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How to Draw in Procreate

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Procreate is a digital painting app that gives the feel of real-world drawing with the power and capabilities of digital art. But how do you use it?

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to draw on Procreate using all of the basic tools as well as covering the full Procreate drawing process—from reference and sketching to colouring, shading, and finishing touches.

Do you prefer video tutorials? Check out the video version of this tutorial over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Learn in This Tutorial on Drawing in Procreate

  • How to draw with Procreate
  • How to use layers in Procreate
  • How to use brushes in Procreate
  • How to sketch in Procreate
  • How to use colours in Procreate
  • How to shade in Procreate
  • How to edit in Procreate
  • How to export files in Procreate

What You'll Need

For this tutorial, you'll need to find a reference photo. A reference photo provides a starting point for a drawing and gives the artist something to refer back to when completing tasks such as shading, choosing colours, or drawing anatomy. For some drawings, you may find you need multiple reference images for different parts of your drawing, but in this tutorial I will be drawing from one image.

You can find a large library of high-resolution reference photos in the Envato Elements library. Here is the image that I selected:

Envato Elements is home to a huge library of digital resources, including photographs, fonts, brush packs, graphics, and much more. In this tutorial, I'll use this Procreate Chalk Sketch Brushes brush set, which is perfect for creating textured sketches and line art.

1. How to Use Layers in Procreate

Step 1

In this tutorial on drawing in Procreate, I'm using an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil, and the Procreate 5.2 app.

First, we need to create a Canvas. Open Procreate and press the + icon in the top-right corner of the screen. 

Procreate home screen with the plus icon circled in redProcreate home screen with the plus icon circled in redProcreate home screen with the plus icon circled in red

Then press the + icon in the top right of the New Canvas menu to create a custom size.

Procreate home page with the + icon circled in redProcreate home page with the + icon circled in redProcreate home page with the + icon circled in red

I’m going to be using a 3000px by 3000px canvas size. I find this works well for square pieces that are high quality whilst retaining a larger number of Maximum layers. You can see the Maximum layers for your canvas size at the bottom of the table. Then hit the orange Done button to launch your canvas. 

screenshot of the Custom canvas menu with various sections circled in redscreenshot of the Custom canvas menu with various sections circled in redscreenshot of the Custom canvas menu with various sections circled in red

Step 2

Now, let’s look at using the Layers panel. The panel can be found by tapping the double square icon in the right-hand corner of the screen.

screenshot of the canvas screen with the layers icon circled in redscreenshot of the canvas screen with the layers icon circled in redscreenshot of the canvas screen with the layers icon circled in red

To create a new layer, tap the + icon in the top-right corner of the menu.

screenshot of the canvas screen with the + icon circled in redscreenshot of the canvas screen with the + icon circled in redscreenshot of the canvas screen with the + icon circled in red

You can switch layers by tapping to select the layer you’ll be drawing on. If you keep drawing on a single layer, you’ll notice that all of your shapes will move together.

screenshot of the canvas with two pink lines drawn on it, the layers panel is open and the layer with the lines on is selectedscreenshot of the canvas with two pink lines drawn on it, the layers panel is open and the layer with the lines on is selectedscreenshot of the canvas with two pink lines drawn on it, the layers panel is open and the layer with the lines on is selected

Step 3

You can move objects on a layer by tapping the Transform tool icon.

the arrow icon is circled in red, the two pink lines have a bounding box around them to show they are selectedthe arrow icon is circled in red, the two pink lines have a bounding box around them to show they are selectedthe arrow icon is circled in red, the two pink lines have a bounding box around them to show they are selected

If you would like to separate your lines, make sure to select a separate layer to draw on. You can now move your shapes separately from one another.

the pink lines are now drawn on separate layersthe pink lines are now drawn on separate layersthe pink lines are now drawn on separate layers
one of the pink lines has been moved away from the other pink lineone of the pink lines has been moved away from the other pink lineone of the pink lines has been moved away from the other pink line

Step 4

You can move layers around by pressing and holding on a layer and dragging it. Moving a layer behind another one will place that shape behind the shape on the other layer.

the moving layer has been circled in redthe moving layer has been circled in redthe moving layer has been circled in red

Step 5

You can hide and reveal layers by tapping on the checkbox at the edge of each layer.

one of the checkboxes is untickedone of the checkboxes is untickedone of the checkboxes is unticked

2. How to Use Brushes in Procreate

Step 1

If you want to learn how to draw in Procreate, next up we'll look at brushes. The Brush Library is opened by tapping on the Brush Library icon at the top of the screen.

Here you'll find a variety of default Procreate brushes, organised into the categories shown on the left. There's a mixture of both traditional and digital style brushes, as well as textures and stamps.

To select a brush, simply tap on it, and it will now be ready to use.

screenshot of the brush library with the brush library icon and a selected brush circled in redscreenshot of the brush library with the brush library icon and a selected brush circled in redscreenshot of the brush library with the brush library icon and a selected brush circled in red

Step 2

You can adjust the size of the brush by dragging the Brush size slider, which is located to the left of the screen. Dragging the slider upwards will increase the brush size, whilst dragging it downwards will decrease it.

the slider is circled in redthe slider is circled in redthe slider is circled in red
two pink lines are drawn on the canvas, one with a thicker brush size and one with a thinner brush sizetwo pink lines are drawn on the canvas, one with a thicker brush size and one with a thinner brush sizetwo pink lines are drawn on the canvas, one with a thicker brush size and one with a thinner brush size

Step 3

You can save a brush size by holding the Brush size slider with one finger, whilst tapping the plus icon on the menu that pops up with another finger. 

the + icon is circled in redthe + icon is circled in redthe + icon is circled in red

Repeat this process and tap the - icon to remove the marker. To select the saved brush size, simply drag the slider over the marker.

the slider and - icon are circled in redthe slider and - icon are circled in redthe slider and - icon are circled in red

Step 4

The bottom slider controls the opacity of the brush. The lower you drag the Brush opacity slider, the lower the opacity of your brush will become.

the brush opacity slider is circled in redthe brush opacity slider is circled in redthe brush opacity slider is circled in red
two pink lines are drawn on the canvas, one is opaque and one has lowered opacitytwo pink lines are drawn on the canvas, one is opaque and one has lowered opacitytwo pink lines are drawn on the canvas, one is opaque and one has lowered opacity

3. How to Sketch in Procreate

Step 1

Next up in how to draw with Procreate, it’s time to begin sketching! First, I’m going to open my reference photo.

One way of doing this is to open the Actions menu, tap on Canvas, and then turn on the Reference switch.

the reference switch is circled in redthe reference switch is circled in redthe reference switch is circled in red

This will open a Reference box, and you can move this by holding and dragging the top of the box.

the reference box is shown in front of the canvasthe reference box is shown in front of the canvasthe reference box is shown in front of the canvas

You can use the Canvas setting to use existing drawings on your canvas as a reference. This is helpful if you’d like to reference another part of your canvas whilst being able to zoom in on a different section.

a pink line is shown both on the canvas and within the reference boxa pink line is shown both on the canvas and within the reference boxa pink line is shown both on the canvas and within the reference box

The Face option allows you to take a reference photograph, which could be helpful if you want to recreate an expression, for example.

The Image option allows you to import an image from your photos library. Here I’m going to add the image I downloaded earlier by tapping the Import image button to import my photo. 

import image button is circled in redimport image button is circled in redimport image button is circled in red

The image will now appear inside the Reference box. To close the Reference box, tap on the x icon in the top-right corner.

an image of an elven girl is now inside the reference boxan image of an elven girl is now inside the reference boxan image of an elven girl is now inside the reference box

Step 2

Another method of working from a reference photo is to split the screen between two applications. This is my preferred method.

Simply open your reference image, and then swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen to open the shortcut menu.

an image of an elven girl is opened within the screen, and the shortcut app menu is at the bottom of the screenan image of an elven girl is opened within the screen, and the shortcut app menu is at the bottom of the screenan image of an elven girl is opened within the screen, and the shortcut app menu is at the bottom of the screen

Tap and hold the Procreate icon, and drag it to the left of the screen.

the procreate icon is circled in red, and has been dragged towards the left of the screenthe procreate icon is circled in red, and has been dragged towards the left of the screenthe procreate icon is circled in red, and has been dragged towards the left of the screen

With a half split screen, some of the Procreate menu bar items are hidden, so I prefer to work in 3/4 screen by dragging the divider in the middle to the right slightly using my finger.

Procreate and the photograph cover half the screen each, the slider in the centre of the screen has been circled in redProcreate and the photograph cover half the screen each, the slider in the centre of the screen has been circled in redProcreate and the photograph cover half the screen each, the slider in the centre of the screen has been circled in red

You can now use both applications simultaneously, allowing you to zoom and move around both parts of the screen using your fingers and a pinching motion.

Procreate fills 3/4 of the screen, and the photograph fills the final 1/4Procreate fills 3/4 of the screen, and the photograph fills the final 1/4Procreate fills 3/4 of the screen, and the photograph fills the final 1/4

Step 3

Now it’s time to sketch! First, I’m going to map out the rough shapes of my drawing. I’m using an Airbrush for this because I just want to create loose guides.

I begin with a circle for the head, and I continue to use shapes and loose lines to mark out the rough proportions of the drawing. I’m not going to add any detail at this point—I’m just marking where the main shapes and features will go. This will serve as a guide before I begin the next stage of sketching and adding more detail.

the canvas contains a very loose light grey sketch of the elven girlthe canvas contains a very loose light grey sketch of the elven girlthe canvas contains a very loose light grey sketch of the elven girl

Step 4

Once this sketch is complete, I’m going to increase the size using the Transform tool set to Uniform, which means the shape will hold its current proportions.

the arrow icon and 'uniform' are circled in redthe arrow icon and 'uniform' are circled in redthe arrow icon and 'uniform' are circled in red

Step 5

Now it’s time to create a more refined and detailed sketch layer. First, I’m lowering the opacity of my initial sketch to make it easier to draw over.

To lower the layer Opacity setting, tap on your layer to open the menu, and drag the slider.

the opacity slider is circled in redthe opacity slider is circled in redthe opacity slider is circled in red

I’m then creating a new layer above this to draw on, before selecting my sketch brush.

a new layer is shown above the sketch layera new layer is shown above the sketch layera new layer is shown above the sketch layer

Step 6

I’m going to edit this brush slightly by tapping on it to open the Brush Studio.

You can change a variety of settings here. I’m increasing the StreamLine setting to the maximum. This makes the brush create smoothed lines, which is very helpful when sketching as it steadies your outlines. Press Done to confirm your changes.

the streamline setting and the done button are circled in redthe streamline setting and the done button are circled in redthe streamline setting and the done button are circled in red

Step 7

Next, I'm going to begin to create my refined sketch with this brush.

I create all the separate elements of my drawing on different layers to make them easier to edit, but you could draw on a single layer if you prefer to work this way.

a more detailed sketch of the elven girl can be seen above the initial loose sketcha more detailed sketch of the elven girl can be seen above the initial loose sketcha more detailed sketch of the elven girl can be seen above the initial loose sketch

Step 8

Once I'm happy with this sketch, I'm going to Flatten the multiple layers into a single image and layer. To do this, I will first need to select all of my layers.

You can select multiple layers and group them by swiping each layer to the left and then tapping Group in the top-right corner of the menu.

multiple layers are selected within the layers panelmultiple layers are selected within the layers panelmultiple layers are selected within the layers panel

The layers are now grouped.

the new group of layers is circled in redthe new group of layers is circled in redthe new group of layers is circled in red

Tap the group and select Flatten from the menu that will open to the left. This merges all layers from the group into a single layer.

Flatten is circled in redFlatten is circled in redFlatten is circled in red

Step 9

Before we move on, let's look at a few more helpful tools which can assist you whilst you sketch.

To flip or rotate a layer, select the Transform tool and tap on the rotation you would like to perform using the menu at the bottom. Here, I tapped Flip horizontal to reflect my layer.

flip horizontal is circled in redflip horizontal is circled in redflip horizontal is circled in red
the sketch has now been flipped horizontallythe sketch has now been flipped horizontallythe sketch has now been flipped horizontally

With the Transform tool selected, you can use the guidelines that appear whilst moving an object to help you align it.

four orange guides appear in a cross shape over the top of the sketchfour orange guides appear in a cross shape over the top of the sketchfour orange guides appear in a cross shape over the top of the sketch

Step 10

To erase, tap the Erase tool in the top-right menu. This will allow you to erase any drawings on your selected layer.

the erase tool is circled in redthe erase tool is circled in redthe erase tool is circled in red

You can edit your Erase brush to create different eraser effects using the Brush Library. To do this, tap the Erase icon and select the brush of your choice. 

the brush library has opened below the erase toolthe brush library has opened below the erase toolthe brush library has opened below the erase tool

Step 11

I like to flip my canvas regularly whilst drawing as it helps me to spot any issues with proportions that I might have missed.

To do this, open the Actions menu and tap Flip horizontal or Flip vertical depending on your needs.

flip horizontal is circled in redflip horizontal is circled in redflip horizontal is circled in red
the canvas has been flipped horizontallythe canvas has been flipped horizontallythe canvas has been flipped horizontally

Step 12

Once I’m happy with this sketch, it’s time to create the final line art. 

First I'm going to lower the Opacity of my sketch layer to make it easier to draw over, and then I'll create a new layer above it.

the opacity slider is circled in redthe opacity slider is circled in redthe opacity slider is circled in red
a new layer has been created above the sketch layera new layer has been created above the sketch layera new layer has been created above the sketch layer

Step 13

Now I’m drawing over the sketch with my line art brush to create the lines that will be used in the final drawing.

You can skip this step if you don’t use line art, or you could choose to do this at the end instead. I create each part on a separate layer to make it easier to recolour later.

the Layers panel is open and all of the different elements of the line art can be seen on separate layersthe Layers panel is open and all of the different elements of the line art can be seen on separate layersthe Layers panel is open and all of the different elements of the line art can be seen on separate layers

Step 14

As you can see below, some of the lines from the dress layer are overlapping the flowers in front of it. To solve this issue, I'm going to create a Mask over the dress layer.

the area where the lines from the dress are overlapping the flowers is circled in redthe area where the lines from the dress are overlapping the flowers is circled in redthe area where the lines from the dress are overlapping the flowers is circled in red

To create a mask, tap the layer and select Mask.

mask is circled in redmask is circled in redmask is circled in red

This creates a mask above the selected layer that allows you to erase things on the layer, but as this mask can be switched on and off, the changes can be reversed at any time by switching off or deleting the mask. This is a great tool to use if you're unsure about permanently erasing something, or if you just want to test out how it would look without risking losing anything on your original layer.

the layer mask is circled in redthe layer mask is circled in redthe layer mask is circled in red

Step 15

Now that my line art is complete, I’m going to select and Group all of these layers to keep them ready for later. 

the line art layers have been grouped togetherthe line art layers have been grouped togetherthe line art layers have been grouped together

I’m then going to Duplicate this group and Flatten it into one layer, so that I can use this as a guide for adding the flat colours.

You can Duplicate a layer by selecting it, swiping over it to the left, and tapping the Duplicate button. This will create a duplicate of that layer or group, which can now be selected and moved. 

duplicate is circled in redduplicate is circled in redduplicate is circled in red
flatten is circled in redflatten is circled in redflatten is circled in red

4. How to Use Colours in Procreate

To continue learning how to draw in Procreate, now we'll cover colouring.

screenshot of the final elven girl line artscreenshot of the final elven girl line artscreenshot of the final elven girl line art

Step 1

First, I want to prepare my guide layer.

I'm going to select the flattened line art layer and tap on the layer to open up the Blend Modes.

Blend Modes can have different effects on the colours and opacities of your layer and how it interacts with other layers and objects.

the blend modes are shown within the Layers panelthe blend modes are shown within the Layers panelthe blend modes are shown within the Layers panel

Step 2

I’m going to be setting my layer to Linear Burn mode, which produces a darkening effect over the base layer. This will help the colours of my guide layer to match better with the colours I will be adding beneath it, making it easier to see the outlines.

linear burn is circled in redlinear burn is circled in redlinear burn is circled in red

Step 3

I’m turning the Opacity of the layer down so that I can see the outlines of the shapes I will be drawing beneath it. This ensures I can create clean edges around my base colours.

the opacity slider is circled in redthe opacity slider is circled in redthe opacity slider is circled in red

The effects of the Linear Burn mode are demonstrated here. As you can see, the line art layer becomes a darker version of the colour on the layer below.

Increasing the opacity of the layer will increase the darkness of the lines.

a brown swatch has been coloured beneath the line art layer, and the lines above the swatch have become a dark brown in contrast the the light grey of the rest of the linesa brown swatch has been coloured beneath the line art layer, and the lines above the swatch have become a dark brown in contrast the the light grey of the rest of the linesa brown swatch has been coloured beneath the line art layer, and the lines above the swatch have become a dark brown in contrast the the light grey of the rest of the lines

Step 4

Before we begin to add our base colours, let's look at how to use the Colours panel in Procreate. To open the Colours panel, tap the circular colour swatch in the top-right corner.

The Disc is the first option on the menu for selecting colours. You can drag the swatch around the colour wheel to pick the colour, and then drag the swatch in the middle section of the wheel to control the depth of your selected colour.

the swatch icon and the sliders within the colour wheel are circled in redthe swatch icon and the sliders within the colour wheel are circled in redthe swatch icon and the sliders within the colour wheel are circled in red

Next is the Classic option. This contains settings to control the Hue, Saturation, and Brightness of the colour. These can be adjusted by dragging the three sliders, and the depth of the colour can be edited by dragging the swatch around the square at the top.

the sliders and colour swatch are circled in redthe sliders and colour swatch are circled in redthe sliders and colour swatch are circled in red

Next is the Harmony option, which can be used to find complementary colours. Dragging one of the swatches will automatically move the other three swatches into complementary colours for your selected swatch.

the colour wheel is circled in redthe colour wheel is circled in redthe colour wheel is circled in red

Then we have the Values option. Here, you can input specific colour values for RGB or CMYK colour codes, depending on the colour mode your canvas is set to.

the values are circled in redthe values are circled in redthe values are circled in red

Finally, at the end of the menu, you can find the Palettes option, which contains saved colour Swatches.

To select a Palette, simply tap on a Swatch within that Palette.

screenshot of the palettes menuscreenshot of the palettes menuscreenshot of the palettes menu

To create a new Palette, select your chosen colour, open the Palettes menu, and tap the + icon in the top-right corner.

There are a few options you can use to create Palettes from. I’m going to select Create new palette to make an empty one. 

the + icon and create new palette are circled in redthe + icon and create new palette are circled in redthe + icon and create new palette are circled in red

To add Swatches, simply tap on any grey empty square within the palette, and your swatch will now be saved.

the new swatch is circled in redthe new swatch is circled in redthe new swatch is circled in red

Step 5

Now let’s add the flat colours. I’m selecting an ink liner brush so that the edges of my shapes will be slightly grainy.

On a layer behind the guide layer, I’m going to start to outline the first shape, which is going to be her face. The most important thing here is to ensure that there are no gaps in the outline.

the face of the guide layer is outlined in a fair skin-tone shadethe face of the guide layer is outlined in a fair skin-tone shadethe face of the guide layer is outlined in a fair skin-tone shade

Step 6

Once the shape is outlined, there are two ways of colouring it. You can either colour by hand if you prefer the look of this or enjoy this process, or to speed things up you can use the ColorDrop tool.

To do this, drag the colour Swatch from the top-right corner into the centre of your shape, and keep the Apple Pencil held down.

the colour swatch is circled in red, and has been dragged towards the outlined face shapethe colour swatch is circled in red, and has been dragged towards the outlined face shapethe colour swatch is circled in red, and has been dragged towards the outlined face shape

You can adjust the level of fill by dragging the pencil across the screen to adjust the ColorDrop Threshold slider at the top.

the Colordrop Threshold is circled in redthe Colordrop Threshold is circled in redthe Colordrop Threshold is circled in red

Step 7

Now I’m going to draw the rest of the base colour shapes by creating new layers for each of them and using the same process.

Keeping them on separate layers will allow you to edit the colours more easily if you change your mind, and it will also help when shading later on. Here you can see how my drawing is looking with all the base colours filled in.

all of the base shapes have been coloured in behind the guide layer with a variety of different coloursall of the base shapes have been coloured in behind the guide layer with a variety of different coloursall of the base shapes have been coloured in behind the guide layer with a variety of different colours

5. How to Shade in Procreate

Step 1

When drawing in Procreate, it's important to know about this technique. Now it’s time to add some shading.

To begin, I’m going to create a new layer above the shape I want to shade, tap on the layer, and select the Clipping Mask option.

clipping mask is circled in redclipping mask is circled in redclipping mask is circled in red

This creates a Clipping Mask around the layer so that you can only colour inside the shape the mask is created on top of.

a clipping mask has appeared above the selected layera clipping mask has appeared above the selected layera clipping mask has appeared above the selected layer

I’m going to add some blush to my character, so I’m choosing an airbrush and shading under her cheeks.

You can see how the colour is contained within the face shape due to the Clipping Mask.

blush is added to the characters cheeks within the clipping maskblush is added to the characters cheeks within the clipping maskblush is added to the characters cheeks within the clipping mask

Step 2

You can add additional Clipping Masks by creating a layer above or below the current mask using the + icon and setting it to clipping mask.

Clipping Mask layers layered above or below each other will become masks of the same base layer beneath them.

the + icon is circled in redthe + icon is circled in redthe + icon is circled in red

Step 3

You can colour pick any colour within your drawing to set your current swatch to this shade.

To do this, hold your finger over any part of the drawing to launch the Eyedropper tool, and the colour beneath will become selected. You can hold and drag your finger around until you find your desired shade.

the colour picker is held over the blush on the characters cheeks and is circled in redthe colour picker is held over the blush on the characters cheeks and is circled in redthe colour picker is held over the blush on the characters cheeks and is circled in red

The selected colour will now match the shade you collected using the Eyedropper.

the colour swatch is circled in redthe colour swatch is circled in redthe colour swatch is circled in red

Step 4

Now I’m going to show you how you can use Blend Modes to assist with shading and adding highlights to your drawings.

I’m adding the iris and pupil colours as Clipping Masks over the eye base layer as I want to shade over all three, and I’m creating another Clipping Mask layer above these to shade on.

3 clipping mask layers are created above the eye base colour, two containing shapes and the top layer is blank3 clipping mask layers are created above the eye base colour, two containing shapes and the top layer is blank3 clipping mask layers are created above the eye base colour, two containing shapes and the top layer is blank

I’m then going to select the eye base colour and create a deeper and warmer version of it, which will be used as the base colour for my Blend Mode.

a light warm brown shade is selected on the colour wheela light warm brown shade is selected on the colour wheela light warm brown shade is selected on the colour wheel

Next I’m going to open the Blend Mode menu and set the layer to Multiply mode. This mode darkens and increases the saturation of the colour the brush is set to, as well as the base colour beneath this layer.

multiply blend mode is circled in redmultiply blend mode is circled in redmultiply blend mode is circled in red

I’m adding the shadow to the top of the eyes, and then once I’m happy with this I can play around with the Opacity to adjust the darkness of the shadow.

two shadows have been drawn across the top half of both eyestwo shadows have been drawn across the top half of both eyestwo shadows have been drawn across the top half of both eyes
the opacity slider has been reducedthe opacity slider has been reducedthe opacity slider has been reduced

Step 5

Now I want to add some highlights, so I create another new Clipping Mask layer above the rest and this time set the Blend Mode to Add.

This brightens the base colour and can have a glowing or shiny effect at higher opacities.

add blend mode is circled in redadd blend mode is circled in redadd blend mode is circled in red
two areas of light have been added to the centre of the eyestwo areas of light have been added to the centre of the eyestwo areas of light have been added to the centre of the eyes

Step 6

If you struggle to find good shading colours, here is a tip using the Multiply Blend Mode.

First, create a clipping mask above your layer and set it to Multiply mode.

multiply blend mode is circled in redmultiply blend mode is circled in redmultiply blend mode is circled in red

Then, use the Eyedropper tool to select the base colour of the layer you’re shading over, and drag the colour wheel to a less saturated version of this colour. 

the eyedropper tool is hovering over the cream base colour of the dressthe eyedropper tool is hovering over the cream base colour of the dressthe eyedropper tool is hovering over the cream base colour of the dress
a less saturated version of the base colour has been selected using the colour wheela less saturated version of the base colour has been selected using the colour wheela less saturated version of the base colour has been selected using the colour wheel

This should now have created a shading colour that complements the base layer and that can also easily be adjusted using the Opacity slider to control the depth of the shadow.

shading has been added to the dressshading has been added to the dressshading has been added to the dress

Step 7

And here is how the character looks after adding the rest of the shading! Now it's time to add some line art back in.

a fully shaded version of the character with the guide layer still in placea fully shaded version of the character with the guide layer still in placea fully shaded version of the character with the guide layer still in place

First, I am switching off the guide sketch layer and then dragging the grouped line art that I created earlier above all of the other layers and switching it back on.

I can now go through each layer and recolour the lines by creating darker versions of the base colours using the Eyedropper and dragging the swatch to fill them with the ColorDrop tool.

the line art layer group has been opened and switched onthe line art layer group has been opened and switched onthe line art layer group has been opened and switched on
a dark brown swatch has been dragged over the eye outline line arta dark brown swatch has been dragged over the eye outline line arta dark brown swatch has been dragged over the eye outline line art

6. How to Edit in Procreate

Step 1

Once all the line art is edited, my drawing is almost complete! But first, let's add some finishing touches.

a full view of the drawing with the line art recoloureda full view of the drawing with the line art recoloureda full view of the drawing with the line art recoloured

I'm going to begin by adding a simple background.

I’m creating a layer behind everything else, and selecting my background colour.

a new layer has been created behind the drawing layersa new layer has been created behind the drawing layersa new layer has been created behind the drawing layers

Step 2

I can then drag the Swatch into the background to fill the canvas.

the background of the canvas has turned a pink toned nude colourthe background of the canvas has turned a pink toned nude colourthe background of the canvas has turned a pink toned nude colour

Step 3

Next, I’m going to draw a circle behind my character. To create a perfect circle, simply hold the pencil on the screen after drawing your shape, and then press the Edit Shape button that will appear at the top of the screen. 

a white circle has been drawn behind the character, and edit shape is circled in reda white circle has been drawn behind the character, and edit shape is circled in reda white circle has been drawn behind the character, and edit shape is circled in red

Tap the Circle option to create a perfect circle.

Your shape should now be in proportion. You can also do this for a variety of other simple shapes.

circle is circled in redcircle is circled in redcircle is circled in red

I'm going to fill the circle with a solid colour by dragging the Swatch in the top-right corner into the centre of the circle using the ColorDrop tool.

a cream colour swatch has been dragged into the centre of the circlea cream colour swatch has been dragged into the centre of the circlea cream colour swatch has been dragged into the centre of the circle
the circle is now filled with a solid cream colourthe circle is now filled with a solid cream colourthe circle is now filled with a solid cream colour

Step 4

I want to centre my circle, but as there are so many layers, the guides are getting a little confused. To fix this, I want to Flatten my character into one layer, so I’m going to select all of my layers and make a group.

multiple guide lines are shown over the charactermultiple guide lines are shown over the charactermultiple guide lines are shown over the character

Before I Flatten the layers, I want to make sure I have a backup of them. I can’t Duplicate the group due to the limited number of layer numbers on my canvas, so I’m going to Duplicate my canvas instead.

I can do this by heading back to the Procreate Gallery, pressing Select, tapping on my drawing to select it, and finally pressing Duplicate to duplicate my drawing and back up my layers.

duplicate is circled in redduplicate is circled in redduplicate is circled in red
the canvas has been duplicatedthe canvas has been duplicatedthe canvas has been duplicated

I can then go into the Duplicated version and Flatten the layers without worrying about losing them.

flatten is circled in redflatten is circled in redflatten is circled in red

I can now use the guides easily to centre my character and the circle behind her. 

Adding a shape behind a character is a really easy way to help it stand out against the background.

the guides are shown to be perfectly centering the characterthe guides are shown to be perfectly centering the characterthe guides are shown to be perfectly centering the character

Step 5

Now I’m going to select my character layer and add a special effect from the Adjustments menu. There are a variety of colour edits and special effects within this menu, so this is where you can really play around and have fun!

I like a grainy effect on my drawings, so I’m selecting Noise.

noise is circled in rednoise is circled in rednoise is circled in red

I’m going to set this to 3%; you can edit the percentage by dragging your finger across the screen. 

Noise is set to 3% and circled in red. The drawing now looks slightly grainy.Noise is set to 3% and circled in red. The drawing now looks slightly grainy.Noise is set to 3% and circled in red. The drawing now looks slightly grainy.

Step 6

Let's look at making final colour adjustments. I’m going to select Curves from the Adjustments menu, which controls the levels of various colours within your drawing.

curves is circled in redcurves is circled in redcurves is circled in red

To edit the levels, drag the lines to create a new point on them. You can instantly see the effects of doing this on your selected layer. I don’t usually like to edit these much, but it can be a really helpful tool for quickly editing the tone of a drawing.

the curves graph is circled in redthe curves graph is circled in redthe curves graph is circled in red

7. How to Export in Procreate

Finally, it’s time to export the finished drawing. Open the Actions menu and tap on the Share tab. You can now choose your preferred file type. I’m selecting JPEG and then pressing Save Image to add the file to my photos app.

share and JPEG are circled in redshare and JPEG are circled in redshare and JPEG are circled in red
save image is circled in redsave image is circled in redsave image is circled in red

And We're Finished! You Learned How to Draw in Procreate!

Our character is now complete! Thank you for following this tutorial with me, and I hope you have lots of fun trying out these brushes for yourself.

The finished drawing of a blonde elven girl with a nude backgroundThe finished drawing of a blonde elven girl with a nude backgroundThe finished drawing of a blonde elven girl with a nude background

5 Amazing Procreate Brush Sets From Envato Elements

Now you know how to use Procreate to create beautiful works of art. If you use Procreate on a regular basis, why not check out Envato Elements to expand your brush library and take your art to the next level?

The subscription-based marketplace offers unlimited Procreate brush sets, add-ons for Photoshop and Illustrator, premium fonts, and much more. The entire library is included for one flat monthly fee.

If you'd like to discover more premium Procreate brushes, here we have five amazing options:

1. Texture Brushes for Procreate (BRUSHSET)

cover image for the texture brush setcover image for the texture brush setcover image for the texture brush set

Take your art to the next level with the beautiful textures in this Procreate texture brush set. Containing a variety of textures made from natural materials such as sand, cardboard, paper, and sugar, these brushes will add dimension to any flat shape.

2. Procreate Pencil Brushes (BRUSHSET)

cover image for the pencil brush setcover image for the pencil brush setcover image for the pencil brush set

Check out this must-have Procreate pencil brush set, containing 24 amazing textured pencil style sketch brushes. They're perfect for doodling, sketching, colouring, and more, so release your inner child and let your imagination go wild!

3. Procreate Lettering Brushes (BRUSHSET)

cover image for the lettering brush setcover image for the lettering brush setcover image for the lettering brush set

Take your lettering to the next level with this amazing Procreate lettering brush set. Every lettering artist needs to have this set in their brush library. The set contains textured, monoline, calligraphy, and signature brushes to suit all of your needs.

4. Graphite Pencils for Procreate (BRUSHSET)

cover image for the graphite pencils brush setcover image for the graphite pencils brush setcover image for the graphite pencils brush set

Do you want to use the freedom and capabilities of digital art, but miss the traditional look of pencil on paper? Then this is the perfect brush set for you! Containing 16 realistic graphite style brushes, this is the perfect set for replicating traditional methods in the digital realm.

5. Pattern Brushes for Procreate (BRUSHSET)

cover image for the patterns brush setcover image for the patterns brush setcover image for the patterns brush set

Check out one of the coolest pattern brush Procreate sets on Envato Elements. This set contains 36 unique pattern brushes to help you speed up your drawing process and add a sprinkle of fun to your designs. The brushes are also perfect for creating seamless patterns.

Discover More Helpful Procreate Tutorials and Resources

If you enjoyed this drawing with Procreate tutorial, make sure to visit these other helpful Procreate tutorials and resources from Envato Tuts+:

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