We want to learn about your experience with Tuts+. Take part to earn $50! Help us out to earn$50! Get Started

# An Introduction to Adobe Fresco and How It Compares to Procreate

Has Procreate met its match? Fresco, Adobe's new drawing program for iPad, is here—how does it compare to Procreate or Photoshop? Is it a worthwhile competitor, or something you should pass up? Here's an overview, first impressions, and some comparisons for your consideration.

I'm an artist—art, design, game development and content creation are what I do professionally. I spend a lot of time in Adobe Photoshop, but I also really enjoy Procreate.

That said, I was pretty excited to get my hands on Fresco. When it comes to my iPad, Procreate is a really wonderful, enjoyable application. The price is right, and it's very user friendly. So how does Adobe Fresco hold up, at launch?

## 1. A Tour of Adobe Fresco

### First Impressions

My first impression of Adobe Fresco was generally optimistic. I really enjoy many of the "out the box" brushes. I spent some time just casually sketching, and it did feel really natural and comfortable.

I wanted Fresco to be an awesome application that I fell in love with.

So... how did my first date with Fresco go? Let's take a look at the tools themselves. You can find the tools, by default, on the left-hand side of the visible work area.

### Pixel Brushes

Pixel Brushes are your standard raster brushes, very much like those in Photoshop. I do a lot of drawing in Photoshop, so I was really excited at the prospect of having all of my usual Photoshop brushes on my iPad.

Below, I've tested out one of the ink brushes, and I've doodled an apple with some of the sketch brushes.

### Importing Brushes

Your imported brushes are listed as "Library Brushes" at the bottom of your available Pixel Brushes. Doesn't seem like there's any sorting or reordering things, at this time.

I can't remove any brushes I've imported within the app either—and it seems like I'm not the only one out there having that issue. That's a bummer, but not a deal breaker.

### Lovely, Right Out the Box

The Pixel Brushes that come with Fresco, however, are lovely. They have beautiful textures, and the sensitivity felt on point, without any adjustments—I didn't have to tweak anything there to create really beautiful lines and textures. The Cezanne and Impressionist brushes were particularly fun and full of personality.

### Live Brushes

Fresco also has Live Brushes—and they're really cool. I had a lot of fun trying out the watercolor brushes, in particular. The way the colors bleed and run into each other really feels as if you're working with paint.

This isn't the way I usually draw, digitally, but it was a lot of fun to play with. I'd say that this, right here, is probably one of Fresco's coolest features. You've got Watercolor and Oil brushes, 11 brushes total.

### Vector Brushes

The Vector Brushes are rather nice too! It's really simple to just dig in and create some really lovely, clean, vector lines. There are five different brushes to choose from, which did feel a little odd to me. Still, the five here are pretty versatile.

However, there's no editing these vector lines with something like anchor points. Not a deal breaker, but it's something that would have been nice.

### The Eraser

The Eraser surprised me, because I expected to have the same Brush Options as the other brush tools. You can "Erase with Brush", but I found this to be confusing—you don't use the Eraser to erase like this.

For example, if I want to erase with a soft round brush, I have to, instead, go to the Pixel Brush Tool, select my soft round brush, and then tap and hold the Touch Shortcut while drawing—a circle on the screen that can be used to alter how some tools behave.

The line on the left is drawn with the Eraser tool, while the line on the right is drawn with the Pixel Brush Tool, using the Touch Shortcut.

### The Other Tools

You can use the Move Tool to move your work, as well as flip content horizontally or vertically.

The Selection Tools are used to select a specific area. Simply tap and drag—this was quite straightforward and easy to use.

Then, you have a Paint Bucket Tool. Tap to add a fill color—the color currently active.

The Eyedropper is used to select color, but I found myself rarely using it. Instead, tap and hold on a color in your document to "pick up the color". This is a standard action that will be familiar to those who have used Procreate.

There is also the ability to Import content, right from the tools.

One note there, however. I did really like that you can directly open your camera from Fresco, and then import. As a teacher, you could potentially photograph content, import, and directly draw on top of it, for example. That's pretty cool.

Adobe Fresco has pretty straightforward export options. We can publish and export to a variety of formats, including PSD, PNG, JPG, and PDF. We can also export a time-lapse process video, which is genuinely fun to watch.

Fresco also allows the user to export as a Behance project, and there's a Quick Export, which allows you to export a snapshot of your work. I found myself thinking it was kind of like a screenshot tool.

### The Price Tag

I have a paid Creative Cloud plan already—I use Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, and many other members of the Creative Cloud family on the regular. If you're in the same boat as I am, it means you can download the fully featured version of Adobe Fresco without any additional fee. That's appreciated.

### But Those Live Brushes

I have to admit, however—Adobe Fresco's Live Brushes are a genuinely fun experience. Sitting back and painting fluffy clouds and just watching the paint blend and smear was pretty neat. I know I presented plenty of things about Fresco that weren't so hot, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't genuinely have a good time sitting back in my favorite chair and painting some clouds. It was a really organic and relaxing experience.

I drew the following, below, using the Watercolor Live Brushes. Holding down the Touch Shortcut, when using this brush, gives you "Pure Water", instead of an eraser—it's just really fun to push paint around and experiment with layering.

I'm really curious to see where Adobe takes this feature in the future.

## Who Wins the Battle Royale?

### And the Winner Is...

Adobe Fresco isn't a fundamentally bad application. It has a lot of potential, and some of the brushes are really very enjoyable to use. At launch, it's just not everything it could be, just yet. I really hope this changes in the future, because the potential is there. Adobe has mentioned a bunch of additional features coming soon—I just wish "soon" was sooner!

In my opinion, there just isn't enough here to dethrone Procreate, especially when Procreate has such a universally accessible price tag. As an "extra", included with Creative Cloud, it's fun to experiment with—but I wouldn't call Fresco a significant addition to my normal workflow.

## The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, Procreate has become a larger and larger part of my professional life. There have been times I've considered completely switching to Procreate as my preferred illustration tool—it's genuinely awesome.

Fresco feels like an application that wants to compete, but just isn't there yet. Adobe's promised a bunch of updates, however—so we'll see what happens! If nothing else, I've got myself a new set of watercolors without the mess... and that's pretty neat.

Thanks for exploring Adobe Fresco and Procreate with me! If you enjoyed this article, here are some others that you might enjoy, too! And check out the latest Procreate brushes on Envato Elements.

And why not get some creative inspiration by exploring the massive collection of free vector illustrations over at Reshot? Discover hundreds of royalty-free illustrations that you can use in your next Adobe Fresco or Procreate project.

One subscription.