Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, I’m sure you’ve seen the many many possibilities you can go with making art. Think of digital art as a giant buffet with hundreds of options and flavors to choose from. You have realism, stylized, pixel art, 3D, animation, etc. Each of these art disciplines has its own unique software or program that has specific features that allows an artist to create various works of art with ease. For this blog, we will be focusing on one particular discipline— vector art. An art form that is often closely tied into drawing and painting and we will also go over how Procreate isn’t the best way to go about creating them.
Let’s start this off by discussing what exactly are vectors? Well, vector graphics are like the magical unicorns of the digital art world - they're infinitely scalable, always crisp and clear, and they never lose their charm no matter how much you zoom in. Unlike raster graphics, meaning the art we do by drawing and painting, that rely on tiny pixels to create an image, vector graphics use math wizardry to draw smooth lines and shapes that are as precise as possible. So if you want your artwork to be sharp at all times, vector graphics are the way to go!
Now the question is what exactly do we use vector graphics for? Picture this: you're creating a beautiful logo for your new business. You spend hours perfecting every curve and line, making sure it looks just right. Then, disaster strikes! You realize the logo is too small for your website header, and when you try to make it bigger, it gets all pixelated and blurry. Cue the frustration and hair-pulling. This is where vector graphics swoop in to save the day (and you from countless boring hours of redoing every single thing). With vectors, you can scale your artwork up or down to your heart's content, without losing any of that sweet, sweet resolution. This is the magic of vectors- whatever work you need precision for, vectors have your back!
By now, most, if not all, of us are familiar with Procreate— how it functions, its features, what you can do with it, secret tips and tricks, etc. We know Procreate to be a very powerful application that is capable of doing many different art forms from painting, all the way to animations and even 3D. However, while Procreate is an amazing tool for digital art, it does have its limitations when it comes to vector graphics. Don't get us wrong, we love Procreate as much as the next digital artist! It's an amazing tool for creating stunning digital paintings and illustrations. However, when it comes to vector graphics, Procreate is like a fish out of water - it's just not meant for it.
For starters, the lack of vector tools means that creating precise vector graphics can be a challenge. Additionally, Procreate's export options for vector graphics are limited, which can make it difficult to transfer your artwork to other programs or platforms. But fear not! There are plenty of other tools out there that are specifically designed for vector graphics, so if you're looking to create scalable and resolution-independent artwork, it's worth exploring your options like Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer, that can help you achieve the results you're looking for.
When it comes to vector art and graphics, Adobe Illustrator is definitely the heavyweight champ. It has and always been the go-to tool for professional illustrators and designers! When you work in Illustrator, you’ll find you get precise control over your shapes and lines, which are key to making good vector graphics. In addition to that, you also have access to a vast library design assets to help with your work. On the other hand, the Procreate we all know and love is more of a jack-of-all-trades tool, with a focus on digital painting and drawing.
Like I’ve stated above, Procreate can handle painting, animations and 3D so even though it doesn’t have the right tools when it comes to vector graphics, it's still the go-to for artists who want to create sketches or paintings. Another key difference between the two is its usability. Jumping into Illustrator with little to no knowledge will leave any beginners in confusion— in this area, Procreate really does have the upper hand in user experience.
There you have it! It is indeed unfortunate that Procreate doesn't have the tools to properly create vector graphics but who knows! Perhaps they have plans already in the works to accomodate those who'd like to make vector art but in the mean time, you're free to explore alternatives!
Courses and brushes by Freya Kotchakorn helped mored than 10.000 students excel in Procreate drawings.