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Procreate Basics: Getting Started

A Beginner’s Guide to Creating with Procreate

Procreate is a renowned digital art and animation app exclusive to the Apple ecosystem, specifically designed for use with the iPad and Apple Pencil. It’s an artist’s playground, enabling you to create intricate sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations on the go. What sets Procreate apart from other graphic design and animation software is its intuitive interface, versatility, and depth of tools. It provides a complete artistic toolkit at your fingertips. This Procreate for Beginners Guide is part of the Procreate Basics Series by MELOGRAPHICS in the #MadeByMELO Creative Blog and on Medium.


PART 1: Installation and Setup

Getting started with Procreate is simple. Just head over to the App Store on your iPad, search for Procreate, purchase and install it. Unlock other creative apps, all you have to pay is a one-time cost for the app itself - no subscriptions or ongoing fees. That gives your starving artist fund a break and maybe frees up some of your budget for custom Procreate brushes or color palettes.

How to install and set-up Procreate on iPad and iPhone:

  1. Download Procreate for iPad or Procreate Pocket for iPhone from the App Store.

  2. Once the installation is complete, you can find the Procreate app on your home screen. Tap on it to launch the app.

  3. Once installed, tap on the Procreate icon to open the app. You will be greeted with a gallery showing all your artworks. To start a new project, tap on the ‘+’ button in the upper right corner and choose your desired canvas size.

PART 2: Importing Images and Exporting Files

  • Procreate allows you to import images and photos into your canvas.

  • Tap on the ‘wrench’ icon, select ‘Add’, and then choose ‘Insert a photo’. You can then move and scale the image as you wish.

  • When you’re done with your artwork, exporting it is equally straightforward.

  • Tap on the ‘wrench’ icon, select ‘Share’, and choose your preferred file format.


Step 3: Navigating the Features


  • Layers are fundamental in Procreate. They allow you to draw, paint, or add effects on separate layers that can be rearranged, hidden, or locked. To create a new layer, tap on the ‘two squares’ icon and then the ‘+’.

Color Palettes

  • The color palette feature allows you to select and save your favorite colors. Tap on the ‘circle’ icon to access it. You can also import custom color palettes.

Brush Selection

  • Procreate boasts an extensive range of brushes. Tap on the ‘paintbrush’ icon to see all the available brushes. You can even customize them or import new ones.

Time-lapse Function

  • One of Procreate’s unique features is its ability to record your drawing process as a time-lapse video. You can access it under the ‘wrench’ icon and then ‘Video’.


PART 4: Improving Art Skills with Procreate

  • There are numerous tutorials and online resources available to help you master Procreate including YouTube and Procreate’s official website.

  • Practice regularly, experiment with different tools, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

  • Expand your knowledge and continue reading the #MadeByMELO Procreate Basics Series to take your Procreate creativity to the next level.

EASY Procreate tutorial

How to Draw the Perfect Snowflake & Create Your Own Custom Brush in Procreate

Check out my latest Procreate Snowflake Tutorial which includes a free DIY Kit and Brush Set!


PART 5: Getting the Most Out of Procreate

Apple Pencil

To enhance your Procreate experience, consider investing in an Apple Pencil. It offers precision and pressure sensitivity that mimics traditional drawing tools. Learn the gesture shortcuts, such as pinch to zoom, three-finger swipe for undo, and four-finger tap for full screen. Additionally, mastering the use of masks and blend modes can significantly streamline your creative process.

Custom Brushes & Swatches

Explore the Brush Studio by tapping on the 'paintbrush' icon to create your own custom brushes and swatches in Procreate.



Take your creativity to new heights with custom brushes and stamps by other others and creators too. Check out some custom Procreate Brush Sets on Gumroad and the #MadeByMELO Artist Shop - including FREEBIES!


Get Creative!

Procreate is a powerful tool for digital artists. Its versatility and user-friendly interface make it a joy to use. With practice and exploration, it’s an app that can truly transform the way you create art. So pick up your Apple Pencil, fire up Procreate, and let your creativity flow!

Check out all of the Procreate Brushes, Color Palettes, tips & Tricks by MELOGRAPHICS in the in the Artist Toolkit. Download the #MadeByMELO Procreate Artwork badge for your Procreate creations using #MadeByMELO Custom Brushes & tag @melographics1 #MadeByMELO for some virtual high-fives and a chance to be featured (only if interested of course).



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