Digital Drawing: 6 Step-By-Step Procreate Tutorials for Beginners

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6 Free Step-By-Step Procreate Tutorials for Beginners | If you're a beginner to digital art and drawing, this post has everything you need to start creating your own designs in Procreate! We're sharing helpful short cuts as well as step-by-step videos outlining important basics, including how to work with layers, when (and why) to use alpha lock, clipping masks, and layer masks, symmetry tips for lettering, and tons of other adjustments and image effects to elevate your drawings and designs!

A few months ago, I decided my daughter and I needed a pandemic hobby. While I don’t have a ton of free time between juggling a full-time job while simultaneously facilitating virtual learning, helping with homework, cooking, cleaning, folding endless loads of laundry, and still finding time to exercise, lol, I felt like my sweet girl and I needed something we could do to unwind and spend quality time together in the evenings and on weekends. She’s not really into cooking, baking, or watching TV, and I can only handle so much time playing Roblox and watching toy unboxing YouTube tutorials, so we needed to find something we could enjoy together that didn’t require a lot of upfront planning and preparation, and didn’t leave me with a huge mess to clean up afterwards.

Drawing is something we’ve enjoyed together for a long time. I find it therapeutic for both of us and it gives us an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and chat about things we may otherwise not discuss thanks to our busy lives. Art was something I really enjoyed when I was younger, but it’s something I haven’t made time for in years and years because…well, motherhood.

I’m not actually sure how we first discovered Procreate, but once we downloaded the app and started looking up tutorials on YouTube, I knew we’d found something special to enjoy together. We started by creating basic tie dye and marble patterns, and then I started watching Procreate tutorials for beginners in the evenings so we had something to practice together the following day. I can now navigate my way around the app pretty easily, and I thoroughly enjoy following along with drawing tutorials and creating mandalas both with my daughter and on my own.

If you want to get started with digital drawing and/or lettering, check out my favorite Procreate tutorials for beginners below!

10 Procreate Shortcuts for Beginners

Before we dig in, here are some helpful shortcuts to save you time as you get familiar with Procreate!

  1. Rotate: Place 2 fingers on the screen and rotate.
  2. Zoom In: Place 2 fingers on the screen as if you’re pinching it, and then move them out.
  3. Zoom Out: Place 2 fingers on the screen and then move them, as if you’re pinching the screen.
  4. Cut/Copy/Paste: Swipe down with 3 fingers
  5. Undo: Tap the screen with 2 fingers. If you want to undo multiple actions, hold down with 2 fingers.
  6. Redo: Tap the screen with 3 fingers. If you want to redo multiple actions, hold down with 3 fingers.
  7. Clear Screen: Place 3 fingers on the screen and swipe from side to side in a ‘scrubbing’ motion.
  8. Full Screen: Tap the screen with 4 fingers.
  9. Perfect Lines: Draw a line and hold your pencil down on the screen until a perfectly straight and smooth line is created.
  10. Perfect Circle: Draw a circle and hold your pencil down on the screen until a perfect, smooth circle is created.

6 Procreate Tutorials for Beginners

HOW TO CREATE COLOR PALETTES QUICKLY

3 Easy Ways to Create Beautiful Procreate Color Palettes | iPad Lettering

If you want to create multiple color palettes quickly, this tutorial will absolute wow you. While I had figured out how to create color palettes on my own, the method I used was pretty time-consuming, and I had to go through the process for every color scheme I wanted to create a palette for. But once I watched this tutorial, I realized that 5 minutes of upfront work could help me create tons of beautiful color palettes in mere minutes. If you’re looking for Procreate tutorials for beginners, this is definitely a must-watch!

HOW TO COLOR YOUR DESIGNS

The Quickest Way To Color In Procreate | Let’s Draw with BeeJayDeL

If you’ve already spent some time watching Procreate tutorials for beginners, you’ve probably seen artists use the paint bucket fill option to quickly fill in areas of their drawings with color. This is a great method to use when coloring in large areas, but it can be time-consuming if you’re coloring in a lot of small items (think: mandalas). This tutorial by Let’s Draw with BeeJayDeL will save you so much time, allowing you to color complex designs fairly fast. He uses layers while coloring, but does a great job walking you through the process. If you found this confusing and/or want more information on what layers are (and why you should use them), we’ve included a great tutorial below!

HOW TO USE LAYERS

Basics of Layers in Procreate | 7th Season Studios

When it comes to drawing and lettering in Procreate, layers are an absolute must. They seem complicated and overwhelming at first, but I promise you working with layers isn’t as difficult as it looks. This was one of the first Procreate tutorials for beginners I watched when I first got serious about digital drawing, and it really helped break it down so I could understand all of the other tutorials I was watching. He briefly touches on alpha lock and masks while walking you through the basics of layers, and I’ve included a more in-depth tutorial about these features below.

ALPHA LOCK, CLIPPING MASKS, AND LAYER MASKS

Using Alpha Lock, Clipping Masks, and Layer Masks in Procreate | Bardot Brush

Bardot Brush has tons of great Procreate tutorials for beginners, and this one is a fabulous introduction to alpha lock, clipping masks, and layer masks. She does such a good job explaining each option, showing you the pros and cons of each as she walks you through the process of using them. She then creates a drawing in Procreate, explaining how and when she chooses to use alpha lock, clipping masks, and layer masks, which really helps pull it altogether. I highly recommend this tutorial! Oh, and if you love her Apple Pencil as much as I do, it’s actually a silicone sleeve, which you can find HERE.

HOW TO USE THE SYMMETRY TOOL

Mirror Lettering in Procreate (Symmetry Tool Tutorial) | Loveleigh Loops

Once you have the basics of Procreate down – shortcuts, color palettes, working with layers, alpha lock, clipping masks, and layer masks – it’s time to get creative. This tutorial will teach you how to use the symmetry tool to create beautiful, symmetrical designs in mere minutes. This is such a fun feature in Procreate – I use it to create my own mandalas!

ADJUSTMENTS AND IMAGE EFFECTS

Procreate Tutorials for Beginners | Adjustments and Image Effects | Art and Design

The final Procreate tutorials for beginners I found helpful is all about adjustments and image affects – how to use opacity, gaussian blur, motion blur, perspective blur, and directional perspective blur, as well as other image effects like sharpen, noise, hue saturation and brightness, color balance, curves and recolor.

I hope these Procreate tutorials for beginners help explain the basics of Procreate so you feel more comfortable navigating the app, allowing you to draw and create your own designs!

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6 Free Step-By-Step Procreate Tutorials for Beginners | If you're a beginner to digital art and drawing, this post has everything you need to start creating your own designs in Procreate! We're sharing helpful short cuts as well as step-by-step videos outlining important basics, including how to work with layers, when (and why) to use alpha lock, clipping masks, and layer masks, symmetry tips for lettering, and tons of other adjustments and image effects to elevate your drawings and designs!

And if you’re looking for more hobby-related tips and hacks, please follow our DIY board where we share all kinds of great ideas we find each day!

Gwen
Gwen
Gwen is a 40-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 9-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.