Believe it or not, there’s one app that gets more screen time than TikTok on our iPads, and it’s Procreate.
The drawing software is equal parts powerful and accessible, making digital drawing a breeze. Whether you’re someone who makes art for a living or just likes to doodle in your free time, the tool has something for artists of all strokes, and we love the way it’s helped us build confidence in our creative abilities through its simple interface and easy-to-access tools.
Of course, there are some great Procreate features that can feel like they’re hidden in plain sight. If you’re trying to up your art game and make better illustrations in less time, here are the Procreate hacks you need to know.
While there are tons of great features within Procreate, sometimes getting to your favorites can take a lot of button presses, which can get tedious and eventually add up to lots of lost time. If there are certain tools you find yourself using all the time, we recommend adding them to your QuickMenu for easy access.
First, enable the QuickMenu by clicking the Actions wrench at the top left of the screen before pressing Prefs and then Gesture Controls. From this panel, click QuickMenu, which will give you different options for quickly and easily accessing QuickMenu. From here, select the option that works best for you, and once you exit, you can simply do that gesture from your canvas to bring up the QuickMenu. This will pull up six buttons that each perform different actions. To customize these buttons, hold down on any of them until a menu appears listing all of your options. Once you’ve set all six to your preferences, you’ll be able to create new art more quickly than ever.
While Procreate comes with a bunch of default color palettes to choose from, you might want to instead make your own, and there’s no easier way to do this than to use the built-in Palette Capture function. First, open the Color Panel and select Palettes before tapping the + symbol.
You have a number of options here, including New From Camera, New From File and New From Photos, all of which allow you to snap a photo or use an existing image, from which the app will generate a palette of 30 colors from the source provided. We love this as an easy way to capture the same general vibe and mood of a photo you love while sticking within a set color scheme.
Also read about: After Drawing With Pen Tips on My Apple Pencil, I’m NEVER Going Back
If you want to play more with colors yourself, using Procreate’s Color Harmony tool can get you experimenting with complementary hues to create works of art in no time flat. From the colors menu, simply tap the Harmony tab at the bottom center of the toolbar. From there, the Color Harmony will generate the direct opposite (complementary) hue from your selected color on the color wheel.
You can also click where it reads “Complementary” to select from the other Color Harmony modes. Split Complementary will provide two colors that neighbor the direct complementary opposite, while Analogous finds neighbors adjacent to your selected color. The Triadic mode will show you three equally spread colors on the color wheel, with two equidistant to your initial selection, while the Tetratic mode splits the wheel into four. Try saving these to a new palette to see how contrasting different types of color can really make them pop.
Sick of clicking and dragging the current color to the space you’re filling every time to use ColorDrop? Now, you don’t have to. Once you’ve done that one time, the option to “Continue filling” should appear at the top of the page. Click that, and from there, you simply have to tap each space you want to fill with the current color until it’s time to switch.
Speaking of ColorDrop, there might be times you’re filling in line art when it’s more convenient to fill multiple spaces at once than to repeatedly color each tiny nook and cranny in your work. Instead of simply dropping the color in the desired space, drag the current color there, and then hold. A menu for ColorDrop Threshold will appear at the top of the screen, and you can slide your finger left or right to adjust the threshold until the color is how you like it before releasing it to commit to the change.
When you’re drawing things like landscapes, knowing how to incorporate perspective will add a touch of realism and scale. To set up a perspective guide, start by clicking the Actions wrench at the top left of the screen before clicking Canvas and then toggling on the Drawing Guide. This will enable the option to Edit Drawing Guide.
Click that to open the Drawing Guide options before clicking Perspective from the menu options at the bottom of the screen. Next, tap on the screen where you want to create your vanishing point. This point can be moved across the screen, and the horizon line can also be rotated if needed. You can tap again to create a second and even third vanishing point if desired, and these vanishing points don’t need to be on the canvas. The color of the guiding lines from the vanishing point can also be changed by scrolling left and right across the slider at the top of the page.
Once you have something that works for you, click Done. From here, you can freehand draw with the perspective lines as a guide, or click Drawing Assist on the options for a layer to have any lines you draw follow the perspective of your guide.
Feel like getting more hands-on with your next art project? Click HERE to discover some of our favorite crafty art sets of all kinds.