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

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, setting apart time to pursue artistic tasks has develop into one among my favourite methods to spend free time and handle stress. I usually get pleasure from working with physical media — watercolor, oils, acrylics or easy sketching with pen or pencil — and the thought of going digital was intimidating. However whereas in search of new methods to attract on my iPad, Apple’s Procreate app caught my eye. 


  • Wide selection of instruments
  • Helpful for everybody from newcomers to professionals
  • Straightforward to be taught new kinds like animation

Do not Like

  • $10 price ticket
  • Two totally different apps for iPhone and iPad use
  • Massive variety of instruments might be overwhelming for newcomers

The digital illustration app prices $10 (£10, AU$15) to download (with no in-app purchases), and its suite of artwork instruments and artistic options make it properly well worth the cash. Procreate gives an accessible expertise whether or not you are a design skilled, a seasoned digital artist or a newbie to the world of digital drawing. One draw back: The app is barely obtainable on iPadOS and iOS

Learn extraBest iPad for 2020

I have been utilizing Procreate for just a few months, and there are nonetheless options I am studying to make use of that enhance my art work. The app’s instruments, similar to fast form, mix mode, layering, alpha locks and clipping masks, add a brand new degree of professionalism to your artwork. This is the reason we have awarded Procreate a PJDM Editors’ Alternative award for 2020.

Toto, I do not assume we’re utilizing Microsoft Paint anymore

Procreate is filled with so many instruments and options that I will barely scratch the floor on this evaluate. 

There are numerous methods to customise your iPad’s ($260 at Back Market) gesture controls to make the app work greatest for you. For instance, you possibly can set it so that you simply faucet 4 fingers to right away populate the copy and paste choices. It’s also possible to use three fingers to clean the display screen and clear a layer. 

A sketch I did on Procreate and a have a look at a subset of brushes. 

Shelby Brown/PJDM

One of many greatest perks of Procreate is its huge library of 150 brushes. The vary of brushes obtainable within the app match nearly any creation you may probably take into consideration. You possibly can keep on with fundamental sketching, inking, drawing and portray, or you possibly can discover airbrushing, calligraphy, charcoals and spray paints. Underneath every class of brushes, you will discover a half a dozen or extra selections. For instance, should you select Sketching, you possibly can choose from seven totally different pencils and three totally different pastel textures. Take it a step additional by tapping the comb once more and additional customizing the properties of the instrument. 

Learn extra: 10 Procreate app tips for budding iPad artists

I additionally love utilizing the app’s layering function whereas I am drawing. It makes modifying sooner or later a lot simpler. You may simply have to recollect to place your work in piece by piece. You’ll find additional gentle and colour modifying options for every layer as properly. Simply faucet the little “N” subsequent to the checkmark that selects the layer. 


Here is what grouping layers seems like with some fundamental doodles.

Shelby Brown/PJDM

To remain organized, or if you need an added degree of safety to a piece of artwork, you possibly can mix layers into teams. Merely faucet a layer and you’ll choose both Merge Down or Mix Down. Merge Down makes two layers into one, for instance, should you had Alpha Lock on to guard line boundaries in a layer, it would flip off. Mix Down varieties a brand new group, however nonetheless retains every particular person layer’s specs lively. 

Procreate additionally makes it simple to be taught new expertise by making the technical facet of digital artwork much less intimidating. Once I first opened the Procreate app, I noticed that it had animation options, however virtually instantly wrote them off as too difficult for a novice like me. However with just a few faucets within the app, I used to be capable of create a rudimentary animation of a ball bouncing throughout the display screen. It was barely two and a half seconds, however I used to be actually happy with it! Now, I am actually excited to see what else I could make. 


A face sketch I began on Procreate. 

Shelby Brown/PJDM

To ease the digital illustration studying curve, Procreate has a useful handbookforums and YouTube videos that will help you alongside the best way.

iPad is the brand new canvas

Procreate is an iPad-only app. There’s a model on your iPhone, referred to as Procreate Pocket ($5, £5, AU$8). However the apps are separate, so you possibly can’t swap forwards and backwards between your cellphone and your pill. 

I take advantage of Procreate on a third-gen iPad Air, however yow will discover the full list of compatible devices on its web site. 

The Apple Pencil is not required hardware for utilizing Procreate. However should you’re planning to pursue digital illustration, your fingers will thanks for selecting one up. I can solely communicate for myself, however and not using a stylus, I could not get the identical degree of element. I take advantage of a first-gen Apple Pencil. In case your gadget is not appropriate with the Apple Pencil, the app helps some third-party stylus fashions. You’ll find the complete list on its web site. 

Learn extra: The best Apple iPad apps of all time

Do you have to attempt Procreate?

There is a lot happening in Procreate and it will possibly appear overwhelming, however the extra you employ the app, the simpler it will get. Having enjoyable is a very powerful half.

In case you’re even mildly considering digital artwork and have $10 to spare, I would advocate making an attempt Procreate out. Discover the app, doodle, write your title with totally different brushes. It’s also possible to add clean coloring sheets to a canvas and experiment with the instruments that manner, so you are not making a model new work by yourself. 

In case you’re extra available in the market for a digital coloring ebook, nonetheless, you may take a look at the Lake app (free, with in-app purchases), as a substitute of shelling out $10 for Procreate. And if you wish to get an concept of how a lot you may use Procreate earlier than investing, Autodesk Sketchbook is a free app that has a powerful set of instruments, too — not as many as Procreate, however sufficient to present you a style. 

There are dozens of the way to customise Procreate that will help you uncover or enhance your artwork fashion. 

For extra on drawing, take a look at five online drawing classes you can take right now and all the best apps for drawing on your iPad.

#Procreate #evaluate #digital #artists #treasure #trove


Shelby Brown