Learn Procreate: Scribble portraits anyone can do | Varnika Prakash | Skillshare

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Learn Procreate: Scribble portraits anyone can do

teacher avatar Varnika Prakash, Delhi based mixed media portrait artist

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.



    • 2.

      Basics of Procreate


    • 3.

      Basics of Scribble Art


    • 4.

      Preparation: Palette & Reference


    • 5.

      Base Layer


    • 6.

      Second Layer: Midtones


    • 7.

      Third Layer: Midtones


    • 8.

      Shadow Layer


    • 9.

      Final Touches


    • 10.



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About This Class


These pieces are so easy to do, you’ll be surprised. I promise.

This class is going to be my approach to a scribbled portrait done in real-time. You can whip one up in 15-30 minutes, just like I did and no part of this course is sped up so you can see exactly how I do each layer as I talk you through my process. If you want, because this is real-time, you can paint along with me as well!

I will also be covering some of the basic tools in procreate that we’ll be using today so it’s great for people who are new to procreate as well as people who’ve been on it for a while. I’ll talk you through the tools we’ll be using, some fun tricks you can use, the palette I’ll be using, and we’ll also be working with a reference for the duration of this course.

I’ll be covering the basics of scribble art as well and the process that has worked for me over the years. How I add my shadows and highlights to the piece, how we create some interest in the illustration using a pop of color as well how we add depth and definition to the overall sketch.


  • Basics of procreate

I’ll guide you through all the pens and tools and tricks we’ll be using for this artwork. This is a great and quick introduction to procreate for beginner artists who’ve just gotten their hands on an apple pencil!

  • Intro to scribble art

we’ll cover how to add depth and definition to your illustration using scribbles with a very limited palette. These are the techniques I use regularly in my scribble work and these techniques work on both digital art as well as on paper with a fine liner pen.

  • Using a limited Palette

For this class we will only be using a limited palette of 5-6 colors so it doesn’t get too confusing but the end result will still be super interesting to look at.

  • Using a reference

Procreate offers some great tools for working with references that I will be highlighting in this class. Using a reference means you don’t really need a lot of knowledge about portrait drawing so anyone can try their hands on this. It also helps to enhance your current knowledge of portrait drawing.

  • Adding all our different layers

We will be working layer-by-layer on this piece, working our way from the lightest color to the darkest shadow tone. I’ll guid you through the process so you can follow along with me.

  • Adding interest to the piece

Finally, we’ll be adding some exciting colors to the piece towards the end just to have some fun overall, and add interest to the illustration.


If you have been following my work, you know how much I love scribble art! It’s all about flow, it’s all about intuition and following your hand and your mind where it takes you. It’s basically art therapy, and on top of that, they’re so stinking easy and fun to do!

These pieces look great on the wall and all the negative space on the illustration really does so much to enhance the overall feel of the piece.

You can paint a dozen of these in a short amount of time which means the technique is quick to practice. So I hope you create lots of these pieces and find your own rhythm that works for you. I would love to see some and I hope this class inspires you!

Website & Art Store


Happy scribbling!

Meet Your Teacher

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Varnika Prakash

Delhi based mixed media portrait artist

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi guys, my name is Varnika Welcome to my course on how to create some really cool scribble art on procreate I don't procreate. Scribble art is really, really fun to do It's basically like art therapy It's really flowy It's intuitive. I will talk you guys through some really cool tools and tricks that I use on procreate a lot we'll be doing some basics of scribble art and just some really fun stuff This course is awesome for anyone who's just gotten their hands on an iPad or just started experimenting with procreate or people who've been on procreate for a while as well for artists as well as non-artists You don't need any prior knowledge on portrait drawing because procreate offers some really awesome tools that you can use to just draw them from a reference This course is shot in real time so you guys can paint along with me, all you need is your apple pencil and your iPad So I hope you guys enjoy this course. Just grab your apple pencil and your iPad and let's get started 2. Basics of Procreate: All right. So before we have something like this to look at We're going to go through just an overview just a little overview of procreate and how I start about any of my canvases The first thing I do is just click on this little plus here And we're going to create a custom canvas which is this little thing Now if you want to be able to print your piece 300 DPI is pretty nice This is my screen size which is 2550 pixels by 3300 pixels it's a pretty good sized canvas I'm just going to click Create And here we have our fresh new canvas I can move this around So to anyone who's already been on procreate and has been experimenting for awhile You can skip this section This is just going to be a little overview especially for people who are very new to Procreate They've just gotten their hands on it, absolute beginners So the tools we will be using, this is this is where you select your colors, your palette, you've got your select palettes here I'm just going to be using the disk one here These are all of your layers, we will be using a bit of this just the plus icon for more layers you can move layers around Clicking this N icon here If you click this even more options like opacity here you can change the opacity of the layer If you click right here you have all of these options that you can play around with This is your erase tool, your smudge tool and your pen So for this particular class we will be using a technical pen or just anything that's pretty straightforward even a gel pen is good Or you can also use a soft brush, what I'm really looking for is a pen that's not grainy And you have the option to go up or down in size I find a technical pen is quite nice because you can get finer lines or sharper details which is pretty great for us This is your move tool So say I have this little circle here and I click on this move tool, I can move it around I can increase it in size up or down which is pretty handy You've got your selection tool here so you can select whatever you want to select Freehand and then you can color that in if you want Here's your adjustments, all the different effects you can use and your settings and your preferences In settings You also have this canvas option where you can add a reference if you need which is pretty awesome as well So we'll be using that And you can insert a reference from add, like you can just insert a photo we'll be talking more about references in a little bit Other than that you've got your sizes here so I can increase the size of my brush or decrease it which is going to come pretty handy as well And this is the opacity of the color that you're using So again, double-tap to undo and three-finger tap to bring it back redo that is So now I'm just going to talk to you guys about how I do scribbles how I shadow it in So I'll see you guys in the next section 3. Basics of Scribble Art: Alright, so scribbles are super, super fun I do them all the time If you guys are interested in how I scribble on paper and not on Procreate I have this other course available on my Skillshare which is where I show you how I scribble and paint a piece, a portrait piece from start to finish Here, however, we will be doing one on procreate which is something I've been really enjoying quite a bit Again, I'm on my technical pen I'm just going to show you how I scribble things and create shadows So see here's my circle. I'm just going to decrease the size of this pen a bit and just create a general circle So I'm gonna need a few colors So here I've got my lighter tone That's one Then we're going to keep a slightly darker tone And then I'm going to just come down and keep my darkest tone and a nice pop of color I'm going to decrease my brush size to the lowest I want, for now I'm just going to keep that here And I'm just going to go ahead and pick this color.\ And the first thing that we're gonna do is scribble this circle in The concept is the same as I do it on paper The lighter you wont the area, the more open the scribbles and the areas where you want it to be darker and have more shadows, like for this circle I want this area to be a bit in shadow I'm just gonna make the scribble to bit more compact I'm gonna just work on that area a bit more I'm just gonna doodle it in Because I want it to be a bit lighter So this is my first layer, I'd say that's kinda done I'm gonna increase the size of my brush just a little bit And I'm going to pick up this color which is slightly darker than my last one and I'm gonna scribble this in already, it looks like it has an area of dark and light And then I'm gonna go with my darkest shadow I'll increase the size of my brush just a pinch more And scribble just the very edge of this circle Just to give it a bit more depth and then if you want to add some interest, I like to use just any pop of color and just pop some in some places So already, you can see that there's a sense of light and shadow some depth in this that I've created just using scribbles This is the general idea we will be using in the portrait that we create So the next thing we're going to talk about is how to prep our piece How to get our palette ready and our reference, so I'll see you then. 4. Preparation: Palette & Reference: Alright, so our preparation for this piece is just going to be the reference we're going to use and the palette that we are going to be using for this piece So I like to have my palette ready just so I'm not like, you know, picking up colors but honestly, these kind of scribble works They're really intuitive So if you guys just want to experiment and have fun you guys can go ahead choose whatever colors you want Just have a sense of darks and lights in there, and for a reference So for this piece, we are going to be using a reference just because it's procreate and you can and I want to make this as easy as possible for you guys But you guys can also do this just using your imagination just create a portrait out of your head which is also super fun Again, the other course I did that one is on paper using fine liners and I paint it through my imagination So if you guys are interested in that Go check it out, for this piece However, there's going to be a reference I want you to click on this little wrench here and insert a photo. Just have something really clear for now I'm going to use this piece here It's black and white, it doesn't really matter, we're not going to See this very much So I'm just going to increase this and fit it on to my canvas right here I'm just going to make it a little bit bigger Okay, that's good there All right, so now I'm going to go on my layers you don't need these layers So for this one I'm just going to decrease the opacity of this one Just so you can still see all my lights and shadows like all the little details on this piece But other than that, I can have my reference right here And I'm gonna go ahead and we're just going to choose a palette really quickly So for this piece I'm going to keep this as my lightest tone I like to have my palette just here on the side so I can quickly use my eyedropper tool and pick it up whenever I need it So just add another layer before you do it because that layer has lower opacity So that's one of our lightest tone And I'm going to go ahead and pick this one, it's a bit darker We're not going to be using any more than five or six colors for this piece I think, honestly, that's plenty Go ahead and use this color which is again a touch darker And now we want a pop of color which is this one And pick up this little brown for some shadows And then finally we're just going to go ahead and take a block which is here which we are going to use at the very end So already I've got my palette here, I've got my reference. We are ready to start scribbling I'll see you guys in the next section 5. Base Layer: All right, so this is where all the fun begins Don't worry about this We're still on this layer I'm just going to go ahead and move this a little bit to the side so I'm not really worried about where it's at so you can erase this later it'll be easy to erase, that's no problem at all Just leave this reference be for now Now we're gonna go ahead and I'm just going to take my lightest color here I'm going to decrease the size of my pen We want it as light as possible for now So let's just increase I think that's a pretty good size for me for now So we're just going to scribble in the whole figure for now there will be no outlining just think big scribbles That's our first step Just outline the whole figure just with scribbles Again, remember how we did it when we scribbled the ball I just want it to be pretty flowy, intuitive Just wherever my pen is taking me I'm not worried about any details right now Even if you're going out of the outline of the figure, that's fine It's scribbles, that's the fun of it And just keep it loose and keep your scribbles big I hope that makes sense I love doing scribble work I feel like it's basically like art therapy And they don't take a lot of time and they look really gorgeous when they're done another important thing you really want to do is keep lifting your pen when you're doing scribbles because then if you're happy with your scribbles just lift your pen and then that's done because otherwise you press undo and that's like all of these scribbles gone they'll just be erased And then you just have to do all of that all over again So just keep lifting your pen every once in a while so that you can undo small sections instead of whole like big scribbles Just try and get your edges a bit It's okay if you're going out of frame, that's fine That'll look good once you're done with the piece It'll look more fun and flowy, you know? All right, I'm pretty happy with that I am now going to use, I'm on the same brush, same size I'm going to increase the opacity of this image just a little so I can see the shadows a bit more And just using the same brush, like I said condensed strokes in places where you want your shadows to be so you can see that there are some shadow areas on the ear here So I'm just gonna do some more condensed tighter scribbles in here then I know there's some eyebrows here So again, and same thing I still just keep scribbling Then here's the nostrils and this area is a bit darker again honestly, the fact that you can use a reference just means that you can just do any anything you want to paint You can scribble that in, it's just the best thing about Procreate and I've been finding it so much fun I usually don't use a lot of references Honestly, this made it so much fun Now I can see there's some darks here so just, all over the hair I'm just going to do some tighter scribbles So I kind of have an idea of what this portrait looks like, where it's headed Then I just want to outline this tshirt a bit with scribbles again Just a little bit more on the cheekbone and just on all the areas that generally are darker still on the same color the same size of brush All right, that's pretty nice. I'll just show you guys what this looks like without the reference I'm just going to hide it And there, you already have a figure so far we're going to now just make our way to darker colors one-by-one I'll see you in the next section. 6. Second Layer: Midtones: Alright, so we're gonna go ahead and I'm going to eye-drop this color now which is our next shadow tone It's still pretty light We're making our way through So for this next layer I don't need that reference anymore I'm just going to leave that there anyway in case I need to like jeans, anything or add anything. But I want you to click this little wrench go on Canvas and just get a reference here So this shows you your Canvas, what it looks like, I want you to go into image and import the image that we're painting right now. I'm just going to decrease the size This is just so I have an idea of what I'm painting as I'm painting it I think this is also a pretty handy tool I use it quite a bit Right, so there you go my reference now I've got my my piece and I can see how it looks I'm just going to go ahead Now I have this color picked, I'm going to increase the size of my brush just a little bit And just all the shadow areas again I'm just going to go over them, the hair as well what this is going to do is just prepare our piece for the darker shadows that we're going to place later So I can see on my reference All the areas that are darker Now if you guys aren't prepared to do this you can always just keep that layer on with the image so you know exactly where to put your darks and lights And you can even play around with the opacity Again, just try your best to just have fun with it and not get swept away in details Scribble work, it's supposed to be fun and just flowing here in this area is my eye but I also want to just darken her eyelid just a little bit Not too much Near the eyebrows and the nose But I also want to darken just the area around the nose because I can see some shadows there Just a little touch on the cheekbones And remember just bigger, bigger open scribbles on lighter areas like the cheekbone I don't want it to be super condensed And then here you've got some scribbles on your lips Don't fill it in too much because then you lose that effect of the awesome effect that scribbles create You need that white just poking out through it The ear is looking nice that's the jaw line Once you guys have a hang of doing these with a reference image loaded in your layers just try and mess around with it without a reference image like a small reference window opened because that helps, you know, that helps your knowledge of all your proportions of the portrait I'd say that's pretty good I'm done with this tone as well we're gonna go ahead and just add our third layer of color to this now 7. Third Layer: Midtones: All right, Now we're getting into the fun colors Here's our last skin Skin shadow tone just go ahead and do some big scribbles in places This one I want to focus more on just the areas that are kind of really dark so I'm not gonna go over all of the hair situation here But I do want to come down on the back of the neck because I can see there's some shadows there we're already getting close to it looking pretty much like an awesome scribble art already but we're going to go ahead and add more darks as we go So here on the nose, I just want to do the nostrils just a little bit you can just scribble in your outline as well and just remember not to fill color too much Like I said, you want to keep that effect of scribbling That's what makes it super fun Now I'd say I'm done with that color as well It's looking pretty nice Just go over whatever areas you might have missed And nice This is so far so good The next thing we're going to do is I'm going to skip to these two colors And because we're going to add a pop of color at the very end of this piece Any areas you might have forgotten just go over again again like the ear here and outline whatever you need to outline All right, that's nice And I'll see you guys in the next section. 8. Shadow Layer: All right, we're down to our final couple of shadow tones here I have my brown selected Now you want to just be a little touch more careful because now we're not going to go on any of the bigger areas on the face I'm just going to keep focused on just my shadow areas and I'm going to just scribble really tiny little scribbles Keep the size of my brush big the darker the color you pick up, the more you just want to be mindful of what you're doing Don't forget to have fun with it That's the most important part the fun of scribble work is just all in the process, so I hope you guys enjoy painting these as much as I do I was going to paint the tshirt a bit darker but but honestly I just like how these oranges look so I'm not going to do a whole lot I don't love the shadows there I'm using my undo as well a whole lot more because I'm just trying to see what I like and what I don't Because now this is your darker shadow You see it a lot more than the other colors the best thing about Procreate is you can just undo anything you want So I try things See what you like, see what you don't like All right, I'm gonna go ahead and pick up my darkest color which is this black I'm going to decrease the size of my brush again Good. And now I'm just going to do the areas like just the features of the face So here again, just keep that scribble going Keep that flow. It's honestly so therapeutic to do With your darkest tone just remember to do I'm still doing scribbles and not filling in color anywhere but the scribbles are really tiny You can decrease the size of the brush more if you want But this one, I'm not gonna touch absolutely anywhere except for the features the absolute darkest places on the face All right, and that is.. in a second.. I'd call that done. 9. Final Touches: All right, so that's looking pretty cool to me I'm going to go ahead and I'm gonna get rid of this reference because I don't think I need it anymore Now the next fun thing I'm gonna do is now it's just all about adding your own style, your own like fun bits to the piece I'm going to take go ahead and take this more saturated orange I have here, I'm going to increase the size of my brush again. And I'm just going to add it wherever I want to, right? Just kind of creates interest in the piece makes it a bit more fun gives it a bit more pop Just honestly, there's no rules here you do what you want to do this is the part of the scribble work that I enjoy most It's just adding that color at the end just making everything pop Again, like I said just no rules Have fun wherever you want to put it You go ahead and do it I'm gonna go ahead and I'm just going to use some more fun colors Maybe I'm just gonna go ahead and take this red maybe And then just some places Again don't let anyone tell you otherwise You do you. You want to pick whatever color, you go ahead You want to increase the size of the brush to the max you go ahead and do it Another important thing I will mention is if you scared of messing up your piece and you just you can just add all of these layers that we've done all the different colors You can do it on different layers. So you can erase them and go back on them if you want Like, I'll just show you guys quickly Like if I want to mess around say I'm not sure about putting say yellow on this piece but I still want to try it out I'll just add that on a new layer I also just want to just see what a bigger brush would look like So I'll go ahead and increase the size of my brush And I'm just going to try that out on this layer This is because I'm not really sure about it, but I want to see how this looks I'll be honest, I actually do really like the yellow there. I wasn't gonna but I think it gives it a bit more warmth If you want, you can go ahead and move this layer underneath this one So what that would do is it's just gonna move that yellow underneath so it's not as in your face. I'm just going to go ahead and, I do really like that yellow All right. I think that's that's pretty much done for my taste Let me know what you guys think The last thing I'd love to do is just to take my eraser and, I forgot I'm on this layer And once you're done with the piece, just if you want remember to just merge the layers down so they're kind of there I'm gonna delete this reference image because I don't need that anymore I'm going to take my eraser and I'm going to erase this palette here, again, I don't need that anymore That's how this piece looks Pretty scribbly, pretty cool Another fun thing you can do just to have fun with it is go ahead and on your layer, go on your background color And this is also one of the most fun things I love doing it. Just move your color wheel around See how the piece just comes alive in different colors as well I'm going to make this smaller so you guys can see Just see how the colors that you've chosen react to different background lights Just remember if you were doing something on a darker background, say if you're doing it on black I'm going to erase this for now, just go back to the white here If you want to do something on Black, what I do is I just take the white color and add some highlight areas Again, I'm just gonna do this on a new layer. because I kind of personally like it on the Again, adding highlights is also just a great way to finish as well Just some areas where you want things to be just a touch lighter You can take your white and just scribble things this little process of adding some white can make all the difference when you're changing your background colors If I go down to the black You can really see how that white pops, looks great though I'm just going to leave that there I love how this piece looks I hope you guys enjoyed painting this piece as much as I normally do They're really, really fun to do And you can use any kind of references. It doesn't have to be a portrait You can do fruit or things or hands or all kinds of things I'd love to see what you guys paint, after this once everything's done, normally, I'd just go into just cleaning up any edges but I don't think there is any need I love how the edges looks. You guys do you. Um, in the next section I'm just going to talk about the project for you guys Just some final thoughts So you guys let me know what you all think about this piece, and I'll see you in a bit 10. Project: All right, So this is how this piece looks that we're done with. Now when you guys do this yourself in your projects There's just some things I would love for you guys to try Maybe just try a limited palette to start out with like five to six colors Again including your black and your white highlights and shadows But try all different kinds of palettes This is a pretty warm color based piece But you want to try maybe some greens and some blue See how that works, how that looks And try some yellows, just try different colors different settings, different things whatever portraits you do If you guys are feeling kinda risky maybe even try to do one without a reference and see how that turns out Make sure to just keep that flow going, you know, just don't lose track of the fact that this is just for fun Shouldn't take you maybe longer than 30 to 45 minutes depending on what kind of subject it is You can even do them fairly quickly Try different sizes of brushes as well maybe a big one, small one Try using pressure sensitivity if you want, try different brushes What I really want you guys to take away from this lesson is to just mess around with your colors your reference, your subject Have fun with it Just try different things different references I'd love to see what you guys paint I'm really, really excited and thank you so much for sticking around through this lesson I hope you guys had fun See you soon in my next lesson, hopefully. Thank you.