I have been using Procreate for 95% of my work for about 2 years now, and I PRAISE about it because of how much time & hassle it has saved me. The Procreate/Apple Pencil/iPad Pro combination is a life saver as an illustrator. Not only can you work from your desk/couch/bed/coffee shop/beach/train/restaurant, you name it, but you can also store all of your artwork in one app AND come back to it again and again to make edits as you need.
Using Procreate has allowed me to provide limitless edits to my client projects, offer customized art prints, change/modify colours of an existing illustration to suit a brand who would like to use my work, and when my style was changing and evolving, I could come back to old drawings and give them a fresh modern look.
What I appreciate the most about Procreate is the “Streamline” option under the brush settings (every brush has it). This allows me to create smooth lines that carry through without any shaky wiggles in them, it’s arguably better than what I can do by hand on paper. Because I like to use a lot of clean lines in my work, this setting has worked wonders for me.
As a disclaimer, Procreate is a pixel-based app, which, just like Photoshop, uses pixels to create the images. For illustrators requiring vector drawings I would recommend Adobe Draw (although I haven’t used it much it’s great for solid shapes and minimal drawings in my opinion). I choose to work with Procreate over Adobe Draw because it’s the most natural-feeling drawing app I have found to date. I put a matte screen cover over my iPad to make it feel more like paper as well.
Without further ado, here are my favourite brushes in Procreate, ranking from those I use the most to those I use the least.
1. Studio Pen
The Studio Pen is a classic, round-nib pen that provides flat & bold colour and has a sharp edge. What I love about this pen so much is that the pressure sensitivity is so awesome. What I mean by this is that the more pressure you put on the screen, the larger the pen will draw, and the lighter you go the thinner the pen line will be. I use this pen for both outlining and colouring in shapes.
2. Dry Ink Pen
You might be thinking, why does this girl use so many pens? Everyone’s style is different, but for my work I really enjoy flat colours. I play around with texture but I always keep it quite subtle. The Dry ink pen has pretty much all the same qualities as the studio pen, except it has a bit of a texture which is really nice especially for more sketch-style illustrations. What I also like about this pen is that when you release the pressure it actually lets go of the ink until you apply pressure again which can give a really neat effect when outlining.
3. Hard Brush
Located under the “Airbrush” category, this is a great brush for filling in shapes. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t have much variation when it comes to pressure.
4. Bamboo Brush
This is my one of my recent favourite brushes for adding texture. I also use it to outline shapes sometimes when I don’t want a bold line that I get from the studio pen. When you put less pressure on this brush, it acts as sort of a dry brush and creates more texture versus when you put more pressure it becomes more of a solid shape. It’s a really beautiful and organic type of brush.
5. Noise Brush
This is also one I have been trying out as of recently, I love to use it to add subtle shading, or things like a bit of blush on a portrait illustration. I tend to keep this one really light when I use it, and mostly use it for finishing touches but for more of a textured look this brush can be quite versatile.
What are some of your favourite brushes? Comment below!