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Why Procreate for iPad Sketching and Painting?

ProCreate

Is this the best sketching and painting app for iPad?

Big yellow bird regards tiny robin.
Sun Bird. A Scribble in Procreate.

ProCreate is a good name.

This drawing and painting app is certainly for the pros, though surprisingly simple to use for mere mortals.

It’s hard for simply anyone not to be creative with such a mesmerising array of brushes.

Added to this, Procreate is fast. So many good painting apps are let down by brushes that lag and drag. The Procreate ‘Silica’ engine is ultra powerful. Procreate boasts with reason that it renders strokes in 64 bit precision with speed and accuracy.

You can achieve a certain amount of pressure sensitivity if you have a Jot Touch, Pogo Connect or JaJa stylus. Set it up to vary width, transparency or both.

If you love textures you’ll have a ball in this app. Procreate can create images up to 4096 x 4096 pixels. With that amount of detail it’s possible to spray on wild and wonderful effects, and this app does it fast. The header on this page was created in Procreate.

Landscape with metallic gold effect

Created in an early version of Procreate

The latest edition has added further exotic brushes to the range. All can be fine tuned. Both the eraser and smudge tools are treated as just the same as brushes that apply paint. This gives extra scope for subtle blending.

Make your own Procreate brushes

If you are still not satisfied with this brush bonanza, you can make your own. There are two elements to Procreate brushes. Shape and Grain.

  • Shape is the dab in some kind of circular shape.
  • Grain is the texture contained in the shape.

Think of the grain-filled shape as being rolled onto the canvas with a paint roller. Choose a shape and a grain from the Procreate library. You can even make your own and paint with your own patterns. This second route may not be quite so simple. A visit to the desktop and a certain amount of low cunning in Painter or Photoshop is required. All the same, once you have mastered the art of creating seamlessly repeating patterns, it’s an addictive pastime.

Mountains painted in Procreate

Mountains Created in Procreate

There is more to Procreate. You can do all kinds of things with layers. It’s particularly useful to see layer blend modes grouped according to the effect they have, rather than graced with a nerdy description of what they do with the pixels.

Select and transform your image. Speed up your actions with gestures and side-of-screen sliders. Luckily you can turn to the the Procreate Handbook to show you how to do it all.

Published by

Valerie Beeby

We used to say 'Seeing is believing'. Now it's more like 'Believing is seeing'. We see what we expect to see. Look again and who knows. Does it really match what's actually there? ...I've always been fascinated by how our minds work. As a writer and artist, I'm particularly interested in new research into how we perceive this extraordinary world we live in, where things are not always what they seem.

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