In Procreate, illustration possibilities are endless. With this convenient, intuitive design tool, you can create everything from simple sketches to animated characters to digital hand lettering—even if you’ve never used the app before. Below, we’ve collected eight Procreate tutorials to help you get started on your next project.
1. Get to Know Procreate
If you’re brand new to Procreate, this is a great tutorial to start with. This step-by-step guide walks you through everything you need to know before you even install the app—from how pros use Procreate to the hardware you need to use the program.
Then, it guides you through setting up your canvas and creating your first design. You’ll learn the different features within Procreate, including actions, brushes, layers, and functions like undo and redo. The tutorial then explains how to sketch, add texture, create backgrounds, and export your illustration. If you’re a beginner, don’t skip this tutorial—it will give you a solid foundation that will allow you to transition seamlessly to more advanced, involved Procreate app tutorials.
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2. Texture Your Illustrations
If you want to make your illustrations look more organic and less computer-generated, this is the tutorial for you. Texturing your Procreate illustrations can give them a hand-drawn, vintage look and feel. In this Skillshare class, graphic designer Jamie Bartlett provides comprehensive Procreate tutorials for using the brushes that come with Procreate and creating your own custom brushes to add depth and texture to your illustrations.
The tutorial guides you through illustrating one of your favorite places—whether that’s your home, apartment, or even a coffee shop. Bartlett even provides tips on how to design your original illustration (including how to use and organize multiple layers) that will make it easier to add texture down the line.
3. Create a Shareable Timelapse
One of the coolest features in Procreate is that it records every stroke you make while creating an illustration. That means when you finish a design, you’ll have a shareable timelapse of your entire creative process—which you can post on your social media or reference when you create something new. In this class, Skillshare instructor Vashti Harrison walks you through the process from start to finish, including the sketching and drawing that comes before the final timelapse.
This tutorial is great for beginners, as it walks through the initial steps of starting with a blank canvas, all the way through sketching, coloring, lighting, building your background, and adding finishing touches. Finally, Harrison explains how to preview, trim, and export your timelapse.
4. Animate an Illustration
After you learn to create static images, you can use Procreate 5X tutorials to make your illustrations come alive. If you’ve never dabbled in animation, Procreate makes it easy, as Skillshare instructor Brooke Glaser demonstrates in this tutorial. In just a few short steps, you can take an existing illustration, add movement to it, and export it as a shareable GIF.
In this tutorial, you’ll start with an existing illustration, so it’s helpful if you’re already familiar with the basic tools and features of Procreate (and if you’re not, see tutorial #1 above). Then, Glaser guides you through prepping your art for animation, adding the incremental frame-by-frame movements, and looping the animation. This tutorial teaches fairly simple animation movements, like position animation (moving an object across the canvas), transformation animation (changing an element of the drawing, like the opacity of a color), and redrawn animation (which requires you to redraw an element several times with slight differences).
5. Design an Intricate Pattern
Every design program has its strengths and weaknesses, and some artists have found it to be very difficult to create intricate patterns in Procreate. However, Skillshare instructor Di Ujdi (also known as Nina) was able to develop a tried-and-true method for creating even the most complex patterns in Procreate—and this tutorial will guide you through that process.
First, you’ll learn how to create a solid base for your pattern, testing and refining until you finalize the first pattern swatch. Then, you’ll dive into drawing and texturing techniques to enhance the pattern. At the end, you’ll have an editable pattern swatch, which will allow you to make modifications and re-color the pattern as often as you’d like.
6. Create Digital Hand Lettering
You can use Procreate to design much more than images and illustrations. In this Skillshare class, instructor Gia Graham explains the basics of how to approach digital hand lettering in Procreate. While Graham has 20 years of experience in graphic design, she only began hand lettering a few years ago—and according to her, “It has completely changed my career.”
Learning how to create hand-lettered designs in Procreate can open up many possibilities in your creative pursuits. If you’re a crafter, for example, you can learn how to create unique hand-lettered labels and packaging for your orders. Or, if you’re a graphic designer, hand lettering can allow you to add a unique personal touch to your creations.
In this tutorial, Graham begins with the fundamentals of hand lettering, including basic lettering terms and styles, as well as the basic lettering features of Procreate, so you can begin feeling comfortable with the app. You’ll then learn how to sketch basic letterforms and then create clean lines and curves when inking your letters.
7. Make a Digital Image Look Like Ink Illustration
While Procreate is a digital drawing tool, there are many ways you can use it to incorporate a look of traditional paper-and-pen art. In this class, Skillshare instructor Liz Kohler Brown explains several techniques you can use to achieve the look of an ink illustration in Procreate.
Brown starts from the very beginning, providing instructions for creating an initial line drawing sketch. She then discusses how to place highlights and shadows and explains three ways to use lines and dots (hatching, cross hatching, and stippling) to replicate that lighting and depth. The tutorial also explores how to use bold color to your linework to add variation and contrast.
8. Create Digital Marbling
Unlike many of the Procreate iPad tutorials above, this one focuses on creating abstract art, rather than replicating an object. You’ve likely seen art like this featured on social media—with cups of multi-colored paint poured onto a flat canvas, and then tipped and swirled to achieve the desired effect. With this tutorial, you’ll create something similar; however, without the mess of paint, you’re free to create it from your bed, couch, or on the go.
In this tutorial, Skillshare instructor Rich Armstrong leans into Procreate’s liquify tool, showing you different brushes and techniques that can turn a simple swirl of color into a piece of art full of movement, mood, and irregularity. Throughout the tutorial, he also provides general Procreate tips and tricks, so you will walk away with a new skill and a deeper understanding of how to use Procreate to achieve your artistic vision.
These Procreate 2020 tutorials can get you started on some fun, unique projects and expand your digital illustration toolbox. Whether you’re a complete novice or an advanced illustrator, you can learn something new from these eight Procreate tutorials. Now, grab your iPad and get started!
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