Procreate Magic: Painting with the Eraser Tool | Ewa Kleszcz | Skillshare

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Procreate Magic: Painting with the Eraser Tool

teacher avatar Ewa Kleszcz, illustellar | Find Bliss in Making Art

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Creating Backgrounds

    • 4. Basic Rules

    • 5. Erasing with Patterns

    • 6. Erasing with Textures

    • 7. Erasing with Symmetry Tool

    • 8. Bonus: Paper Cut Out Effect

    • 9. Bonus: 3D Effect

    • 10. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Turn the Eraser Tool into a magical brush and have fun while uncovering serendipitous compositions!


In this class, you’ll learn how to create fresh and unique illustrations by revealing parts of abstract backgrounds with the Eraser Tool in Procreate.


I’ll show you how to erase using patterns, textures, and the Symmetry Tool. As a bonus, I’ll demonstrate, how you can apply paper cut out effect and 3D effect to your erased illustrations.


This easy and enjoyable process is a perfect exercise for beginners, as well as more experienced artists who just want to relax and go with the flow.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ewa Kleszcz

illustellar | Find Bliss in Making Art

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Hi there! My name is Ewa, and I'm an illustrator and embroidery artist in love with all things nature. 

Born and raised in a big city (Warsaw, Poland), I yearn to live by the ocean, and this longing for contact with the natural world is the leitmotif of my art. 



I love combining organic elements with geometry and I draw inspiration from the underwater world, plant life, cosmos, and Japanese patterns.

I’ve always been incorporating tons of details and intricate patterns into my drawings and lately, this practice translated to my embroidery, which consists of hundreds of french knots and other elaborate details.

This repetitive act of embellishing my art with copious dots, circles... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Eraser is a tool almost every artist needs. But usually it's treated as an obvious, even boring accessory that has one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to erase our mistakes. Yet, especially in the digital realm, an eraser can be so much more than that. Hi, my name is Eva, and I am a self taught artist and founder of illustration and design brand, Illustrator. Today, I will show you fun things you can do with the humble eraser though Procreate. You will learn how to turn it into a truly magical brush, and create beautiful illustrations by revealing parts of eye catching backgrounds hidden beneath your drawing layer. I will walk you through making these backgrounds as well, so you can start building your own library of resources that will become handy in many future projects. I will show you how to erase with patterns, and add interesting textures and effects to your paintings by utilizing Procreate eraser tool properties. We will also look at erasing with symmetry tool, which is perfect for designing mantras, and more fluid symmetrical compositions. We'll finish with creating fun paper cutouts and 3D effects to give your illustrations more depth. These simple yet powerful techniques will allow you to create something cool in no time, whether you are a complete beginner, or a seasoned artist. All exercises are easy to follow, so no experiences needed. You can just relax and have fun. I can't wait to see to what you'll create, so let's start painting with the eraser. 2. Class Project: For this project, you will be creating either a loose floral composition or a shape filled with patterns while applying techniques demonstrated in the class. For shape, you can use one of the reference outlines I've provided in the projects and resources section or choose any outline you like. You can make your illustration as elaborate or as simple as you wish and finish your project in 15 minutes flat if you're short on time. It's a procreate class. I'll be using an iPad and Apple pencil. However, you can achieve similar results with any drawing tablet, styles and software that supports layers like Photoshop or Adobe Fresco. 3. Creating Backgrounds: Let's start with creating a new Canvas in Procreate. Open the app and tap on the plus button right here. You can choose from a set of predefined Canvas, but let's create a new one. Make it 4,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels large with 300 DPI in case you ever want to print out your artwork. Now, let's go to brushes and pick the round brush from Painting set. Choose the color you like, resize the brush if you need to, and just start making some squiggly lines. Change the color a few times, you can just go with the flow or decide on a color palette in advance. Now let's go to the Adjustments panel and choose liquify tool. Choose a push function if it's not active yet, and just start moving the paint around on the Canvas. Now switch to the twist right tool and distort the background even more. Feel free to experiment with different modes of liquefy tool, see how they work and use the ones you like the mouse. Interesting and detailed background will be essential for our compositions, so avoid clinging large patches of the same color, just mix it up. Also, bear in mind that the background will later be covered with one solid color layer in which we will be carving out our illustrations. The solid color layer should be contrasting with the background colors. If you plan to use a white layer, you should avoid leaving too much white in your background, like I did here. If marbling isn't your thing, you then create your background in an entirely different style, as long as it's quite detailed. Here, I'm using wild light brush from artistic set to cover the Canvas with colorful smudges. Here, I'm making dots with a soft brush from airbrushing set. Wet sponge brush from water set allows me to achieve a painterly watercolor effect with more settled hills and color transitions. If you already have your favorite Procreate brushes, use those, and remember you can utilize more than one brush when creating your background. Also, don't hesitate to test out the brushes you've never tried before to see how they act. It's very intuitive process full of happy accidents, so you simply can't go wrong here. If you're eager to start erasing right away, I've prepared a couple of ready-made backgrounds for you to download from the projects and resources section of the class. Still, I encourage you to have fun with creating your own color layers. It is not a very time-consuming and really satisfying exercise. 4. Basic Rules: Now that we have our background ready, it's time to start painting. Let's create a new canvas for our first illustration. I will make it the same size as a background, but you can make it smaller or use a square format if you like. First, we need to import our background to this new file. To copy a layer from one artwork to another in Procreate, you need to go to the first file, select a layer you want to copy, and choose Copy in the menu. Get back to the gallery, open your new file, swipe down with three fingers, and choose Paste. Be careful not to move it at this point and tap the arrow first so it stays put. Of course, if you've created different size canvas, adjust and move the background around first and then hit the arrow. If you downloaded one of the backgrounds I've made for you, tab the wrench icon, choose Add, and now tap "Insert a photo" if you saved the image to your camera roll, or "Insert a file" if you saved it somewhere on your iPad. Once you find it, just tap on it and it will import to Procreate. Now let's create a layer above the background layer and fill it with solid white color. To get the true white, you need to tap twice somewhere here on the color disk. Likewise, if you tap twice down here, you will get a true black. Let's fill this layer. Go to your brushes and choose the one you are going to be painting, or should I say erasing with. Let's turn it into the eraser. Tap and hold the eraser tool icon until you see this notification, "Erase with the current brush." What this does is essentially turning your brush into the eraser with the same shape and properties as the brush. You can do this with any brush you like, but more on that later. Let's start erasing the white layer and revealing parts of our background. If you change your mind about any shape later on, just switch from the eraser to the brush and paint back the parts you want to restore. You can also use a brush to add some embellishments and smaller elements. That's why this top layer needs to be one solid color without any patterns or textures, so we can freely add and subtract parts of it. Usually, erasing is a destructive way of working. But when you use a solid color, you can revert anything and easily make corrections and refine your composition. On a side note, if you don't like to improvise, you can sketch your composition beforehand on another layer, turn the opacity down and use it as a reference while erasing the solid color layer. The great thing is you can also make adjustments to the background at any point. Let's say you finished your composition and you're happy with it. But you notice a part of the backgrounds reveals that you don't like. You can get back to the background layer and move the paint around or add another color in the precise part you needed for the final adjustment. What is more? You can completely change the background under the ready illustration to create a different result. By the same token, you can change the color of your eraser layer even after you finish your painting. You can choose any color as long as the contrast between it and the background colors is heightened enough. Duplicate the eraser layer and hide the original white one. Now, to change white to black or the other way around, you just need to click on the layer and choose invert. But let's say you want to see how it would look like with dark blue. Just drop the color here and then add it manually to any parts that are disconnected. This allows you to test different color combinations and even through its several common ways of the same artwork. In the next lesson, I will show you how to build your compositions using patterns. 5. Erasing with Patterns: Erasing with intricate patterns will allow you to make the most of your background colors and overall background structure and achieve extremely eye-catching results. These patterns can be geometric or organic. You can go for abstract, dots, or dashes, or create a detailed botanical design consisting of leaves and flowers. In this exercise, we'll be using botanical motif to build a crescent moon illustration. I've prepared a new canvas, 3,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels square, and I imparted one of the backgrounds to it. I've created a white layer on top of that. To make my life easier, I've also prepared a reference layer with a crescent shape and I reduced its opacity a bit. You will find this and other popular reference shapes in Projects and resources section so we can download the one you like and follow along. Now let's get back to the white layer. Go to monoline brush again and turn this into the eraser. We'll start filling the crescent shape with some branches. Try placing some elements just next to the outline. This way, the shape will be clear and well-formed after you delete the reference layer. We will be adding floral motifs one by one to gradually fill the empty space. Intersperse them to keep the balance in the composition. Don't hesitate to use your favorite leaves and flowers, either realistic or more abstract. I'm trying to put my next motif as close to the first one as possible and close at least some gaps between them so they fit together in a puzzle-like style. Remember you can always switch from eraser to brush and paint back some details to make your design more intricate like I'm doing here with these bigger leaves. After you fill the whole shape with bigger elements, you can fill the gaps between them with detached leaves and berries or abstract shapes like dots or dashes. Now let's delete the reference layer. There you have it. Intricate and eye-catching moon illustration filled with botanical pattern. In the next lesson, I will show you how you can utilize different brushes to create beautiful eraser textures for your illustrations. 6. Erasing with Textures: So far we've been using a monoline brush for erasing. However, in Procreate, you can turn every brush into the eraser and create more messy painter illustrations in any style you like. Let's take a look at several brushes and see what cool textures and effects we can get by erasing with them. You can create a shape using selection tool and paint over it with an eraser to fill it with an interesting texture. Some Procreate brushes will allow you to create a beautiful abstract composition with a few strokes. If you're using Photoshop, you can turn any brush into the eraser as well by merely changing the brush mode to clear. This doesn't work for a background layer though, so be sure you're working on a different layer. You can also use this technique to create additional effects. For example borders for your illustrations. Here, I covered my drawing with a white layer, and I erase the middle using Noise Brush. Go ahead and play with some brushes to find those that suit your style the most. 7. Erasing with Symmetry Tool: Another great way to achieve fun effects while painting with the eraser is to use it along with symmetry tool. To access this tool you need to enable drawing guide first. Tap on the wrench icon, go to canvas and toggle this drawing button right here. Now you have an option to edit drawing guide. Tap on it and choose Symmetry tool from the bottom panel. You can change the color of your guides here to make it brighter or darker. You can also increase the thickness of your symmetry guidelines right here. Now let's step on the options and make sure you have assisted drawing selected. Vertical symmetry guide will split the canvas into vertically. Whatever you draw on this side will be mirrored on this side. If you change it to horizontal symmetry guide, whatever you draw up here will be mirrored down here, and vice versa. Quadrant symmetry guide will split your canvas into four sections. Whatever you draw in one part will be mirrored in three others. Radial symmetry guide will split your canvas into eight sections around a single part. Whatever you draw in one will be mirrored in seven others. Also, a three guides can be moved and rotated using so-called nodes. The blue positional node allows you to change where the grid sits over the canvas and the green rotational node enables you to rotate the grid lines. You can tap on them to reset the positions of the lines. Remember that the symmetry tool applies specifically to the one layer you are working on at the moment. If you go to your layers you can see that only this one is called assisted. If you create a new layer it won't work until you enabled drawing assist right here. Now, any symmetry guides can be mirrored or rotational. By default, all the guides work in a mirrored mode. This means that the opposite of your stroke is replicated by the guide like in a mirror. Notice what happens with the arrows between the two neighboring sections. This one mirrors this one and so on and if you try to trespass this border here lines will just meet in the middle of the guideline. This radial symmetry is perfect for painting mandalas, flowers are fireworks. If you enable a rotational symmetry by getting back here and toggling on this button, your strokes will instead be replicated and rotated at the same time and you can freely trespass these guidelines like this. My favorite option is radial symmetry combined with rotational option. This allows me to create abstract organic shapes that flow freely. You can disable drawing assist on any layer at any time so that your further strokes on this layer won't be repeated symmetrically. I want to show you one more thing you can do with an eraser while using the symmetry tool. Cover your background with a solid color of layer and erase a circle, triangle, or any other shape but keep your pencil pressed to the surface. Now, start moving away from the center of your shape. After a while lines will break into dots. You can rotate such shapes, make them bigger or smaller. Just keep the pencil pressed to the surface all the time. It can be a fun relaxing exercise that allows you to create mystical compositions. This trick will also work if you just use a brush but erasing to reveal complex background made the results much more eye-catching. 8. Bonus: Paper Cut Out Effect: Painting with an eraser has an additional benefit as it allows you to create a cool paper cutout effect for your finished illustrations. Let me show you how this works. Step one, duplicate the layer used for erasing. Step two, fill this bottom layer with black. Step three, use the transform tool to gently move the black layer so it's visible through the holes in a white layer. To adjust it's position, you can tap with your finger like that. Step four, tap on the adjustments menu, this magic wand icon right here, and choose Gaussian Blur applied to the black layer by swiping right. If you ever want to change anything in the composition after you apply the paper cut-out effect, you can do it easily. Simply, delete the black shadow layer, make corrections on the white layer, and then duplicate it again, and then repeat the whole process. 9. Bonus: 3D Effect: Paper cutout effect that we've talked about in the previous lesson works best when your top layer is white or filled with another light color. If your eraser layer is black or very dark, you can use the same process to create an eye-catching 3D effect instead. Let me show you what I mean by that. I've turned our white eraser layer to black. Now let's duplicate this black layer and use the transform tool to gently move the bottom layer. As before, tap on the Adjustments menu, choose Gaussian Blur and apply it to the bottom layer by swiping right. Now, these shapes look like they're three-dimensional and floating in space. They are basically jumping out of the page. I find this technique quite useful when illustrating planets and outer space, but possibilities are endless. 10. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking this class. I hope I convinced you that eraser tool is not that boring after all. You had fun with getting to know it better. Painting with the eraser is a playful and easy technique that can help you relax after a long, hard day or serve as a warm up before a creative session. It will also allow you to loosen up and get out of creative route if you feel stuck. Now it's your turn to for the eraser magic to use. Practicing and sharing your results is the best way to learn and grow. Don't forget to add your project to the projects and resources section below. If you enjoyed this class, please leave some feedback for others to see. If you want to stay tuned for my next classes, follow me here on Skillshare. Happy creating and see you next time.