Procreate For Newbies Tutorial - 1.1 Introduction And First Peek On The App

Being an iPad owner was cool in the past, especially for Apple fans. But for artists, the whole world changed when Procreate appeared on the scene winning Apple’s 2013 design award. So what is so special about Procreate? The guys from Savage Interactive, based in Tasmania gave artists all the benefits of working digitally (the ability to easily delete and correct, create art faster, and to share work instantaneously) while recreating the familiar experience of pens, pencils, and paint on paper; still keeping the traditional touch in the background.



How to get Procreate

Starting with Procreate is very easy even though for some, it can look a little bit overwhelming, especially if this is your first software for digital painting.  The only thing what you will need is an iPad and preferably Apple pencil (unluckily Procreate is only available for iPad and newly also for iPhone).You can download Procreate from App Store for €9.99, there is no trial version available but if you are serious, believe me, this piece of software is worth the small price.

Starting up the app


Gallery Interface

First time opening of Procreate will bring you to a Gallery, a collection of paintings. For now you will only see a few samples, but later on you will have here all your artwork. If you want to edit something old, easily tap on the image, and your canvas will open. If you want to interact with any image, swipe left on it, and you will be able to delete, duplicate or share it. You can long-press to select multiple drawings for bulk actions, or you can group them (standard drag and drop).


1. Selection

Clicking on select will change the menu for you in the top righ corner. You can select multiple ‘canvases’ and do following actions:

stack, preview, share, duplicate and delete.

To stack artworks - select more than one artwork to stack, or press and hold on an artwork and drag it on top of another stack to add it into the stack. To move an artwork out of a stack press and hold on the artwork and move it above the words ‘stack’ on the top left, hold there until the page jumps back to the main gallery page. Then release your finger.

To preview - a full-screen view of the artwork, swipe left and right to see other artworks. If you’ve selected a few artworks to preview, only the selected artworks will show. Share will allow

To share - choose your artworks(s) a press Share, you will get and choice of multiple formats as Procreate, PSD, PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF or animated GIF, PNG or MP4. Using sharing will actually allow you to make ‘back up’ for yourself onto iCloud for example.

To duplicate - choose your artworks(s) a press Duplicate, you can do the same for stack as well

To delete - pick the desired pictures what you no longer need and press Delete, confirm that you for sure are not going to cry of regrets :)

After you are done, press the cross in the top left corner to ‘unselect’ pictures and the cross will change into +again.


2. Importing

For importing photos, Procreate files, PSD files from different storage places like iCloud, DropBox etc. Very easy, press import and choose your desired file what will automatically open in a new canvas (just note, you cannot import brushes or other assets using this button)

3. Photo

This one will take you immediately into your iPad gallery to import photos from your device.

4. New canvas

Tapping on the + sign will let you create a new canvas for your artwork, you will see some premade canvases. Press on an option to create a new canvas and start drawing. If you are not satisfied the offered resolution you can also create custom canvas.

For custom canvas you need to fill in and choose from these options: width and height in px, DPI, colour: sRGB or P3 wide colour, name. P3 wide colour allows you to use extremely saturated colours

And check this out - as you increase the size of the canvas, the number of layers you can work on will decrease. You can see the maximum layers allowed on the top of the number pad.



  • Swipe left on an artwork or stack to share, duplicate or delete.

  • Rename canvas in the gallery by tapping on the name below the picture

  • In selection mode, drag a finger along artworks to quickly select multiple artworks (keep the finger on the display, its like a long press almost dragging over pictures)

  • Rotate your artwork in the gallery using 2 fingers, left, right, clockwise and reverese, not a problem

  • Use two fingers to pinch out zoom to open preview of the picture, you can then swipe to left or right to preview other pictures in the gallery

  • To change the position of an artwork, press and hold and move to the desired location and let go (same for stacking)


Next Chapter

Play around with the gallery and explore more. It’s also handy to get the grid how to operate with gestures. In the next tutorial we are going to look on the canvas interface and basic tools to start with. If you are missing something or need advise, jump immediately to the comments below.

For the ones who enjoy reading books, there is a free e-book on Apple Books App. Full 452 pages filled with basics for this beautiful software. Look for Procreate Artists’ Handbook on your device.
Pixelz Fairy