Advanced Procreate Calligraphy: Tips & Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Refine your basic brush strokes
  2. How to create custom brushes
  3. Add depth with shading and blending
  4. Use layers for complex designs
  5. Create a 3D lettering effect
  6. Tips on color theory and palette selection
  7. How to digitize your calligraphy
  8. Add textures for a unique look

If you've navigated the waters of beginner calligraphy on Procreate and are now ready to take it up a notch, you're in the right place. We're diving into the deep end of Procreate advanced calligraphy. This blog will help you level up your calligraphy skills, adding that extra oomph to your artwork. Let's get started!

Refine Your Basic Brush Strokes

Before you can swim, you need to float. Similarly, in the sea of procreate advanced calligraphy, mastering basic brush strokes is your buoy. It's all about progressing from those simple strokes to intricate lettering designs. Let's break down how you can refine your basic brush strokes:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice: You've heard it a billion times, but it's true. The more you practice, the better your control over the brush will be. It's like learning to play a new instrument; the repetition helps your hand "remember" the strokes, making your work smoother over time.

2. Understand Pressure Sensitivity: Procreate's pressure sensitivity is a game changer in calligraphy. It allows you to create strokes that are thick and thin based on how hard you press your stylus against the screen. So, spend some time experimenting with your brush pressure to see how it changes your strokes.

3. Create Consistent Strokes: Consistency is key in procreate advanced calligraphy. Whether it's the angle of your strokes or the space between your letters, maintaining consistency can take your calligraphy to the next level. It's like cooking a perfect dish — the right ingredients, in the right proportions, make all the difference.

4. Experiment with Different Brushes: Procreate offers a plethora of brushes, each with its unique touch. Some brushes are perfect for bold, heavy strokes, while others are ideal for fine, delicate lines. Don't shy away from trying different brushes, as it can add a new dimension to your calligraphy.

Remember, refining your strokes is less about perfection and more about developing a style that is uniquely yours. So, take a deep breath, pick up your stylus, and let's make some waves in the ocean of procreate advanced calligraphy!

How to Create Custom Brushes

Brushes in Procreate are like your magic wand — they can make or break your artwork. While there are countless brushes available in Procreate, creating your own custom brushes can give you that extra edge in your advanced calligraphy journey. It's like having your very own secret sauce that no one else can replicate. So, how can you create your own brushes in Procreate?

1. Choose Your Base Brush: Creating a custom brush in Procreate starts with choosing a base brush. Think of it as your canvas. You can select any brush from Procreate's brush library and then tweak its settings to create your own.

2. Experiment with Settings: The "Brush Studio" in Procreate is your playground for creating custom brushes. It allows you to tweak various settings such as "Shape," "Grain," "Dynamics," and "Properties". You can adjust these settings to achieve different effects with your brush. It's like being a scientist in a lab, mixing different elements to create something new and exciting.

3. Test Your Custom Brush: Once you've adjusted the settings, it's time to test your new custom brush. Draw some strokes and see how they look. If something doesn't feel right, don't worry! You can always go back and tweak the settings until you get the desired effect.

4. Save Your Custom Brush: Once you're happy with your new brush, don't forget to save it. You can even give it a cool name, making it truly your own!

Remember, creating custom brushes in Procreate isn't about being perfect. It's about experimenting, having fun, and creating something that helps you express your unique style in your procreate advanced calligraphy projects. So, go ahead and unleash your creativity!

Add Depth with Shading and Blending

Creating a sense of depth can make your Procreate advanced calligraphy pop off the screen. But how can you add this layer of realism to your artwork? The answer lies in shading and blending.

1. Start with Basic Shading: To start shading in Procreate, you need to pick a darker shade of your base color. The key is to think about how light would naturally hit your letters. The parts that are closer to the light source will be lighter, and the parts that are further away will be darker.

2. Use Procreate's Blending Tools: After you've added your shading, it's time to blend it in. Procreate offers a range of blending tools, each with its own unique effect. The "Smudge" tool is perfect for softer, smoother blends while the "Blend" tool can create more drastic transitions.

3. Keep Practicing: Like any skill, getting good at shading and blending in Procreate takes practice. Don't be discouraged if your first few attempts don't look quite right. Keep experimenting with different shading techniques and blending tools until you find what works best for you.

Adding shading and blending to your Procreate advanced calligraphy can take your artwork to a whole new level. It's like adding that secret ingredient to a recipe that turns it from good to great. So why not give it a try?

Use Layers for Complex Designs

Just like a master chef layers flavors to create a delicious dish, you too can layer your Procreate advanced calligraphy for stunning results. Layers can help you manage complex designs and make changes without disturbing other elements. So how does one use layers effectively? Let's break it down.

1. Create a New Layer: Start by creating a new layer for each different element of your design. This could be a separate layer for each letter, or for different parts of a letter. To create a new layer, click on the "+" icon in the layers panel.

2. Use Layer Masks: Layer masks are a powerful tool in Procreate. They allow you to hide or reveal parts of a layer, without permanently deleting anything. This can be especially useful in calligraphy when you want to experiment with different styles or effects.

3. Merge Layers When Needed: If you're happy with a particular aspect of your design, you can merge those layers together to reduce clutter in your layers panel. Just be sure you're really done with them – once layers are merged, they can't be separated again!

4. Play with Layer Opacity: Adjusting the opacity of your layers can create interesting effects in your calligraphy. You can make your letters look lighter, darker or even semi-transparent, adding an extra dimension to your work.

Remember, layers are your friends when it comes to Procreate advanced calligraphy. They give you the freedom to experiment, the power to control and the convenience to manage your work. So don't be afraid to layer it on!

Create a 3D Lettering Effect

Ever wondered how to make your Procreate advanced calligraphy pop off the page? The answer lies in 3D lettering. This technique can add depth and dimension to your calligraphy, making it more dynamic and visually interesting. Here's how you can do it:

1. Draw Your Base Letter: Start by drawing your base letter on a new layer. This will be the foundation of your 3D effect. Choose a bold, thick letter style for the best results.

2. Create a Shadow Layer: Next, duplicate your base letter layer and move it slightly to one side. This will create a shadow effect, giving the illusion of depth. Play around with the placement until you're happy with the 3D effect.

3. Add Highlights and Shading: The key to a convincing 3D effect is in the details. On a new layer, add highlights where the light would naturally hit your letter, and shading where it would naturally be shadowed. This will add even more depth to your lettering.

4. Experiment with Colors: Finally, don't be afraid to play around with colors. Using different colors for your base letter and shadow layer can create a fun, vibrant 3D effect.

With practice and patience, you'll be able to create stunning 3D lettering that will make your Procreate advanced calligraphy stand out from the crowd. Remember, the only limit is your imagination!

Tips on Color Theory and Palette Selection

Color is a powerful tool in Procreate advanced calligraphy. The right color palette can convey a mood, highlight important elements, and make your designs more compelling. But how do you choose the right colors? Here are a few tips:

1. Understand Basic Color Theory: Start by learning the basics of color theory. The color wheel, which shows the relationship between colors, is a great starting point. Primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), secondary colors (green, orange, and purple), and tertiary colors (mixtures of primary and secondary colors) all have different relationships and can create different effects when used together.

2. Consider Complementary Colors: Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. When used together, they create a vibrant contrast that can make your calligraphy pop. For example, try pairing blue with orange or purple with yellow.

3. Use Analogous Colors for Harmony: Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Using these colors together creates a harmonious and cohesive look. Think of a sunset with its beautiful blend of reds, oranges, and yellows.

4. Experiment with Color Palettes: There are countless color palettes you can experiment with in your Procreate advanced calligraphy. Don't be afraid to try something new! You can create your own palettes or use pre-made ones to inspire your work.

Remember, color is subjective and personal. What matters most is that you're happy with your palette and it helps you convey the message or mood you're aiming for in your calligraphy.

How to Digitize Your Calligraphy

Once you've created a stunning piece of Procreate advanced calligraphy, you might want to share it with the world. Digitizing your calligraphy allows you to use it in various ways, from printing it on merchandise to using it in digital designs. Here's how you can do it:

1. Use the Right Tools: Procreate is a fantastic tool for digitizing your calligraphy. It has a range of brushes and tools that can help you recreate the look and feel of traditional calligraphy.

2. Scan or Photograph Your Work: If you're starting with a physical piece of calligraphy, you'll need to get it into your device. Use a scanner for the best quality, but a well-lit photograph can also work.

3. Import Into Procreate: Once you have a digital copy of your calligraphy, import it into Procreate. You can then use the brushes and other tools to trace over your work, creating a digital version.

4. Clean Up Your Work: Once you've traced your calligraphy, use the eraser tool in Procreate to clean up any rough edges or mistakes. You want your digital version to look as clean and professional as possible.

5. Export Your Work: Once you're happy with your digitized calligraphy, you can export it in various formats. This makes it ready to use in whatever way you want, from printing it onto a t-shirt to setting it as your phone wallpaper.

Digitizing your calligraphy opens up a world of possibilities. It might seem daunting at first, but with a bit of practice, you'll be creating digital versions of your Procreate advanced calligraphy in no time.

Add Textures for a Unique Look

When you've mastered the art of Procreate advanced calligraphy, you may want to start experimenting with textures. Adding textures can give your calligraphy a unique look and feel, setting your work apart from others.

1. Choose the Right Texture: The first step in adding texture is choosing the right one. Procreate has a range of texture brushes that you can use, from grainy textures to more smooth and subtle ones. Experiment with different textures to see what works best for your style.

2. Apply the Texture: Once you've chosen your texture, it's time to apply it to your calligraphy. Use the brush tool to gently apply the texture over your lettering. Be careful not to overdo it — you want the texture to enhance your calligraphy, not overpower it.

3. Adjust the Opacity: If the texture is too strong, you can adjust the opacity to make it more subtle. You can also use the blend modes in Procreate to change how the texture interacts with your calligraphy.

4. Experiment: The best way to learn is by doing. Don't be afraid to experiment with different textures and techniques. You might surprise yourself with the results!

Adding textures to your Procreate advanced calligraphy can be a lot of fun. It's a great way to add depth and interest to your work, and it's easier than you might think. So why not give it a try?

If you enjoyed learning about advanced Procreate calligraphy techniques and want to expand your skills further, check out the workshop 'Using Watercolours to Create Colourful Calligraphy' by BlinkLettering. This workshop will teach you how to combine traditional watercolour techniques with calligraphy, adding a new dimension to your lettering skills and broadening your artistic horizons.