Procreate App Review: This $10 App Opens Up a New World of Digital Art on iPad

Procreate digital illustration app offers a massive set of art tools and creative features (no in-app purchases) for just $10 (£10, AU$15) to download (no in-app purchases). The app’s accessible experience, whether you’re a design professional, seasoned digital artist, or new to the world of digital drawing, makes it well worth the price. One downside: The app is only available on iPadOS and iOS.

read more: Best iPad for 2022

am yet find and learn about new features to enhance my artwork and explore different styles. And the developers of the app, Savage Interactive, aren’t done yet: the Procreate 5.2 The update arrived in 2022, which takes the M1 chip even further by adding 3D painting features, AR, new features for lighting, texturing, and more.

In-app tools like quick shape, blending mode, layers, alpha locks, and clipping masks add a new level of professionalism to your art. This combination of versatility and value is why we’re keeping Procreate’s CNET Editors’ Choice Award for 2022.

I like it

  • Wide range of tools
  • Useful for everyone, from beginners to professionals.
  • A massive set of tools for a price of $10

I do not like it

  • Two different apps for iPhone and iPad
  • No automatic iCloud backup
  • A large number of tools can be overwhelming for beginners

Toto, I think we don’t use Microsoft Paint anymore

Procreate is packed with so many tools and features that I’ll barely scratch the surface in this review.

There are countless ways to customize your iPad’s gesture controls to make the app work best for you. For example, you can set it to tap four fingers to immediately complete copy and paste options. You can also use three fingers to rub the screen to erase a layer.

Procreate Brush Swatch

Swapping brushes in Procreate while creating a part looks like this.


One of the biggest advantages of Procreate is its huge library of brushes. The range of brushes available in the app suits just about any creation you may have in mind. You can stick with basic sketching, inking, drawing, and painting, or you can explore airbrushing, calligraphy, charcoal, and spray painting. In each category of brushes, you’ll find half a dozen or more options. For example, if you choose Draw, you can select from seven different pencils and three different pastel textures. Go a step further by tapping on the brush again and further customizing the tool’s properties. You can also find brushes made by other artists available for download through websites like creative market.

Read more: 15 Procreate App Tips for Budding iPad Artists

I also love using the layers feature of the app while drawing. It makes editing in the future much easier. You just have to remember to put your work piece by piece. You can also find additional light and color editing features for each layer. Just tap the little “N” next to the check mark which selects the layer.

procreate sample drawing

Procreate’s layering feature makes it easy to edit different parts of your project.


To stay organized, or if you want an extra level of security for a section of art, you can combine layers into groups. Just tap on a layer and you can select Merge Down or Combine Down. Merge Down turns two layers into one, for example, if you had Alpha Lock on to protect line boundaries on a layer, it will be turned off. Combine Down forms a new group, but still keeps the specifications of each individual layer active. There is also an option to rename the layers. By default, they will show up as Layer one, two, three, etc., but you can edit them based on what works best for you: sketch, outline, highlights, shadows, etc. When it comes to working with text in Procreate, the app also recognizes the The Scribble feature was first introduced in iOS 14.

Procreate also makes it easy to learn new skills by making the technical aspect of digital art less intimidating. When I first opened the Procreate app, I saw that it had animation features, but almost immediately dismissed it as too complicated for a newbie like me. But with a few taps in the app, I was able to create a crude animation of a ball bouncing across the screen. It was only two and a half seconds, but I was very proud of it! Now, I’m very excited to see what else I can do.

To ease the digital illustration learning curve, Procreate has a helpful Handbook, forums Y Youtube videos to help you along the way.

procreate edit brush swatch

Procreate has options to customize the brushes to your liking.


iPad is the new canvas

Procreate is an iPad-only app. There is a version for you iphoneI call procreate pocket ($5, £5, AU$8). But the apps are separate, so you can’t switch between your phone and tablet.

I use Procreate on a 3rd generation iPad Air, but you can find the full list of supported devices on your website.

The Apple Pencil is not required hardware for using Procreate. But we recommend choosing one if you want some level of detail in your art. I use a first generation apple pencil
. If your device does not support Apple Pencil, the app supports some third-party stylus models. You can find the complete list on your website.

If you plan to do physical prints, it’s also important to understand how to size your digital canvas. the procreate manual breaks down what you need to know about cropping, resizing, resolution, and more. For quick reference, Bardot Brush has a useful tool to determine the size of the canvas or how big you can print your artwork.

Also, it is important to know how to save your artwork in Procreate. On the plus side, the app automatically saves as you work. But what if something goes wrong with the app or you want to update your iPad? It gets a bit tricky if you want to save your work outside of the app. After I finish a piece, I save it to a file in the Photos app. Understanding exporting files, restoring files, enabling iCloud backup, and it can be intimidating. One of the best (and simplest) explanations I found was from Adventures With Art.

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Should you try Procreate?

There is a batch is happening in Procreate and it can seem overwhelming, but the more you use the app, the easier it becomes. Having fun is the most important part.

If you’re even mildly interested in digital art and have $10 to spare, I highly recommend giving Procreate a try. Browse the app, draw, write your name with different brushes. You can also load blank coloring sheets onto a canvas and experiment with the tools that way, so you’re not creating new work on your own. There is no right or wrong way to make art. For example, TikTok users have also found creative ways to express themselves with Procreate as reinventing Disney princesses in 2021spinning celebrities in beautiful drag queens and personifying individual states as characters.

However, if you’re more in the market for a digital coloring book, you might want to check out the lake app (free, with in-app purchases), instead of shelling out $10 for Procreate. And if you want to get an idea of ​​how much you could use Procreate before investing, Autodesk Sketchbook it’s a free app that also has an impressive set of tools, not as many as Procreate, but enough to give you an idea.

There are dozens of ways to customize Procreate to help you discover or enhance your artistic style.

For more information on drawing, see five online drawing classes you can take right now Y All the best apps for drawing on your iPad.

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