iPad Art: Making and Using Watercolor Brushes in Procreate | Nic Squirrell | Skillshare

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iPad Art: Making and Using Watercolor Brushes in Procreate

teacher avatar Nic Squirrell, Artist and illustrator

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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

13 Lessons (1h 1m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Making a Mess

    • 3. Import and Clean Up

    • 4. Tweaking

    • 5. Variations

    • 6. Texture Brushes

    • 7. Round Brushes

    • 8. Using the Brushes

    • 9. Demo: Possibly Poisonous Mushrooms

    • 10. More Mushrooms

    • 11. Demo: Apples

    • 12. Other Ways to Use the Brushes

    • 13. Final Thoughts & Project

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About This Class


I love watercolor paint and I love Procreate in equal measures.

So why not smoosh them together and make a set of Procreate brushes using real watercolour as a starting point.

In this class I’ll show you how.

We will start by making a wonderful painty mess using watercolor.

Then we will scan or photograph our marks to get them off the paper and into Procreate.

We will enhance the images and use them as a basis for our brushes.

We’ll be making lots of brushes including:

  • stamp brushes
  • texture brushes
  • variable width and detail brushes
  • random splatter brushes
  • textured blender brushes

Then I’ll show you how I use them, and go through two full painting demonstrations.

Of course, there'll be lots of my tips and tricks for using Procreate too.

When you have finished the class you will have a library of gorgeous brushes to use in your artwork, and a solid basis for exploring further.

This class is suitable for all levels.


My website

My other classes

Music: Easy Lemon Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


Meet Your Teacher

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Nic Squirrell

Artist and illustrator

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I am an artist and illustrator living in Kent, England.

I studied Creative Visual Art & 3D Design at the University of Greenwich and loved every minute of it.

My illustrations are on many products from prints to suitcases and everything in between.

I love drawing & painting on my iPad as well as using traditional media, particularly watercolour.

If anything stays still long enough, I will draw on it.

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I'm up to!

Nic Squirrell's website

Nic Squirrell on Society6

@NicSquirrell on Instagram

Squirrell Designs Facebook page

Nic Squirrell on Spoonflower


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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Nic. I'm an artist and illustrator. I love watercolor paint and I love Procreate in equal measures. I decided to squish them together and make some Procreate brushes using real watercolor as a starting point. In this class, I'll show you how. We'll start by making a wonderful painting mess using watercolor. Then we'll scan or photograph our marks to get them off the paper and into Procreate. We'll enhance the images and use them as a basis for our brushes. We'll be making lots of stamp brushes, texture brushes, variable widths and detail brushes, random splatter brush, and some textured blender brushes. Then I'll show you how I use them. I'll go through two painting demonstrations with plenty of tips and tricks as always, if that sounds like your idea of a good time, and join me and let's get started. 2. Making a Mess: The most realistic watercolor brushes are made from real watercolor, so we're going to make a big mess and lots of watercolor marks to make our brushes from. I'm using thick watercolor paper because it buckles less when it's wet. If you want it to be really flat, you could stretch it first, or tape it down, or even use a pre-glued block, but it's not really important for this. I got some sheets of smooth hot-pressed paper and also some rough paper for variety. I've got a pan of watercolor. Any dark color will do here. I don't often use this color, so I've got plenty of hardly used paint. I'm going to use a few different things to make marks. It doesn't really matter, just use whatever you have and improvise. It's really about getting a variety of textures. My paint is nice and wet. I'm going to start by making a few marks. I'm going to vary these, and make some brown marks and some longer streaks. Now it's time to literally watch the paint dry. Smooth paper dries quite quickly and rough is much slower. If you look at the page slightly from the side towards your light source, you'll start to see when it stops being soaking wet and instead has a more of a shine to the surface. This happens on some parts of the paint before others. At this stage you can load your brush with some clean water and drop some into the drying paint. This is going to give interesting textures, cauliflower, and balloons as the water moves the pigment around. It's going to look differently depending on quite how dry the paint is. You can add in some drops of more concentrated paints as well instead of clean water in places, if you want to. Try not to fiddle too much with it, just let the paint and the water make their magic. As the paint dries further, you can add more water in places. If the water just sits in the drop without spreading, its already dried so it's a bit too late. While that's drying, I'm going to make some more. This time I'm using a much smoother paper, so you get a very different effect and it dries at a very different rate as well. My main aim is just to have a lot of different textures and shapes to use. I'm also going to make some drips and some spatters. The higher you drop the paint from, the biggest splat. I had to try a toothbrush to make some fine splatters and hair dye brush is pretty good for this too. Fling some paint about more vigorously. Have fun and make lots of mess and lots of marks. You can use the hairdryer on the low setting to help the paint dry, but this can change the way it looks. Unfortunately mine actually caught fire while I making this class, so maybe I shouldn't recommend it. I'm going to make some squarer and also some rectangular shapes as well because these are going to be great for stamps and particular things. I've made a couple of pages which have got a large, not very textured area around them so that I can use these for the plane and brushes. Lastly, I'm going to fill some pieces of paper with painty textures and marks all over. I'm going to be using these for textured backgrounds. I'm going to make a few these and once their first layer is dry, I want to go back in and add some extra layers for depth and interest. Once your paint is completely dry, you can either scan it at 300 DPI minimum or 600 if you can, and then use your favorite way of getting image onto your iPad. I usually use Dropbox for this. Well alternatively, and this is what I've done in this class, you can just use your iPad camera to take the picture of your painting marks, or even your iPhone. If you use the square setting, it's perfect for Procreate and your mark is going to get distorted. I like to do this by placing the painting on a flat surface in natural daylight on a cloudy day to avoid shadows. For the plain painted pieces, there's a lot of difference between one side and the other in tone. I'm going to edit them on my iPad directly in the photos app. I'll tap auto and then I'll take the brilliance up. If it needs a bit more, I'll also increase the shadows. Press done, when you're ready. That's better. I'll do the same with all of these variations and then we are ready to open Procreate and get going. 3. Import and Clean Up: Open up Procreate and go to 'photo' in the top right-hand corner, and choose your first image. Go into the adjustments and choose hue, saturation, and brightness. Choose layer, and then the whole layer will be affected by what you do. Take the saturation down all the way to the left, and this will take out all the color which makes it easier to see the tonal variations. You can up the brightness as well if you want to. Tap on the Curves and bring in the right top to lighten up the light bits and the lower left to darken the dark bits. Don't get mad with this, show a little bit of restraint. Tap on the layer's palette, tap on the background color, and choose something completely different so we can see what we're doing. Tap on the imported layer and choose 'Mask'. You'll need to draw in black. This will conceal the layer below. In the brushes choose the Inking section, and I like the Ink Bleed for this because it has a lovely textured edge, which looks good in watercolor. I need to zoom right in so I can see what I'm doing and just draw around the edge of that mark, making sure that you make a solid line with no breaks in it. If you make a mistake on the mask layer, you need to use the white pen instead of the eraser. Go around the edge of your mark, and you can be as fussy or as slapdash as you like with this. When you're done, and your circle is completely surrounded, you can drag the black color tip to the outside to fill the edge. If you can put pencil on the canvas, you can then drag your pencil to the left, or right, to adjust the threshold if you need to. If it's too high it will fill too much of the page, and if it's too low it can leave a white halo around your brush stroke. You can use a two-finger tap to undo and try again if you're not happy with the results. If I switch off the mask, you can see that the original is still there underneath. Masks are great because they're non-destructive. Then I'll just put the background color back to white and now we're ready to use this as a brush. In the settings, go to 'Add' and 'Copy canvas' then go to the brush menu, and we're going to make a new section for our brushes. Slightly pull down on the left side of the menu until plus appears at the top. Tap it for a new untitled set. Let's give it a name, and then hit the plus on the top right for a new brush. We're going to go straight into the shape section, and we're going to tap 'Edit', 'Import', 'Paste'. You can see that you could also save your image to your camera roll and import it. In the brush shape, anything white will show and anything black won't. So you need to have a white shape on a black background, otherwise, your brush will look like a weird square with a hole in it, like this. I'm just going to tap in the drawing pad, and up the preview size so that we can see better. You can clear your drawing pad here or you can do that with a three-finger quick scrub. I'm going to go back into the shape editor and I'm going to do a two-finger tap on the image to invert it. You can also use a two-finger twist if you want to turn it around. So tap done, and you can try your brush and see how it looks so far. It's a little bit panced to be honest. Then I go out to the canvas and just try it out. We're going to need to make some tweaks. 4. Tweaking: Let's have a look at this stump, how can we make it better? For me, it's not really big enough even at the largest size. If I stump more than once with it, I'd really like each stump to be rotated or reflected. At the moment, it's also too easy to get a double image which looks blurry. I don't really like the opacity varying. I'd rather be in control of it by using the opacity slider on the left. It might be nice for there to be a little bit of color variation between stumps too. We don't need to do all of these things with every stump brush, but it's good to know how. Let's have a look at the settings. I'm going to tap on the brushes menu, and on my stump brush. Starting on the left at the top, I'll tap on the "Stroke path". You can see on the drawing pads that all the stumps are so close together that it makes more of a stroke. This is why I'm getting those blurry double stumps. The drawing pads will update as you make changes. If I slide the spacing all the way to the right, the stumps space out, which is perfect for the stump brush. I need to leave the other settings. On the left, I'm going to go back into the shape. "Scatter" randomly rotates each stump within the stroke. As our stroke in this case is a single stump each time, it's exactly what I'm after. "Randomized" is almost the same. It randomly rotates the stump at the beginning of each stroke, which in the stump brush is each time you stump. "Scatter" seems to be more random in direction, so for my stump brushes, I prefer "Scatter" over "Randomized". I also like to use the "Flip X" and "Flip Y" to randomly flip some of the stumps horizontally and vertically. The rest of the settings, I'll leave exactly as they are. In the "Dynamics" section, you can use "Jitter" which is another way of saying randomness to change the size and the opacity of the stumps if you like, which means that each stump will be randomly different. Personally, I prefer to control these manually for my stumps, so I'm going to leave them as they are. The "Apple Pencil" section is where we can change the appearance of the stump, depending on how hard we press with the pencil. You might like to change the size of the stump depending on the pressure, and this is where you would do that by taking the size all the way to the right, or as far as you wanted if you want it to be more subtle. I think I'm going to just take that back down and deal with the size manually. I'm going to take down the opacity because I don't like the way the opacity varies with the pressure. You can see that this has made each stump equally opaque. I want to leave everything else here. In the "Properties", I'm going to switch on the "Use stump preview" so that we can see the stump shape in the brush preview thumbnail rather than the stroke made from it. "Orient to screen" doesn't matter here because we are already randomly rotating it. I suspect I'll need to take down the preview size so that we can see the whole stump in the thumbnail preview, but I'll leave that for now. In the "Brush Behavior", I'm going to take the max size, right the way up. It goes right up to 1600 percent, which is huge, but I can see that even at that size it looks clear with no blurring or pixelation. By sliding it to max, I've got full control over the size while I'm using it on the canvas. I'm going to leave the minimum size on zero for the same reason, and likewise for the opacity settings. In the "About this brush", you can rename your brush. You can add your name and logo or photo in the "Made by" section, you can put in signature, and very importantly, you can create a new reset point. This means that if you make any changes, you can get your brush back to how it is now. When you're finished, press "Done" at the top right, and this will take you back out and save your brush. I can see that the preview is much too big, so I'm going to knit back in and take it right down in the "Properties" section. It's trial and error, but I'm just going to keep changing it until it looks right. That's better. This way I can just see which stump I'm using. Let's try it out. With the size going up, I can change the opacity. That's much more what I wanted. 5. Variations: Now, I want to make a variation with my brush, so I will swipe the brush to the left and choose Duplicate. Tap on the new brush, the preview on the drawing pad is tiny, so I'll temporarily make that bigger. I'll tap on the drawing pad settings at the top and make a note of the size so I can put it back down later. I'm also going to pick a color. I'll draw a few stumps again so we can see what's happening as we make the changes. Into the color dynamics, in the stamp colored jitter, you can use the hue slider to randomly change the hue of each stamp. You can have a big variation for a bright rainbow look, but I quite like it with a subtle variation. I'm going to put that back to zero for this brush. You can also vary the color by saturation, by lightness, by darkness, and my favorite which is secondary color. In the drawing pad preview, it picks black as a secondary color. So each stamp has a random variation between your primary color and secondary color, and a mix of the two. Before we go back to the canvas to try that out, we need to put the preview slides back down as well, which you can do in either the drawing pad settings, or in the property section. About this brush, I'm going to rename it. I'm just going to add Col for color to it so I know it's the one with the color variation. I'm going to make a new reset point because we've made changes. Press Done when you're finished. If you tap the color swatch at the top-right, in any of the color views except the pallets, you have two rectangular swatches at the top. The one on the left is the primary color, and the one on the right is the secondary. I'm going to use a quick three finger scrub to clear my canvas. Take the size down a little and make a few stamps on the canvas. You can see better that way how the color variation works. The last thing I'm going to do here is save out the cleaned up water color that we made earlier for future use. I'm going to go back into my layers. I'm going to switch off the top layer, which I've been using as a try out. I'm going to switch on the original water color mark layer under mask. Then I'm going to pinch those two layers together with my two fingers to merge them, or if you prefer, you can tap on the image layer and choose Merge Mask. Then in the Spanner Settings under Share I'm going to choose JPEG, and then Save Image. This is going to save it to my camera roll. It would look a bit rubbish to use one stamp over and over again in your artwork, so the more stamps you have, the better. I'm going to make a bunch more in exactly the same way from my water color marks. You can decide for each mark how much to leave in and how much to leave out. You don't have to start afresh each time though, so to save time, once you have your settings for the stamp brush as you want them, you can just duplicate the brush by swiping it to the left and choosing Duplicate. Then just literally swap out your new stamp. This could save you loads of time. The only other thing you'll need to change is the name of the brush and just set a new reset point for each one. I can use the same canvas to bring in some more marks to use by going to the Spanner Settings, add and Insert a photo, and then choosing my next photo. That'll just get placed in it full size, and then I can just go through as I did last time. Let's just do a quick recap of this method, and then I'll show you another. First, I'll go into the adjustments, adjust the hue saturation and brightness for the layer. I'm going to up the brightness and if I have a colored mark, I'm going to lower the saturation. This isn't strictly necessary. In the same menu, I'm going to choose curves for the layer and just bring each end in a little bit. Then I'm going to tap on the layers palette, tap on the image layer and choose Mask. Then using the ink bleed, or a similar pen and black ink, I'm going to zoom in and draw around the mark in a continuous line, choosing what to leave in or out. Then I will drag the paint chip down to fill the outside of my mark. I'll change the background color back to white. In the Spanner Settings menu, I'm going to choose Copy canvas. That way I'm just ready to go in and swap that out. I'm going to show you a different method for the more complicated images. I'm going to the Spanner Settings, Insert a photo, and let's pick something more complicated. I'm going to make the same adjustments, hue, saturation, brightness. I won't change the saturation of this one as it's black already. I'll just up the brightness. I'm going to go into the curves and just do the same as I did before. Let me get a little much, and then this time I'm just going to use the color drop. I'm going to drag it to the darkest bits of the paper. I'm working on the image layer not on a mask here. You may need to adjust the threshold on this so that it leaves enough of your painting showing. Just do it until it looks right to you. What you want to do is get rid of the paper without getting rid of too much of your paint. I'm going to go to my Ink Bleed brush and take the size right up. Just take out the bits that I don't want, some of the paper texture, then I get rid of because I don't want too much of that and anything that's poking off the slide. This is just so much more quick and easy for this kind of image. It's got a few little bits of the paper showing that I don't want around here. This one is looking pretty good, and that was obviously a lot quicker than it would be to draw under every mark with this kind of image. I'm just going to bring in another one in to show you how you can really get creative with what you've got. This one's got all sorts of little blooms and wonderful bits in it, but I can't use it as a test because it's a strange square shape, it'll just look really odd, so I'm just going to drag the white color into the paper areas and adjust the threshold if you need to. Then I'm using the Ink Bleed. I'm taking the size right up. I'm going to use that to isolate the areas that I'm interested in. I'm using what I've got but I'm not using it exactly as it is. I'm just picking out the bits that look interesting to me, and use this one here last of all. I'm just going to use this brush in this big size just to literally color in the bits I don't want. Then I'm just going to slightly rearrange it by going into the Selection Tool. I'm going to change it from Automatic to Freehand and I'm just going to make sure the Color Fill is off. Then I'm just going to [inaudible] that particular one because I don't like the way it's in a row. I'm going to go the Transform Tool and just pull that down out of the way. Then we'll treat that like I have all the others and turn it into a stamp brush. I've got lots and lots of stump brushes now and I like to organize them so that all the similar ones are together. I can tap and hold the brush and I can drag it up or down my list. You can use the second finger to scroll at the same time, which speeds things up a bit. You can even tap on a brush to select it, and then slide another brush to the right to also select those and then move them all at once. I generally like to have my most used stamps at the top. I've got the round ones together, the square ones together, the splashes together, and so on. This is usually the order I use to bid, but you have to do what makes sense to you, obviously. If you have lots of brushes, you might prefer to have a separate category for each type. If you swipe down on the brush categories, you can reveal a plus at the top, tap on it, it gives you a new category name. Then if you go back into your original brush categories and select the ones you want to move by tapping in the first one and then swiping the others to the right so that they're all selected, you can then just drag them all over your new category until the library opens, and just drop your brushes in. They'll have been removed from their original location. 6. Texture Brushes: Next, let's make a texture brush for laying down large areas of textured watercolor. I want it to have a softly texted edge, so I'm going to use one of my watercolor stamp marks for the brush shape. Because I saved all the cleanup stamps out to my camera roll, I won't need to do that part all over again. Any problem is that I don't want any texture in the brush shape itself, so I need to modify one of them as they quite strongly textured at the moment. So I'll bring in the shape I want using the spanner settings, add, insert a photo. Make sure your color chip is on black. Tap on the selection tool, choose automatic, and tap on the white parts surrounding your paint. Tap invert so that now we have the paint shapes selected instead of the background. In the layers' palette, tap plus for a new layer, tap on that layer and choose fill layer. Now, we have a shape with no texture. In the spanner settings, choose Copy Canvas, and I'll also save this up to the camera roll in case I want to use it again. I'm going to make brand-new brush for this, and I'm just going to pop in the shape as before remembering to do the two-finger tap to invert. I need to tap on the drawing pad settings and take the preview up so we can see it better. While I'm in this section, I'll take the scatter up, which rotates each stamp, which makes up the stroke so that we get a more interesting edge. How far you take this depends on your brush shape, so do what looks good. Try out to flip x and y. This might look better depending on your shape. I'm going to nip into the Apple Pencil settings right now and take pressure opacity right down to get rid of that slight transparency at the beginning of the stroke, which I'm not keen on. It's time to bring in the grain. I'm going to tap "Edit", import, import a photo. I need to make this seamless so that we don't get lines in the texture where the edges meet. We can do this right here in the auto-repeat section at the top. It's absolute magic. Play around with the settings until it looks good, and you will link different settings for each image. Quite often the settings that they automatically gives you are perfect anyway. Tap "Done" to save your choices. Doesn't look right yet, so we need to make that text to show up. In the rendering section, I'm going to change it to light glaze, which gives much more of a watercolor look. In the brush properties, I will take the max size right up so that we can cover really large areas if we want to. My grain is looking a bit small so in the grain section, I'm going to up the grain scale of it. Going to the properties section, I'll take the preview size right back down. I'll give it a name and create a reset point as always. Let's try it out on the canvas. At this point, I suggest you try canvas in the same sizes you normally use so that your brushes will work as you expect. That looks fine, but let's just look at some other options. First, we should make a duplicate of this brush by swiping to the left and tapping duplicate. In the new brush, firstly, we can go into the grain and change the scale, making sure it still looks sharp. Press "Done" and try that out. To duplicate the original brush again while I'm trying different options, and in the grain section, you can switch off the offset jitter. This means that the position of the grain remains static on the page instead of shifting every time you make a new stroke. You can also go into the grain edit section and invert the grain with the two-fingered tap for a different look. A lot of other settings to play with, but these are my main ones. Just like you did stamp brushes, you can duplicate the brush and just swap out the shape and the texture for different versions. 7. Round Brushes: The texture brushes are nice but they are really for covering large areas. It'd be really nice to have something a bit more versatile which gets wider when you press harder and much thinner with a lighter touch. Let's make a brush which works more like a round watercolor brush. We can easily modify the texture brush to do that. I'm going to duplicate one of the texture brushes and then go into the editor. In the stroke path, I'm going to push up the streamline which will even out my stroke and make it less wobbly. Too much will alter the stroke a lot and can be a bit strange for drawing. This is really nice for smooth flowing strokes. Then all we need to do to give the stroke a variable width with pressure is going to the Apple pencil settings and take the pressure size all the way up. Let's try that. I'll tap Done to go out to the Canvas. That's really nice and I can take the size right down for detail brush. I'm going to go back in to rename it and create my reset point. This is a brush I use a lot. I'm actually going to duplicate it and have two identical brushes but in different sizes, one for larger areas and one for small details. The only thing you need to turn the brush editor for this is just to rename it and to save the reset point. How about a version of the bigger brush which is darker the harder you press? All you have to do for this is go into the Apple pencil and take up the pressure opacity to max. I'll try that out on the Canvas. You can also make it fade even more at the end of each stroke by going back into the Apple pencil settings and taking the flow all the way to max. I'm going to make another less textured brush from the first one by duplicating it again. This one is going to be exactly the same but I'm going to swap out the grain for one of my planer mid-toned ones. I'll go to Grain, Edit, Import photo, and I'll need to do the auto-repeat again. I'm not going to invert this one because I want it to come out a bit darker. That's all I'm going to do apart from renaming and adding a new reset point. This is a really useful brush for just plain painted areas. Again, I'm going to make a smaller detailed brush like this too. Ready for another one, we're going to make a brush which drops splashes fairly randomly along the stroke. Tap plus for new brush, and in the shape section, tap Edit, Import, Import a photo. From my cleaned up marks, I'm going to use something splashy. A two finger tap to invert and then press Done. I'll up the preview size for now, and to add randomness to this by taking the scatter all the way up and flipping the x and y. I'm also going to take the count up to three and the count jitter on max. This means that each stamp of the shape along the stroke will have either 1, 2, or 3 randomly rotated shapes in the same spot. Let's have the grain now. Tap Edit, Import, Import a photo. For more splashes for this one, I'm going to use the two finger tap to invert and then I'm going to tap them, and you can add some grain rotation here too. In the Apple pencil, I'll take down the opacity. In Properties, I'm going to raise up the maximum size, and then as always, name it and create a reset point. Then I'm going to press Done and try that out on the Canvas. If it's set at a big size, you can fill a large area with random splashes. At a smaller size, you've got a splattery kind of stroke. You can also use it as a stamp where each stamp is going to be different partly because of the count setting. To knit back in and change the preview as it's absolutely huge. Then I'll make another copy of that brush, and I'll take up the stroke path spacing to give a less dense version. Here's a comparison between them. On to the next one, sometimes you'll want to blend some marks or areas, and you can use any of the brushes as a blender, but it's nice to tweak them to make them do this particularly well. I'm going to use one of my stamp brushes as a starter. I'll slide it to the left and duplicate. I'll go in. This time, I'm going to add a grain. I'll choose Edit, Import, Import from camera roll. You can actually use one of your stamps as a grain if you want like this one. If I leave it like this, it looks a bit strange because it will arrange it into polka dots which might be nice but isn't what we want here. I'll go into auto-repeat and allot the scale. I'm happy with everything else so I'll press Done. In the stroke path, I need to bring down the spacing as it won't be a stamp. I want it to be a loose stroke. I need to up the jitter too which will pull the stamps away from the strike center. When we use it as a smudge brush, this will displace the paint more. Then in rendering, I'm going to change to light glaze for that watercolor effect. To add a little bit of white edges, just around 10 percent looks good here. In dynamics, I'll add a little bit of jitter which is randomness to the size and take the opacity just all the way up. This means that throughout the stroke, each stamp is going to vary in size and opacity. In the Apple pencil, I'm going to take the opacity all the way up so that I can control the transparency of the stroke by how hard I press. In the properties, I'll turn off use stamp preview and I'll take the preview size down. I'll rename it, adding to the brush name so that I can identify which stamp I have use to make it, make the reset points and press Done to try it out. I'm going to use my first big round brush to put down some overlapping areas, and then I'm choosing my new smudge brush. This is what it looks like used as a brush. It adds quite a subtle layer of color, so it could be good for shading. If I choose white, it's nice for lightening up areas as well. Now, I'll try to touch the smudge brush either by going into the smudge brush library which is exactly the same as the brush library or you can quickly use your current brushes smudge brush by tapping and holding on the smudge brush icon. This is what it looks like as a blender. I like it because a lot of blenders are quite blurry looking, and this one isn't too much. Let's make a different kind of blender. I'm going to start by duplicating a pale around stamp brush. I'm going to go into stroke path and just move the spacing a bit. Then I'm going to take the jitter up quite a lot to scatter the stamps and give more of a blending effect. I'm going to put the rendering on intense blending this time because this works really well with the wet mix settings. In the wet mix, I'm going to put the dilution to 50. In the Apple pencil, I'm going to put the pressure opacity to max and get more transparency with lighter pressure which is great for blending. I'm going to up the flow to about halfway and add in a little bit to bleed. In properties, I'm going to turn off the stamp preview and rename and create a new reset point. Press Done when you're ready and we'll try that on the Canvas. This is what it looks like as a brush. It's great for blending the new and old colors. Here, I'm using it as a blender just to soften these hard edges. As you can see, there are so many different ways of making brushes. You can go on trying out different variations forever. But the brushes we've made along with some of the native procreate brushes are enough to start painting. I'm going to put a copy of my favorite procreate brushes in my folder for ease of use. Native brushes in their own brush categories don't have the little procreate icon on the thumbnail. With these ones, you don't have to duplicate them before dragging them into another category because they'll automatically make a copy and leave the original where it is as well. I'm going to drag the ink bleed from the inking category. I'm also going to save a copy of my entire brush category by typing on the category, choosing share, and exporting to my favorite Cloud storage. That way, if something terrible happens, I haven't got to start all over again. In the next video, I'll show you how I use my brushes. 8. Using the Brushes: I'm going to make a new canvas. It doesn't matter what size, just make sure you have a few layers to play with. This will depend on your iPad model. There lots of different ways to use these brushes depending on your own personal style. I mainly use them a bit like a collage, and one of the reasons for this is that I often put my watercolors onto items like t-shirts. If I draw a shape with one of my watercolor brushes, it looks fine against a white background. But if I were to put it onto a darker background, it won't show up because the paint is transparent. So I need to have a solid white background behind the painted areas. There are a number of different ways of doing this. To make it easier to see, I'm going to turn off the background layer for now. The way I usually work is to do this by using a solid brush, for example, the "Ink Bleed" to draw a shape, and I'll do this on a new layer. I'm using white for this. Then I'll drag the color chip to fill it, adjusting the threshold if needed. Then I'll add a new layer, tap on the layer, and choose "Clipping Mask". When the clipping mask is active, the thumbnail of the top layer just shift slightly towards the right and there's a little arrow next to it. Then I'll use the same brush to just draw over the white shape. Now if I turn on the black background, you can see that it would work much better on a t-shirt. I'll turn that back off, and just show you that if I tap back on the paint layer and untick the "Clipping Mask", the entire painted area is there on that layer. The clipping mask means that only the areas above the pixels on the base layer will show. You can still adjust this top layer by making sure it's selected. Tapping on the arrow for the transform tool, and now you can move it around using the green handle to rotate the paint, or just shift it into a different position or re-size it. If you have multiple stamps on this layer, you can use the selection tool on "Freehand" to lasso the area that you want to transform without changing the other areas on that layer. If you find yourself running out of layers and you're happy with an area, you can merge it down, and then you can make a new clipping mask for the next layer. Just be aware that you will no longer be able to edit it in the same way. If you're really pushed for layers, you can stamp straight onto your white shape by tapping on the layer, and either using two fingers to slide towards the right or else tapping on the layer and choosing "Alpha Lock". You can tell that alpha lock's on by the tick, and also because there's a checkered background on the layer thumbnail. This means that you can only paint on top of the existing pixels on that layer. I can stamp onto my shape, but I can't make any adjustments to it. So if I don't like it I'll need to undo using a two-finger tap or the undo arrow. I'm going to show you a couple of different ways of managing your layers. But ultimately it's just whatever works best for you. I saw these possibly poisonous mushrooms or my morning walk and I thought it'd be fun to paint. I didn't want to pick them, so I took some photos to work from. I need to make a quick sketch in Procreate, really just to map out the main shapes. You can bring in a reference image by tapping the spanner settings, "Canvas", "Reference". Use "Image" to bring in your photo, and you can use the little line handle at the top to move it around and drag the lower corners to resize it. It's always much more interesting if you don't trace over your images, but instead, draw what you see. You get all the quirks and much more of an idea of how an artist sees things that way and it's so much livelier. You definitely get to understand your subject better doing this as well. Anyway, you can't bear too far wrong with the drawing of your mushrooms. I'm going to set up a palette for this painting by going into the "Colors," "Palettes," and tapping plus. I can drag the handle at the top to detach the palette and just move it around on the canvas. You can choose your own colors by various means, or press and hold on your reference for the color picker, and the new color is at the top of the ring, then tap an empty square on the palette to add it. Make sure you have a light, made and a dark color for plenty of contrast and also white. Don't feel that you need to stick to realistic colors either. I've added some extra colors to give it a bit of oomf. Now we're all set up. Let's get painting. 9. Demo: Possibly Poisonous Mushrooms : I'll start by zooming in on my reference photo with the two finger spread. To start with I'll choose a mid gray for my background layer so that I can see the white bits more easily. In this demo, I have limited layers, so I'm going to put all the furthest back parts of each mushroom on the same layer and on the middle bits and on the top bits and so on. I'll be creating new layers and then merging them as I go along. Obviously, this isn't the only way of managing layers and I'll be doing things differently in the next demo. I'm starting out with white and my ink bleed pen. I'll make a new layer and I'll pull it down below my sketch layer. Then I'll tap on the little n on my sketch layer and take down the opacity to make it easier to see what's happening. I'm going to start at the very back of the mushroom. I'm going to draw around my mushroom making sure I make a solid shape and then I'm just going to drop in the white. Next I'll add a new layer. Tap on the layer and choose clipping mask. I'm going to choose one of my texture brushes and a light mushroomy color and I'm just going to cover the whole area without lifting my pencil. Then I'll choose a stamp brush and dab in a bit of color off the edge of the mushroom. Remember that we'll be covering most of this up with the gill layer, so only the edges will show. I'm going to use my smudger as a brush to stamp in a subtle wash of blue. Then I'll use a different stamp brush and white up here, and then use a splatter stamp to add in some more blue. Don't forget you can resize the brushes and you can change the opacity as you go. Let's switch off the sketch and see. I'm happy with it, so I'm going to tap on the paint layer and choose merge down. I'm going to make a new layer now for the gills and switch the sketch back on. Using ink bleed and white I'll draw around the gill area and I'll drop in the white to fill it. I'll turn the sketch back on and then add new layer and at this point I'm going to switch off the gill layer, so that I can put in this frilly bit at the top of the stalk. I'm using the ink bleed again for this. This way it'll be easier to see where to draw in the gills. I'll add in a new layer and I'll clip it to the frill layer. Using a texture brush and a pale pink, I'll paint in the frill. It's really hard to see now against the light ground, but you'll see why in a minute. In the layers I'll merge that one down. Then I'll add a layer above the gills and make it a clipping mask. We'll switch on the gill layer. Sometimes these floating palettes disappear and you have to drag them out again. Starting with the mid pink and a texture brush, I'll cover the gills in a single scribble. You can see the middle better now. I'll choose a dark color and a stamp brush next. I'm layering on the stamps in different colors to get the look I'm after and I'm merging them down when I'm happy. Then adding another working clipping layer. I keep looking at the reference photo to see where the main lights and darks are. I try to use different stamps each time so that it's not too repetitive. Adding a touch of very transparent white can be really effective. I'm going to merge and use a new clip layer for drawing him the gill lines. I'm using my first textured detail round brush for this. I'm starting with white, I'll vary the pressure as I draw, which will vary the line width. This pen gives a really nice variation to the ink with some lines much stronger than others. There's no need to draw in every line for the gills because your brain will fill in the gaps. Just look for the main highlights and shadows in the reference. I can see that some of the gills divide part way along. Changing to a light pinky brown I'll draw in some more. Then onto this inky blue and now a deep brown. I'm going to add another layer on top and click this one as well, so both of these clipped to the original gill layer. Time for a subtle splatter stamp in brown. Touch of blue and some white and I'm varying the size and opacity as I go. I'm going to tap on the lower gill layer and add a new clipping layer above it because I'd like to make some adjustments underneath the striped part. This is something you can't do with real watercolor. I'm going for my original blender used as a brush to dab in some darker and lighter areas. When I'm done, I'll merge the gill layers by either tapping merge down or just smooshing them together with my fingers. If you think you might like to go back to your layers, you can always save out to the gallery. Duplicate your work by sliding the thumbnail to the left and tapping duplicate. Then working on new version. Now I have the lowest cap layer, then the gills, then the frilly bit. I'll add a new layer above those and I'll turn on the sketch. Again using the ink lead and the white I'll draw in the end of the stalk and fill it with white. I'm just going to alpha lock this layer for now as it's really simple, although I could use clipping masks here of course, if I wanted to. Using a texture brush and some darker colors, I'll put in a bit more texture onto the stalk and then I'll add some stamps. Trial and error and plenty of undue works well here. I'll go back to the layers and I'll add a clip layer above the frilly bit with just a touch of yellow before merging down. I'll make a new clip layer above the stalk for a bolder bit of pale splatter. Now I'm going to change the background to white so that I can see if I need to make any more adjustments. I'm going to put a clip layer above the lowest cap and just darken up that top left edge to give a bit more contrast against the white background. That's the first one done. Let's move on. 10. More Mushrooms: I've got my four main layers and my sketch layer and I'm going to try and stick with these by adding clipping layers and then merge them as I go. I'll switch the background back to gray, and start working on the lowest layer and with the sketch on. I'm going to tap on the reference picture and choose "Insert", and then it's changed my photo. As before, I'll use the ink blade and the white to draw and fill in the stalk. I'll alpha look the layer and use the texture brush for the first layer of paint. Then using a blender brush, I'll tap in some yellow and brown, and then a splash of blue. Although I'm on the same layer as the cap of the first mushroom, the stalk is far enough away not to cause problems. Moving onto the gill layer is actually really too close to the first mushroom, so I'm going to use a brand new layer for now, and then when I'm finished, I'll merge it on to the original gill layer at the end. Alternatively, if I was really squeezed for layers, I could use the Lasso tool to limit where the stamps go, but this is easier as I do have enough layers to play with. I'll draw and fill in the gills, and then I'll add a clipping layer. Here is Flossie helping me out. I'm using different stamps and colors to layer up the base for the gills. I'll merge that layer down, and I'll make a new one for the gill lines, and I'm using the same round textured detail brushes before for this. I'm adding some more stamps underneath and more details. Now I'm done, I'll merge the lower gill layer down to the original gill layer, but I'm leaving the gill detail layer for now just in case I want to adjust it. I'll make a new layer above the frilly layer for the cap, and I'll draw and fill it in as before. On a new clipping layer above it, I'm using first texture brush and then stamp and splatters to give the cap color and texture. That's the second one done. A quick check against the white background to make sure it looks okay before starting Mushroom 3. Okay, my layer's organized. Turning on the sketch, turning off alpha lock, merging any layers that need merging, and then starting on the lowest layer, I'm going to draw in the cap, and I'm going to use all the same methods for this mushroom as I did in the first one, so I'm going to speed it up for you. This way, you can still see all the steps, but it won't take the five hours that it took in real-time. I'm onto the fourth mushroom now and I'm getting a bit short on layers, so this time I'm going to use the Freehand Lasso tool just to keep the stamps in the area that I want them. Now all nine of them are done and I'm just going to make one or two adjustments, and here they are finished. I think in the end, I prefer them on the gray background. 11. Demo: Apples: For this demo, I'm going to use apples. I live in an area where there are lots of orchards, so I picked these up off the ground this morning. I've just decided to make them a bit more interesting and cut some of them in various different directions. I'll start as always with a sketch and as I brought the apples home, it's best to work from life rather than photographs. I can move the apples around on the page until they look right. I've got my palette set up with a few appllee colors, I might not use all of them and I've got my reference photo ready to go. I'm going to start with the red and I'm just having a look at where the darkest areas are. If it's not obvious, just squint your eyes a little bit and it'll be easier to see. I'm mostly using the same methods as I did with the mushrooms but as the apples are shiny, I'm paying attention to the way the light hits them so that they end up with more of a 3D look. I'll need to look carefully at the direction of the stripes on the pale as well. With this one, there aren't obvious layers in the apples, so instead I'm going to put each apple on its own layer and save out a layered copy in the main gallery between each one before I merge. I might well run out of layers by the end, but I'll merge them down as I need to. This obviously we'll speed it up and edit it for you to see how I worked, but what you can't see is the number of times I press the Undo button. The nature of using stamps is that they are random. They'll be a lot of times when you stamp and it's too big or it just doesn't look quite right where it needs to transparency out, and so on. After a while, you will just get used to have these stamps working and it will become second nature. I'm speeding through these apples and the main thing that gives them a good 3D look is to have your lights very light and your darks very dark. Plenty of tonal variation and contrast and just look really carefully at where the light is coming from. I'm using the original detail brush, the round brush to draw in the pits around the pips themselves, all the storks, and the stripes on the apples as well. I'm using the blender brush really mainly as a brush rather than a blender and by tapping it in just to get a little bit of color variation in some areas and I'm also using it as a blender occasionally just to soften some of the lines that are left by the stamps. I'm adding a little bit of splash here and there, but you just have to be careful not to put too much in otherwise it can look a little bit strange. This bit I'm using the last to just effectively mask off a little bit so that I can get that deep, where the stem goes. I really wish I could paint this quickly in real life, I could be so much more productive. If you wanted to, you could also add a really good 3D effect by adding some shadows underneath the apples. I'm not going to do that this time, but it gives it quite a good look and makes them look very solid. If you do decide to do that, think about giving your shadows a cool color such as some kind of blue or purple. Once I finish all the apples and I'm nearly there now, I'm going to just go back in and see if there's any little adjustments that I'm going to make to unify them all. If you spent quite a lot of time in your painting, by the time you've got to the end of your apples, you might not be working in quite the same way as you were when you started, and here's the finished painting. 12. Other Ways to Use the Brushes: There are endless ways of using these brushes apart from painting realistic fruit and veg. Here Here going to make some little cottages using the square stamps, and this time I've got the scatter setting on zero so that they don't randomly rotate. I'll put each stamp on a new layer and these transform tools to move, resize, flip, and distort. Although take care with distorting because it can make things look a little bit peculiar close up. I'm going to use my ink bleed as an eraser if I need to to remove any bits that I want, and I will use the detail brush for the details. I didn't use a white base layer this time. If I were to put this on a dark background, the transparent colors would look a bit old, so I need to add white behind my watercolor. To do that, I've saved a copy to my gallery, and then on this one, in layers palette, I'll pinch all the layers together to merge them. Then I'll use the selection tool on automatic, and I'll tap the space around my houses to select the empty background. I'll tap invert, which means that now only the painted areas are selected. I'll add a new layer, tap on it, and with the white selected, I'll choose fill layer, and I'll drag that underneath my house layer. Now, if I change the background, you can see the difference that that makes. For this one, I used a mixture of stamps and then just drawing in with the detail brush. It's just a matter of playing around with them and getting creative with how you use the brushes. I can't wait to see what you come up with. 13. Final Thoughts & Project: Now, you have the start of a library of gorgeous custom brushes to use in your artwork. I hope you had fun making them, and I hope you feel inspired to explore further. Your project for this class is to choose a fruit or vegetable and paint it using your new brushes. You don't have to paint nine of them, one one do. You can follow the methods I demonstrated. Of course, you can use the brushes in your own way if you prefer. I always look at the posted projects and I really love seeing what you do. If you enjoyed this class, please do leave a recommendation. It helps other people to find my classes as well. If you want to be kept up to date with my new classes, please be sure to follow me. Do feel free to post in social media using the #nicsquirrellskillshare. Thank you and bye for now.