Mastering Basic Drawing Techniques with Procreate

Software & Applications

Are you just starting out with Procreate and looking for a solid foundation in basic drawing techniques? Whether you’re sketching, painting, or illustrating, mastering the Procreate basic drawing techniques can significantly improve your digital art projects. Here’s a practical guide to get you started with essential tips and tricks that make digital drawing more efficient and enjoyable.

Setting Up Your Canvas

Procreate provides a versatile platform to express your creativity. Start by selecting the right canvas size. A larger canvas allows more detail but may slow performance if your device is older.

  • Canvas Size: Choose according to your project requirement.
  • Color Profile: Use RGB for digital work and CMYK for prints.

Basic Techniques to Get Started

1. Layer Management

Layers are crucial for non-destructive editing.

  • Create Layers: Each new element like sketches, colors, and textures should have its own layer.
  • Naming Layers: Keep them organized by naming each layer as per its content which simplifies your workflow.

2. Using Brushes

Brushes are the heart of Procreate’s functionality.

  • Brush Types: Start with the basic brushes. Procreate offers a variety of pre-set brushes in categories like inking, painting, and sketching.
  • Custom Brushes: You can create custom brushes or modify existing ones to suit your style.

3. Sketching Techniques

Sketching is the foundation of all artwork.

  • Rough Sketches: Begin with light strokes to outline your basic composition.
  • Refinement: Gradually add details to your sketches by reducing the brush size.

4. Effective Use of Color

Color can bring your sketches to life.

  • Color Palettes: Use Procreate’s color palettes or create your own for consistency in your artwork.
  • Color Blending: Get familiar with the smudge tool to blend colors smoothly.

5. Shading Basics

Shading adds depth to your drawings.

  • Layered Shading: Use multiple layers to build up different levels of shadows and highlights.
  • Opacity: Adjust the opacity of your brush to achieve softer shading.

6. The Power of Undo and Redo

Mistakes are easy to fix in Procreate.

  • Undo/Redo: Use a two-finger tap to undo and a three-finger tap to redo actions swiftly.

Techniques for Fine-Tuning Your Art

1. Stylus and Gestures

Utilizing a stylus can enhance your control and precision.

  • Pressure Sensitivity: Adjust your stylus settings to match your drawing pressure preferences.
  • Custom Gestures: Procreate allows you to set up custom gestures to increase workflow efficiency.

2. Masking

Masking lets you hide parts of a layer without removing them permanently.

  • Layer Masks: Add a mask to a layer and use black or white colors to reveal or hide parts of the layer.

3. Transformation Tools

Adjust the size, position, and perspective of your elements easily.

  • Freeform and Distort: Use these tools to manipulate your drawings accurately.

4. Animation Basics

Procreate supports simple animations.

  • Frame by Frame: Use Procreate’s animation tools to create basic animations by drawing successive frames.

Advanced Tips for Drawing in Procreate

1. Texture Incorporation

Textures can add complexity and depth to your artwork.

  • Brushes and Effects: Experiment with different brushes and layer effects to introduce textures.

2. Composition Techniques

Effective composition can elevate your artwork.

  • Rule of Thirds: Divide your canvas into thirds to place important elements at the intersections.

3. Time-Lapse Recording

Procreate records your drawing process as a video.

  • Playback: Use this feature to review your drawing process and make improvements.


By honing these Procreate basics, you’re setting the stage for impressive digital artwork. Whether you’re fine-tuning your approach to shading or mastering the transformation tools, each step enhances your skills. For those eager to dive deeper, consider exploring our detailed first project tutorial guide and learning more about canvas settings to fully leverage what Procreate can offer. Start your creative journey today, and let Procreate unlock new possibilities in your digital art exploration!