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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Procreate

How to Use Chalk Brushes in Procreate

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Read Time: 11 mins
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

If you're looking to create artworks with a textured yet clean finish, chalk brushes are the perfect solution. In this tutorial, we'll be using a selection of Procreate texture brushes from Envato Elements to create a portrait using Procreate.

We'll be learning how to edit the brush settings to make them easier to use, and whilst creating the character we'll be exploring different applications for a variety of styles of chalk brush.

Before we start, you'll need to download and install the following Procreate brush sets:

Do you prefer video tutorials? If you're a visual person, then you'll love this new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel. Watch me work and learn how to use Procreate chalk brushes by following this video tutorial:

What You'll Learn in This Procreate Chalk Brush Tutorial

  • How to create a sketch in Procreate
  • How to create shapes in Procreate
  • How to add details to your painting in Procreate
  • How to add shadows and highlights in Procreate

1. How to Create a Sketch in Procreate

Step 1

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

To begin, open up Procreate and tap the + icon in the top-right corner. This will create a new canvas. Tap the icon in the top-right corner of the menu to create a custom-sized canvas, and enter 3000 x 3000 px in the Width and Height boxes. Make sure the DPI is set to 300 and the Colour profile to RGB.

A screenshot of the custom canvas screen in the Procreate appA screenshot of the custom canvas screen in the Procreate appA screenshot of the custom canvas screen in the Procreate app

Step 2

To begin the sketch, I am selecting the Medium Airbrush. This is a default Procreate brush which you can find under Airbrushing in the brush library. 

A screenshot of the Medium Airbrush selected within the brush menu on the Procreate appA screenshot of the Medium Airbrush selected within the brush menu on the Procreate appA screenshot of the Medium Airbrush selected within the brush menu on the Procreate app

Step 3

I select a light grey colour that will be easy to draw over later. I very roughly map out the main shapes of the drawing using this brush. I don't want to focus on details at this stage—my aim is to figure out the general proportions and shapes of the drawing.

A very rough airbrush sketch of a girl surrounded by leavesA very rough airbrush sketch of a girl surrounded by leavesA very rough airbrush sketch of a girl surrounded by leaves

Step 4

I create a new layer above the rough sketch layer, and select the Chalk pencil brush from the Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate brush pack. I edit the brush by tapping on the brush name within the Brush Library menu, which opens up the Brush Studio. I select Stabilisation from the menu, and drag the StreamLine Amount bar to the Max setting.

The more you increase this setting, the smoother and cleaner your lines will become. This is perfect for line art, but if you are using a brush for colouring in, you will likely need to decrease the StreamLine.

A screenshot of the Brush Studio menu in the Procreate app showing the StreamLine setting pushed to maximumA screenshot of the Brush Studio menu in the Procreate app showing the StreamLine setting pushed to maximumA screenshot of the Brush Studio menu in the Procreate app showing the StreamLine setting pushed to maximum

Step 5

I use this brush to draw a refined and detailed sketch, using the rough sketch as a guide. I vary the pressure I apply to the Apple Pencil to create varied thickness within my lines. I like to separate different elements of the sketch (e.g. eyes, lips, hair, nose) onto different layers to make them easier to edit if necessary. 

A clean sketch of a girl looking over her right shoulder (which is tattooed with flowers and leaves), surrounded by leaves.A clean sketch of a girl looking over her right shoulder (which is tattooed with flowers and leaves), surrounded by leaves.A clean sketch of a girl looking over her right shoulder (which is tattooed with flowers and leaves), surrounded by leaves.

2. How to Create the Main Shapes in Procreate

Step 1

I merge the sketch layers together and set the Layer Mode to Linear Burn. I lower the opacity so that the sketch can still be seen when colour is added but is faded enough that it will be easy to see the shapes beneath it. I will create all new layers beneath this layer.

A screenshot of the Procreate app showing Linear Burn selected within the Layer Mode menuA screenshot of the Procreate app showing Linear Burn selected within the Layer Mode menuA screenshot of the Procreate app showing Linear Burn selected within the Layer Mode menu

Step 2

I select the 1930's Inker from the Auld Inks for Procreate brush set to outline the main shapes. Like with the chalk pencil, I increase the StreamLine to create smoother lines. I create each of the main shapes on a new layer (e.g. head, neck, hair).

A skin toned outline drawn around the face of the clean sketch with lowered opacity

Step 3

To fill in the shapes, I use the ColorDrop tool by tapping and holding over the circular swatch in the top-right corner and dragging it inside the outlined shape. Once the ColorDrop tool is inside the shape, you can slide your finger horizontally to increase/decrease the percentage of fill.

The outline from the previous image is now filled in with the skin tone to create a shape around the face of the sketchThe outline from the previous image is now filled in with the skin tone to create a shape around the face of the sketchThe outline from the previous image is now filled in with the skin tone to create a shape around the face of the sketch

Step 4

I select the Solid Chalk Rounded from the Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate brush pack to outline the plants since it gives a more faded edge and will make the plants look softer and chalkier. I create these on separate layers so that no plants overlap within the same layer—this will make it much easier to add texture to them later.

The hair and body of the girl are filled in with colour, the leaves around her are outlinedThe hair and body of the girl are filled in with colour, the leaves around her are outlinedThe hair and body of the girl are filled in with colour, the leaves around her are outlined

I then use this brush to manually colour in the shapes, using the outlines as my guide. When a brush has a very textured or faded edge, manual colouring will work best since the ColorDrop tool only fills with 100% opacity, so it will not adapt to these edges.

The leaves and flowers are now filled in with green and cream block coloursThe leaves and flowers are now filled in with green and cream block coloursThe leaves and flowers are now filled in with green and cream block colours

3. How to Add Details in Procreate

Step 1

Next, I create a new layer above the shapes and add line art with the Faded Grain brush from the Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate brush pack, using the original sketch as a guide.

Line art is added above the sketch and block colours to the facial features, body and leavesLine art is added above the sketch and block colours to the facial features, body and leavesLine art is added above the sketch and block colours to the facial features, body and leaves

Step 2

Next, I use the same Faded Grain brush to colour the facial features inside the line art, on a separate layer underneath. I like to colour these areas after adding the line art in case I end up straying from the original sketch.

The eyes and lips are coloured in with block colourThe eyes and lips are coloured in with block colourThe eyes and lips are coloured in with block colour

4. How to Add Shadows and Highlights in Procreate

Step 1

I start the shading process by adding the first layer of blush on a new layer above the head base shape using the Noise Brush from the Illustration Brushes 2: Procreate Brushes brush pack.

To make sure I colour within the base shape only, I use the clipping mask feature, which I select by tapping the layer within the Layers panel to bring up the menu. This creates a mask above the layer so that you can only draw within the shape that the mask is attached to.

A layer of pink toned blush is added to the top of the cheeksA layer of pink toned blush is added to the top of the cheeksA layer of pink toned blush is added to the top of the cheeks

Step 2

I like the blush to look textured, so I create a new layer above the first blush layer and select a darker shade. I use the Grain Brush from the Illustration Brushes 2: Procreate Brushes brush pack to create the grainy texture.

A darker pink layer of grainy blush is added above the first layer of blushA darker pink layer of grainy blush is added above the first layer of blushA darker pink layer of grainy blush is added above the first layer of blush

Step 3

Next I select the Noise Brush from the Illustration Brushes 2: Procreate Brushes brush pack, and add shading to the face and body using clipping masks. To shade the eyes, I create a clipping mask over the base colours and set the Layer Mode to Multiply. I then lower the opacity to my desired level of shadow.

Pink toned shading is added to the forehead, facial features and bodyPink toned shading is added to the forehead, facial features and bodyPink toned shading is added to the forehead, facial features and body

Step 4

I add highlights to the face by creating a new layer above everything else and setting the Layer Mode to Add. I use the Noise Brush again to add a soft light to the nose, lips, and inner corners of the eyes. I lower the opacity to my desired level.

Cream toned highlights are added to inner eyes, lips, and noseCream toned highlights are added to inner eyes, lips, and noseCream toned highlights are added to inner eyes, lips, and nose

Step 5

On a new layer, I also add highlights to the eyes using the Subtle Grain brush from the Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate brush pack. I set the Layer Mode to Add and lower the opacity slightly.

Tear drop shaped white highlights are added to the centre of the eyesTear drop shaped white highlights are added to the centre of the eyesTear drop shaped white highlights are added to the centre of the eyes

Step 6

I begin to shade the hair by creating a new layer and setting it as a clipping mask above the hair base layer. I then use the Chalk Pencil brush from the Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate brush pack in a shade darker than the base hair colour to map out the separate sections of hair, following my sketch.

A dark layer of shading is added to the hair, which follows the lines of the sketchA dark layer of shading is added to the hair, which follows the lines of the sketchA dark layer of shading is added to the hair, which follows the lines of the sketch

Step 7

I create a new layer beneath the darkest shading, and choose a slightly lighter shade. I draw in strands of hair around the darker shading to add more dimension to the drawing.

A lighter area of shading is added to the hairA lighter area of shading is added to the hairA lighter area of shading is added to the hair

Step 8

I add highlights by creating a new clipping masked layer above the hair shading layers using the same Chalk Pencil brush. I occasionally draw double lines to mimic individual strands of hair.

Lighter highlights are added to the hair in-between the shadingLighter highlights are added to the hair in-between the shadingLighter highlights are added to the hair in-between the shading

Step 9

Again using the Chalk Pencil brush, I draw loose strands of hair on a new layer behind all of the hair layers. I also create a new layer above all of the hair layers to add some loose strands around the face.

Loose strands of hair are added around the edges of the hair shapeLoose strands of hair are added around the edges of the hair shapeLoose strands of hair are added around the edges of the hair shape

Step 10

Using the Noise Brush from the Illustration Brushes 2: Procreate Brushes brush pack, I shade in the bottom half of the leaves by creating a clipping mask over the base colour. This helps to add more dimension and depth to the drawing.

Half of the leaves are shaded using a darker greenHalf of the leaves are shaded using a darker greenHalf of the leaves are shaded using a darker green

Step 11

I then add texture to the top of the leaves and centers of the flowers using the Grain Brush from the Illustration Brushes 2: Procreate Brushes brush pack. I do this by creating a clipping mask over the base colours and using a darker shade for the larger leaves/flowers and a lighter shade for the tips of the smaller leaves for a bit of contrast.

Darker green noise is added to the tips of the leaves Darker green noise is added to the tips of the leaves Darker green noise is added to the tips of the leaves

Step 12

I use the Chalk Pencil from the Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate brush pack to add some final pieces of line art around the face and arm, and then make some final colour edits.

Additional line art is added to the arm and faceAdditional line art is added to the arm and faceAdditional line art is added to the arm and face

Step 13

I add a solid background colour on a new layer behind everything else, and then select all of my layers and merge them together. With the layers merged, I can now make general colour edits to the entire drawing using the Curves tool, which can be found on the Adjustments menu. I also like to add noise, which can also be found on the Adjustments menu. I set this to 3%, and it adds a grainy texture to the entire drawing. 

Noise is added to the entire drawing and a pink toned cream background is placed behind everythingNoise is added to the entire drawing and a pink toned cream background is placed behind everythingNoise is added to the entire drawing and a pink toned cream background is placed behind everything

Now We're Finished!

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!

5 Top Procreate Brush Sets From Envato Elements

Now you know how to use Procreate texture brushes to make a beautiful design.  And if you use Procreate and other design software on a daily basis, Envato Elements is a fantastic 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 for a flat monthly fee.

If you'd like to explore more premium Procreate texture brushes, here we have five top options:

1. Auld Inks: Procreate Inking Brushes (BRUSHSET)

Auld Inks Procreate Inking Brushes (BRUSHSET)Auld Inks Procreate Inking Brushes (BRUSHSET)Auld Inks Procreate Inking Brushes (BRUSHSET)

Procreate inking brushes are a great addition to your toolbox. This particular set is one of the most comprehensive kits you can get.

The download includes 62 Procreate inking brushes inspired by the most famous illustrators in history. Give them a try if you liked the illustration we did in the tutorial!

2. Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate (BRUSHSET)

Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate (BRUSHSET)Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate (BRUSHSET)Chalk Letterer Box for Procreate (BRUSHSET)

This chalk brush Procreate set is perfect for lettering. I used this Procreate chalk brush kit because it's packed with great brushes. You'll get:

  • 26 high-quality lettering/drawing brushes
  • 1 soft texture chalk brush

The Procreate chalk brushes are pressure-sensitive, so you'll have total control over the width of your strokes.

3. Illustration Procreate Brushes (PROCREATE, SWATCHES)

Illustration Procreate Brushes (PROCREATE, SWATCHES)Illustration Procreate Brushes (PROCREATE, SWATCHES)Illustration Procreate Brushes (PROCREATE, SWATCHES)

This pack of Procreate texture brushes is a must-have for me. If you like this type of design, you should add it to your collection.

The kit includes 15 Procreate texture brushes, perfect for children’s book illustrations. The pressure-sensitive brushes work great for hand lettering as well. The download also includes five beautiful color palettes for Procreate!

4. Texture and Grain Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)

Texture and Grain Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)Texture and Grain Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)Texture and Grain Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)

Here's another fantastic option if you're looking for useful Procreate brushes. This is a set of 47 unique texture, grit, grunge, and grain brushes for Procreate. It's so easy to add texture to your work with these Procreate texture brushes.

5. Dry Media Pro Charcoal and Chalk Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)

Dry Media Pro Charcoal and Chalk Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)Dry Media Pro Charcoal and Chalk Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)Dry Media Pro Charcoal and Chalk Procreate Brushes (BRUSHSET)

Take a look at one of the coolest chalk brush Procreate kits on Envato Elements. If you want to recreate this painting style on your iPad, this is the way to go. The set includes pencils, charcoal, chalks, pastels, smudgers, dusters, and more. In total, you'll get 38 brushes!

Discover More Amazing Procreate Tutorials and Resources

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

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