How to sketch and draw like pros

Creating digital artwork has never been easier with iPad, Apple Pencil, and countless art-specific apps. One of these apps, which has become extremely popular because of its simple yet powerful design, is Procreate for iPad.

Create applications that rival such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop within its capabilities. It is mainly useful for illustration purposes and has a number of different brushes, tools and features that make drawing, sketching, and painting efficient and fun. You can even animate using the app.

At $9.99, it’s definitely worth it for all the features you get. However, you may not be sure where to start when you open the app and how to use Procreate to create the type of art you want. Procreate is super easy to understand, so once you learn the basics, you can start creating works you can be proud of.

Brushes and Sketching Tools

The tool that you will probably use the most are the brush tools. Procreate makes them simple and easy to access and use. In the top right corner, you can tap the brush icon to open a menu with all the pre-made brush options.

There are 18 types of brush textures, with a total of 190 brushes built into the app. Some of the basic brush styles that you probably use most often can be found in the Draw or Sketch options.

Brush in Paint Options

If you don’t see any brushes you want to use, you also have the option to create or import your own. After opening the brush library, you can tap the + icon in the top right which will take you to Brush Studio.

Here, you can experiment with a variety of settings to tailor a brush to perfectly suit your needs.

Brush Studio Window

You can also use brushes that other people have created by tapping Import. You can find and download these brushes online. If you want to delete any created or imported brushes just swipe the brush option to the left and tap Delete button.

As for using your brush, once you choose one, you’re ready to start using it to paint. If you hold down the brush, you’ll automatically be able to use the eyeliner tool to change your brush color. To change the brush size, you can use the top left vertical bar.

The bar below that you can use to change the brush opacity. The square between them is another way to access the eyeropper tool. Below the bottom bar are arrow icons that undo or redo actions. There is also an eraser, which is the middle icon in the top right.

Layering feature

Procreate for iPad also gives you the ability to use layers when creating your artwork. Using these can help you keep different parts of your work from being deleted or altered when you’re working on a separate layer. They can easily be hidden or deleted and are an extremely useful tool if you are working on a complex composition.

Class menu

To use layers, tap the icon with two overlapping squares in the top right corner. You will see the background color layer, as well as the first layer. If you want to create a new class, just tap + at the top right of the layers menu. You can swipe left on any existing layer to get the option to lock the layer (do not allow any changes to be made to it), duplicate or delete the layer.

If you tap on a layer, you can see other settings appear on the left. Here are some important settings:

  • Change name: Change the name of a class
  • Option: Selects the entire layer and gives you several editing options
  • Copy: Duplicate the entire layer
  • Strange: Remove the layer of anything on it
  • Merge down: Merge a layer with a layer below it
Settings for the selected class

If you want to move the order of layers, simply tapping and holding on a layer will allow you to drag it to any position. If you drag it outside of the layers menu, you can create a new layer that way.

Tuning and setting tools

In the top left corner is another set of icons. Under the magic wand, there’s a list of adjustments you can make to your artwork. If you select one of the adjustment settings, you can slide backward or forward on the screen to decrease or increase each setting respectively. You can also choose to reset or cancel while making any of these changes.

Magic wand menu

At the end Adjust The menu is a number of color grading options. You can change hue, saturation and brightness. Below Color balanceyou can set the balance between cyan/red, magenta/green and yellow/blue tones Use Curve to set black/white, red, green, and blue tones. Finally, you can use Color it again to change the color of parts of your work.

The last icon with the mouse pointer also gives you tools to make some changes to your project, such as flip, rotate, adapt your work to the screen or effects other deformation.

Export your art

Procreate for iPad automatically saves your work, so you don’t have to worry about saving every time you work. You can also export your finished project in various formats and the app makes it super simple.

Share button below the wrench icon

Tap the wrench icon in the top left, then tap Repost button. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of file formats to share your work with. You will then choose the quality you want to export to, and then you will see all your options for where to export it.

This allows you to send your finished work to Google Drive, your iPad documents, and most other platforms where you can save or share images.

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