Last updated on February 13th, 2021
Procreate is one of the essential raster graphic editor apps for digital painters, illustrators, letterers, and other artists. The artists prefer this app for its unique features and ease of creating various artworks such as posters. However, many inexperienced artists need help from an expert to best explore Procreate while working on art projects.
Procreate comes loaded with multiple helpful but unique features for artists. This app is optimized for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. It has ultra high definition canvases and one quick touch menu. Artists love to use Procreate for creating a natural feel of physical things in a drawing. This is an amazing app with over 130 brushes, blend modes, 4K resolution export of process videos, and a host of digital tools. It offers multiple layers, is designed for multi-touch, and has a variety of finishing touches.
But beginner artists may find Procreate a little overwhelming due to multiple features. So, Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, decided to invite expert posters and lettering artist Jimbo Bernaus to conduct a WTF workshop on ‘How to create beautiful posters using Procreate’.
Talking about Jimbo, he’s an illustrator, letterer, and the founder of a design studio, BAM!@shoutbam. He has worked with global brands such as BMW, Booking.com, Carlsberg, Somersby, etc.
This workshop was the part of the 3-day digital art conference organized by PrintShop, owned by Designhill, for artists. The conference WTF’20 and was conducted from 30th March to 1st April where globally recognized artists joined the digital platform during the conference and shared their rich experience and ideas with artists.
During the workshop, Jimbo showed the right way to create beautiful posters using Procreate and the power of the lettering craft. He also answered the artists’ questions regarding various aspects of Procreate, lettering skills, inspirations, etc.
Here Is the Video Of The Workshop
Here Is What Jimbo Bernaus Had To Say To The Artists While Showing How To Create Posters Using Procreate
Jimbo Bernaus – We will do this little poster with motivational words – Find Your Fire. It is always better to start with a bit of a sketch. Do not go into detail right now because that is not important. I started with a rough sketch using a pencil and tried to do something fast. Do not spend much time here.
Let’s go to the second step. It would help if you sketched using a pencil in a real notebook. I encourage you to sketch in a real notebook as it gives a nice feeling. Then, snap a picture and put it in your Procreate, which is going to have our sketch in here. This is the first layer, and I am not going to spend so much time here.
We use just two lines for the three words and then little squares to help us determine the space for your work.
Give Proportion To The Words
Alright, I wanted to tell you, how do I give some nice proportions to control the weights in each word. I do these little boxes. Each letter is in the shape of horizontal and vertical boxes. This helps in having a proportion of the letters. Now, I am going to provide you with all these layers. Here we have the previous layers I was showing you before.
And then, there are these boxes. Some of you might ask, why are you doing these boxes? Well, this box, for example, gives us a bit of a perspective of what kind of things you want to be using. We want to balance every fake stroke. Let’s do a fast letter. Here we have the end, for example. Your ending should stick into this box, and then when you go up, you go down. It should be something like that, as you see this, and that is going to be well balanced.
So we are using the script up and down sans serif or serif font. All these boxes give us a nice guide to see what we are doing. These boxes could also place them in the vertical.
But you can also place the boxes horizontally. Now, let’s go to the next letter. For this one, I wanted to show you something that I use all the time. I am putting the sketch that I am going to do, and we put these boxes a little bit down. I love calligraphy, but I never do calligraphy as a result.
Using The Brushes
Now, I will do some calligraphy later to convert it into the lettering. So, I will use one of my brushes. Procreate has a lot of brushes that imitate some calligraphy pens, Brush Pens, etc. We will come up with a scrape. If you know calligraphy, then do this, but if you don’t, then you can go directly into a pencil and paint the word. Now, bring a couple of strokes. When you want to do the script with calligraphy, go here and paint on top of it.
Put the base layer and the calligraphy with it before putting in a bit of which is bringing the best today a little bit down, and then we go over with some. Let’s go over with a pencil once again. Let us say that you would like to instead of doing the steak. You want to do it a bit thicker. This is just you know, the calligraphy down. It’s just giving you a little bit of a visor level of the guidelines. But you don’t have to follow it the same. So come up with your style.
Can we outline text and then fill colors on it?
Jimbo- Yeah, definitely. So you would like to outline text, and then you can throw the colors in it.
How to sort of decide the best color combination when it comes to creating beautiful posters?
You can do a lot of things when it comes to colors. One of the things we do in the studio a lot is to go out in the street and try to take as many pictures as you need. We cannot do that now. But luckily for us, we still have from the past of shopping malls and the streets. In Barcelona, we took a lot of pictures from packages or even nature. You can process that into Procreate and pick different colors.
And you will always need a bit of color theory. But this is something that you can solve pretty fast. You can also head to my Instagram. I share some of my tips for coloring. Well, I just released a product called the kick of lettering toolbox that allows you to learn how to collect. So, pick one color, bring it and then from that color, do three more colors to start building up palettes. But, there’s a bunch of ways to do that.
What canvas size do you usually work on for posters?
That is a common question. The canvas sizes change if you are doing client work. The client may need something bigger that can be printed in the actual poster. But a bigger canvas size is better. This is because if you are doing a piece for Instagram, but you may like to print it later on. I use 40 centimeters, sometimes 50 centimeters, that’s like a ratio for five. It’s perfect for Instagram and also to print it out. If you don’t want to print it out, you can try something like 2025 centimeters 400 DPI. It will allow you to do 50 layers, and you can play around with it.
Is there any other tool than Procreate to do typography or lettering work?
Before Procreate, I was using Photoshop, which is a great tool. But the only problem is that I had some advantages when I was a student, but now Adobe products are a bit more expensive. You can also jump on Affinity Designer, that’s like a good alternative, and it’s a perfect software to use. Affinity Designer is for the iPad, and it does well for the Mac or Windows, I’m not sure.
If you have a laptop, a Mac, it is also great because Affinity Designer works two ways. One is completely pixels like Procreate. You can put textures, and this kind of brushes make it look natural. You also have the vector persona that does well both in the same program. So, I think Affinity Designer is the best resource apart from Procreate, and it’s just $50 for a lifetime.
Which are the best brushes to use on Procreate for calligraphy?
There are a bunch of calligraphy brushes. I do my brushes while other designers have their brushes to see what is trending. Also, you can find brushes depending on your requirements. You may need a brush for calligraphy only, or you want some neat calligraphy. Go to Design Cuts and check out some nice brushes.
Where do you find inspiration for your project?
First of all, online is my source of inspiration. I find out what everyone is doing nowadays? The other big inspiration books. I’ve been collecting a few books from the 70s 80s retro packaging. There’s a bunch of inspiration out there. You can follow pages like typography designers Club, and places such as lettering daily.
I don’t do calligraphy. How should I start, should I go with the basics first?
I am a former graphic designer, and so I know the basics of typography. So, it would be best if you learned typography to do lettering, which is the middle step for calligraphy. But if you know the basic rules of calligraphy, those are going to help you a lot to do a nice letter. This is because basically, you have to follow the rules. You don’t have to be a calligraphy expert, or your hand doesn’t have to produce the best calligraphy.
However, if you know just the theory, as some angles, tools you might use will help you a lot if you want to learn the letter. But it Is not mandatory, and you can escape that. There are lettering artists who never did calligraphy in their lives. But they know about calligraphy because they got interested in it. And that helped them. So, you do not have to be a master of calligraphy actually to do lettering.
Find Some Inspiration
You should try to find some inspiration and other styles of lettering. You can do a bunch of things that don’t follow your calligraphy. For instance, you could do some other style that lets you know the way you can exaggerate. You have absolute freedom. You don’t have to follow your calligraphy, or even if you don’t know how to do calligraphy, take up some references and try to copy. Try to reinterpret other artists’ work. But make sure that your copied work has the same kind of weight.
Ink The Poster
So, I am going to show you how to ink the piece. You could even refine the sketch to make it a little bit better and cleaner. Now, this is your sketch that you just did. I will do it fast, so you guys see the difference. This is one of my pencils and brush packs. I included a lot of different textures and ripples. For example, the ripple Iser is one of my favorite inkers. It helps in evoking feelings.
You can also do this with Procreate tools. You can go airbrushing and get the airbrush or ink it more cleanly. But, I like this style of roughness that I always use for my pieces, and I always go ahead with my anchors. What we are going to do here is to put the Opacity down of the sketch, and then do a new layer. This one I did a bit before and now go over and in the piece.
I will show how I ink. And again, here you have a great opportunity to refine the piece once again. You should refine it before with the sketch with the inker. So, go ahead with your inker and refine it a little bit. Then, get the color and basically go inside and leave it inside and you are done with this.
Here, I started with a sans serif typography, but I added a bit of serif, making it a bit more interesting. I am going to show you how to do this typography. I follow those squares that I was talking about earlier and go over with them. If that were a normal sans serif, I would do something that does not change the weight of the word of the letter. Since I want to add a bit more, I will skip the last step, and then here you can add some serifs.
Create A 3D Effect
Now I’m going to show how to do a 3d effect on the letters. What you have to do here is to choose the light source or where you want your work to project. What we’re going to do here is to duplicate the layer, bring some darker color and drag it down. Now, take this layer, the low and light one, and then we select to grab it and just move it around.
Now you have to connect the two layers. There are some techniques to do that. What we are going to do here is to connect one end to the other. So, just bring it down here. And now repeat the step in all the corners and get your 3d done.
What lettering books do you think are must-haves?
Maybe I can do a list of the lettering books. But right now I will say that you can read Jessica Hische’s great book that I’m referencing all the time. Martina flor has got a super book. You can also get my kickoff lettering toolbox to learn lettering and calligraphy. That’s a great tool for Procreate. I will share the list of books to be read for lettering on Instagram.
What is the difference between lettering and typography?
Yes, there is a difference between lettering and typography. You have to learn the differences between typography and calligraphy and then lettering and typography. So, you can do typography for a font, you can do that from the lettering. For example, I would say that typography is those letters that are programmed for you to have in applications such as writing something in Microsoft Word, or if you want to design a website, then those are typographies.
You can choose from different kinds of typography, depending on your needs. Lettering is the design of letters but for a single purpose. For example, If you want to do a cover for a book with an illustration and lettering, you are going to design those letters just for the purpose of the book cover or a poster, you can also take the help of poster templates available online. But you won’t design the whole alphabet, such as in typography.
What is its tool and process that changed the game for you into this field and in this industry?
The tool that changed my career is Procreate and the iPad Pro. I used to design in Photoshop before and in Illustrator from Adobe. Now, since I have to Procreate, I sketch faster and have time to put textures of mine. Also, I have time to color everything and to speed up the whole process. I have to procreate 100% okay.
Photoshop wasn’t invented for graphic tablets and was instead used with the mouse. But Procreate has been implemented 100% perfectly for double use for iPad and Apple products have a lot of nice touching gestures. Procreate has the two fingers to step back and three to step forward. You can access the whole interface fast and you don’t need a keyboard. With Photoshop, it is more complicated. But with Procreate, you start from scratch and learn much faster because you can do everything with your fingers fast.
How do you create your brushes?
There are a bunch of ways you can create your brushes. In the studio, we’ve been thinking about doing a course in the future because that’s something everyone is asking all the time. Our brushes are made out of real-life textures. So, let’s say that I want to do a couple of pencils. I buy real pencils, and I experiment with them. I see what feeling the pencils are giving you and what kind of paper you can use. When I place it together, I sample everything from real life, and then I incorporate it into my brushes.
For example, I’ve been sampling the whole of Barcelona. You can get textures from the palm trees, the floors, and taking a photo of concrete. Please take a photo, for instance, of a real concrete texture and then make a pattern out of the head with Photoshop or Procreate and then put it in Procreate. I have no exact way of doing it, but I have 1000 ways to do brushes.
I wish I could do a course, and hopefully, I will find time to do it in the future. But there are some courses on the Internet. If you have Skillshare, you can go over it, and people are teaching that. And a lot of my friends in the lettering world have some tips and tricks. There is a lot of info out there.
Is there any rule for composing a letter and any suggestions to come up with a good piece of lettering?
There are rules that you can follow to compose a letter. The good thing is that when you know a bit of the rule, you can try to trick the rules and move them around. And, that is when lettering becomes interesting as you can twist the rules in your way. This is because you know the rules.
Where do you find inspiration to create your textured brushes?
My inspiration is all around the place. Like, you guys are confined probably to home. So, take old papers, old scribbles you did with a pencil a few years ago. Some dirt, things you didn’t clean for a while, take them and do brush. You can do some nice texturized brushes. So, the inspiration for doing brushes is everywhere around you. Go ahead and try to find pictures. They’re everywhere.
Do you prefer to work on digital or analog?
I prefer working digital hundred percent. But I like to start with an analog always, with a pencil to know what I’m going to do, and then I go to digital.
Are there any rules for the composition of the lettering?
There are no rules. You can start with little simplified boxes and come up with different compositions, making some of them later smaller and then bigger. You can do a lot of that work. Head off to my Instagram to check out the compositions I am using. My friend Ian Barnard who has a perfect tool called the letter builder for Procreate and Photoshop. You can have a lot of different boxes to do your competitions.
So, these are the useful tips that Jimbo Bernaus gave to the artist community. By following these key tips and advice, you can surely refine your skills while using Procreate.
As you create beautiful posters with the help of poster maker using motivational quotes and lettering skills, how about earning by selling those art pieces at PrintShop. This is a POD platform from Designhill.
You can open your online store at PrinShop and start creating and selling your posters at an attractive profit margin. You also are assured of the target audience to buy your posters as the Designhill’s traffic also is diverted toward your online store.
Procreate is the favorite tool for artists to create beautiful posters. Jimbo Bernaus showed how to create lettering to make posters look great and unique. He taught how to do the letters with correct proportions using the box technique. He also shared his thoughts over color combinations, creating his brushes, how to create a 3D effect in letters, etc.