Procreate app review: Digital art on iPad has never been easier with this $10 app

I’ve been utilizing Procreate — the digital artwork application from Savage Interactive — on my

I’ve been utilizing Procreate — the digital artwork application from Savage Interactive — on my iPad for around a 12 months. Swapping actual physical media like watercolor, oils, acrylics or easy sketching with pen or pencil, for an Apple Pencil and screen was a big transform, but Procreate has turned me into a digital artwork convert. 


  • Huge variety of instruments
  • Handy for all people from rookies to industry experts
  • Uncomplicated to learn new kinds like animation

Never Like

  • $ten price tag
  • Two unique applications for Iphone and iPad use
  • Substantial amount of instruments can be overpowering for rookies

3D portray is coming with the new edition of Procreate. 


The digital illustration application expenses $ten (£10, AU$fifteen) to download (with no in-application buys), and its huge suite of artwork instruments and innovative functions make it nicely truly worth the dollars. Procreate delivers an available working experience irrespective of whether you are a design qualified, a seasoned digital artist or a novice to the earth of digital drawing. A single downside: The application is only readily available on iPadOS and iOS

Study much moreFinest iPad for 2020

Even while it is been around a 12 months, I’m nevertheless finding and discovering about new functions to improve my artwork and investigate unique kinds. And the application is not performed still — Procreate 5.2, very first teased for the duration of Apple’s Spring Loaded celebration in April — is on the way. Procreate 5.2 options to choose advantage of the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro line to increase a 3D portray characteristic and make the application quicker.

Even as is, the app’s instruments, these kinds of as fast form, mix mode, layering, alpha locks and clipping masks, increase a new degree of professionalism to your artwork. This is why we awarded Procreate a CNET Editors’ Alternative award for 2020.

Toto, I don’t consider we’re utilizing Microsoft Paint any more

Procreate is packed with so lots of instruments and functions that I will hardly scratch the area in this critique. 

There are plenty of methods to personalize your iPad’s ($419 at eBay) gesture controls to make the application operate very best for you. For case in point, you can set it so that you faucet 4 fingers to instantly populate the duplicate and paste choices. You can also use a few fingers to scrub the screen and distinct a layer. 


Swapping brushes on Procreate though developing a piece appears to be like like this.


A single of the most significant benefits of Procreate is its huge library of one hundred fifty brushes. The variety of brushes readily available in the application in shape just about any development you could potentially have in thoughts. You can adhere with basic sketching, inking, drawing and portray, or you can investigate airbrushing, calligraphy, charcoal and spray paint. Beneath each and every group of brushes, you are going to obtain a fifty percent a dozen or much more options. For case in point, if you choose Sketching, you can decide on from 7 unique pencils and a few unique pastel textures. Choose it a phase more by tapping the brush again and more customizing the qualities of the instrument. 

Study much more: ten Procreate application suggestions for budding iPad artists

I also really like utilizing the app’s layering characteristic though I’m drawing. It can make modifying in the future substantially less difficult. You’ll just have to bear in mind to put your operate in piece by piece. You can obtain further gentle and colour modifying functions for each and every layer as nicely. Just faucet the little “N” future to the checkmark that selects the layer. 


Procreate’s layering characteristic can make it easy to edit unique pieces of your venture.


To continue to be organized, or if you want an extra degree of security to a part of artwork, you can merge layers into teams. Simply faucet a layer and you can decide on possibly Merge Down or Merge Down. Merge Down can make two layers into one, for case in point, if you experienced Alpha Lock on to secure line boundaries in a layer, it will convert off. Merge Down varieties a new team, but nevertheless keeps each and every personal layer’s specifications active. 

Procreate also can make it easy to learn new competencies by making the specialized element of digital artwork considerably less scary. When I very first opened the Procreate application, I saw that it experienced animation functions, but virtually instantly wrote them off as too challenging for a beginner like me. But with a number of faucets in the application, I was able to build a rudimentary animation of a ball bouncing across the screen. It was hardly two and a fifty percent seconds, but I was definitely proud of it! Now, I’m definitely thrilled to see what else I can make. 


Procreate has choices to personalize brushes to your correct liking.


To ease the digital illustration discovering curve, Procreate has a helpful handbook, forums and YouTube videos to assist you together the way.

iPad is the new canvas

Procreate is an iPad-only application. There is a edition for your Iphone, called Procreate Pocket ($5, £5, AU$eight). But the applications are different, so you can’t swap back again and forth between your mobile phone and your pill. 

I use Procreate on a third-gen iPad Air, but you can obtain the full listing of suitable devices on its web page. 

The Apple Pencil isn’t required hardware for utilizing Procreate. But if you are planning to go after digital illustration, your fingers will thank you for choosing one up. I can only discuss for myself, but with no a stylus, I could not get the exact degree of element. I use a very first-gen Apple Pencil. If your gadget is not suitable with the Apple Pencil, the application supports some third-social gathering stylus designs. You can obtain the complete list on its web page. 

Study much more: The very best Apple iPad applications of all time

Should you try out Procreate?

You can find a large amount going on in Procreate and it can feel overpowering, but the much more you use the application, the less difficult it will get. Acquiring entertaining is the most crucial component.

If you are even mildly intrigued in digital artwork and have $ten to spare, I’d advocate striving Procreate out. Investigate the application, doodle, write your name with unique brushes. You can also upload blank coloring sheets to a canvas and experiment with the instruments that way, so you are not developing a model new operate on your very own. 

If you are much more in the market for a digital coloring ebook, however, you may well test out the Lake app (cost-free, with in-application buys), as an alternative of shelling out $ten for Procreate. And if you want to get an idea of how substantially you may well use Procreate before investing, Autodesk Sketchbook is a cost-free application that has an impressive set of instruments, too — not as lots of as Procreate, but enough to give you a taste. 

There are dozens of methods to personalize Procreate to assist you find out or improve your artwork type. 

For much more on drawing, test out 5 online drawing classes you can choose proper now and all the very best applications for drawing on your iPad.

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