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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Procreate

How to Make a Pixel Brush in Procreate

Have you ever wondered how to make a pixel brush in Procreate? A pixel brush is brilliant for creating artworks that can easily be resized to any scale, and in this tutorial we are going to learn how to make a Procreate pixel brush from scratch!

We will begin by learning how to use the Procreate brush editor to create a pixel brush, and then we'll look at how an example of how to do pixel art in Procreate using our new brush!

Fancy some pixel Procreate brush graphics that are ready to go? Then check out this amazing Flowers Pixel Art graphics pack, available to download at Envato Elements!

cover image for Flowers - Pixel Art graphics packcover image for Flowers - Pixel Art graphics packcover image for Flowers - Pixel Art graphics pack

If you're starting in the Procreate world, don't forget to visit the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel. You'll find amazing resources, like this new course I did on Procreate Brushes for Beginners:

What You'll Learn in This Procreate Pixel Brush Tutorial

  • How to make a pixel art brush in Procreate
  • How to use a pixel brush to create pixelated Procreate art

1. How to Make a Pixel Art Brush in Procreate

Step 1

In this pixel brush Procreate tutorial, I'm using an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil, and the Procreate 5.2 app.

First, you will need to launch Procreate and tap the + icon in the top-right corner. This creates a new canvas, and from the canvas you will be able to access the Brush Library. Once the new canvas is open, you will need to press the brush icon at the top right of the screen. This opens the Brush Library.

screenshot of the Procreate brush libraryscreenshot of the Procreate brush libraryscreenshot of the Procreate brush library

Step 2

To make a new brush, tap the + icon which can be found in the top-right corner of the Brush Library menu.

screenshot of the brush library with the plus icon circled in redscreenshot of the brush library with the plus icon circled in redscreenshot of the brush library with the plus icon circled in red

This will launch the Brush Studio and create a new brush, where Procreate's default brush settings will be input for you.

screenshot of the Procreate brush studioscreenshot of the Procreate brush studioscreenshot of the Procreate brush studio

Step 3

The first thing you will need to do is change the circular shape of the brush to a square. To do this, you need to have a square shape ready to import into the Shape Editor, and a quick and easy method to get one is to copy the square canvas shape.

Open the Actions menu by tapping on the spanner icon, and then press Copy canvas. Make sure your canvas is white and blank before doing this.

screenshot of the procreate canvas screen with copy canvas circled in redscreenshot of the procreate canvas screen with copy canvas circled in redscreenshot of the procreate canvas screen with copy canvas circled in red

Step 4

Now we are ready to head to the Shape Editor. To access it, head to the Shape section of the menu and press the Edit button, which is located above the Shape Source image.

screenshot of the shape menu with edit circled in redscreenshot of the shape menu with edit circled in redscreenshot of the shape menu with edit circled in red

Step 5

From here, you will be able to edit the Shape Source and import the square shape. Tap the Import button located in the top right of the screen to bring up the import options.

screenshot of the Procreate brush studio with import circled in redscreenshot of the Procreate brush studio with import circled in redscreenshot of the Procreate brush studio with import circled in red

Step 6

From this menu, you need to select Paste, and this will import the square shape that we copied earlier.

screenshot of the shape source menu with paste circled in redscreenshot of the shape source menu with paste circled in redscreenshot of the shape source menu with paste circled in red

The source image should now appear as a white square, and you can hit Done in the top-right corner to confirm the changes and return to the Shape menu.

screenshot of the square shape source image with done circled in redscreenshot of the square shape source image with done circled in redscreenshot of the square shape source image with done circled in red

Step 7

If you would like to test out the brush as you edit the settings, you can use the Drawing Pad on the right-hand side of the screen to make brushstrokes. To clear the canvas, tap on the Drawing Pad button in the top centre of the screen and press Clear drawing pad.

screenshot of the shape menu with drawing pad circled in redscreenshot of the shape menu with drawing pad circled in redscreenshot of the shape menu with drawing pad circled in red

Step 8

It's now time to start editing the rest of the brush settings. First, head over to the Stroke path section of the menu, and drag the Spacing slider to None. The spacing controls the number of times the brush shape will be stamped along a path. Larger spacing will separate the shape stamps; smaller spacing will join them together. For this pixel brush we don't want any spacing, so that the pixels will be joined together in one continuous path.

screenshot of the stroke path menu with 'none' circled in redscreenshot of the stroke path menu with 'none' circled in redscreenshot of the stroke path menu with 'none' circled in red

Step 9

Next, head to the Taper section of the menu. In the Pressure taper settings at the top, you want to set the Size and Opacity sliders to Max and the Pressure slider to None. These settings affect the taper at the beginning and end of a brushstroke when drawing with the Apple Pencil.

The Touch taper settings affect strokes drawn with a finger. We will also be increasing the Size and Opacity to Max here.

screenshot of the taper section with various values circled in redscreenshot of the taper section with various values circled in redscreenshot of the taper section with various values circled in red

Step 10

Now we are going to head to the Wet Mix section of the menu, which controls how your brush will interact with colour. Here we are going to set the Charge slider to Disabled and the Pull slider to 50%.

The charge controls how much paint is applied to the canvas when you begin to draw a stroke—for this brush, we need an opaque and even amount of paint with every stroke, which is why it has been disabled. The pull sets how strongly the brush will pull paint around the canvas.

screenshot of the wet mix section of the menu with various values circled in redscreenshot of the wet mix section of the menu with various values circled in redscreenshot of the wet mix section of the menu with various values circled in red

Step 11

The next section of the menu you will need to make edits to is called Apple Pencil. Here you can adjust how the Apple Pencil will interact with the brush.

Drag the Opacity slider to None. This setting controls the transparent-to-opaque range of the brush under pressure. Turning off this setting means that your brush won't change opacity under different levels of Apple Pencil pressure.

screenshot of the apple pencil section of the menu with 'None' circled in redscreenshot of the apple pencil section of the menu with 'None' circled in redscreenshot of the apple pencil section of the menu with 'None' circled in red

Step 12

The final settings we will be editing are under the Properties tab. These control how your brush will appear in the Brush Library and how it will behave in the Procreate interface.

The Smudge slider controls how much your brush smudges when set as the Smudge tool. You can change this to your preferences, but here it is set to 50%.

The Brush Behaviour sets the size and opacity limits of the brush. For this pixel brush, you will need to change the Maximum size to None. The brush might look really small at this stage, but in the following steps you will see how it can easily be sized up.

screenshot of the Properties menu with various values circled in redscreenshot of the Properties menu with various values circled in redscreenshot of the Properties menu with various values circled in red

Step 13

The last step is to give your new pixel brush a name. Tap on the brush name in the top left of the screen (circled in red) to edit this to your preferred name. You can also add your name and signature to the card below, which is great for retaining credit for the brush design if you are planning to share it with others.

When you are happy with all of the settings, press Done in the top-right corner to create the brush.

screenshot of the 'about this brush' menu with the brush name circled in redscreenshot of the 'about this brush' menu with the brush name circled in redscreenshot of the 'about this brush' menu with the brush name circled in red

Your brush is ready to use! You can now test it out on the canvas and in your artwork. Want some tips on how to use a pixel brush? Read on to the next section of this tutorial!

screenshot of the procreate white canvas with black pixel brush strokes dotted aroundscreenshot of the procreate white canvas with black pixel brush strokes dotted aroundscreenshot of the procreate white canvas with black pixel brush strokes dotted around

2. How to Use a Pixel Brush to Create Pixelated Procreate Art

I'm going to be using this drawing as an example of how to use a pixel brush to add fun details to a drawing. I'll also give you some tips on how to use the brush with the Procreate software.

shoulders up drawing of a smiling girl with short bright pink hair and a black off the shoulder tshirtshoulders up drawing of a smiling girl with short bright pink hair and a black off the shoulder tshirtshoulders up drawing of a smiling girl with short bright pink hair and a black off the shoulder tshirt

Step 1

I want to make a symmetrical shape for my design, so I'm going to use the Drawing Guide feature to help me with this. To launch the guide, open the Actions menu by selecting the spanner icon and slide the switch next to the Drawing Guide button to the on position. Then tap Edit Drawing Guide below this to choose the type of guide you'd like to appear and to edit the settings.

screenshot of the actions menu with 'edit drawing guide' circled in red screenshot of the actions menu with 'edit drawing guide' circled in red screenshot of the actions menu with 'edit drawing guide' circled in red

Step 2

Once the Drawing Guides screen has opened, select Symmetry from the menu at the bottom. Here you can change the Opacity and Thickness of the guideline. This line won't be visible when exporting the final drawing, even if you forget to switch the guide off. You can also change the colour by moving the slider at the top of the screen.

The horizontal line on the canvas is the line of reflection, and anything drawn on the screen will reflect either side of it and meet at the centre. I moved the line to the white space on the right side of the canvas so that it's easier to see what I'm going to be drawing. To move the line, click on the blue dot in the centre and drag it along the canvas. When you are satisfied with the position, press Done.

screenshot of the symmetry drawing guide edit screenscreenshot of the symmetry drawing guide edit screenscreenshot of the symmetry drawing guide edit screen

Step 3

Because the canvas I used in the character drawing is much larger than the size of the pixel brush, I will need to zoom right into the canvas by pinching the screen with two fingers in order to see what I'm drawing clearly. Don't worry if your pixel drawing is very small to begin with, because artwork drawn with this brush can be rescaled to any size without losing quality.

Once the pixels are appearing at a large size, you can start to draw your design. In this example I'm going to be drawing a heart shape, and I begin at the edge of one side of the symmetry guideline. Once I start to draw, the line is repeated on the opposite side of the line.

screenshot of a pixel line reflected either side of the guidelinescreenshot of a pixel line reflected either side of the guidelinescreenshot of a pixel line reflected either side of the guideline

I continue drawing half of the heart shape, which is perfectly mirrored on the opposite side of the line.

screenshot of a pink pixel heart with a guideline through the centrescreenshot of a pink pixel heart with a guideline through the centrescreenshot of a pink pixel heart with a guideline through the centre

Step 4

Once the design is complete, it's time to resize it to the scale of the canvas if needed. This can be done using the Selection tool (the arrow on the top menu bar) on the Uniform setting, and then dragging the corners of the boundary box until the desired size is reached.

image of a shoulders up girl with bright pink hair, with a pink pixel heart next to her on the canvasimage of a shoulders up girl with bright pink hair, with a pink pixel heart next to her on the canvasimage of a shoulders up girl with bright pink hair, with a pink pixel heart next to her on the canvas

Step 5

Lastly, I use this same tool to move the shape into the desired position on my drawing.

image of a shoulders up bright pink haired girl with a pixel heart on the left side of her topimage of a shoulders up bright pink haired girl with a pixel heart on the left side of her topimage of a shoulders up bright pink haired girl with a pixel heart on the left side of her top

Now We're Finished!

Thank you for following this Procreate pixel brush tutorial with me, and I hope you have tons of fun creating your own pixel brushes and artworks!

5 Top Procreate Digital Art Brush Packs From Envato Elements

Now you know how to use Procreate to create custom pixel art brushes. If you are a regular user of Procreate and other design software, Envato Elements is the perfect option for you.

The subscription-based marketplace offers you unlimited Procreate brush sets, add-ons for Photoshop and Illustrator, premium fonts, and more! Everything is included in one subscription for a flat monthly fee.

Subscribe to Envato Elements Now

If you'd like to try out more premium Procreate digital art brushes, here are five top options that we've selected:

1. Procreate Neon Brushes (BRUSHSET)

cover image for Procreate Neon Brushescover image for Procreate Neon Brushescover image for Procreate Neon Brushes

Save time fiddling around with Photoshop effects with these ready-to-go neon Procreate brushes! These brushes are perfect for digital painting, lettering, graphic design, photo editing, and more.

This pack consists of 30 different brushes plus bonus colour palettes to make it even easier to create bold and eye-catching designs!

2. Lighter Brushes: Procreate Brush (BRUSHSET)

cover image for Lighter Brushescover image for Lighter Brushescover image for Lighter Brushes

Create beautiful glowing digital lettering and art with this premium brush set! Perfect for posters, album covers, branding, and much more, this set is the perfect way to make your designs stand out from the crowd.

With 20 brushes to choose from, you can let your imagination run wild!

3. Procreate Glitter Brushes (BRUSHSET)

Procreate Glitter Brushes cover imageProcreate Glitter Brushes cover imageProcreate Glitter Brushes cover image

Here we have the ultimate brush set to fulfil all of your glitter needs! Perfect for lettering or adding a touch of sparkle to a design or illustration, this set has you covered with 20 unique Procreate brushes.

This is the ideal set for premium-looking decorations, posters, holiday cards, branding, social media graphics, and anything else that could use a touch of sparkle and glamour!

4. Procreate Glitch Lettering Brushes (BRUSHSET)

cover image for Procreate Glitch Lettering brushescover image for Procreate Glitch Lettering brushescover image for Procreate Glitch Lettering brushes

Create unique, futuristic artworks with this Procreate pixelated glitch lettering brush set! Perfect for adding an urban and edgy look to designs, this will certainly help your lettering stand out from the crowd.

Containing 20 different glitch brushes, this set is perfect for lettering, posters, branding, social media, and more!

5. 3D Pop Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)

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Transport your artworks into the 3D realm with this innovative 3D Procreate brush set! Your lettering will truly stand out from the crowd with these 25 unique brushes, perfect for creating bold and eye-catching designs.

You can really let your imagination run wild with these, and they'll be perfect for creating posters, marketing, social media graphics, book covers, album art, and so much more!

Discover More Brilliant Procreate Tutorials and Resources

If you liked this pixel brush Procreate tutorial, make sure to visit these other amazing Procreate tutorials and resources from Envato Tuts+:

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