Making Your Own Digital Illustrations With Procreate — Take A Look
Because professional picture book illustrators can be expensive, many people look for alternatives — including creating their own digital illustrations. I’ve always recommended Photoshop as a way to make custom images, and I still do. It’s a powerful drawing program that takes time to learn, but not everyone can make that commitment. Recently, I explored Apple’s Procreate drawing, painting, and illustration app for the iPhone and iPad. I tried Procreate on an iPad Air first, using finger touch drawing. Then I tried it on an iPad Pro, using the Apple Pencil stylus. It’s easy to learn for anyone interested in DIY illustrations. I love this program and recommend it highly. Here’s why:
Procreate is a user-friendly, fast, and powerful graphics program for beginners to experienced artists. Its newest version, Procreate 4, has a completely rebuilt graphics program, even more drawing tools, and advanced settings that produce stunning color, detail, and depth. Procreate is extremely portable, making it ideal for creating art wherever you are.
What I love most about Procreate is that, even without formal art training, you can use photos, clip art, paintings — almost any source — to trace outlines of figures and objects. Once you sketch an outline, it’s simple to fill it in with your own choice of colors, patterns, and textures. Layers are key to Procreate, just as with Photoshop, but the drawing process is more intuitive and less frustrating than Photoshop, especially for new users.
You can draw with Procreate’s 136 built-in brushes — sketch from scratch, paint with luminous brushes that glow, and adjust brush size and effects. You can also add and create your own custom brushes, textures and patterns by importing art from the Internet, your photo library, or any public domain source.
The time-lapse video function replays your process from start to finish. It’s a great way to share your artwork.
The Procreate app is $9.99 for a one-time download – significantly more affordable than a monthly Photoshop subscription.
Here are a few examples of my early creations made with Procreate. For each dinosaur, I started by outlining original clip art images. Sources: Rock My World Clip Art and Free Png
Check out this video replay (made with Procreate) to see how my drawing evolved:
I used this public domain image to create a watercolor portrait/illustration for a children’s book series about African American scientists.
I hope these simple drawings inspire you to give Procreate a try. I’m not affiliated with the program in any way and do not receive sales commissions. My goal here is to introduce you to a great resource for creating your own digital illustrations.