Procreate App Assessment: This $10 app opens up a complete new world of digital artwork on the iPad

Digital illustration app Procreate gives a large suite of artwork instruments and artistic options (no in-app purchases) for simply $10 (£10, $15) to obtain (no in-app purchases). The app’s accessible expertise, whether or not you are a design skilled, a seasoned digital artist, or a newbie on the planet of digital drawing, makes it definitely worth the worth. One draw back: the app is barely out there on iPadOS and iOS.

Learn extra: One of the best iPad for 2022

Are but discovering and studying about new options to enhance my paintings and exploring completely different kinds. And the app’s builders, Savage Interactive, aren’t finished but — the Procreate 5.2 replace arrived in 2022, which takes the M1 chip even additional, including 3D portray, AR, new options for lighting, texturing, and extra.

The app’s instruments like fast form, mixing mode, layering, alpha locks and clipping masks add a brand new stage of professionalism to your artwork. This mix of versatility and worth is why we’re holding on to Procreate’s 2022 CNET Editors’ Selection Award.


  • Big selection of instruments
  • Helpful for everybody from novices to professionals
  • A large suite of instruments for $10

I don’t like

  • Two completely different apps for iPhone and iPad
  • No computerized iCloud backup
  • The sheer variety of instruments might be overwhelming for novices

Toto, I do not assume we use Microsoft Paint anymore

Procreate is full of so many instruments and options that I’ll barely scratch the floor on this evaluate.

There are numerous methods to customise your iPad’s gesture controls to make the app work finest for you. For instance, you possibly can set it so that you simply faucet 4 fingers to right away fill within the copy and paste choices. You can too use three fingers to scrub the display screen and delete a layer.

Altering brushes on Procreate whereas creating a component seems like this.


Considered one of Procreate’s largest strengths is its huge brush library. The vary of brushes out there within the app matches nearly any creation you may take into account. You possibly can follow fundamental sketching, ink, drawing and portray, or discover airbrush, calligraphy, charcoal and spray paint. Beneath every brush class, you may discover half a dozen or extra choices. For instance, in case you select Sketch, you possibly can choose from seven completely different pencils and three completely different pastel textures. Take it a step additional by tapping the comb once more and additional customizing the software’s properties. You can too discover brushes made by different artists out there for obtain by way of web sites like Artistic Market.

Learn extra: 15 Procreate App Ideas for Budding iPad Artists

I additionally like to make use of the app’s layering function whereas drawing. Makes future modifying a lot simpler. You may simply have to recollect to place your work in piece by piece. You could find extra gentle and shade modifying options for every layer. Simply faucet the little “N” subsequent to the checkmark that selects the layer.

spawn drawing sample

Procreate’s layering function makes it straightforward to edit completely different components of your challenge.


To remain organized or in order for you an additional stage of safety for a bit of artwork, you possibly can mix layers into teams. Merely faucet on a layer and you’ll choose both Merge Down or Mix Down. Merge Down makes two layers into one, for instance, in case you have Alpha Lock enabled to guard line boundaries in a layer, it will likely be disabled. Mix Down kinds a brand new group, however nonetheless retains the specs of every particular person layer energetic. There’s additionally an choice to rename layers. By default, these will seem as Layer One, Two, Three, and so on., however you possibly can edit them to no matter is most helpful to you — define, define, highlights, shadows, and so on. Relating to working with textual content in Procreate, the app additionally acknowledges The Scribble function was first launched in iOS 14.

Procreate additionally makes it simpler to study new expertise, making the technical aspect of digital artwork much less intimidating. After I first opened the Procreate app, I noticed that it had animation options, however nearly instantly dismissed them as too sophisticated for a novice like me. However with just a few faucets within the app, I used to be capable of create a rudimentary animation of a ball bouncing throughout the display screen. It was solely two and a half seconds, however I used to be actually happy with it! Now, I am actually excited to see what else I can do.

To ease the educational curve of digital illustration, Procreate has a useful guide, boards, and YouTube movies that will help you alongside the way in which.

spawn edit brush sample

Procreate has choices to customise the brushes to your liking.


iPad is the brand new canvas

Procreate is an iPad-only app. There’s a model for you iPhone, known as Procreate Pocket ($5, £5, $8). However the apps are separate, so you possibly can’t swap backwards and forwards between your cellphone and pill.

I exploit Procreate on a third technology iPad Air, however yow will discover the complete listing of suitable gadgets on its web site.

Apple Pencil shouldn’t be {hardware} required to make use of Procreate. However we advocate selecting one up in order for you any stage of element in your artwork. I exploit a primary gen Apple Pencil
. In case your gadget shouldn’t be suitable with Apple Pencil, the app helps some third-party pen fashions. You could find the complete listing on his web site.

In the event you plan to make bodily prints, it is also vital to know tips on how to dimension your digital canvas. The Procreate Handbook covers what you should find out about cropping, resizing, decision and extra. For fast reference, Bardot Brush has a helpful software to find out your canvas dimension, or how massive you possibly can print your paintings.

It is also vital to know tips on how to save your paintings on Procreate. On the intense aspect, the app robotically saves as you’re employed. However what if one thing goes mistaken with the app otherwise you need to improve your iPad? It will get slightly tough if you wish to save your work outdoors of the app. After I end a bit, I put it aside to a file within the Pictures app. Understanding tips on how to export information, restore information, allow iCloud backups, and might be intimidating. The most effective (and easiest) explanations I discovered was from Adventures With Artwork.

Learn extra: One of the best Apple iPad apps of all time

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Do you have to strive Procreate?

There’s a lot takes place in Procreate and may appear overwhelming, however the extra you employ the app, the simpler it will get. Having enjoyable is crucial half.

In the event you’re even mildly involved in digital artwork and have $10 to spare, I like to recommend giving Procreate a strive. Discover the app, doodle, write your title with completely different brushes. You can too load clean coloring sheets onto a canvas and experiment with the instruments so you do not have to create a brand new work by yourself. There isn’t any proper or mistaken method to make artwork. For instance, TikTok customers have additionally discovered artistic methods to precise themselves with Procreate, similar to reimagining Disney princesses in 2021, turning celebrities into beautiful drag queens and personifying particular person moods as characters.

In the event you’re searching for extra of a digital coloring e-book, although, you possibly can take a look at the Lake app (free with in-app purchases) as a substitute of paying $10 for Procreate. And if you wish to get an thought of ​​how a lot you may use Procreate earlier than investing, Autodesk Sketchbook is a free app that additionally has a formidable set of instruments — not as many as Procreate, however sufficient to get you give a style.

There are dozens of the way to customise Procreate that will help you uncover or enhance your artwork model.

For extra on drawing, see 5 on-line drawing programs you possibly can take proper now and all the very best drawing apps on iPad.

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