Procreate is an app for drawing and creating illustrations by using layers, brushes, opacity and more. We will show you how to draw on Procreate and its most important functions. Once you know the basics, you can get started right away.
First steps on Procreate
Time needed: 2 minutes.
After downloading the app on the App Store to your iPad, you can get started in Procreate. When you open the app, you will get to your gallery, where you will find some examples of what you can do in Procreate. Once you are ready to get started, you will need to create a canvas to draw on. You can also import photos or other material to work with.
- Create a canvas or import a photo
Tap on the plus symbol in the upper right-hand corner of the gallery. Here you can choose from a number of canvas sizes. Tap on the preferred size to create the canvas. Alternatively, you can also tap on “Photo” or “Import” in the gallery to import other material.
- Optional: Create your own canvas size
If you are unhappy with the suggested canvas sizes or want to create your own canvas size for a special project, you can also do that in Procreate. Tap on the plus symbol in the upper right-hand corner of the gallery. In the pop-up field, tap on the overlaying black boxes with the small plus symbol. A new window will open, where you can adjust various settings for your canvas, like the dimensions, color profile, time-lapse settings and canvas properties. Don’t forget to give your canvas a title, so you can find it easily in the canvas overview.
- Choose a brush
Tap on the brush tool in the upper right-hand corner and select a brush you like. Procreate comes with a large amount of pre-installed brushes, so you can get started straight away.
- Adjust your brush settings
You can adjust the size and opacity of your brush with the sliders on the left-hand side of the screen. Adjust the upper slider for brush size and the lower slider for brush opacity. Pro Tip: If you are left-handed, you can move the sliders to the right-hand side in the settings.
- Choose a color
Before starting to draw, choose a color. To do so, tap on the circle on the far right in the upper right-hand corner. This will open the color selection panel.
- Start drawing
You can now start drawing on the canvas with the brush and color you selected.
- Get creative
Procreate has various functions and tools for you to get creative, like the smudge tool, the eraser and a variety of filters.
Procreate Basics: Brush Tools and Color
The app has a well-organized user interface. This allows you to find your way around quite quickly.
- At the top you will find a menu bar with the most important tools and settings.
- Brushes: Tap on the brush at the top right to make changes to your painting tool. You can also import brushes you bought or create your own brushes here in Procreate. Some brushes will be pressure-sensitive with the apple pen, which means that their width and form may change with lighter or harder pressure on your apple pen. You can usually recognize these brushes by their tapered ends in the preview section.
- Color: The circle in the right corner opens the color selection panel. Here you select the color you want your painting tool to emit. If you select “Harmony” and choose a color, you will automatically be shown a color that matches it.
- Under “Value” you can tune the respective colors more precisely. Tap on “Palettes” to save specific colors in a color palette.
- Finger/Blur tool: To blur an area in your image, select the hand with the index finger extended.
- Next to the finger icon you will find the eraser. You can also select the size and opacity of the eraser.
- If you tap and hold on the canvas, the eyedropper tool appears. With this you can pick up colors from the image.
- Rotate image: To scale, tap your image with two fingers and drag your fingers apart or toward each other. To rotate your image, tap your drawing with two fingers in the same way and rotate the image.
Editing images: Adjustments, Layers and Selection Tool
In Procreate you can edit and adjust your image as you like. Layers are available for this purpose. For example, use different filters or layer modes to achieve different effects.
- Go to the icon with the overlapping squares and the layers panel will open. Depending on the number of pixels in your document, a certain number of layers will be available. Tap on the plus sign to insert one.
- If you paint on a new layer, the brush strokes will be recorded there exclusively. You can edit the content independently of layers below or above it. Swipe left in the panel to delete, duplicate, or lock an element.
- On the layer and a menu appears. The individual settings allow you to rename the layer or turn the layer into a “clipping mask”.
- Clipping Mask: All changes and operations that take place here will only affect the layer below. You can also create a layer mask.
- Layer Mode: To change the mode of your layer, open the Layers panel. To the left, next to the check mark, you will see an “N”. Tap on it. In the new menu you can choose between different layer modes.
- Wrench (Settings): By tapping on the wrench icon, you can adjust the settings of your canvas, add photos or text to your canvas or share and save your finished project.
- Record painting process: Tap on “Video” and activate the “Time-lapse recording” button to record the painting process in time-lapse. You can then export the video.
- To get information about your work, go to “Canvas” and then to “Canvas information”. Here you will see not only the file size and dimensions, but also the time measurement. This way you will know exactly how much time you have put into your painting.
- Magic Wand (Filter): Procreate has different filters that you can apply to your image. You can find them in the top menu bar on the left. To do this, tap on the magic wand.
- Selection tool: To do this, tap on the sinuous S-sign. You can find it in the upper left corner. Using these tools, you can cut out parts of the image or duplicate areas in Procreate.
- If you want to return to your gallery, tap on “Gallery”.