Advanced Color Theory Secrets in Procreate Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. What is color theory?
  2. How to apply color theory in Procreate
  3. Color harmonies in Procreate
  4. Color and mood: How to choose the right colors
  5. How to create custom color palettes in Procreate
  6. Advanced color blending techniques
  7. Using color to enhance composition in Procreate
  8. Tips for color matching in Procreate

In the realm of digital artistry, the road to creating striking and evocative visuals often leads us to an exploration of color. One tool that has revolutionized this journey is Procreate, a powerhouse of creative possibilities only limited by our knowledge of its tools and techniques. One such technique that can transform your digital artwork is the understanding and application of advanced color theory in Procreate.

What is color theory?

At a basic level, color theory is like a roadmap for artists—it helps you understand how colors work and how they interact with each other. It's like your GPS when you're navigating the vibrant world of colors, and it's all about relationships. Specifically, the relationships between primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), secondary colors (green, orange, and purple), and tertiary colors (those fancy ones in between).

But don't be fooled, there's a lot more to color theory than just knowing your primaries from your secondaries. Here's a quick rundown of some important aspects:

  • Hue: This is just a fancy way of saying color. When you say something is blue, or red, or chartreuse—you're talking about its hue.
  • Value: This refers to how light or dark a color is. If you add white to a color—making it lighter—you're increasing its value. Add black to a color—making it darker—and you're decreasing its value.
  • Saturation: This is all about intensity. A color with high saturation is bright and vibrant, while a color with low saturation is more subdued and gray.

So now that you've got the basics, let's dive into the deep end with some advanced color theory in Procreate. Prepare for a color-packed adventure as you discover the secrets to color harmonies, mood-based color choices, custom color palettes, and more.

How to apply color theory in Procreate

Applying color theory in Procreate is like playing with a supercharged digital paintbox. You can experiment and create like never before. Let's start by talking about the color wheel. It's the heart of color theory and guess what? Procreate has a built-in, fully customizable color wheel! Here's how to use it:

  1. Choose your hue: Spin the outer wheel to choose your hue. Remember, that's just a fancy way of saying color!
  2. Adjust the saturation and value: Slide your finger around the inner triangle to adjust the saturation and value. Remember, saturation is how intense your color is, and value is how light or dark it is.

Once you've selected your color, you can start painting. But wait, how do you choose colors that look good together? This is where color harmonies come in handy. They're combinations of colors that naturally look good together. They're like the peanut butter to your jelly, the cheese to your macaroni, the... well, you get the idea.

Advanced color theory in Procreate isn't just about selecting colors, though. It's about applying them in ways that bring your artwork to life. You can use colors to create depth, portray a mood, or even guide the viewer's eye around your artwork. But we'll delve deeper into those topics in the upcoming sections, so stay tuned!

Color harmonies in Procreate

Understanding color harmonies is like learning the secret handshake at a cool club—you suddenly feel like you're part of an insider group. In Procreate, color harmonies can be your secret weapon to creating artwork that not only looks beautiful but also feels cohesive and balanced.

There are different types of color harmonies you can use, each one serving a unique purpose:

  1. Complementary Colors: These are colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel. They have a high contrast and can create a vibrant look when used together. Remember, though, that a little goes a long way!
  2. Analogous Colors: These are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They create a serene and comfortable design, perfect for creating a calm mood in your artwork.
  3. Triadic Colors: These are colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. They provide a high contrast while retaining harmony. It's like having your cake and eating it too!

Applying these principles of advanced color theory in Procreate can drastically improve the quality of your artwork. So next time you're about to start a new piece, think about the mood you want to create, and choose a color harmony that helps you achieve that.

But remember, color theory is not a strict set of rules. It's more like a guide. It's okay to break the rules once you understand them. After all, creativity is all about experimentation, isn't it?

Color and mood: How to choose the right colors

Now that we understand the structure of color harmonies, let's talk about the mood. Yes, the mood! Because believe it or not, every color has a mood attached to it. And knowing this can significantly increase the impact of your art when using Procreate.

Think of colors as actors in a play. Each one has a role to play, a character to portray. Some may be joyful, some may be gloomy, while others may be full of energy. It's up to you, the director, to cast them appropriately in your artwork.

Let's break it down:

  • Red can symbolize passion, love, or even anger. It's a powerful and dynamic color that can give your artwork a lot of energy.
  • Blue often represents peace, tranquility, and calmness. It's the perfect color to use when you want to create a serene and calming atmosphere.
  • Yellow is the color of happiness, optimism, and creativity. It's like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.
  • Green symbolizes nature, growth, and renewal. It can create a sense of harmony and balance in your artwork.

Remember, these are just some general guidelines. The beauty of advanced color theory in Procreate is that you can mix and blend these colors to create a whole range of moods and emotions. Feel free to play around and experiment - because that's what art is all about, right?

So next time you're deciding on a color palette, think about the mood you want to evoke. It's not just about what looks good—it's about what feels right.

How to create custom color palettes in Procreate

So, you've learned about the mood of colors and how they can influence your art. Now, let's dive into creating your very own custom color palettes in Procreate. This is a fantastic feature of Procreate that can truly elevate your artwork and help you maintain consistency.

Where to begin? It's simple. You start with an idea or a concept. Let's say you want to create a sunset scene. The colors that might come to your mind are shades of orange, red, purple, and maybe a hint of blue. These colors are your starting point.

From the color disc in Procreate, select each color and adjust its brightness and saturation until you find the perfect shade. And voila! You've got your base colors.

But that's not all. The true magic of advanced color theory in Procreate comes when you start adding in-between colors. These are the colors that form when you blend two base colors together. They add depth and dimension to your palette and make your artwork look more cohesive.

Here's how you can do it:

  1. Choose two base colors you want to blend.
  2. Use the color disc to find a color that lies halfway between them.
  3. Add this new color to your palette.

Repeat this process for all your base colors, and before you know it, you have a rich and varied color palette at your disposal.

Creating custom color palettes in Procreate is like creating your own box of crayons. You get to pick and choose the colors that you love, and that fit your style. And the best part? You'll never run out of colors!

Advanced color blending techniques

Mastering color blending in Procreate can turn a simple sketch into a breathtaking artwork. It's akin to knowing how to play with different spices in a dish—you get to bring out flavors, or in this case, colors, that you didn't even know existed!

One awesome tool that Procreate offers is the Blend tool. But knowing when and how to use it can make all the difference. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Start light: Begin with lighter colors and gradually add in the darker shades. This gives you more control over the intensity of the blend.
  2. Go slow: Don't rush the blending process. Take your time to blend the colors smoothly.
  3. Mind the pressure: The amount of pressure you apply with your stylus can alter the outcome. More pressure can lead to more saturated colors.

Another fantastic color blending technique involves the use of layers. By creating separate layers for each color, you can experiment with different blending modes and see which one works best for your artwork. This is where advanced color theory in Procreate comes to life—the interplay of colors, layers, and blending modes can yield some truly mesmerizing results.

Remember, practice makes perfect. So don't be afraid to experiment. The more you play around with different blending techniques, the more you'll understand what works best for your style. So go ahead, pick up your stylus, and let the colors flow!

Using color to enhance composition in Procreate

Did you know that using color smartly can make your Procreate art even more captivating? It's like the secret sauce that can transform your artwork from good to great. Let's see how we can use advanced color theory in Procreate to enhance composition.

Firstly, colors can be a fantastic tool for directing the viewer's attention. Bright, warm colors like red and yellow tend to jump out, while cool colors like blue or green recede into the background. So, if you want to highlight a particular aspect of your art, consider using a warm color that pops!

Secondly, colors can help establish depth in your artwork. By using darker shades for objects in the foreground and lighter shades for those in the background, you can create an illusion of depth. It's almost like you're adding an extra dimension to your 2D canvas. Cool, right?

Finally, let's not forget about contrast. High contrast can make your artwork more dynamic and interesting. A simple way to create contrast is by using complementary colors from the color wheel. The stark difference between these colors can add a vibrant energy to your composition.

Remember, color is like the spice in your art recipe—it can enhance, balance, and bring out the best in your composition. So, next time you're working on a Procreate project, consider how you can use color to your advantage. Happy creating!

Tips for color matching in Procreate

In the world of Procreate, color matching can be the difference between a project that looks cohesive and one that seems a little off. No worries though, mastering this aspect of advanced color theory in Procreate is not as daunting as it might seem. Here are some simple steps to guide you.

First things first, you need to understand the color wheel. Colors opposite each other on the wheel are complementary, and those next to each other are analogous. Complementary colors create a vibrant look, while analogous colors result in a more serene and comfortable design. Use this knowledge to choose colors that go well together in your artwork.

Next, consider the value of the colors. This refers to how light or dark the color is. A good rule of thumb is to use colors that have a similar value. This can create a balanced look and feel to your artwork.

Also, try to limit your color palette. While Procreate gives you a rainbow of colors to choose from, using too many can create a cluttered and confusing result. Stick to a few key colors to keep your design unified and appealing.

Finally, don't forget about the power of neutrals. Colors like white, black, and gray can help balance out your design and give the eye a place to rest amidst the color.

With these tips at your disposal, color matching in Procreate should be a breeze. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep experimenting with different combinations until you find what works best for you. Happy Procreating!

If you're eager to expand your knowledge on color theory in Procreate, don't miss out on the 'Refreshing your Colours in Procreate' workshop by Faira. This workshop will not only help you master advanced color theory techniques but also provide you with valuable tips and tricks to enhance your Procreate creations.