Draw Your Instagram Profile Picture on Procreate | Simon Ip | Skillshare

Draw Your Instagram Profile Picture on Procreate

Simon Ip, Digital content creator

Draw Your Instagram Profile Picture on Procreate

Simon Ip, Digital content creator

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12 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Class Project

    • 3. About Procreate

    • 4. Anatomy of a Profile Picture

    • 5. Setting-up Your Canvas

    • 6. Procreate's Toolbars

    • 7. Uploading References

    • 8. Brushes and Sketching

    • 9. Colouring

    • 10. Final Touches

    • 11. Exporting Your Drawing

    • 12. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


What is the class about?

This class is to help you get started on Procreate.

By the end of this class, you will have created an illustration of yourself. This class will cover:

  • Introduction to Procreate's interface
  • Brushes and sketching
  • Colour theory
  • Lights and shadows
  • Exporting your digital self-portrait for social media and web
  • etc.

Who is this class for?

  • This is a beginner’s class for anyone looking to use Procreate
  • Basic art knowledge is useful but not required

Why is the class useful?

This class is a great way to introduce Procreate to artists by encouraging students to draw themselves. The completed avatar can also serve as:

  • A logo for your business
  • A profile picture to your social media channels
  • A great exercise to get introduced to Procreate

Materials / Resources 

I will be using the drawing application Procreate on an iPad Pro. You can follow along on any medium as I would still love to see your projects. 

What can I expect from this class?

In this class you will get:

  • An introduction to Procreate
  • Review a few traditional art basics (i.e. colour theory, lights, shading)
  • Practical use of your avatar by learning to export it for social media and web

Music credit:

Places by Atch https://soundcloud.com/atch-music
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Meet Your Teacher

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Simon Ip

Digital content creator

Top Teacher

I’m a trained medical illustrator and full-time digital marketer. I love to create visual content to inspire people to live happier and healthier lives. 

Drawing was my first love. I remember doodling for hours everyday as a child with the rage to master perspective, proportions, shading etc. I was dreaming of becoming an artist despite the disapproval of my traditional Chinese parents.

Over the years, I shifted priorities and focused more on my professional work in digital health. I stopped drawing and creating any type of art. This lasted at least five years.

Recently, I mustered the courage to pick-up a pen again. Just like riding a bicycle, it wasn’t difficult to get back into practice. After splurging on a new iPad Pro, I decided to make t... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Let's talk about the profile picture and what makes not a good, but a great profile picture. Hi, I'm Simon. I'm a digital and content creator. I'm passionate about creating engaging video and find the illustrations. A profile picture is very important specifically, if you are an artist on social media. It's the first image that will grab the attention of your audience if they are searching for a hashtag or for an account in particular. In my previous class, I help you get started with your drawing practice. In this class, I'm going to help you create your own digital portrait using Procreate. Throughout the class, I'm going to introduce you to Procreate. If you're a beginner, you're in luck. Creating your own digital portrait is a real fun and engaging exercise. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to let your personality shine and showcase your art style in one single image. Ensure that your image is also attention-grabbing. How would you do that? Make sure that you use the right colors to grab the attention of people. We have a whole video lessons dedicated to color theories, a little bit down the road. At the end of this class, you will have your own avatar that you can share all over social media. If you feel a little bit overwhelmed, don't be. This is an interactive class through your project gallery, upload your progresses, and I'll be there to respond to you to make sure that by the end of this class, you'll create a digital portrait of yourself that you're proud of. Now, ready to start drawing? Get your pencil, ready, set, go. See you in the next video, well I'll give you more information on your project, which is, Creating a Digital Portrait for social media. Bye now. 2. The Class Project: A digital portrait is a great way to introduce your art style to the world and your personality. For this class project, you will be sharing in your project gallery your own digital portrait. I'll be working on Procreate, or you're welcome to use any medium of your choice. The benefit of creating a digital portraits are first of all, to get you started with digital illustration, our face the way we look is something that we are very familiarized with since we see our reflection everyday in the mirror. It comes to no surprise that it's a great first illustration to get started with. Second of all, we all need a new profile picture, especially for artist, a picture that will grab the attention and really showcase our own art style and personality to the rest of the world. I think that a digital portrait is a great way to showcase your own personality and style to the rest of the world. Especially if it's used on your personal social media channel. As of today, Instagram profile picture is at a 180 pixel by a 180 pixel, it's a square and a circle in a square. I always encourage people to draw a little bit wider because 180 pixel is really tiny. In this class, we will start with a canvas of 2048 times 2048. Remember that this is an interactive class and that I'm only one click away. If at anytime you find this assignment a little bit overwhelming and you need more guidance, upload your progresses on the project gallery, and let me know. I'll make sure to help you, provide you with some feedback. At the end, I want you to have a portrait that you're proud of. Now that you're ready. Let's talk a little bit more Procreate and digital art. Click on the next video and meet me there. 3. About Procreate: Now let's talk about this magic app, Procreate. Procreate is a digital painting app for iOS and iPad OS. That means that it's currently available only for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. I'm currently using Procreate on an iPad Pro. I'm a little bit biased because using Procreate has helped me get back into drawing, and that's why I want to give you a little bit of pros and cons using Procreate on an iPad Pro or any iPad devices. First of all, Procreate has a one-time fee of $10, which is, in my opinion, very cheap. If you think of all the things that you can achieve at a very professional level, it's a great tool to have. Procreate is very easy to use. I find it to have a very easy and intuitive interface also for beginners. If you're a graphic designer and you're used to using Photoshop, you'll see that Procreate also has possibilities of having a lot of layers. This is great because then you can start drawing in different layers, make mistakes, and not really worry about it. Just make sure that you've drawn the right layer. What I love the most about Procreate is that it's a really great tool for people who are used to sketching and doodling, and scribbling. There's just so much control that you have with the pen pressure on the tablet. Finally, Procreate is such a popular tool that there's a wealth of information online, so if you need further education, you can continue watching Procreate videos on Skillshare, find them on YouTube, or search the Internet for them. There's also great communities where you can ask your questions. I'm sure that whatever your problem is or if you get stuck, there's always a solution. Procreate is currently only available for iOS and iPad OS, which means that you'll need to spend quite a lot of money if you want to buy a new iPad and a new iPen as well to go with it. So think of it as an investment. Now that I gave you a quick overview of the material, in this case, Procreate, let's learn a little bit more about what makes a great profile picture. See you in the next video. Bye. 4. Anatomy of a Profile Picture: A profile picture is a great way to grab the attention of people. How do you make that happen? Well, listen to this video lesson, and I'll give you a few of my favorite tips. There are different ways to make a great first impression with your profile picture. First of all, make it recognizable; make sure that your own personal style is recognizable, through that tiny little image, 180 pixel by 180 pixel to be exact. Second, ensure that your image is also attention-grabbing. How do you do that? Make sure that you use the right colors to grab the attention of people. We have a whole video lessons dedicated to color theories a little bit down the road. Lastly, make sure that you create a profile picture that is personal to you, something that you like and you feel that it evokes, exudes a little bit of who you are as an artist, as a person, and that people could see a little bit of your personality and your quirks. It's a lot to ask, I know. Just like on Instagram and a lot of other social media platform, you'll see that the profile picture, is in a circle. Because of that tight space, I recommend that you limit yourself just to drawing maybe the head, the shoulder, but not more than a torso, unless this is the type of illustration that you're really well-known for or it's a statement. I recommend also that you look through a lot of different artists profile to see what their profile picture consists of. Throughout my research, I've seen that a lot of profile consists of profiles. People like to draw themselves, showing off their strongest features, which is usually, their profile. So you'll see a lot of profile picture where people are drawing themselves three-quarter or on the side profile. I also recommend that you look for inspiration everywhere you go. My partner and I, we recently when to the Fotografiska Museum in Stockholm, and there was an exposition by this photographer, Miles Aldridge. He likes to use a lot of very vibrant colors to create very engaging fun portraits. Here Here a few of the favorite one that I like. You could see that they would make great profile pictures by their contrast, by their strong features of the models, and by their strong compositions. The same rule may apply to your profile picture. Look up photographers, digital artists, traditional artists, painters that you like, to get inspired. If you're in a quest for more inspiration, look out for mood-board, look out for a color palettes, create your own mood-board. It's quite easy; take lot of pictures, and then drop them in a Word document, or create a mood-board on Pinterest, or on your iPad Pro via Procreate. A few rules you should remember, the profile picture will be presented in such a small format that makes sure that it is recognizable. Sometimes simpler is better. The main focus should be on you, so make sure that you don't have a background that is grabbing too much attention. Now that you're more familiar with what a good profile picture consists of, it's time to get your pencil. In the next video lesson, we're going to look at how to set up your Canvas for your profile picture on Procreate. See you the next video lesson. Bye now. 5. Setting-up Your Canvas: Now that we've dissected the anatomy of what makes a great profile picture for your social media channel, we're going to set up the right canvas at the right size using Procreate. First of all, Procreate is available on the Apple store. So go there and download it. You'll have to pay a fee of approximately $10. The price may vary from region to region, but it's a one time fee and that's why I like it so much. There's no need to worry about subscription and renewal of that fee or hidden fees. Now it's time to open Procreate and set up the canvas size to create your profile picture for your social media image. Now I'm going to walk you through the steps on how to set up the right canvas size for your illustration using Procreate. In this specific instance, we're talking about creating a digital image for your social media profile pictures. So there's no need to go above 300 DPIs. In this case, I'm going to use a canvas of 2014 pixel by 2048 pixel by a 132 DPI, which gives you a lot of free room to wiggle, to make mistake and choose zoom in if needed. The great advantage is that first of all, if you decide to draw yourself from head to toe, you can still zoom in to your face and create a nice profile picture of high quality for your Instagram profile. Second of all, if you'd like to use this image for something else, even a smaller scale printing, it will be possible because your quality will be high enough. Let me guide you through the steps, on the Procreate gallery page click on the "Plus" button that you will find on the right top corner. You will see different new canvas options. I usually pick a square format for screen of 2048 pixel by 2048 pixel at a 132 DPI. It's always good practice to name your canvas right away. Now with the new Procreate update Procreate 5x, it's possible to write using your iPen directly. Just scratch and then write. Now, click on the big white square and you can start drawing right away. Most of my illustration are intended for my Instagram page and I think that this format is of high quality enough for it without going overboard. In the next video lesson, I'm going to give you a quick walkthrough of the interface and explain to you the different tools available under toolbars. See you in the next video lesson. Bye now. 6. Procreate's Toolbars: Now that we set up the Canvas size, let's take a look at Procreate. First of all, Procreate has a really intuitive interface, in my opinion. Especially, if you're a graphic designer or you have experience with Photoshop, you will see that it will take you no time to get back into it, I am convinced. Procreate is raster space, meaning it uses pixels. It's not as strong as Photoshop in term of all the different option that it provides with photo manipulation and mask. But it's great if you are a toddler or you love sketching, simply because the control that you have using your iPen on the tablet is fantastic. I'm going to explain the different tools that are available. First of all, on the top left corner, the top right corner, and then the additional options on the left side of your tablet. Let's check it out. On the top left corner, you will find five different tools. The gallery button allows you to go back and look at all the different projects that you're working on. Actions, this is where you will find, for example, the possibility of uploading images if you want to use them as reference, which we'll talk a little bit more in depth in the next video lessons. Adjustment, adjustment will allow you to make some changes to your drawing. This is where you will find a hue and saturation, noise, blur options. Selection is where it will allow you to select parts of your drawing using the selection tool. The transform tool, which will allow you to rotate, transform, distort parts of your drawing. The top right corner is really meant more for your illustration process. You will find there brushes where you'll be able to find different type of brushes. If you're looking for a specific brush set, you can also find them online for a small fee to support your local artist or for free. Your smudges tool, your eraser, layers. Just like Photoshop, Procreate uses different layers and this is a great way to draw. By using a lot of different layers, you can trace a lot of your hesitant sketches and create very confident lines, while deleting the layers that do not serve any purposes anymore. Just make sure that you draw on the right layer. Colors, where you will have the possibility to save the different color palettes that you're working with and also create new ones, upload new ones. But we'll get more into colors in the next video lesson. On the left-hand side, you will see a bar that well allows you to change the brush size, change the opacity, redo, undo. Now, for redo and undo, I usually tap two fingers to undo and three to redo. There are also a lot of shortcuts that you can find on Procreate and create your own that will help you simplify and make your drawing practice more efficient. Now that you feel a little bit better about the interface of Procreate, it's time to look at the different ways that you can upload a photo to use as a reference while you start trying your digital portrait. See you in the next class. Bye. 7. Uploading References: In this video lesson, I'm going to show you the different ways you can upload a photo on Procreate to act as a reference photo. In the previous video lessons, we talked about the importance at looking at lots of different profile pictures, images, photos in order to get inspired. That includes looking at different profile pictures online, traditional artists, art that just makes you happy and want to create art. In this specific video lesson, I'm going to instruct you to look at photos of yourself, and see what are the features that make you, you. By looking at different picture of myself, I can see that I like to wear hats, whether it's a fedora, a toque, a cap, there's a lot to choose from. Now, adding those up of little details can help the audience recognize that this is you. You are the person that you've drawn. Now I'm going to discuss about two different ways to upload a photo on Procreate to act as a reference. The first one consists of uploading the image directly. In this case, go to "Action", "Insert a photo" and select pic from your photo library. Tap twice on the layer to change your opacity. In my case, I like to have it at around 20 percent or less. In order not to draw on the wrong layer by mistake, I like to swipe left and click on "Lock" so now this layer is secure and I cannot draw on this photo by mistake. If you toggle the check-mark here, you'll be able to make the image visible or invisible. This is our first way on how to upload a reference photo. You'll see a lot of artists on Instagram, they are exporting their drawing process via a time-lapse that's created automatically by Procreate. By selecting private, this specific reference image layer will not be seen in your time-lapse, so people don't know what actual photo you used while drawing this illustration. Swipe right and insert private photo if you don't want to be seen in your time-lapse when you export it. Another way to do it that has recently been implemented by Procreate and now available only on Procreate 5X is to upload a new Canvas as a reference. That means that you have your main area where you draw and separately, you'll have a window that you can move around with this image that will not be perceived also in your time-lapse. This is how you do it, go to "Action" and select "Canvas", and then choose reference and pick image. You can see that you can resize and move the reference Canvas the way you want it, and if you tap once, a menu option will show up and you'll be able to close the Canvass reference if you don't need it anymore. Now that you have your photo uploaded, it's time to get started with the fun part, which is sketching. See you in the next video lesson. Bye. 8. Brushes and Sketching: Now it's time to get into the fun part, sketching. Although Procreate cannot compare to Photoshop in term of photo manipulation and doesn't have a vector function like Adobe Illustrator, it is great for doodlers and sketchers. I think that you have so much control using your iPen over your tablet that you don't even need to start doodling on a piece of paper, transfer it on your tablet digitally, and then trace it. No, it's much simpler. With Procreate, I directly dive into my sketching on my iPad. I'll tell you how I'm doing it. First of all, I create two layers on my iPad; one dedicated for a rough sketch and the other one for a cleaner line. Once I'm happy with the rough sketch, I double-tap on the layer and lower the opacity to 20 percent or lesser, so I can still see the drawing that is underneath it. You have also the options to lock that layer so then you don't accidentally draw on it. Now the fact that it's also at a lower opacity is that if by mistake I start drawing on it, I will see that my color is off and that I am actually on the wrong layer. Now I have a layer or layer group dedicated to creating clean lines. I usually put that layer on top. One of the most popular and trending topic that we hear about Procreate is always the topic of brushes. To be honest, I only use 95 percent of the time, two brushes and they are super simple to create. I'll let you know how right now. I'm creating two brushes based off those technical pen. One with a maximum streamline and one with a minimum streamline. What the streamline does is that it allows you to control how much smoothness to your curves you want to add. The reason why I'm creating two brushes is as follow. For rough sketches, I want a brush with zero streamlines, which means that when I start doodling and I have those hesitating lines in order to create my rough sketch, I don't want any streamline to interfere, and that's why I put it all the way to zero. You can see that when I start doodling at zero streamline, you can see all the wiggles, your imperfection as it's supposed to be. Now the streamline at 100 percent or at maximum capacity allows me to create clear and nice, confident lines. I want to use this function when I start tracing my own rough sketches. These are the only two brushes or pen that I use 95 percent of the time. First, go on the top-right corner to your brush library. Look for the technical pen. This is a default pen that is in Procreate and duplicate it. To duplicate, swipe left and click "Duplicate". I duplicate this brush because I don't want to mess up with the original settings. Also make sure that you rename the brush that you're duplicating as your own. Now click on the brush to access the brush studio. Under the Stroke path, you will find the Streamline. Now you can maximize the streamline or you can minimize the streamline. I'm worried that your final profile picture will be quite small, and that's why you need nice contrasting colors to grab the attention of the viewer. In the next video lesson, we'll talk a little bit more about color theories and how to create great color pallets on Procreate. See you in the next video lesson. 9. Colouring: Now, for your profile picture, remember that choosing the right colors play an essential role in order to grab the attention of the viewer. Assuming that most people like yourself, will scroll through a list of other digital artists, you need to have a profile picture that demands attention. In this video lesson, we're going to talk a little bit about color theory and how to pick the right color combo. Also, help you create beautiful color palettes. A color wheel is basically a rainbow where all the colors are looping into a circle. We discussed about the three primary colors, we have red, yellow, and blue. At the intersection of those, you will have as a secondary colors, orange, green, and purple. This is your foundation of your color wheel. When we talk about cold and warm colors, it is exactly what it sounds like. Cold colors are bluish in hue, warm color are reddish. If you make a separation on the color wheel, this is how they will be separated. Complementary colors are colors that are at opposite end of the color wheel. Now this is personally my favorite combo to create color palettes. We know that by adding a little bit of warm and cold colors that are complementary, you will create beautiful color palettes. For example, red and green, orange and blue, yellow, purple. We usually tend to put in the foreground, which means the character in warmer color or stronger or vibrant colors, and in the background, usually cooler or desaturated, softer colors. Of course, there's exceptions to this rule, where you can have a bright red in the background, like in this picture of myself. But you also see that the blue suit I'm wearing is very strong and contrasts nicely with the red. Finally, analogous colors means that it's colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. This means that we can have a combo of red, orange, and yellow as a color palette. There are also a lot of apps that will allow you to create beautiful color palette. You don't necessarily need to remember all of the color theories. This is just a quick introduction. I personally use the app called Coolors that allows me to create beautiful color palette, scan through the different color palettes that are currently trending, and then save them and import them on Procreate. You can also look at photographies or paintings that you really like and sample their color through Procreate. This is how you import color palettes directly from the photo that you like or illustration that you like. Also, from a file that was exported via, for example, Coolors or any type of color generator. At first, select a color dot on the top right corner. The plus sign next to palette, select "New from photo". Here you can decide which image you would like to extract their colors from. Now, this is a new feature from Procreate 5X. If you haven't upgraded, you won't have this feature available. Here's a little tip. When you import a photo, you can also directly sample the color from the photo on Procreate. Just use your index finger, tap on the specific color that you like, and leave it on for a few seconds. You will see that on the top right corner, your color had been sampled. Now to save it, simply open your color palette swatch and drag it there. Now that you have your colored illustration, let's add a little bit of oomph to it to make it stand out a little bit more. See you in the next video lesson. 10. Final Touches: All right, we're almost done. You have your image almost ready. It's nice, it's bright, it's colorful. It demands attention. How can we add a little bit of oomph to it? How can we jazz it up? In this video lesson, I'm going to show you how to add a little bit of highlights to it. It's a very simple step, but I find to be very effective. In order to add a little bit of highlight, you also need to think about where your light source come from? By centered, your light source is usually on your top left corner. Imagine that your light source shines on your character from the top left corner. To add some highlight, I usually create a new layer. Create a clipping mask for the layer called Skin. Now, the Skin layer is everything that is to color of my skin. That means that the white that I draw outside of this selected section will not be seen. I'd like to add bright white color at a 100 percent. But if it's too much, you're also welcome to lower the opacity. So you double tap on the highlight layer, and you just lower the opacity by dragging it to the left. With this in mind, I can add a little bit of highlights on the tip of the nose, the lips, corner of the ears here. Now, you can clean up the lines, and we are done. Apply the same concept, for example, on the clothes, where you see that we could add some shadows to add some definition. As always be reminded of your light source coming from the top left corner and add the shadow strategically. You can create shadow by selecting a darker version of this cap. I'm quite happy with how it looks now and I think we are ready to export the profile picture. Check out the next video lesson where I am going to show you how to export it, and upload it on Instagram. Bye. 11. Exporting Your Drawing: Now that you've completed your digital portrait and you're ready to upload it on your social media profile. Take a second, and why don't you upload it onto your project gallery on Skillshare. I'm going to show you how to export the image for Instagram. First, remember that Instagram is mobile based. It's much easier to do it via your phone or your tablet. First you go to action on the top right corner, then select, share and export as JPEG. It's because Instagram default format is JPEG. Even if you export it as a PNG, it will still be rasterized and compressed as JPEG. From your mobile phone, go to your Instagram profile, select edit profile, then change profile picture. Select, upload photo from your camera roll. Once uploaded, the mobile version will allow you to zoom in if needed, on the photos. There's no need to re crop it from Procreate. If you follow the instruction previously, we've created an illustration on a square canvas that is large enough and off high-quality enough to be directly exported for Instagram. Here's another tip. In your Instagram bio, if you're a digital artist, make sure to add the word digital artist or art or Procreate. This will be a great way when people are searching for you to find you easily. Now you've created a digital portrait that you're proud of. You've uploaded it on your Instagram account as your new profile picture. You've also put it in your project gallery so then we can discuss and provide you with feedback. Congrats. Check out the next video to see our final thoughts. Bye. 12. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you've made it. You've completed this class. By now, you would have completed your own digital portrait and uploaded it on Instagram for the world to see. Furthermore, you would have completed your Skillshare project by uploaded your masterpiece or your progresses on your project gallery. By now, you have a better understanding on how to use and navigate Procreate's interface. You have a good understanding of color theories and how to sample color palettes. You know how to upload an image for reference. You also have had an introduction on how to create simple brushes. You also have a better understanding on how to export photos and how to set up your own canvas. Finally, you also know how to export your image and upload it for your social media platform. Now, I'd love to see more of your digital portrait and illustration, so if you haven't yet, please upload your project on your project gallery and I'll make sure to respond to it. Thank you so much for watching this class. It's been my joy and pleasure to be teaching you. I hope to see you guys soon. See you in the next class. Bye.