Procreate and the iPad Pro are a powerful and affordable combination for artists to stretch their digital muscles. If you just picked these up, then congratulations! You are about to have a lot of fun.
But where to begin?
Luckily Procreate’s minimalist and intuitive design makes the barrier of entry fairly nonexistent for artists learning the app. Even so, here are some great free (and a few inexpensive) resources to learn about all the vast capabilities of Procreate…
If you’re looking for the most clearly explained and demonstrated tips and tutorials for how to use every function in Procreate, look no further than Procreate’s Official YouTube Channel. Videos are very short and to the point. They use clear examples of the concept or tool they are discussing. This channel should be bookmarked for every beginning Procreate artist.
Here are a few of the most useful videos:
To see more official Procreate videos, click here.
Procreate’s own website has been slowly evolving into quite the resource for Procreate artists. Did you know they have their own image sharing area called Showcase? It’s in beta (has been for a while), but you can sign up for a free account to upload and share your artwork along with other amazing Procreate artists.
Well the site also has a nifty section called Discussions where you can find a treasure trove of helpful areas such as Artist's’ Advice to share or learn tips and tricks, Resources which has a lot of free brushes (of dubious quality) and tutorials, and Marketplace where other artists list their paid brush sets.
I’ve made my own list of fantastic brushes you can find at Best Brushes for Procreate, check those out after you read this post.
James Julier’s art tutorials are an amazing resource. They are simple, overhead views of him working on pieces in Procreate accompanied by his quiet, calming British narration. They can actually be quite relaxing and often focus on quiet, pleasing scenes of nature which is why I refer to James as the Bob Ross of Procreate.
These videos allow you to see exactly how James is using the app, brush adjustments, and applying his marks. Most often, he uses only a handful of the default brushes which shows you the capabilities of Procreate with the built-in tools. While many of the pieces James does are environmental, the techniques can be applied towards many different forms and subjects. His tutorials are a combination of Procreate and fundamental art instruction with a pinch of meditation.
To see more of James’ tutorials on YouTube, click here.
Austin Batchelor is a talented creature designer and concept artist who works strictly in Procreate. He’s one of my go-to’s for art instruction on the app. I would say that when you’ve gotten a feel for Procreate’s features and are feeling a little bit more comfortable with the app then just starting out, give some of Austin’s tutorials a try.
He has created TONS of quality videos, here’s a sampling of some standouts…
If you enjoy his many free YouTube tutorial videos, you an also support him by taking one of his excellent Udemy courses which feature longer instruction and file downloads to practice with.
Gal’s videos are not tutorials in the traditional sense (although he does publish those as well), that is, they’re quite short and they aren’t narrated. The reason I include him in this list is the specific way in which he presents each video.
For each of his pieces, you’ll get a nice overheard view to see exactly how he is drawing everything. You’ll see how each and every shape is drawn, how he transitions to different layers, and how he uses simple brushes to give texture and dimension to each work. I’ve learned a hell of a lot just watching Gal create a simple illustration and have been able to apply those same techniques to my own work.
Also, if you’re wondering if wearing an artist glove to use with your iPad makes a difference, IT DOES. Mainly it helps the side of your hand slide more easily across the screen and prevents smudge marks from the natural oil of your skin which saves you time wiping it off.
They’re all kind of flimsy, but personally I recommend the Huion Artist Glove as they’re a good name and it’s a simple, inexpensive glove.
Art Study Online is a site run in part by Procreate superstar Nikolai (Nikko) Lockertsen which alone justifies its addition to this list. ASO offers a small, but quality selection of inexpensive ($5 to $15) iPad art courses specifically created for Procreate. These courses are excellent for the intermediate user who wants to practice some more advanced concepts and compositions. Nikko is known for his incredibly complex and rich illustrations which he makes solely in Procreate. Here’s his portfolio on Procreate.art. It’s crazy.
Here are teaser videos for some of the courses…
If you’re looking for more advanced techniques in Procreate, look no further than the teachings of K. Michael Russell, Pro Comic Colorist and Art Instructor. Russell is on the forefront of the movement of professional artists making the switch from Photoshop to Procreate on the iPad Pro. You can find is growing playlist of Procreate-focused YouTube videos here.
Russell streams live coloring sessions on Twitch and if you’re ready to jump into more in-depth coursework, he offers several courses on Skillshare such as The Beginner's Guide to Digital Art with Procreate for iPad!
Those are the standouts for right now. Be sure to bookmark this post as I’ll add more quality tutorials as I come across them!