129 – Why Use Procreate

In my opinion Procreate is an ideal tool for any artist whether a newbie or a professional. Procreate allows you to paint and draw without ever having to replenish your supplies. There is never any anxiety about materials, no need to worry about messing up a project or being able to make changes. You can take it everywhere you go, so you can dig deep into a sketching and drawing practice that will benefit your artwork overall, no matter what other media you use. In this lesson, I’ll show some examples of how to use some established compositional models to help you create balanced compositions that aren’t centered, I’ll give some examples of student compositions with suggestions on how to improve and finally I’ll show you some artworks that have centered the focal point effectively and suggest why this works in these cases.

1. Easy to Learn

Like any new computer program, there will be a learning curve, but I have found Procreate to be quite easy to learn. It has a simple and intuitive interface so once you learn some of the basics of Procreate, you can get started creating art right away.

2. Using Procreate is Fun

Whether you’re creating finished art, doodling or sketching, using the iPad is fun! When you go in to Procreate you’ll see there are a ton of different brushes available to you that come with the app. You can use those brushes just to play around. Lots of my students and ME, use the word addictive to describe it!

3. The Procreate App is Inexpensive

The Procreate iPad app is available on the app store for less than $10 at the time of this writing.  The Procreate software has the advanced features necessary to create fantastic illustrations and paintings. If you’re a newbie artist, this is a wonderful tool to get you started, drawing, painting and designing. It really is incredible value.

4. The Apple Pencil is Amazing with Procreate

he brushes within Procreate act very similar to real art supplies when you use the Apple Pencil. While you don’t need an Apple Pencil to use Procreate, it makes a huge difference in your art. The Apple Pencil uses pressure sensitivity which means that you can get lighter or heavier lines depending on how hard you press on the screen. Yes, this works just like a real pencil or pen. 

5. You Won’t Waste Art Supplies

The other cool thing about Procreate that makes it worth is that you can play around as much as you want to without ever running out of art supplies. You’ll save on expensive paper, pastels or paint so you are freed up to explore and experiment a lot more than with traditional media.

6. Clean Up is a Breeze

When using Procreate there’s no need to put down any drop cloths or to wash up any spilled paint because there isn’t any! All you need to do is put away your iPad and Pencil and make sure that you plug them in so they are ready next time.

7. Procreate Has Drawing Assist Tools

Procreate has tools that help you learn to draw. There is the revolutionary Quickshape feature that helps you create perfect shapes. Just draw a shape and hold your pencil on the screen and wait for Procreate to create your perfect shape. The selection tool helps you to select and resize objects. Procreate has grids that can be customized and used to help you draw. Another useful feature is drawing assist, which helps you create straight lines, perspective and even symmetry.

8. Layout Your Art Before Painting with Traditional Media

You can use Procreate to help you plan what to paint and how to paint it. You can easily combine photos to create unique images. This lets you experiment and explore without using up lots of supplies which can sometimes be a barrier to spontaneity and creativity.

9. Tracing Images

The advanced layer system allows you to create different layers in your artwork. Think of this as having several pieces of tracing paper on top of each other when creating art. Each layer is independent and does not affect other layers. You can change the opacity of any layer so you can trace a layer. I use this to check my work after doing a drawing to make sure I’m on track. This allows me to see my mistakes, then make any adjustments to a drawing before I move to traditional media. This can help you to get the proportions correct when you’re painting animals, people or architectural elements or anything that requires accurate drawing.

10. Print the Procreate Layout and Trace onto Traditional Canvas or Paper

Another great way to use the Procreate app is to sketch your design in the app, then print the Procreate layout to actual size and use the printed layout to trace onto your canvas.

11. Procreate Can Help You During Your Painting Process

Sometimes when I am painting something, I might get stuck in that I am not sure what I need to paint next. You can import a photograph of a painting in progress to Procreate and start playing around with different brushes, colors, and textures.

This allows me to decide exactly what I’m going to paint before I actually paint it. This saves on time, materials and anxiety!

12. Create Color Palettes

Procreate allows you to create color palettes from reference photos. This can be a tremendous help when doing a traditional painting by helping you to identify both colors and values in an image. The eyedropper tools lets you select and identify colors from your references

13. Test Background Colors Before Painting

ou can use Procreate help you to decide what color to use for a background. You can photograph a painting in progress, then import it into Procreate to test different background colors. This is a great example of how Procreate can help save time and steps by allowing you to make decisions without disturbing your painting.

14. Layers Give You Flexibility and Creativity

Procreate allows you to separate elements of your art on different layers giving you a great amount of flexibility. Layers let you stack image elements on top of each other. They let you paint objects that overlap without altering work you’ve already done. Plus you can move, edit, recolor and delete elements with total creative freedom.

15. Use Procreate Instead of a Sketchbook

You can use Procreate as your portable art journal. Use Procreate like you would use a pencil and paper sketchbook to work out your ideas, do detail studies, compose thumbnails, design logos, do life sketches, urban sketching and much, much more. One of the great things about this is that it’s very portable and that you can carry it almost anywhere with you. You can also organize all of your sketches into stacks so that you can easily find them.

16. Let’s You Create a Time-Lapse Video of Your Drawings

As if there weren’t enough reasons to get Procreate, it has another incredible feature that I make use of almost every day. You can create a time-lapse video of any drawing that allows you to see exactly what you did! You can identify mistakes or see the order that you did things during your process.

Grab your iPad and download it today to get started on an incredible creative quest!

Procreate Portrait Painting
Techniques + Inspiration


This is a 4 Day Live Zoom Workshop
Dates: May 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th at 3 PM PDT!

Class will be over 3 hours each day!
Class is Limited to 40 Students!
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity!

All students need an iPad, Apple Pencil, Procreate as well as a separate laptop or desktop computer with a camera and microphone to attend the Zoom sessions!


Painting Minilessons
with Marla Baggetta

My free online minilessons in art are a fantastic way to learn more about your craft, regardless of your skill level. There are lessons available on everything from basic drawing techniques to complex painting methods, and no matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you. Whether you’re a beginner who’s just starting out, or a seasoned artist who wants to brush up on your skills, these minilessons are a great resource. These lessons are available anytime, anywhere. So whether you’re looking for a quick refresher or want to explore something new, be sure to check out some of my minilessons at Painting Lessons with Marla.

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