Procreate is probably the most used painting app – developed in 2013, with significant upgrade as Procreate 4 for iOS11 in late 2017.

It is the programme I have used most throughout this course. Its key features include:

  • fully customisable brushes with pressure and tilt sensitivity, including possibility to completely create one’s own brushes. Procreate 4 has added blend modes to the brushes
  • good selection and masking tools
  • alpha-lock and fill features
  • effects and blend modes to enable rapid experimentation with different colours and versions of an image
  • perspective grid and perspective assist – though I find this a bit difficult to use

It is not though so easy and intuitive to use for basic sketching as the colour palette is not as accessible

Issues for my style

  • Colour palette is slow to access for sketching unless working from an already existing image
  • Some of the brushes eg ink brushes need quite a lot of customisation to produce interesting lines like those of Sketches or Sketchbook.
  • There are so many brush options it takes quite some time to get used to how they work enough to work quickly.
  • There are lots of hidden tips and tricks rthat take a long time to discover – need to study a lot of videos on You Tube to find these out.

Ilya Tyljakov

Russian concept artist who does a lot of his work in Procreate.

Digital landscapes

His Brushes

interesting how he uses his fingers. To get variation here need to set velocity settings.

James Julier


Creatively I have always found the natural world my biggest inspiration; most of my artistic lessons have been drawn directly from close observation and study of organic material. I also am fascinated by the inner worlds of the imagination and my work is an attempt to bridge the gap between the two.

He produces both digital and traditional painting, also printmaking (mostly abstract collage) and sculpture. His digital work is very detailed fantasy studies of insects and monsters. It is not clear whether these are all in Procreate, or Photoshop.

Procreate Tutorials




Austin Bachelor

Austin Bachelor mainly does sketches and line art on paper and then brings into Procreate to colour and tidy up, putting lighting effects etc.


  • Fat pencil from Mike Henry just modify size limits on technical pencil
  • Round brush for underpainting with opacity fall off for pressure
  • Charcoal block and Nikko Rull
  • Sometimes large soft brush for gradient
  • Texture brush for background. Do underpainting select and enlarge.
  • Clean line art: Use studio pen. Vary lineweight, streamline about 30%.

How to bring in Line Art

Paint out all around the lineart. Adjust with curves to get the paper completely white and lines as black as possible. Then set to multiply. If you lock the later you can then easily paint underneath or on top.

How to recolour Line Art.

Have all line art on one line. Can just drag and drop colour then use the adjustment sliders to alter colour,brightness etc. If you want to just draw a different colour on a selected area, select the layer and brush it over.

Colour variations

Put different elements on different layer. With alpha lock. And use adjustment sliders. Can drop different colours first.

Layer masks
Select shape with lasso create a new layer and paint over selection. Can also reverse selection in the select mode.

Layer modes



Procreate artists


Ilya Tyljakov really beautiful  atmospheric landscapes and concept art, using his specially modified brushes.


Painting Effects

It is possible to create really beautiful watercolour and painting effects using modified brushes. Below are what I found to be the most atmospheric and innovative.

Realistic Portraits

Realistic painting tends to use the round brush and/or airbrush, building things up slowly with transparency to create very photorealistic effects.

Below: The subject matter is pretty cliche. But interesting use of underlying tonal drawing, then overlaying colour with blend modes.

Drawing and inking

 Architectural illustration from a photo

Manga and cartooning

Media tutorials

These all tend to use a similar soft fantasy style

Stefan de Groot  Dutch illustrator produces a lot of good tutorials, particularly on basic illustration and realistic painting, though I do not find his work as atmospheric and innovative.

James Julier realistic pencil sketches, fantasy art and landscape

Danny Glasgow landscape and fantasy

Austin Bachelor colours over line art.

Procreate Manual