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Procreate Tips and Tricks You Should Know

The Procreate app is a must-know digital illustration app for beginners. There are a lot of things you can do in Procreate, and they’re for sure coming up with more handy features in the future. 

But of course, to be able to imagine what projects you can do next, you need to have a good grasp of the tools you are going to use.

In a previous blog, we created a quick guide on How to Use Procreate. Freya also has her Procreate Masterclass that gives more in-depth tutorials on all the things we can do with the app.

For this blog, we’ll be talking about the Procreate tips and tricks you need to know to make creating your digital masterpiece easy as 1, 2, 3!

Tip #1: Drag and drop to import multiple files

In Procreate, you can import different files such as images, Photoshop files, brushes, and even swatches. But did you know that you can actually import multiple files at once? I recently discovered that you can do this by using the iPad’s Split View feature.

Simply open Procreate and your Files App side by side in Split View. Select the files you want to import then drag and drop them into Procreate.

Import multiple files to Procreate by dragging and dropping the files while in Split View
I'm importing the swatches from Freya's Tropical Pattern Mastery course.

You can also do this to insert multiple pictures into your work. Just open Procreate and the Photos app in Split View and do the same thing.

Add multiple photos to your work by using the iPad's Split View feature

Tip #2: Use Alpha Lock to easily change your work’s color

Alpha Lock is one of the masks available in Procreate and you can actually use it to easily change a layer’s color. This can be useful especially if there are multiple objects in that layer and you want to quickly change all of their color.

To do this, select the layer and turn on Alpha Lock.

Turn on alpha lock by going to your layer's options

Choose the color you want to change it to then tap on the layer again and select ‘Fill color’.

Choose a color then tap on the layer and choose 'Fill color'

Now you can easily change the colors of your work, even if it’s very fine details.

Tip # 3: Customize your preferences

When you open the Actions Menu, it’s the wrench icon at the top of your workspace, tap on ‘Prefs’.

Open the action menu and tap prefs

Here you’ll see that there are a lot of options for you to customize your workspace, including the interface color. You can also change the position of the brush size and opacity slider, depending on which makes more sense to you.

You can also customize the gestures. Just tap on ‘Gesture controls’ to see what options you can change. You can modify which gestures activate different tools based on what you think works best for you.

Tip #4: Turn on Drawing Assist to draw straight lines

When you draw a line and hold, Procreate automatically snaps that line into a straight line. But if you’re drawing multiple straight lines, turning on the Drawing Assist feature would be easier.

Go to the Actions Menu, choose ‘Canvas’, and turn on ‘Drawing Guide’.

Make sure you’re using the ‘2D Grid’ guide, which you can change by tapping on ‘Edit Drawing Guide’.

You can turn on ‘Assisted Drawing’ on this page, or you can tap on the layer and tap on ‘Drawing Assist’.

Now all the lines you’ll draw can only be perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines.

To turn off this feature, simply uncheck the ‘Drawing Assist’ in your layer’s options.

Tip #5: Make your own custom brush set

Procreate already provides a lot of default brushes already included in the app when you purchase. But if you’re like me who uses a lot of brushes from Procreate and from other artists, it gets a little time-consuming to look for the brushes sometimes.

I have all of Freya’s brush sets, and from those brushes, I have some favorites that I tend to use. Since Freya has a lot of brush sets, sometimes it’s inefficient to always scroll through the brushes to look for what I use.

Instead of doing this every time, I created my own brush set so I could add all my most used brushes there.

To make your own, simply open your Brush Library by tapping on the brush icon, then scroll through the top of the list until a blue ‘+’ sign appears. Tap on that to add a new brush set, I’ll name mine as ‘Favorites’.

Procreate tip #5: Make your own custom brush set

I can then drag and drop all my favorite brushes into this set. But before I do this, I make sure to duplicate the brush first so that it has 2 copies - one on its original set and one on my Favorites set.

You can choose to name your brush set whatever you like, and you can even create multiple sets for different use. You can make one for your favorite line art brushes, or maybe your favorite brushes to color with. Whatever makes it easier for you!

There are a lot of other tricks you can do in Procreate so that creating your work becomes a breeze! Aside from the tips you can get from other users, you’ll also discover a lot of techniques yourself once you spend enough time on the app.

As usual, practice is the key! Enjoy working on your art pieces and you’ll be sure to master this in no time.

If you’re looking to speed up your progress without using up so much time, you can look into tutorials by experts who’ve already gone through the process themselves. Freya has some free Procreate tutorials you can look into for practice.


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