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

I have been employing Procreate — the digital art application from Savage Interactive — on my iPad for about a yr. Swapping actual physical media like watercolor, oils, acrylics or simple sketching with pen or pencil, for an Apple Pencil and screen was a large improve, but Procreate has turned me into a digital art change. 


  • Vast selection of tools
  • Helpful for every person from newcomers to experts
  • Simple to understand new designs like animation

Never Like

  • $10 value tag
  • Two diverse applications for Iphone and iPad use
  • Huge selection of tools can be frustrating for newcomers

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


The digital illustration application expenditures $10 (£10, AU$fifteen) to down load (with no in-application buys), and its substantial suite of art tools and inventive attributes make it very well worthy of the cash. Procreate presents an accessible practical experience no matter whether you happen to be a design qualified, a seasoned digital artist or a starter to the environment of digital drawing. A person draw back: The application is only offered on iPadOS and iOS

Read much moreGreatest iPad for 2020

Even although it is been about a yr, I’m continue to acquiring and finding out about new attributes to enhance my artwork and investigate diverse designs. And the application is just not done however — Procreate five.2, very first teased all through Apple’s Spring Loaded celebration in April — is on the way. Procreate five.2 strategies to get gain of the M1 chip in the new iPad Professional line to include a 3D painting aspect and make the application more rapidly.

Even as is, the app’s tools, this sort of as speedy form, blend method, layering, alpha locks and clipping masks, include a new amount of professionalism to your art. This is why we awarded Procreate a CNET Editors’ Decision award for 2020.

Toto, I really don’t imagine we are employing Microsoft Paint any more

Procreate is packed with so quite a few tools and attributes that I am going to scarcely scratch the floor in this evaluate. 

There are innumerable strategies to customise your iPad’s ($419 at eBay) gesture controls to make the application function greatest for you. For example, you can set it so that you tap four fingers to quickly populate the duplicate and paste possibilities. You can also use 3 fingers to scrub the screen and clear a layer. 


Swapping brushes on Procreate although developing a piece seems like this.


A person of the most significant benefits of Procreate is its substantial library of 150 brushes. The selection of brushes offered in the application in good shape just about any development you could probably have in intellect. You can adhere with essential sketching, inking, drawing and painting, or you can investigate airbrushing, calligraphy, charcoal and spray paint. Under every single group of brushes, you will locate a 50 % a dozen or much more options. For example, if you opt for Sketching, you can find from 7 diverse pencils and 3 diverse pastel textures. Take it a phase more by tapping the brush yet again and more customizing the attributes of the software. 

Read much more: 10 Procreate application suggestions for budding iPad artists

I also adore employing the app’s layering aspect although I’m drawing. It helps make enhancing in the potential much less difficult. You can just have to recall to put your function in piece by piece. You can locate extra light-weight and shade enhancing attributes for every single layer as very well. Just tap the tiny “N” following to the checkmark that selects the layer. 


Procreate’s layering aspect helps make it straightforward to edit diverse items of your task.


To keep arranged, or if you want an added amount of safety to a part of art, you can blend levels into teams. Merely tap a layer and you can find both Merge Down or Incorporate Down. Merge Down helps make two levels into one particular, for example, if you had Alpha Lock on to protect line boundaries in a layer, it will turn off. Incorporate Down kinds a new group, but continue to retains every single unique layer’s specs energetic. 

Procreate also helps make it straightforward to understand new abilities by producing the technical element of digital art considerably less intimidating. When I very first opened the Procreate application, I saw that it had animation attributes, but nearly quickly wrote them off as also sophisticated for a newbie like me. But with a few faucets in the application, I was able to develop a rudimentary animation of a ball bouncing throughout the screen. It was scarcely two and a 50 % seconds, but I was genuinely proud of it! Now, I’m genuinely enthusiastic to see what else I can make. 


Procreate has possibilities to customise brushes to your correct liking.


To relieve the digital illustration finding out curve, Procreate has a helpful handbook, forums and YouTube videos to support you along the way.

iPad is the new canvas

Procreate is an iPad-only application. There is a edition for your Iphone, called Procreate Pocket ($five, £5, AU$eight). But the applications are individual, so you are unable to swap again and forth involving your telephone and your tablet. 

I use Procreate on a 3rd-gen iPad Air, but you can locate the full listing of appropriate devices on its web site. 

The Apple Pencil isn’t required hardware for employing Procreate. But if you happen to be setting up to go after digital illustration, your fingers will thank you for buying one particular up. I can only speak for myself, but without having a stylus, I could not get the similar amount of detail. I use a very first-gen Apple Pencil. If your unit is just not appropriate with the Apple Pencil, the application supports some 3rd-bash stylus versions. You can locate the complete list on its web site. 

Read much more: The greatest Apple iPad applications of all time

Ought to you attempt Procreate?

You can find a good deal going on in Procreate and it can look frustrating, but the much more you use the application, the less difficult it receives. Owning exciting is the most critical part.

If you happen to be even mildly interested in digital art and have $10 to spare, I would endorse seeking Procreate out. Take a look at the application, doodle, write your identify with diverse brushes. You can also add blank coloring sheets to a canvas and experiment with the tools that way, so you happen to be not developing a brand new function on your possess. 

If you happen to be much more in the current market for a digital coloring ebook, having said that, you might test out the Lake app (free, with in-application buys), as a substitute of shelling out $10 for Procreate. And if you want to get an plan of how much you might use Procreate before investing, Autodesk Sketchbook is a free application that has an spectacular set of tools, also — not as quite a few as Procreate, but enough to give you a flavor. 

There are dozens of strategies to customise Procreate to support you learn or enhance your art model. 

For much more on drawing, test out five on the web drawing classes you can get correct now and all the greatest applications for drawing on your iPad.

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Maria J. Danford

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