The legendary Jimbo Bernaus from ShoutBAM joined us for this session to discuss how to make a paper cutout lettering piece in Procreate. As an art director and letterer who is making waves in the design world, we couldn't have been more excited to have him lead this tutorial with his latest set, The Ultimate Procreate Background Set.

Write the Words

On a fresh page, write the words you wish to paint. For this composition, write “The Flame That Burns Twice As Bright Burns Half As Long”. Highlight the primary, secondary and tertiary words.

Draw Guidelines

Drawing guidelines with this composition is going to be helpful and easy to remember. Make the more important words bigger and the less important words smaller. At the same time, sketch the sentence. Put the guidelines in the middle and mirror the words one after the other.

Color the Words

Take the Kickoff Brush Pencil and choose the 6B. Draw the letter S to test it out and choose the Nico Brush to write on it.

Similarly, cover all the words in the composition, using the same method.

Drop down the opacity and select an Anchor. You can use the Airbrushing Panel. Fill the letters.

Pro tip: Sketch, then use Mono-line and turn the opacity down. 

Add a Background

Get one of the brushes from Procreate for sketching and put the colors on top. You can also divide the background into two colors and use the same layer. Add a circle in blue and add dimension to it.

Darken the Colors

Add a red square below the yellow color. Bring the dark color onto the red. Switch the red color to a white color. Play around with colors until you're satisfied and change them. If you have a red color letter, for example, you could keep one red, one blue, one white, etc, by balancing color across the whole piece. That's going to give you dynamism and help you improve how the piece actually impacts you.

Add Textures

Pick from a bunch of textures that are seamless. For example, the Cloud Paper. If you go to the grain, you can change the scale of that grain.

Do a smaller scale object that's in the foreground and doesn’t need attention.

Choose Add Ons

After the backgrounds, select the add-ons. There are a bunch of textures that can help make your piece a bit dirtier, with a rough edge look. Use pencil shavings and stamp them on the composition. This gives it a more realistic look.

Add Overlay Shadows

Add the Overlay Shadows on top of the piece and then hit multiply.

Use Craft Papers

Use the Craft Papers to add different textures. Join the colors and color the letters as before. Add each letter and each word in separate layers. Build on them separately. Use a stamp brush that contains paper texture sand edges.

Build the format of the whole thing with the stamps. Go over the background as well as letters and add nice textures there. Use paint erasers to make the corners, making it look organic.

Play with Textures

Play with some textures. Add some fast shadows on the main shapes. For example, on a yellow background, add something complementary that preserves the tones of that background, to make it look more natural. Mix up different effects.

Use the Granite and the Milkweed texture effect. Play with the modes by adding color burn. This gives it an orangy feel. The multiply helps make it look more realistic along with playing with its opacity.

Pro tip: The textures don't have to be extremely visible as it'll look overcrowded with prominent ones. Keep in mind that less is more.

Add Shadows

Focus on the word “Burns” to add shadows. Pick the layer and cut it out. Add a new layer and put it under. Pick the Milkweed texture and add it to the layer. Use the inverted version for a darker texture. You can also use brushes to make the shadows.

Decide where the light is coming from and project the shadows in the other direction. Start with a mild shadow and then work on it, making it look like the shadow is one on top of the other.

Levitate the brush size bigger or smaller and add shadows under the word. This will give it a levitating effect. Make the selection on the outside and invert it to remove the inside shadow, while selecting the shape.

Duplicate the burns and drop the color behind for shadows. Move the selection as per your choice and obtain the shadows.

Use a brown color Clipping Mask and add Cardboard texture. Go to adjustments, saturation layer, and play around with the curves and the contrast.

Add a Light Effect

For the second “Burns” use the Calligraphy and select Script picking a white color. Add this to the outline of the "Burns". Remember where the light is coming from and paint in that direction where the light touches and add white outlines there. This will give it a light effect.

Cut the word “Bright” and duplicate it. Add shadow in the background.

Add Effects

Add a clipping mask and add a Paint Effect. Stamp it on the composition. Play around with the colors to adjust the lighting. Use a Watercolor Blob above to give some detail. Bounce from one mode to the other playing with these different modes of texture.

Final Touch Ups

Add the Eraser Scraps Stamps on the top. Use the Pencil Scraps Stamps, giving it an organic texture.

Congratulations, you have successfully made a paper cutout lettering piece in Procreate.