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

I’ve been using Procreate — the digital art application from Savage Interactive — on my iPad for in excess of a 12 months. Swapping bodily media like watercolor, oils, acrylics or uncomplicated sketching with pen or pencil, for an Apple Pencil and display screen was a significant alter, but Procreate has turned me into a digital art change. 


  • Extensive assortment of tools
  • Helpful for absolutely everyone from newbies to pros
  • Effortless to discover new styles like animation

Will not Like

  • $ten rate tag
  • Two distinctive apps for Apple iphone and iPad use
  • Big selection of tools can be frustrating for newbies

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


The digital illustration application charges $ten (£10, AU$fifteen) to down load (with no in-application buys), and its large suite of art tools and resourceful functions make it effectively well worth the revenue. Procreate delivers an available working experience regardless of whether you happen to be a layout experienced, a seasoned digital artist or a newbie to the globe of digital drawing. Just one draw back: The application is only readily available on iPadOS and iOS

Read through extraFinest iPad for 2020

Even nevertheless it truly is been in excess of a 12 months, I’m nonetheless obtaining and understanding about new functions to enhance my artwork and explore distinctive styles. And the application is just not carried out but — Procreate five.two, to start with teased in the course of Apple’s Spring Loaded occasion in April — is on the way. Procreate five.two plans to just take benefit of the M1 chip in the new iPad Professional line to increase a 3D painting feature and make the application speedier.

Even as is, the app’s tools, these types of as brief condition, mix method, layering, alpha locks and clipping masks, increase a new degree of professionalism to your art. This is why we awarded Procreate a CNET Editors’ Choice award for 2020.

Toto, I do not imagine we are using Microsoft Paint any longer

Procreate is packed with so numerous tools and functions that I’ll barely scratch the surface area in this review. 

There are numerous means to customise your iPad’s ($419 at eBay) gesture controls to make the application operate most effective for you. For instance, you can set it so that you faucet four fingers to instantly populate the copy and paste choices. You can also use 3 fingers to scrub the display screen and distinct a layer. 


Swapping brushes on Procreate when developing a piece seems to be like this.


Just one of the major perks of Procreate is its large library of one hundred fifty brushes. The assortment of brushes readily available in the application in good shape just about any development you could perhaps have in thoughts. You can stick with fundamental sketching, inking, drawing and painting, or you can explore airbrushing, calligraphy, charcoal and spray paint. Below just about every class of brushes, you will obtain a 50 percent a dozen or extra selections. For instance, if you pick out Sketching, you can find from 7 distinctive pencils and 3 distinctive pastel textures. Acquire it a phase even more by tapping the brush once more and even more customizing the qualities of the tool. 

Read through extra: ten Procreate application ideas for budding iPad artists

I also appreciate using the app’s layering feature when I’m drawing. It will make enhancing in the upcoming much much easier. You are going to just have to recall to place your operate in piece by piece. You can obtain additional light and color enhancing functions for just about every layer as effectively. Just faucet the small “N” subsequent to the checkmark that selects the layer. 


Procreate’s layering feature will make it simple to edit distinctive parts of your venture.


To stay arranged, or if you want an extra degree of safety to a area of art, you can merge levels into groups. Merely faucet a layer and you can find both Merge Down or Blend Down. Merge Down will make two levels into one particular, for instance, if you had Alpha Lock on to shield line boundaries in a layer, it will switch off. Blend Down varieties a new team, but nonetheless keeps just about every particular person layer’s specifications energetic. 

Procreate also will make it simple to discover new expertise by earning the complex factor of digital art a lot less intimidating. When I to start with opened the Procreate application, I saw that it had animation functions, but almost instantly wrote them off as way too intricate for a amateur like me. But with a couple of faucets in the application, I was equipped to generate a rudimentary animation of a ball bouncing throughout the display screen. It was barely two and a 50 percent seconds, but I was actually proud of it! Now, I’m actually excited to see what else I can make. 


Procreate has choices to customise brushes to your precise liking.


To relieve the digital illustration understanding curve, Procreate has a helpful handbook, forums and YouTube videos to enable you together the way.

iPad is the new canvas

Procreate is an iPad-only application. There is a edition for your Apple iphone, called Procreate Pocket ($five, £5, AU$8). But the apps are different, so you can not swap again and forth concerning your cell phone and your pill. 

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

The Apple Pencil isn’t required hardware for using Procreate. But if you happen to be arranging to pursue digital illustration, your fingers will thank you for choosing one particular up. I can only speak for myself, but without having a stylus, I couldn’t get the same degree of depth. I use a to start with-gen Apple Pencil. If your gadget is just not suitable with the Apple Pencil, the application supports some 3rd-occasion stylus types. You can obtain the complete list on its site. 

Read through extra: The most effective Apple iPad apps of all time

Must you test Procreate?

You will find a good deal going on in Procreate and it can feel frustrating, but the extra you use the application, the much easier it gets. Owning enjoyment is the most vital part.

If you happen to be even mildly interested in digital art and have $ten to spare, I would propose attempting Procreate out. Explore the application, doodle, publish your title with distinctive 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 manufacturer new operate on your individual. 

If you happen to be extra in the sector for a digital coloring e-book, however, you may examine out the Lake app (free of charge, with in-application buys), rather of shelling out $ten for Procreate. And if you want to get an thought of how much you may use Procreate in advance of investing, Autodesk Sketchbook is a free of charge application that has an amazing set of tools, way too — not as numerous as Procreate, but plenty of to give you a taste. 

There are dozens of means to customise Procreate to enable you explore or enhance your art type. 

For extra on drawing, examine out five on-line drawing classes you can just take ideal now and all the most effective apps for drawing on your iPad.

Now taking part in:
Observe this:

2021 iPad Professional: The most effective new functions