6 Hints and Tips To Level-up Your Procreate Game
Traditionalists find a certain amount of comfort in the control that comes with a hands-on approach to art or design. At some point, though, (for your creative development) it’s good to move with the times and try the digital realm. You can regain some of that hands-on comfort by trying a graphics tablet. However, Procreate for the iPad embodies the best of both worlds.
Traditional artists can still control their work, while designers can experiment with a more free-flowing approach. It’s no wonder iPad’s app has coaxed many diehard traditionalists into the digital world. Meanwhile, steadfast digital designers are encouraged to walk the creative road less traveled in their field.
Whether you’re a Procreate expert or dipping your toe into the digital waters for the first time, enjoy some tips and tricks on us to help you get the most out of the app.
Experiment With Brushes
The Procreate Brush Library comes with an impressive array of default options. There are some rather fancy brushes on offer, from realistic watercolor strokes to grunge textures and even the illuminating light effects found in Luminance.
Procreate also includes default brushes for the type of primary mark-making beloved by art teachers and encouraged in creative classes worldwide. We’re talking charcoal, inks, graphite pencils, pastels, and artist crayons. You can get a wide range of outcomes by utilizing or editing the existing brush sets.
But if you want to stray from off the beaten path, then browse the selection of affordable Procreate add-ons available online. These brush presets will add variety to your toolkit and save you time. And if you really want to take a walk on the wild side, have a go at making your brushes from scratch — an excellent option for when you’re having a Goldilocks dilemma and need something just right.
You can upload and create or edit brushes by heading to the Brush Library and selecting an existing brush set or tapping the blue highlighted + button to create a new one in the Brush Studio. Whatever approach you choose, channel your inner artist stereotype, and experiment, sweetie daaarling!
Basic Gestures AKA Magic
Every digital artiste loves a keyboard shortcut. We’ve all been there, frantically pressing Control + Z (Command + Z for the Mac lovers) to undo a not so happy accident. Gestures (you use your fingers to perform them) are the helpful shortcuts of the Procreate world and have the unique bonus of making Procreate users feel even more like magicians.
Here’s a top: Say ‘Ahhh magic’ and do jazz hands after every Procreate Gesture for additional effect. If people in the vicinity look confused, remind them they should instead be saying ‘Oooooh. Aaaaaah’ because, why *magic*, of course!
Ahem, swiftly moving on. Two good ones to know are ‘Undo’ and ‘Redo,’ which involve tapping two or three fingers onto your work area, respectively. You can also tap and hold your work to access Quick Menu. You can find more default basic and lesser-known Gestures in the official Procreate handbook.
Another fantastic feature of the ‘Ahhh magic’ Gestures is that you can customize the settings to make them work better for you. By editing Gestures to suit your process or memorizing basic ones that already work as is, you can improve your workflow.
The Amazing Alpha Lock
For those who are looking for an element of control while retaining the flexibility to experiment, Alpha Lock can help. Use this Procreate tool to add details like texture, color, or shadows into your work while staying within the lines of a shape or outline.
To access the feature, head to the layer menu and click ‘Alpha Lock.’ You can also conjure the tool by swiping right with two fingers, an ‘Aaaah magic’ Gesture approach.
To Recolor or Not To Recolor That Is the Question
The ink has barely dried on your Procreate masterpiece when you get that ‘I need to experiment with a color change like now’ itch. Never fear, dear reader! Enter the oh so aptly named ‘Recolor’ tool to help you switch up your color choices on the fly and with minimal fuss.
You can access this by scrolling to the bottom of the Adjustments menu. The tool automatically adds your chosen color to a pre-selected area. To select a location, drag the cursor over your desired element.
The aforementioned ‘Alpha Lock’ also comes in handy for recoloring your design aspects while keeping within the outline. Use ‘Fill Layer’ from the Alpha Lock menu to recolor individual layers of your work with ease — if you want to lock the layer transparency, Gesture with a two-finger swipe.
Why not access your inner creative eccentric once more? Experiment with using eye-catching textures instead of block color, sweetie daaarling!
Quick Designs With QuickShape and QuickLine
The early iterations of Procreate came with an annoying lack of tools to produce shapes. To create even basic shapes like circles or rectangles involved entering another app to draw them and then importing them back into Procreate. Erg!
The app designers solved this annoying quirk with their version 4.2 update featuring the brand new tool ‘QuickShape.’ A welcome addition to Procreate users everywhere that converts even the most badly drawn shape or shaky line into a highly polished work of art. Hazar!
To access ‘QuickShape’ draw your desired shape, pause for a second upon finishing it, and wait for the magic to happen. To use ‘QuickLine,’ hold your pencil down after completing a pencil, brush (or another medium) stroke.
Even More Sensational Symmetry
Another aptly named Procreate feature that does what it says on the tin is the Symmetry tool, which mirrors a design on the canvas’s opposite side. Enable the Symmetry tool to produce intricate designs, eye-catching mirror images, and patterns like mandalas or zentangles.
You can access the tool through the ‘Actions’ panel. Then head to the Canvas menu to turn on ‘Drawing Guide’ and select ‘Edit Drawing Guide.’ When you have chosen from Vertical, Horizontal, Quadrant, or Radial symmetry, select ‘Done’ to go back to the design. Turn off the Symmetry tool by selecting the layer and disabling ‘Drawing Assist.’