How to Use Apple’s Procreate App

Procreate is an innovative digital painting and drawing program widely utilized by professional illustrators. Learn to utilize its menus and tools effectively for crafting stunning pieces of art.

Based on your artistic style, using layers can be helpful in staying organized and saving time. By keeping color and lines separate on separate layers, mistakes are less likely.


No matter if it be on paper or digitally, different brushes exist to help create the look and feel that is desired. Procreate offers some default brushes as a starting point; alternatively there are numerous sets available on the App Store with specific functions for inking, pen and watercolor as well as grouping by purpose such as calligraphy floral and geometric.

Brush settings provide controls to adjust how your brush behaves, including its shape, size, density, color of tip and dynamics when drawing over colors. Furthermore, there’s an option to create an “Apple Pencil Wet Mix Effect,” altering how Apple Pencils carry pigment across canvas surfaces.

There are settings to customize the appearance of a brush stroke path, making precise lines easier. Procreate’s tools help make you a more accurate artist; such as perspective and symmetry guides as well as a reference companion that keeps track of all your works.

Procreate’s clipping masks and adjustments offer another impressive feature for editing selective areas without disturbing other layers. While not as comprehensive as those in Photoshop, these tools can still be effective ways to quickly clean up designs or add effects to photos before using them in illustrations.

Procreate offers several additional tools that make creating illustrations faster and simpler, including its GIF animation tool for creating time-lapse videos of your work; export your illustrations as PDFs, PNGs, JPEGs, TIFFs or GIF or MP4 animation files; create QuickMenus with up to six of your most frequently used actions – these features help make Procreate an efficient illustrator solution!


Layers are one of Procreate’s key features, enabling you to effortlessly create complex compositions with ease. Use various blending modes, masks and alpha options to achieve unique visual effects.

Layer opacity controls how much of the content on a layer is visible, while its Blend Mode determines how it interacts with other layers in your composition. If, for instance, you want to darken a text layer’s background without altering its font color, Darken Blend Mode might be just what is needed; simply select it before darkening its hue will ensure no text remains unchanged by this change in hue.

Clipping Mask allows you to temporarily obscure parts of a layer without crossing its boundaries – an especially helpful feature if coloring over or adding detail without going outside of its lines. To create one, first select the layer you wish to edit; tap on the clipping mask icon; this will reveal different options; select “color fill” option to change all pixels in that layer with that particular hue; finally press OK!

Locking layers is another useful feature of layers. Doing this prevents anyone from writing or selecting anything on them. To lock, just swipe to the left and select Lock; to unlock, simply swipe back rightward and choose Unlock.

Procreate’s layers allow for additional features that can make life easier, such as copying, moving and merging layers; using clipping masks to control how your painting appears; as well as clipping masks to control transparency of layers and layer opacity controls for even further control over how they look. If you need help using Procreate’s layers to paint beautiful pictures check out these helpful tutorials from some of our favorite instructors!

Peggy Dean of Pigeon Letters is an internationally published artist, best-selling author, and award-winning educator. Her courses provide a thorough framework for calligraphy and lettering art forms as well as keys for running creative businesses successfully. In her tutorials you will learn everything from using shapes and layers to creating morphing animations – the list goes on and on!


Animation can be used for much more than memes or annoying reactions; it can make product illustrations look more vibrant, provide visual instructions, add an artistic flourish to a business logo and more. There are many apps out there that provide animated content creation tools and features; however, few come close to Procreate’s powerful toolset and features.

This app is straightforward and user-friendly, offering numerous built-in features that make animating easier than ever before. These include a flip book feature for frame-by-frame animations as well as advanced tools designed to bring art alive.

As an example, you can add more realism to your drawings by drawing over them with the Liquify tool, which allows you to stretch, squash, and distort elements for greater realism in your project and more interesting artwork for viewers.

QuickShape tool is another essential feature, helping you craft perfectly straight lines quickly and easily. Just tap and hold any line or shape at its beginning or ending points and Procreate will create one with perfect measurements! This works for any line, arc, circle, ellipse quadrilateral shape etc.

Procreate features an assortment of brushes for creating different effects, from basic background sketches with pencil and eraser, to adding textures and rusty elements using watercolor brushes or grunge effects with Grunge brushes.

The app can even help you create animations with multiple layers, for example when working on images with steam coming out of a pot, you could create a layer for it using Watercolor brush for more realism, then animated it using smooth movement across screen or looping GIF for sharing on social media.


Apple Pencil users will enjoy using this app as it provides a realistic digital drawing experience with its wide array of brushes and realistic digital painting experience. Ideal for sketching, flat illustration and more. Create effects such as chromatic aberration and realistic blur; apply paint filters or adjustment effects such as Bloom directly on an image or layer effect, halftone glitch effects for adding texture and interest, halftone bloom effects that create depth, halftone glow effects for layer effects as well as Push, Twirl Expand Grow Liquify distortion modes to give full creative control over creations!

Procreate is packed with tools designed to help you craft your own signature art style and workflow, such as standard, isometric and custom grids to assist with perspective and layout, and an ability to import fonts of your own choice. In addition, this app features numerous text options including kerning, tracking, leading, baseline position etc – the vector text lives on its own layer so it’s easy to rasterize for use across layers and in Procreate effects.

Procreate’s most exciting feature is its new ability to record and replay time-lapse videos of your work, providing a handy way to showcase your process or share fun animated GIFs of your artwork. This can be found under Actions > Animation Assist.

Another handy feature is the option to export layers without leaving the canvas, which is particularly helpful when designing for Print on Demand (POD) platforms. Each layer can be exported individually or collectively as an image stack; you also have control over which formats will be saved as PDF.

Procreate app is free to download, though for maximum access to features it is recommended that you purchase the full version for $299.99 USD. Furthermore, be sure to back up all files regularly on either computer or cloud storage as the app doesn’t automatically save them for you.

Press ESC to close