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How To Use Procreate: A Guide To Going Pro

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Published on: 21 Dec 2020

A certain creative application is making waves, and it is the best resort for all you graphic and design lovers. iPad’s Procreate is a portable design studio made for artists on the go. This wholesome tool, with its diverse options, is a technological gift for creators. Everything is now digitally possible with faster, better and shareable artwork. 
Get your Apple tablet and stylus at hand, and this guide will be your companion.

What is Procreate?

What is Procreate

Procreate is an IoS app designed for illustrators, painters, animators and designers. This award-winning, raster-based editing and digital painting app is made for Apple iPad & furnishes visual artists with Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely- SMART, creative tools. This too good to be true application is not a godsend and was a Savage Interactive (a Tasmanian tech startup) invention.

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The pros at Disney, Pixar, DC, Mattel use it to generate art that reaches your screen and aspiring artists worldwide; it gives wings to the imagination. No doubt it is the number one paid app in the App Store. But what makes it outshine all old-school analogue digital art pads? We are yet to find out.

The Many Benefits of Procreate

Benefits of Procreate

Gone are the days when painters and fine artists used to sit glued to their desktop computers to make something worthwhile. Now, this fast-paced digital world demands proactiveness - hence Procreate. It is:

  • Easy 
  • Flexible
  • Portable
  • Diverse 
  • Ingenious 

Being less generic, the benefits of this smartly engineered software are endless. Here is a breakdown of what makes procreate the best art creation app:

1. Quicker design with high responsiveness:

Procreate Benefit - Quicker design with high responsiveness

Its high responsiveness gives a new and a more ‘natural’ feel to creating digital art. Designing is much quicker, with an intuitive interface. 

2. Ready-made Procreate Brush Library:

Procreate brushes are super user-friendly. Each brush is crafted with over 100 customizable settings for sketching, airbrushing, gouache, calligraphy, industrial, drawing, inking among 18 options. There is also Brush Studio for self-designing, ready to import/export. Moreover, the ease to import Adobe® Photoshop® and use them is proficiency at its best.

3. Every design, drawing and painting medium:

Procreate design tools are the finest. The vector Text for illustrations, 2D, isometric, visual guide, and Drawing Assist work like butter on an ultra high definition canvas. 

4. Procreate gestures that save time:

Intuitive gestures make it easier to move across canvas, perform basic/advanced actions and access menus.  

5. Tailored for you:

The app is built perfectly to suit the needs of all users. The intuitiveness bodes well for beginners and professionals who can operate in a more detailed and advanced manner.

Procreate Benefit - Limitless Colours

6. Limitless Procreate colours:

This ground-breaking industry-leading app for artists has influenced veterans, new entrants, and commercial artists alike, allowing them to become one with technology.  
With innovation comes curiosity and this germinates questions. We are here to answer them all. 

Burning Question Surrounding the Procreate App

 Question Surrounding the Procreate App

How much does Procreate cost?

Well, this art program is not free. Its single purchase, all-access costs $9.99 on the App Store and the prices may fluctuate from region to region. There are no monthly charges, hidden fees, or subscriptions required.

Is Procreate only for iPad? 

Procreate is a purchasable digital software that is made only for Apple iPad. 

What’s the best iPad for Procreate?

The app can be installed on iPadOS 13.2 and up. Keeping up with fresher technology, the Apple iPad Pro 2020 is the best iPad to use for Procreate. 

Where can I get inspiration for drawing on Procreate?

Plenty of digital artists make phenomenal artwork on the Procreate software. But if you are a beginner, it is best to start your art journey gradually. Join KoolStories - a micro learning platform, and learn designing skills from expert illustrators. 


Things To Draw on Procreate

There is a multitude of things you can draw on the flexible Procreate app. This is what makes it a cherished blessing in the artist community worldwide. The possibilities are endless as here are all the things you can create after making its purchase:

  • Digital drawing

Things To Draw on Procreate - Digital drawing

Source: ArtbyGaile

  • Textured images

Things To Draw on Procreate - Textured images

  • Digital Calligraphy/Lettering/Typography 

Things To Draw on Procreate - Digital Calligraphy

  • Inked linework 

Things To Draw on Procreate - Inked linework

  • Abstract design 

Things To Draw on Procreate - Abstract design

  • Digital watercolour painting 

Things To Draw on Procreate - Digital watercolor painting

  • Ink-and-watercolour drawing
  • Illustrating
  • Doodling

Things To Draw on Procreate - Doodling

  • Animation 

Things To Draw on Procreate - Animation

Now that you have all the inspiration to start brace yourself to have the world of art media literally at your fingertips. Here is an overview of how to use procreate. 

Crash course on the Procreate app- Basics, Tips, and Tricks

  • Tap on the Procreate app icon on your home screen to open.

Procreate app- Basics, Tips, and Tricks

  • The Gallery view is the first thing you will see on opening. All your previous artwork will be visible here. Tap the + sign to start something new. 
  • Choose from a range of canvas sizes or create your own by manually inputting pixels. 
  • As you reach the canvas interface, take a look at the bushes. Easily navigate to the top right and tap the paintbrush icon. The brushes panel will display a variety of pre-installed brushes covering different mediums and styles. Either pick one or install/import a custom brush. 
  • After choosing a brush, tap on a brush to manipulate multiple settings ranging from stroke, dynamics, shape and more. 
  • Start by playing and experimenting around with different brushes. This is essential to know the precise pressure, speed of strokes, the level of tilt of your Apple Pencil and the different effects it can produce. 
  • The slider on the left side allows you to adjust brush size and opacity.
  • With over 30 gestures, pinch and spread to zoom in/out and rotate are the most useful. To undo, tap anywhere on the screen with two fingers and hold to undo multiple. Similarly, tap with three fingers to redo and hold to redo multiple. To clean the canvas, scrub with three fingers.
  • You are meant to make mistakes, so the eraser on the top right corner (placed alternatively adjacent to the brush) is at your disposal. Any brush can become an eraser after selection. This is great as eraser marks will match the brush stroke to look seamless.
  • The colour panel is placed in a circle in the extreme upper right corner. Tap on it to open. A colour disc will open under Disc. The outer ring adjusts the hue, and the inner disk is to adjust its lightness, darkness or saturation. To quickly select a colour on the screen, tap and hold on the screen. This will activate the eye-dropper.

Procreate brush to draw a shape and easily fill in colour

  • Use a brush to draw a shape and easily fill in colour, tap the Color circle and drag it into the shape. Voila!
  • The colours you created can also be saved in a palette. Go to the colour panel and tap Palettes. Click on the + sign to create a new one and set Default. Head back to the colour Disk, and an Untitled Palette will appear. To save a colour, tap on it and add it to the palette. The colours in the Palette can also be reordered. Just Tap, Hold and Drag. To delete a colour, tap and hold colour in the Palette and click delete.  
  • Next to the brush icon (on the upper right corner) is the Smudge tool (a finger icon). It smoothly smudges, smears and softens to combine colours and brush strokes. It is excellent to create perfect colour transitions.
  • Layering is one of Procreate’s best features. It is optimal to bring in some texture. The Layers panel (an icon like two boxes) can be found next to the Eraser. Tap on it to open and select Layer 1 to access multiple options like Copy, Fill, Alpha Lock, Fill Layer. Click the + icon to add new layers to an existing layer. This way, detailing becomes super easy. To hide/show layers tap the checkbox next to it.

 Procreate texture with layering

  • For added texture with layering, use the Alpha Lock. Activate alpha lock by going to a layer on the panel and swipe right with two fingers to enable it. This will allow you to work only within the selected shape. This way, the texture stays inside the line.  
  • Yet again, these Layers can be reordered by tracking, holding and dragging. Also, merge them by pinching them together in the Layers panel. Similarly, swipe left on a layer to Lock, Duplicate, and Delete. 
  • The Quickline and Quick Shape are fantastic to generate perfect shapes. To make a straight line with Procreate, draw a line and don’t lift your stylus and wait for the magic. It straightens lines to make them seem more professional. The same can be applied to shapes. Roughly make a shape, don't lift your Pencil and wait for Quick Shape to take charge. This works with arches, squares, triangles, circles, boxes and polygons. 
  • Moving on to the upper left corner of the screen, the wrench icon opens the action menu. Tap Share and pick a format to export your file. Choose one and then pick a location to save the file. Likewise, all your Procreate artwork will be visible in Gallery  View in the app itself. Here, you can name and reorder them as per your liking. 

With that intro to Procreate, you are equipped with all you need to know, etch your first digital piece of art. Get.. set... Paint! 


What is the difference between Procreate Pocket and procreate?

The Procreate digital art software is designed for iPads while the Procreate Pocket is designed to be used for iPhone users. Their art tools are similar and the only difference between them lies in controls.

Can you animate on procreate?

The advent of Procreate 5 has made animation possible. It is a boon for all you beginners who want to bring their art to life. The software is intuitive and easy to follow. By following simple steps you can easily create Procreate GIFs. All you need to do is add frames to your existing artwork and adjust them in order to animate. Procreate’s animation assistant is of huge help here.

Do you need Apple pencil for procreate?

You can work on Procreate without an Apple pencil. A good third-party stylus will be equally useful for digitally drawing on Procreate. Procreate supports the following third-party styli:

TenOneDesign - Pogo Connect, Pogo Connect 2
Adonit - Jot Touch 4, Jot Touch Pixelpoint, Jot Script, Jot Script 2, Pixel
Wacom - Intuos Creative Stylus 1 & 2, Bamboo Fineline 1, 2, & 3, Bamboo Sketch

How much does Procreate Pocket Cost?

Procreate Pocket is available on the App Store for US $4.99.

What’s the latest version of Procreate?

The latest version of Procreate for iPad is 5.1.8 (5X Patch 8). The instalment calls for iPadOS 13.2 or above.

Is procreate good for beginners?

Yes! Procreate is best for beginners, but it's even more fabulous with solid knowledge. Whether you're just learning the basics or an artist for a while, learning a new type of software can be challenging.

How do you animate in procreate easy?

Create animation in Procreate in the following steps:

Step 1: Prepare Your Artwork 
Step 2: Turn on Animation Assist
Step 3: Add a Frame and Slightly Adjust the Image
Step 4: Continue Adding and Adjusting Frames
Step 5: Finalize
Step 6: Export and Share