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How to Create a Summer Portrait With Ice Cream in Procreate

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Just imagine: a scorching sun, a clear blue sky, a cool breeze blowing in from the sea, and your favorite ice cream in your hand. Well, aren't these the key ingredients for a perfect summer mood?

In this tutorial we’ll try to picture this mood by creating a colorful summer portrait of a beautiful woman. We'll experiment with different methods and techniques to get a great result. 

Let's start!

1. How to Make a Sketch

Step 1

In this tutorial, I'm using an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and the Procreate 4 app.

First, open the application. Tap the (+) icon in the top right corner to create a New Canvas. Tap to Create Custom Size and create a 3500 x 4000 px canvas, RGB300 DPI

create a new canvas

Step 2

To begin with, let's draw a schematic sketch.

I create my sketch directly in Procreate using my Apple Pencil.

First, open the Brushes tab and tap the Sketching set. For the sketch, any brush from this set will be suitable. I chose the 6B Pencil.

Let's modify this brush a little bit. Tap the 6B Pencil icon, and the Settings of the tool will appear. Choose the General settings and change the Size Limits to ~30% Max. It will allow us to have more flexibility in the sketching process.

sketch brush settings

Step 3

Let's begin by drawing a sketch.

We already have two layers by default: one layer with the background color and one empty layer. Open the Layers panel, tap "Layer 2", and rename it "sketch".

rename new layer

Now you can choose any color you like from the Colors menu in the top right corner. I picked the blue one.

color menu

Step 4

Now we can start sketching. First, make a combination of basic shapes, searching for the silhouette of the character and her features. Then refine the sketch, adding a couple more details to give them a bit more character.

For convenience, you can rotate the canvas in the process. Just use two fingers and rotate your image or size it.

Also, you can change the Size and Opacity of any Brush tool by moving up and down the sliders on the left side of the screen.

draw a sketch

2. How to Create the Line Art

Step 1

First, open the Layers menu, tap N on the "sketch" layer, and lower the Opacity to 50%.

change the layer opacity

Step 2

Create a New Layer for the lines on top of the "sketch" layer.

create new layer

Go to Brushes > Inking > Dry Ink and pick a maroon color from the Colors menu.

ink brush settings

pick the color

Step 3

Let’s begin to create our line art.

You can make a few trial lines to sense them. Set the brush Size to about 40% with 100% Opacity. The thickness of the lines depends on the pressing force of the stylus.

Start drawing the face and body. Draw lines as smoothly as you like. Create clean, confident lines, making transitions from thin to thick and vice versa. Having a variance of line weight is good; it gives more life to your drawing.

Also draw the main lines of her hat and bodice. Decorate the hat with ribbons and small leaves.        

The ice cream in her hand will be semi-transparent, so make the lines thinner and almost imperceptible.

basic lines of line art

Step 4

Now draw the hairstyle. First, make just the main lines following the sketch, and then add tiny details. 

hairstyle line art

details of the hair lines

Step 5

Make the “sketch” layer invisible.

Finish your line art by adding some necessary details, decoration, and small, thin strokes.

clean line art

3. How to Create the Main Shapes

Step 1

First let’s create the Palette of the basic colors.

We have the Colors menu in the top right corner, where we can select the color.

Click on the (+) icon to Create a New Palette, and a new area with empty boxes for our new palette will appear. Rename it "Summertime".

Let's add the color from the lines first. Pick the color and tap on any of the empty boxes, and it saves it. Tap on the boxes to create the colors for your palette, and tap on them to delete any of them.

create a palette

This way we'll create our own Palette. Basically, we'll choose beautiful soft colors to create a summer mood.

create a palette

For a convenient work process, we’ll create separate layers for each part of our character. Organize the layers as shown in the screenshot below.

organize the layers

Step 2

Well, it's time to begin painting.

Considering the gentle colors in our palette, let's change the color of our line art a little bit. Just change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light. In this way, the lower layers with basic colors will give new tints to the lines.

change the lines blending mode

Step 3

Let's start by filling the background with basic colors.

Pick a new brush, Nebula, from the Luminance set, and modify it by changing the Size and Opacity Limits to Max.

nebula brush settings

Choose a blue color from our Palette to add some mistiness to the upper part of the canvas.

Now create a New Layer under the "background" layer, and add some yellow splashes as well.

draw the background

Let's merge these layers now. Tap on the top background layer and choose Merge Down from the drop-down list. Or you can take the two layers (one finger on one, and one finger on the other) and squeeze them together.

merge the background layers

Pick the Eraser Tool to delete the background color from our character. Choose the Soft Pastel brush as an eraser.

brush as an eraser

Step 4

Let's find a cool brush for the painting.

Go to Brushes > Water > Wash and pick a skin tone color from our Palette.

water brush settings

Now use the Max Size of the brush and fill the face, body, and hand with color. Clean the area around the body using the Eraser Tool. In the end, add some colors to the eyes, lips, and nails.

body coloring

Step 5

Now we'll work by switching between the "hat" and "bodice" layers.

First, add a light blue tint to the bodice and the outer side of the hat. Then create the New Layers on top and add some pink strokes. Clean the lace and ribbon areas.

main colors of the hat

Once we're happy with the result, we can merge these layers.

merge layers

Step 6

Using the same principle, we'll color the hair.

First, fill the upper part of the hairstyle with yellow. Then create a New Layer on top of the "hair" layer, and add some pink spots. Now create a New Layer again, and add some medium purple color to the edges.

hairstyle coloring

Now we can merge these three layers into one.

merge hair layers

In the end, we need to clean the area around the hairstyle. We can use the Eraser Tool, as we did before. But in this case I find the Selection Tool is a more convenient method.

Tap the Selection Tool, and make sure it's on Freehand. Draw the shape on the area you need to delete. Then tap Transform, which is next in the top panel, swipe down with three fingers, and the menu will appear. Choose Cut, and you'll get an absolutely clean area.

work with selection tool

main shape of hairstyle

Step 7

Using the same coloring method, fill the rest of the details with colors.

main colors of full image

Step 8

Let's add a falling shadow from the hat. 

Create a New Layer under the "hat" layer. Pick a medium purple color and draw the shape on top of the inner part of the hat, fringe, and forehead. Refine the edges using the Eraser Tool.

shadow drawing

Step 9

In the end, let's make our background a little more saturated. On a New Layer on top of the "background", draw a big blue shape, and set the Blending Mode to Color Burn.

And here’s what we’ve got at this stage.

background drawing

4. How to Create the Paper Texture Brush

Step 1

It's not so difficult to make a cool custom brush in Procreate.

First, choose any set of brushes you like to create a new brush. My choice is the Textures set because it's very suitable for texture brushes.

Start by tapping the (+) icon in the top-right corner of the brush list to create your New Brush. The menu with sources will appear.

For the Shape, tap Swap from Pro Library and choose the Hard circle. For the Grain, tap Swap from Pro Library and choose the Recycled Paper texture.

create new brush

brush shape sources

Rename it "Paper Texture".

rename the brush

Open the General settings, and set the Size Limit to Max.

In the Dynamics settings, set the brush to Glazed.

paper brush settings

In the Grain settings, set the Scale to about 45%.

In the Stroke settings, change the Spacing to about 25%.

paper brush settings

Now we can use our new Paper Texture brush.

Create a New Layer on top of the "lines", and rename it "Paper". 

Choose a pale grey color. You can add it to your Palette to save this color. Increase the brush Size to the max. Now drive the brush back and forth across the canvas area without lifting the stylus off the surface. You'll get a layer filled with texture.

testing paper brush

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Multiply, and drop the Opacity to 40%.

paper layer settings

Now create a New Layer under the "Paper" layer, and rename it "Paper 2".

Fill it with texture too, and change the Blending Mode to Color Burn, 60% Opacity.

second paper layer settings

Step 2

Using the same method, let's create another texture brush.

For the Shape, choose Hard circle from the Pro Library as well. For the Grain, choose the Oil Pastel texture.

texture brush sources

Rename it "Paper Texture 2".

rename the brush

In the General settings, set the Size Limit to Max.

In the Dynamics, set the brush to Glazed.

texture brush settings

In the Grain settings, set the Scale to about 65%.

In the Stroke settings, change the Spacing to about 20%.

texture brush settings

Now create a New Layer on top of "Paper", and rename it "Texture".

Choose a pale grey color from your Palette. Fill this layer with texture using your new brush, setting the brush Size to the max.

texture brush testing

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Burn. Reduce the Opacity to about 50%. You can play around with the Opacity until you're happy with how it looks.

texture layer settings

Step 3

In the end, let's create a Layers Folder or Group with our textures.

Drag your layers with textures from left to right to select them. Then tap the lines in the top right, and you'll get the New Group with your layers.

You can open or close this folder—just tap the little arrow in front of the group name.

create a layers group

Step 4

And here’s what we’ve got at this stage. Looks pretty good already, right?

result of texture brushes

5. How to Add Shadows and Highlights

Step 1

It’s time to draw the beautiful face of our character. Let's add some blush to the skin first.

Create a New Layer for the blush on top of the "body" layer. Then tap on the "body" layer and choose Select from the drop-down list. It will allow us to draw on the "blush" layer just inside the body shape.

select the body layer

Use the same Wash brush from the Water set and peach color to draw some blush on the cheeks, nose, chest, and fingers. You can vary the brush Size and Opacity in the process as you like.

draw some blush

Step 2

Create a New Layer for the shadows between the "body" and "blush" layers. Now select a light brown color and choose the Water Brush from the Painting set.

water brush for shadows

Start creating subtle shadows by making strokes on the shadowy area. Change the brush Size and Opacity in the process until you get the desired result. 

draw the shadows

Create a New Layer on top of the "shadows". Using the same brush and color, add some freckles to the nose, cheeks, and chest. Vary the brush Size around 5–15% in the process.

draw the freckles

Step 3

Create a New Layer on top of the "body" layer, and rename it "highlights". Pick a yellow color from our Palette, and paint some highlight strokes using the Wash brush.

draw the highlights

Step 4

Let’s add the falling shadows. Use the Water Brush here. Pick a medium purple color and draw shadows under the eye, nose, lips, fingers, and hair curls. Vary the brush Size and Opacity in the process.

draw the falling shadows

Let's go back to the "shadow" layer, which is under "hat". Reduce the Opacity of the layer to about 65%. Refine the shadow shape a little using the Eraser Tool.

refine the shadow shape

Step 5

Now let's add some highlights to the lightened area.

Create a New Layer on top of the "blush", and rename it "highlights 2". Pick a pale yellow color from our Palette, and add some bright highlights using the same Water Brush.

add new highlights

Step 6

Now we’ll get to work on the “eyes/lips/manicure” layer. Add some volume and makeup to the eyes and lips. Use the Eraser Tool to create some twinkles on the lips and nails.

makeup drawing

Step 7

Create a New Layer again for the glare. Draw some bright highlights and gloss using a pale yellow color from our Palette and the Soft Pastel brush from the Sketching set.

add some glare

Step 8

In the end, for a convenient work process, let's create a Group with all body layers.

Select all these layers as we did before, tap the lines in the top right, and you'll get the New Group. Rename it "body".

create the body group

Step 9

Let’s start forming the hairstyle.

Choose a new Wet Glaze brush from the Water set. You can see all the brush settings in the screenshot below.

wet brush settings

Select the "hair" layer, and create a New Layer on top of it. Draw some new purple strokes on the shadowy area of the curls, creating beautiful artistic spots.

hairstyle volume

This way, draw some pink brush strokes on the New Layer. Feel free to place them in whatever manner you find best.

hairstyle volume

Create a New Layer again, and add some bright yellow spots too.

hairstyle volume

In the end, add some bright highlights to the hairstyle using a pale yellow color.

hairstyle volume

Now we can merge all these hairstyle layers into one.

Open the "shadow" layer, pick a medium purple color, and draw shadow shapes on the dark areas of the hair curls. Refine the edges using the Eraser Tool.

hairstyle shadows

Step 10

It’s time to add some volume to the hat and bodice. We'll work by switching between these two.

We'll use the Wet Glaze brush from the Water set to get painting effects and an imitation of watercolor.

Create two New Layers: one on top of the "hat", and another on top of the "bodice". Pick your brush and draw some pink textured shapes for the shadows.

clothes volume

Create a New Layer again, and add some bright yellow strokes to the highlights area of the hat.

Now let's add some texture to the fabric. Choose a new Halftone brush from the Textures set.

halftone brush settings

Create New Layers for the hat and bodice textures. Pick a medium purple color and draw some textured shapes on top of the dark parts of the hat and bodice.

clothes texture

Reduce the Opacity of these layers to 75%.

clothes layer opacity

Create New Layers for the hat and bodice shadows and highlights.

Use a medium purple color to draw some falling shadows from the ribbons and leaves on the hat, as well as from the lace and curls on the bodice. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Then add some shapes of highlights using a pale yellow color from our Palette.

clothes highlights

Step 11

Let’s add highlights and shadows to the accessories.

Create a New Layer on top of "ribbons/earring/leafs".

Start with the ribbons and earring. Use colors from your Palette and the Wet Glaze brush. Create some deep blue and purple spots for the shadows and some yellow reflections. In the end, add some pale yellow highlights.

Create some colorful spots on the leaves using blue, purple, yellow, and pink.

Then merge these layers with accessories into one.

accessories volume

Let's reduce the Opacity of the waving ribbons.

Take the Selection tool, and make sure it's on Freehand. Select the area with your ribbons. Then go to Adjustments > Opacity, and reduce the Opacity to about 75%.

work with selection tool
opacity of the selection

As we added colorful spots to the ribbons, do the same for the lace, as shown in the screenshot below.

lace volume

Step 12

Let's move to the ice cream.

First, Select the "ice cream" layer, and create a New Layer on top of it.

Pick the Wet Glaze brush from the Water set and a pink color. Draw two or three lines to ornament your ice cream. Also use yellow and grass-green colors to make it multilayered. Then, use a medium purple color for the bottom of ice cream and for the shadows on the stick. Also add some light blue reflections.

In the end, pick the Soft Pastel brush and add some bright gloss to your ice cream.

ice cream volume

Reduce the Opacity of this layer to 75%, and merge the layers with the ice cream into one.

Refine your ice cream, adding some purple tints and more gloss.

ice cream layer settings

6. It's Time for the Final Touches

Step 1

Let's add some new details and texture to the background.

Create a New Layer under the "body" group. Pick a new Clouds brush from the Elements set and a blue color to add some soft cloud shapes to the background. 

clouds brush settings
apply the clouds brush

Step 2

Now pick the Water brush from the Elements set as well, and create a New Layer on top of the "clouds". Form some cool textures, using the purple color from your Palette.

Reduce the Opacity of the layer to about 45%, and change the Blending Mode to Multiply.

water brush settings

apply the clouds brush

Step 3

In the end, let's add some bokeh lights to complete our piece.

Create a New Layer on top of the "lines". Pick the Bokeh Lights brush from the Luminance set, and add some yellow shapes of bokeh to the top right and bottom left corners of your image. These spots may extend beyond your composition, so you can fix it with a soft Eraser Tool.

Change the Blending Mode of the "bokeh" layer to Hard Light, and reduce the Opacity to about 65–70%, until you are happy with how it looks.

bokeh brush settings

draw the bokeh lights

Great Work! 

Our colorful summer portrait is ready!

I hope you liked creating and experimenting with me. Enjoy the process, and please share your result!

final image

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