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  • Ellen O'Neill

It's Valentine's Day, let's talk about Procreate

I often get asked what program I use to create digital images and the answer is Procreate. This slightly awkwardly named program is a very useful tool that I use for both live illustration (Graphic Recording) and studio illustrations.


Procreate is a program for Apple devices. I use an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil as a stylus. I am an Android/PC user in most areas of my life but I find my iPad to be nearly indispensable.


In this Valentine's Day post about Procreate, I'll count some of the things I love about my most used drawing program.


1) Layers- This is an amazing feature that allows me to make many drawings on top of one another, and choose which ones can be seen. This helps me add color or lines to my image but also allows me to easily make changes.



2) Drawing Guide- I almost always use the drawing guide feature, especially to keep my lettering straight. It gives me a grid that is fully customizable. I can change the grid size, and even the color and opacity of the grid lines.




3) Color Wheel- Procreate has an infinite amount of colors available using it's color wheel.



4) Custom Brushes- Procreate comes with many brushes, which are the tips that change they way the Apple Pencil writes on the screen. They can turn my stylus into a spray paint can or a fine tipped pen or a charcoal pencil. The coolest part is that they can be pressure sensitive as well. This means the harder I push on the stylus, the heavier the line appears on the screen.



5) Cut and Paste- The ability to move parts of my image around at any time is probably the largest advantage that digital drawing has over drawing on paper. I can create more space for ideas and images easily by moving parts of my drawing around, or even resize what I have already drawn.


6) Project Canvas- Procreate had a feature that allows me to show the image I am making as I am drawing it, but it hides the tools I am using and doesn't show when I zoom in and out. I always use this feature when I am doing live illustrations. I want my audience to be able to watch the drawing come together, but I don't want to give them vertigo as I zoom around different parts of the screen!



Ah, Procreate. I may feel funny using your name, but I love using all of your amazing features. Here's to many more years creating together.



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