Procreate is fuelling creativity by offering an accessible and highly functional platform that is simple yet versatile. Its primary appeal lies in the fact that the application scales and evolves with the changing requirements of your artistic abilities. From hosting an impressive library of brushes to adding intuitive typography features, Procreate has become the go-to tool for bringing ideas to life.
Since Procreate has something to offer to everyone, from professional illustrators to hobbyists, here are a few tips that will allow you to extract the most value out of it.
10 Must-Know Procreate Tips For Beginners
1. Get a Hold of the Basic Gestures
Procreate simplifies several essential functions by adding gesture-controlled shortcuts. As a result, you will have more time to create beautiful designs instead of being stuck navigating the menu.
Here are a few default gesture controls that you must master:
|Zoom In||Two-finger outwards pinching action|
|Zoom Out||Two-finger inwards pinching action|
|Undo||Two-finger screen tap|
|Continuous Undo||Two-finger hold|
|Redo||Three-finger screen tap|
|Continuous Redo||Three-finger hold|
|Rotate||Two-finger twisting action|
|Eye Dropper||One-finger tap and hold|
|Erase Layer||Three-finger wiggle|
|Normal Size||Two-finger pinching until closed|
|Cut/ Copy/ Paste||Three-finger downward swipe|
|Full Screen||Four-finger tap|
Plus, Procreate allows you to personalise gesture control, which can further streamline your flow. Go to Settings > Preferences > Gesture Controls to create your own shortcuts.
2. Prevent Your Hand From Getting in the Way
Since Procreate is primarily a touch-based app, the last thing you want is your hand to set off action or ruin your artwork while you are busy getting your creative juices flowing. Fortunately, you can protect it by disabling touch without losing gesture control!
Navigate to Settings > Preferences > Gesture Controls > General and toggle on the switch next to “Disable Touch Actions” and tap on “Done.”
Of course, you can no longer use your fingers for creating designs, but everyone knows that a stylus offers greater control.
3. Use Layers to Organise Your Composition
Just like any creative application, Procreate allows you to sort, organise, and preserve your drawings in layers. You can use these layers to mask design elements, display them in the foreground and background, duplicate them, regulate opacity, and even blend your creations.
Name your layers to clearly describe their contents to easily edit, navigate, and organise them, especially when designing detailed illustrations. Procreate also allows you to group layers to make organisation easier.
4. Left-Handed Artists Rejoice
Left-handed people have always had to bear the brunt of designs that are suited for right-handed users. With Procreate, it will no longer be an issue.
Procreate allows you to shift the sidebar tools on the right so that you can use your left hand to pick brushes or draw without breaking your flow. Tap on Settings > Preferences and toggle the “Right-hand interface” option, and voila, your interface will suit your dominant hand.
5. Create Perfect Shapes in One Go
Let’s face it, when you are taken over by creativity, the last thing on your agenda is to perfect shapes or draw straight lines. Instead, you want accurate results without putting in too much effort, and Procreate understands that. And for this reason, it offers a “Quickshape” feature that can adjust shapes and sizes right off the bat.
As the name indicates, Quickshape auto-corrects your design to eliminate asymmetry, shakiness, or lopsidedness in your creations. Enable it by heading over to Settings > Preferences > Gesture Controls > Quickshape. Then create your design and continue holding the pencil down at the end of the stroke – your drawing will snap into shape!
6. Colour Your Creations in Seconds
Procreate offers colour drop fill, which can instantly colour your creations and save you time and effort. All you need to do is outline the area you wish to fill and ensure that the shape has no gaps and is completely closed. Then, drag the colour circle present on the top menu and drop it inside the shape to fill it. After that, you can use brushes to add details and texture to your drawing. You can even adjust the colour fill threshold by holding your finger or stylus against the screen after filling in the colour. Then, move the tab to the left or right for adjusting the threshold.
7. Create Colour Palettes
Speaking of colours and colouring, Procreate allows you to create colour palettes that can match and maintain style consistency throughout your art creation process.
For starters, you can use the eyedropper tool to capture and save shades to your palette. Further, you can adjust the colour by opening the disc panel or colour gradient or sliding bars to customize it further. Additionally, you can build on this feature to develop bespoke colour palettes. First, click on the plus (+) sign in the top right of the colour menu. Then, pick the colours you wish to include in the palette and save them with a unique name.
Alternatively, Procreate also offers three built-in colour palettes that can help you get started.
8. Recolour Individual Layers With Alpha Lock
Procreate’s Alpha Lock is a handy feature that allows you to recolour individual layers, add shadows, or modify existing pixels of your creation without setting off any drastic changes. First, select the layer thumbnail and activate Alpha Lock to lock the transparency. Then, select the layer again and choose the “Fill Layer” option. After that, any changes you make to the layer will affect the entire layer or specific shapes, depending on whether your shapes are open or closed.
9. Use Textured Brushes
Procreate boasts of a massive Brush library that allows you to nail down the details of your illustration. Choose from an array of pencils, brushes, charcoals, and more to suit the design and texture of your aspiration. Each brush is smartly categorised into smaller sections that make it easier to navigate. In addition, you can further edit the properties of the individual brushes to experiment with different styles.
10. Maintain Design Symmetry
It is no secret that symmetry adds to the visual appeal of any design. However, designing basic shapes, such as hearts, can cause frustration due to the lack of symmetry. Luckily, Procreate addresses this issue with its feature that maintains symmetry.
To activate Symmetry, tap on Actions > Canvas and turn on the toggle switch for the option that says “Drawing Guide.” Then enter the “Edit Drawing Guide” present underneath it and select whether you wish to maintain horizontal, vertical, quadrant, or radial symmetry. Once you click done, Symmetry will be activated. Now your design will reflect on the opposite side of the drawing. You can disable this feature by turning off Drawing Assist, or it turns off automatically when you switch layers.
With so much going on in Procreate, it is easy to lose focus of the primary goal, have fun while creating stunning designs. Thankfully, the above tips will eliminate all the stress that goes into the process and allows you to enjoy the experience. For the rest, you can hone your talents further with a GoSocial workshop. You learn with like-minded artists through a roster of live workshops and get to understand other creators’ processes. Becoming a part of a community of creative individuals is a surefire way to offer you a sense of direction and keep you inspired.
Join a thriving community of your favourite creators and get started on your next resin masterpiece.