Creating Digital Art Journal Pages with the Procreate App | Anika Lacerte | Skillshare
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Creating Digital Art Journal Pages with the Procreate App

teacher avatar Anika Lacerte, Artist at thehandcraftedstory.com

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

    • 1.

      Introduction

      1:56

    • 2.

      Your Project

      0:49

    • 3.

      Create Your Photo Background

      1:39

    • 4.

      Draw on Your Photo Background

      1:29

    • 5.

      Change the Color of the Page

      1:40

    • 6.

      Draw to the Edge of the Page

      2:15

    • 7.

      Add Photos

      1:58

    • 8.

      Add Memorabilia

      2:47

    • 9.

      Make a Color Palette

      1:57

    • 10.

      Make a Grid

      4:46

    • 11.

      Make A Straight Line

      5:04

    • 12.

      Draw With The Eraser

      2:27

    • 13.

      Develop Your Workflow

      2:43

    • 14.

      Share Your Work

      1:32

    • 15.

      Conclusion

      0:56

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About This Class

If you want to make art journal pages with less mess, fewer supplies and have an easy way to share your work online regardless of your current lighting, this class is for you!

I'm Anika Lacerte, and I'm going to show you how I create digital art journal pages on my iPad using the Procreate app.

I've been drawing every day since January 2016, with the goal of improving my skill by making a lot of art.

How I got started making digital art journal pages

In 2017 I bought an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil and the Procreate app and started drawing digitally every day. You can see my daily drawings and time-lapse videos on Instagram @thehandcraftedstory.

I found the blank screen more intimidating than the blank page, so I took a photo of blank pages in my sketchbook, added the photo to a layer in the Procreate app and started drawing on that.

Benefits of digital art journaling compared to traditional art journaling:

  • No mess to clean up
  • Limited supplies to store
  • Easy to travel with
  • Not having to wait for good light to share a photo
  • Zero supply costs (after the purchase of the iPad, Apple Pencil and the Procreate app)

This class is an intermediate class for people who are already fairly comfortable using the Procreate app on their iPad with an Apple Pencil. This class focuses on creating digital pages rather than how to art journal.

In this class you'll learn:

  • how to create a photo background
  • how to draw in a layer on top of your photo background
  • how to add photos to your pages
  • how clipping masks can make it easy to draw to the edge of the pages
  • how to make a straight line to use as a guide for hand lettering

Plus, you can download one of my photo backgrounds to use in the Procreate app!

You'll be making your own digital art journal pages using the lessons from this class.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Anika Lacerte

Artist at thehandcraftedstory.com

Teacher

Hello! My name is Anika Lacerte, and I'm the artist behind The Handcrafted Story. I create daily drawings and printables that inspire creativity. 

You can learn about Creating Digital Art Journal Pages with the Procreate App in my video class on Skillshare.

In my current work, I use the Procreate app on my iPad to create gentle reminders to return to creativity. When people experience my work, I hope they are inspired to develop their own sustainable daily creative habit.

You can see all my printables in my shop, including art journals, bookmarks, calendars, conversation starters, goal trackers, greeting cards, journal writing prompts, kids crafts, and wa... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: My name is Anika Lacerte. I'm an artist and I draw every day. You can see my daily drawings on Instagram @TheHandcraftedStory. In 2016, I started drawing every day with a goal of making a lot of art. In 2017, I bought an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil, and the Procreate app and started drawing digitally every day. I felt the blank screen more intimidating than the blank page. So I took a photo of a blank page in my sketchbook, added the photo to a layer in the Procreate app and start a drawing on that. In this class, I'm going to show you how to make your own digital art journal pages. As a mom of two young kids, I greatly appreciate how drawing digitally has allowed me to make a lot of art. There's no mess, there's very little supplies to store and it travels really well. This is an intermediate class for people who are already fairly comfortable using the Procreate app. This class is for anyone interested in art journaling, but you do not need to have any prior experience making art journal pages. We're going to cover things like how to create a photo background. How to draw on your photo background, how to add photos and memorabilia to your pages. how to use a grid to draw straight lines, and how to draw a straight line to use as a guide for your hand lettering. For your class project, you'll then use these skills to make your own digital art journal pages. I look forward to seeing what you make in the project gallery, we'll see you in the first lesson. 2. Your Project: The project for today's lesson is to create a digital art journal spread to share in the project gallery. The reason I chose this project is I think that art journaling is a healthy way to process your thoughts and feelings. To set yourself up for a successful project, I recommend experimenting. Create two or three digital art journal pages and share your favorite in the project gallery. Before you dive into the first lesson, I recommend getting out your iPad, Apple Pencil, and opening the Procreate app. In the first lesson, we're going to talk about creating a photo background. 3. Create Your Photo Background: In this lesson, I'm going to talk about creating a photo background for your digital art journal page. You can either download the photo background that I made or make your own. I like to use blank pages in my sketchbook. Take photos of them on a variety of different backgrounds so that I can later use them in my digital journal pages. You will find the photo background that I made under Projects and Resources. After you've created your own photo background or downloaded the one I made, you can add it to a layer in the Procreate app by tapping on the Actions menu, which is the icon that looks like a wrench. And choosing Add, and then insert a photo. And there we go. Now, before you start drawing, you don't want to draw on this photo. You want to start with a new layer. So in the Layer menu, you choose the tap on the plus sign. And now you have a clean start, a new layer to draw on. And there you go. That is how to create a photo background for your digital art journal page. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about how to draw on your photo background. 4. Draw on Your Photo Background: After you've chosen your photo background you're ready to start drawing. This is an extremely important thing to remember and you'll probably hear me say it more than once because it's so important, you really don't want to draw directly onto your photo background. And the reason why is that if you later on want to say delete something or change the color, It's pretty much impossible to do if they're on the same layer. So in the Layers palette, open a new layer, then you can start drawing. Make sure that you're not drawing on the photo layer. And I even go so far as I often add a second layer. I add a different layer for each color that I'm drawing with, which makes it easier to change color as well. It also makes it easier to separate and turn into a vector shape later on if I do that in Adobe Illustrator. So for now, all you need to know is don't draw on the photo background. Make sure you're drawing on a separate layer. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about changing the color of the page. 5. Change the Color of the Page: In order to change the color of one of your sketchbook pages, we're going to draw an outline around the page. And then we'll fill that outline with a color. First, we're going to start with making sure we're drawing on a new layer. Opening the layers palette, new layer. I recommend getting as close as possible. To start drawing your outline. You can use the eraser tool as you go. And after you've drawn all the way around, you can drag the color into a new shape. And you've got your colored page. Okay, So I've finished my outline. There are a few little marks in there that I don't need to worry about. And I'm going to drag the color into the shape. And there we go. I've changed the color of the page. Now in the future, I can use that same shape and change it to whatever color I want. In the next lesson, we're going to use the shapes that you just drew to draw to the edge of the page using a clipping mask. 7. Add Photos: Now we're going to add a photo to the page. And once again, we're going to start with a new layer. And we're going to use this shape that we created before to make the photo look like it appears covering the entire page. So to add a photo, we go up into the Action menu, which is the shape that looks like a wrench. And if you aren't already in the Add section, That's where you want to be on the far left, add, insert a photo. I'm going to choose a recent photo, this picture from the beach. And I'm just going to tap on the arrow to deselect it. Now I'm going to go back to the Layer menu, and I'm going to create a clipping mask. So I'm going to tap once on the photo layer, choose clipping mask. And now it looks like the photo is goes right to the edge of the page. If I want, while I'm on the photo layer, I can select the photo and move it around, see where I want, what position I want it best and I can change the size of it. I can rotate it a bit so it kind of matches because see it kind of matches the angle of the page a little bit better. And maybe that's where I'll leave it. And that's how you add a photo to the page. Now you don't have to add the clipping mask that was extra, but I think it looks pretty cool on an art journal page. In the next lesson, we're going to add memorabilia. 8. Add Memorabilia: You may want to add some memorabilia to your art journal pages, things like other art projects, postcards, photos, recipes, or receipts. In order to add it to your digital art journal pages, you'll need to have a copy of it, a photo or a scan on your iPad ready to add? The photo that I took needs to be cropped first. And so I'm doing that in a separate document. And I'm going to show you how I do that. So I'm going to go up to the Actions menu. Make sure I'm in the Add section. Insert a photo and find my photo now you'll see it is not the right direction, so I'm just going to first rotate it until it is and it needs to be cropped. So I'm gonna go back into the Actions menu, go into the Canvas section and choose Crop and Resize. Now I can use these handles to change the size of the photo. That looks pretty good. And there it is. Now, in order to add it to my art journal page, I'm going to go up to the Layers menu, tap on it once and choose Copy. I'm going to go back to the document that we were drawing in. Here it is. And of course we want to make sure we start in a new layer. And then I can use three fingers to swipe down and choose Paste. And there's my photo. Now. It's a little bit at the wrong angle for this particular photo background for the page. So I can change that, see if I can get it at the right angle. That looks a little bit better. Now you can do things like add a frame around the photo, or you can also make adjustments to the photo. The section called the, the menu rather called adjustments. In this section, you can make changes to your photo including removing the saturation. So you could take this photo and make it black and white. There's lots of options in that menu that I haven't explored very much, but I would recommend if you want to play with your photos, you can do that right there. Okay, So there's adding a photo to your page. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about choosing a color palette. 9. Make a Color Palette: I like using color palettes as a way to simplify my art journaling process. You can see some of the color palettes that I've used a lot. In order to make a new color palette, you simply tap the plus sign. And here is our new palette. Double-tap to change the name of that palate, the new palette. And I can't spell today. There we go. Okay, So I like to view that in the classic view. And you can see then it's only that palette. One really cool way of making a color palette for art journals is to use a photo as a way to find colors that you might want to use. So I've just tapped on this square here on the left. And then I can add it to my color palette. Maybe try a light blue. Could be something even lighter. Something kind of dark, maybe a brown. Okay, so there we go. So there's my new color palette. I can also, of course go in here, find something in this section here that I would like to add. And that is one cool way to add make a color palette based on a photo that you've added to your own art journal page. Okay, so that's making a color palette. In the next lesson we're going to talk about making a grid. 10. Make a Grid: I like the look of hand-drawn elements in an art journal page. But sometimes I just want the line to be a little bit straighter. And so what I've done is I've used the grid brush that comes with the Procreate app as a way to make myself a background to draw my straight lines on. So what we're gonna do is usual is start with a new layer. And we're going to open the brush library. And we're going to look for textures. And we are going to choose the grid brush. Now, what's really important with the grid brush to remember If you lift up your brush, if you lift up the pencil while you're drawing it, it's going to start drawing a new grid. So while you're drawing a grid, you can't lift up the pencil. I'm going to draw it really big grid. So I'm going to increase the size of the brush with this here, but you can choose whatever brush size you want. And I'm going to draw out, I think it's, I'm going to draw on this size so that dark color should be fine. Okay, so I'm going to start drawing the grid, but I'm not going to lift up the pencil until I'm all done. So doesn't really matter where I draw it, since this is just going to be a guide that I'm going to remove after. So obviously it's gone out over the page. And there's my grid. Now because I'm going to be drawing on top of it. I might want to change the transparency. So I tap on it with two fingers. So that was in the Layers palette. I'm tapping on it with two fingers. And then you should see it says slide to adjust. And this is going to change the opacity. So I'm going to turn it down to say, 40%. Is that 25%? And that way it's not quite as dark. And I can see the drawing that I'm making on top of it. And of course, if I want to draw on top of it, I need a new layer. And there we go. So now I've got a grid. And I'm going to change back to my regular pen. And I've got a grid that I can draw on that was pretty big. A little too small, let's try a little bigger. Okay. There we go. So I can make shapes pretty straight by using the grid. And when I'm done with the grid, I can simply uncheck that layer so the grid isn't visible anymore. Another thing you could do with the grid is you can change the color. So if this grid is little bit hard to see, let's say if I wanted to use this grid, I selected it and moved it over here. You really can't see it on this side because the background is so dark. So what I can do is back in the Layers menu, I two fingers, I swipe, right. I'm trying to remember which direction. Swipe right. And then you can see it's got this Alpha Lock on it. So it's got a checkerboard behind it. Another way to do it would be to tap once and select Alpha Lock. So we've got the Alpha Lock on, and I can go and check, look for a much lighter colour. And when I brush over, it's only going to change the color of whatever has been drawn already on that layer. So I'm going to make it really big. And I'm going to draw. Now, it isn't showing up quite as bright because I've got that opacity lowering it. Oops! So I'm gonna tap once and I'm going to increase the opacity and now you can see it better. Here we go. Okay, so that would be one way to be able to use the same grid on both sides of the page, whether it's light or dark. And you can move it around in the same way that you can any other drawing. So that is how to use a grid to make straight lines on your art journal pages. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about how to make a straight line to use as a guide in your hand lettering. 11. Make A Straight Line: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to draw a straight line to use as a guide for your hand lettering. I'm going to start by creating a new layer. So in the layer panel I'm going to tap on the plus sign to create my new layer. Then I'm going to tap anywhere in the photo to start drawing. I'm going to move it a little bit to make it easier to draw. I use two fingers to change the scale and the rotation. Now I'm going to draw a line. I'm going to make sure it's a good color that you can see. And what's going to happen is I don't have to draw a perfectly straight line. If I hold down the pen at the end, it will straighten out automatically for me. Here's how it works. So you can see it's straightened out automatically. Now I've still got the pen on the screen and I can change whatever angle I want that line, but I would like it to be lined up with the photo. So I'm going to hold down two fingers. If it doesn't work the first time, try it again. There we go. So now you can see it is locking into set intervals. And I would like it at that one, so I'm going to leave it at that. So that was holding down two fingers while I'm still holding down the pen. So now I would like to duplicate that line. I would like probably four of those lines to draw on. There's a couple ways to duplicate. One is in the layer panel. You can swipe to the left and choose duplicate. There I've got two. I'm going to use the arrow key to move one of them down. And then I would like them to be in the same layer. So I'm going to tap on the top layer and choose Merge Down. Now I'd like to duplicate those two lines. So what you can do another way to duplicate is to swipe down with three fingers and choose Duplicate. Again with the arrow key. I'm going to move them so they're approximately evenly spaced. And I'm going to tap on the top image and Merge Down again. Now I have four lines on the same layer, and I will move it a little bit so you can see little better. Using the arrow tool to move it around. Now, I might think, okay, these lines, I need them to be a different color or I need to change the opacity. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to hold down two fingers and swipe to the right. And that turns on the Alpha Lock. Another way to do that is to tap the layer and choose Alpha Lock. And you know that it's on because there's a checkerboard pattern behind the image. Okay, so what the Alpha Lock does is it means that whatever I draw, it will only affect what's already on the page. So I'm going to pick a different color. I'm going to choose yellow. And I'm going to make the brush size quite a bit bigger. And now when I draw with a brush, it only affects where the lines were. Okay, maybe that works better for me. But maybe I think it's a little bit too strong and I want to change the opacity. So again, in the layer panel, two fingers tap once and up at the top. I'm not sure if you can read it. It's pretty small. It says Opacity slide to adjust. And now I can use the pencil and drag and change it all the way down to 0, or all the way back up to a 100 percent. Let's say I want it kind of about there. Little bit softer. Okay, now I'm ready to start drawing some words on here. So I'm gonna go back to the layer panel. And I'm going to make sure I'm drawing those letters on a new layer. So tap the plus sign, and now I'm ready to draw. Now, you can reuse these lines so you can make, make duplicates, copy it for the next file so you don't have to go through that whole thing again. From the layer panel, tap on the layer that has the lines. Tap and copy. And then when you get to your new file, you can paste it. Okay, so that is how to draw lines to use as guides for your hand lettering. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about using the eraser to draw. 12. Draw With The Eraser: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how I draw with the eraser tool. So in this case, I have a photo of my sketchbook. And on top I have a layer of color. So I'm trying to change that left page to a different color. But the problem is that my thumb is underneath and so I need to erase that part. So this is a common place where you would use the eraser to remove parts that you've drawn that you don't need. Now, if I as I erase, if I erase too much, I can always add it back. That's looking pretty good. I'm going to add some of it back here. Smooth it out. There we go. Okay, Now you can see my thumb. Now, another way that I use the eraser tool to draw is to erase some of this color. So I can make a pattern, draw something by erasing what's there. So I'm just going to change the brush size, make it a little bigger. And I'm going to do kind of a random pattern. Here we go. So there is drawing with the eraser tool. And I'm going to remove that and show you you can use other brushes as well. The eraser tool, you can use all the different brushes that are available to you for the brush as well. So let's say when it try this flicks brush, and I think that came with the app. And I'm just going to go all over, maybe make it really big. There we go. Let's kinda cool and that's using the eraser to draw. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about how to develop your workflow. 13. Develop Your Workflow: If you'd like to make a lot of art journal pages in the Procreate app, I recommend paying attention to how you work best and developing your workflow. One of the key ways that I work best is to have a bunch of photo backgrounds in a stack. in the Procreate app. A stack is what Procreate calls folders. So I've got a whole bunch of photo backgrounds. And all I need to do to start is to simply duplicate. That saves me a lot of time. So this time maybe I'll choose this one. I am dragging to the left and choose Duplicate. Now I can go into the copy and I can start drawing and it's ready to go. Part of what saves a lot of time for me is to save the layers. So in this file, I've got layers to change the color on the left side as well as the right side. And I've done all the work of erasing around these holes and all around the page. So I don't need to recreate that. In other files. I don't think this one has it, but in other files, I've also got the lines to use as guides for hand lettering. I have got those saved as well. So I don't need to recreate the whole thing over again. So when I start drawing, I will be choosing a photo background. And then my next step, I want to make sure I'm working on a new blank photo layer or blank layer, excuse me. And then the next step is probably to choose a color palette. So in the top right, I've got quite a few color palettes saved, and I simply need to choose one. And I can set the default. I like to look at the colors in the classic view. So I'm focused only on those colors. And that is how I begin starting a page. So I recommend paying attention to how you work and what will save you time and work at developing your own workflow. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to share your work. 14. Share Your Work: After I've finished my projects and the Procreate app, I like to save them as JPEGS as well as time-lapse videos so that I can share them on Instagram. In order to save them. You go up to the Actions menu, which is the icon that looks like a wrench. And you choose Share and JPEG. Then Save Image. Now to save the time-lapse video, it's also in the Actions menu. Under video and Export Time-Lapse Video. I always choose full length, but you can choose 30 seconds. And then Save Video. Now both of those files will be in your photos folder so that you can upload them to Instagram or e-mail them to someone. After you've created your project for this class, you can upload your JPEG into the class project gallery by clicking on the green Create Project button. You can upload your time-lapse video after posting it on to YouTube and then sharing the video link in the project gallery. And I look forward to seeing what you make. 15. Conclusion: Congratulations, you made it! Now you can make your own digital art journal pages. And I'd love to see what you make. In this class, we covered everything from how to make a photo background to adding photos and hand lettering. If there's one thing I would like you to take away from this class. It's this: You can use the Procreate app to make a lot of art. If you enjoyed this class, please write a review and follow my profile. You can follow me on Instagram @TheHandcraftedStory where I post my daily drawings, including the time-lapse videos. I'd love to see what you make. Upload your projects to the project galleries so we can all take a look. Thanks for joining me and we'll see you next time.