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Procreate review: A digital artist’s treasure trove for just $10

During the Coronavirus Pandemic devoting time to creative projects has become one of my favorite ways to spend free time and deal with stress. I usually enjoy working with you physical media – watercolor, oil, acrylic, or simply sketching in pen or pencil – and the idea of ​​going digital was intimidating. However, while looking for new ways to draw on my iPad, I noticed Apple’s Procreate app.

To like

  • Large selection of tools
  • Useful for everyone, from beginners to professionals
  • Easy to learn new styles like animation

I do not like it

  • $ 10 price tag
  • Two different apps for iPhone and iPad
  • Having a large number of tools can be overwhelming for a beginner

The digital illustration app is available for $ 10 (AU $ 15) to download (excluding in-app purchases). It’s well worth the money with its array of art tools and creative features. Procreate offers an accessible experience whether you are a design professional, a seasoned digital artist, or a beginner in the world of digital drawing. One disadvantage: the app is only available on iPadOS and iOS.

Continue reading:: Best iPad for 2020

I’ve been using Procreate for a few months and there are still features I’m learning to improve my graphics. The app’s tools, such as Quick Shape, Blend Mode, Layers, Alpha Locks, and Clipping Masks, add a new level of professionalism to your art. For this reason we have given Procreate a Tips Clear Editors’ Choice Award for 2020.

Toto, I don’t think we’re going to use Microsoft Paint anymore

Procreate is packed with so many tools and functions that I will hardly scratch the surface in this test.

There are tons of ways to customize your iPad ($ 239 at Back Market) Gesture controls to make the app work best for you. For example, you can set it to tap four fingers to instantly populate the copy and paste options. You can also use three fingers to scrub the screen and erase a layer.


A sketch I made on Procreate and a look at a subset of the brushes.

Shelby Brown / Tips Clear

One of the greatest advantages of Procreate is the huge library of 150 brushes. The selection of brushes in the app will suit just about any creation you can think of. You can stick to basic sketching, coloring, drawing, and painting, or you can explore airbrushing, calligraphy, charcoal, and spray paints. Under each brush category, you’ll find half a dozen or more choices. For example, if you choose Sketching, you can choose from seven different pens and three different pastel textures. Go a step further by tapping the brush again and further customizing the tool’s properties.

Continue reading: 10 Create app tips for aspiring iPad artists

I also love using the app’s layers feature when drawing. This makes future editing much easier. You just have to remember to do your job bit by bit. You can also find additional light and color editing features for each layer. Just tap the little “N” next to the check mark that selects the level.

Grouping levels

This is what grouping layers looks like with some basic doodles.

Shelby Brown / Tips Clear

To stay organized or to add an extra level of security to an art area, you can group layers together. Just tap a layer and choose either Merge Down or Combine Down. Merging down makes two levels one level. For example, if you enabled Alpha Lock to protect the line boundaries in a plane, it will be disabled. Combine Down creates a new group, but retains the specifications of each level.

Procreate also makes it easy to learn new skills by making the technical aspect of digital art less intimidating. When I first opened the Procreate app, I saw that it had animation features, but almost immediately wrote it off as too complicated for a beginner like me. With a few taps on the app, I was able to create a rudimentary animation of a ball jumping across the screen. It was barely two and a half seconds, but I was really proud of it! Now I’m really excited to see what else I can do.


A face sketch that I started at Procreate.

Shelby Brown / Tips Clear

To simplify the digital illustration learning curve, Procreate has a helpful manual, forums, and YouTube videos to help you do this.

iPad is the new canvas

Procreate is a pure iPad app. There is a version for you iPhone, called Procreate Pocket ($ 5, £ 5, AU $ 8). However, the apps are separate so you can’t switch between your phone and tablet.

I’m using Procreate on a third generation iPad Air, but the full list of compatible devices can be found on the website.

The Apple Pencil does not require any hardware to use Procreate. However, if you plan to turn your attention to digital illustration, your fingers will thank you for picking one up. I can only speak for myself, but I couldn’t get the same level of detail without a pen. I use a first generation Apple stick. If your device is not compatible with the Apple Pencil, the app supports some third-party pen models. The full list can be found on the website.

Continue reading: The best Apple iPad apps of all time

Should you try Procreate?

There is a quantity In Procreate, it’s running and it can seem overwhelming, but the more you use the app, the easier it gets. Having fun is the most important part.

If you are even a little interested in digital art and have $ 10 to spare, I would recommend trying Procreate. Discover the app, scribble, write your name with different brushes. You can also upload blank coloring pages to a canvas and experiment with the tools that way so you don’t have to create a brand new work yourself.

However, if you’re more in the market for a digital coloring book, then instead of spending $ 10 on Procreate, you can check out the Lake app (free, with in-app purchases). And if you want to get an idea of ​​how many times you could use Procreate before investing, Autodesk Sketchbook is a free app with amazing tools – not as many as Procreate, but enough to give you a taste of it.

There are dozen of ways to customize Procreate to discover or improve your art style.

For more information on drawing, see Five online drawing classes to take right now and The best apps for drawing on your iPad.

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