view in Procreate, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show the doc. The file's app icon will appear, since it was recently opened. Tap, hold, and drag the icon to the right side of the screen, until it creates a split screen. On the left, you have the Procreate gallery view, and on the right, is the folder you want to drag the file's to. Then you simply drag and drop the files you want to Dropbox. When you're done, tap and hold this line in the center and drag it all the way to the right to exit out of this split screen view. This method saves my work as layered Photoshop files, but you can change this option in the Preferences. Go to the iPad Settings, scroll down until you find the Procreate icon. When you scroll to the bottom here, you'll see the options for drag and drop export. For preferred file format, you can choose to save your work as Procreate files, PSD files, JPEGS, et cetera. Again, I recommend saving as Procreate or Photoshop files, PSD files. So you have the flexibility to edit your layers later on, if you need to. Again, I can't stress enough how important it is to always back up your files. 20. Final Thoughts: You've done it. We've reached the end of the class and you've covered quite a lot of ground. Remember, it takes daily practice to become proficient at a new skill, even though the process may seem extremely frustrating in the beginning. If you practice every day, even just ten minutes a day, you will see improvement. If you have any questions for me along the way, you can drop them below in the discussion area or you can include a question on your project page. I can't wait to see what you create. If you'd like to continue your hand lettering journey, I recommend taking my newest class in which I share several tips and tricks for improving your lettering. You can also check out my other lettering classes like level up your layouts, which will give you tips for lettering, long quotes, and simple words. Two stunning art in which I show you how to combine hand lettering with illustration. I look forward to seeing you in the next class.