Creating Realistic Texture in Procreate: Tips and Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. What is Procreate?
  2. How to set up your canvas
  3. Brush selection for textures
  4. Using layers for texture creation
  5. How to create wood texture
  6. How to create stone texture
  7. How to create fabric texture
  8. How to create metal texture
  9. How to save and export your textures
  10. Tips and techniques for more realistic textures

Creating realistic textures in Procreate can feel like a game of chess—strategic, thought-provoking, and immensely rewarding when done right. Whether you're sketching a rugged stone texture or a soft, velvety fabric, Procreate offers a wealth of tools and techniques to bring your digital artwork to life. If you're ready to step up your sketching game and create textures that pop off the page, you've come to the right place! In this blog, we'll explore how to set up your canvas, select the right brushes, effectively use layers and create different textures in Procreate. Let's dive in!

What is Procreate?

Think of Procreate as your digital sketchbook—a place where you can freely sketch, paint, and create professional artwork on your iPad. Made by artists for artists, Procreate is a powerful and intuitive digital illustration app that's packed with features. Whether you're a seasoned digital artist or just starting out, Procreate has something for everyone.

  • Sketching and Drawing: Procreate comes with a collection of customizable brushes for sketching, inking, and painting. You can even create your own brushes to suit your style!
  • Creating Textures: This is where Procreate truly shines! From gritty stone textures to sleek metals and fluffy fabrics, Procreate lets you create realistic textures with ease. The secret lies in the right brush selection, layering techniques, and of course, practice.
  • Saving and Exporting: Once you're happy with your artwork, Procreate allows you to save and export it in various formats. This is particularly handy if you need to share your work or print it out.

Remember, sketching texture in Procreate is not about getting it perfect the first time. It's about exploring, experimenting, and having fun along the way. Ready to give it a shot? Let's get started!

How to set up your canvas

Setting up your canvas is the first step in sketching texture in Procreate. Think of it as laying the foundation for your digital artwork. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Open Procreate: Tap on the Procreate icon on your iPad to launch the app.
  2. Create a new canvas: Tap on the "+" button at the top right corner of the screen. This will open a drop-down menu with different canvas sizes. Choose the one that suits your project best.
  3. Adjust the DPI: DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. A higher DPI will result in a higher resolution image, which is great for detailed work. However, keep in mind that a higher DPI will also require more processing power.
  4. Set the color profile: Procreate offers two color profiles—sRGB and P3. sRGB is the standard color space for most digital devices, while P3 offers a wider color gamut. Choose the one that best suits your needs.

And there you have it! Your canvas is all set up and ready for you to start sketching. Remember, setting up your canvas is just the beginning. The real fun begins when you start playing with brushes and layers to create textures. So, are you ready to sketch some realistic textures in Procreate? Let's move on to the next step—brush selection!

Brush selection for textures

Okay, now that we have our canvas set up, let's dive into the world of brushes. Selecting the right brush is like choosing the best tool for the job—it can make your task of sketching texture in Procreate a whole lot easier.

The beauty of Procreate is that it has a wide range of brushes to choose from. From brushes that mimic traditional mediums like pencils and charcoals to ones that create unique digital effects, there's something for every artist. But when it comes to creating textures, there are a few brushes that really stand out.

  • Chalk brushes: These brushes are great for creating rough textures. They offer a lot of irregularities in stroke, which can mimic the randomness found in many natural textures.
  • Charcoal brushes: Charcoal brushes offer a lot of depth and are perfect for creating a range of tones. They can be used to create both smooth and rough textures.
  • Spray paint brushes: If you're looking to create a speckled texture, spray paint brushes are your best bet. They can also be used to add a grungy effect to your textures.
  • Noise brushes: Noise brushes are perfect for adding a grainy texture to your artwork. They can also be used to add a sense of depth to flat colors.

Remember, these are just a starting point. Procreate also allows you to customize brushes or even create your own, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Ready to start sketching texture in Procreate? Let's grab a brush and get started!

Using layers for texture creation

Layers are like invisible canvases stacked on top of each other. They allow us to work on different elements of our artwork separately, giving us a lot more control and flexibility. But did you know that layers can also be a powerful tool to create interesting textures in Procreate?

For starters, layers let us build up texture in a gradual and controlled way. You can start with a base layer to establish the overall color and tone, then add more layers on top to create depth and detail. This layering process can create a sense of realism that's hard to achieve otherwise.

But here's the really cool part: Procreate also allows us to apply different blending modes to each layer. Blending modes change the way colors interact with each other, opening up a whole world of possibilities for texture creation. Here are a few blending modes that can be especially useful:

  • Multiply: Multiply darkens the colors, making it great for adding shadows or dark details.
  • Overlay: Overlay enhances the contrast, which can help make your textures pop.
  • Color Burn and Color Dodge: These can be used to create intense highlights and shadows, adding more drama to your textures.

And don't forget about layer opacity! By adjusting the opacity of a layer, you can control how much of the underlying layers show through. This can be a game-changer when you're trying to create subtle textures.

So, ready to take your sketching texture Procreate skills to the next level? Let's start layering!

How to create wood texture

Creating a realistic wood texture in Procreate can be a fun challenge. With the right combination of brushes, colors, and the layering techniques we've discussed, you can create an amazingly realistic wood texture. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose the right brush: Start with a brush that can give a good grainy effect. The "6B Pencil" or "Charcoal Block" brushes can be good starting points. Remember, the brush size and pressure can significantly affect the final result.
  2. Set your base color: Start with a base layer of a medium brown color to represent the basic color of the wood. This will be your foundation, and other colors will build upon this.
  3. Sketch the grain: On a new layer, use a darker brown to sketch out the wood grain. Don't worry about making it perfect. The random, organic lines will give the texture a more natural look.
  4. Add depth: Create another layer and set it to multiply. With a lighter brown, add some strokes following the grain you just sketched. This will create the illusion of depth and add to the realistic effect.
  5. Add highlights: On a separate layer, use a bright yellow or white to add highlights where the light would naturally hit the wood. This step really brings out the three-dimensional look of the texture.

And there you have it, a realistic wood texture created with Procreate! Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you experiment with different brushes and colors, the better you'll get at sketching texture Procreate-style. So, go ahead, grab your stylus, and start creating!

How to create stone texture

Stone is a fascinating material to replicate in Procreate. It's all about the balance between roughness and smoothness. Let's walk through the process together:

  1. Pick your brush: For the stone texture, the "Noise" brush often works well. It provides a rough grain that's perfect for capturing the gritty texture of stone.
  2. Start with the base: Use a gray color as your base. Remember, stones can vary in color, so feel free to experiment with different shades of gray, or even brown and white.
  3. Sketch in the details: With a darker color and a smaller brush size, begin to sketch out the details of the stone. This could include cracks, crevices, and spots. Be random with these details - nature isn't uniform!
  4. Add depth: Use a lighter shade of your base color to add some highlights to your stone. This will create the illusion of depth and make your stone appear more three-dimensional.
  5. Refine and adjust: Lastly, play around with the opacity and blend modes of your layers to make the stone texture pop. Adjust until you're satisfied with the result.

There you go! You've just created a convincing stone texture using Procreate. As you practice sketching texture Procreate-style, you'll find that each texture has its own quirks and characteristics. Keep exploring, keep practicing, and most importantly, have fun with it!

How to create fabric texture

Next, let's tackle fabric. Fabric textures can range from silky smooth to rough denim, so let's start with something in the middle: cotton. Here's how you can create a cotton fabric texture in Procreate:

  1. Choose your brush: For cotton fabric, the "Charcoal Block" brush can be a great choice. It's got just the right amount of texture to mimic the feel of cotton.
  2. Color your canvas: Use a color that matches the fabric you're trying to mimic. For cotton, a light beige or off-white can work well.
  3. Sketch the weave: Fabric is made of woven threads. Use a slightly darker color to sketch horizontal and vertical lines across your canvas. Try to make the lines slightly wavy - perfectly straight lines can make your fabric look more like a grid than a weave.
  4. Add the shadows: Use a darker shade and a smaller brush to add shadows between the threads. This will give your fabric a sense of depth and realism.
  5. Time for highlights: Lastly, use a lighter shade to add highlights to the threads. This will make them appear to be catching the light and add to the overall realism of your fabric.

And there you have it - a realistic cotton fabric texture, all created in Procreate. Sketching texture in Procreate can be a fun and rewarding process, opening up endless possibilities for your digital art. Keep experimenting with different fabrics - you'll be amazed at the variety of textures you can create!

How to create metal texture

Metal. It can be smooth, rough, shiny, dull, and everything in between. Let's give sketching a metal texture in Procreate a whirl. For this exercise, we'll aim for a weathered, roughened metal look. Here's how you can achieve this:

  1. Pick the right brush: The "Industrial" brush pack in Procreate offers a variety of brushes perfect for creating a metallic texture. For this example, we'll use the "Rusted Decay" brush.
  2. Color selection: Start with a dark grey base. Remember, metals are rarely pure white or black, so a mid-tone grey can provide a realistic starting point.
  3. Getting the texture right: With the "Rusted Decay" brush, begin to add texture to your canvas. Don't be afraid to get a little messy here, as the imperfections will only add to the overall look.
  4. Shadows and highlights: Use a darker shade of grey to add shadows and a lighter shade for the highlights. Remember, metal tends to have sharp, high contrast shadows and highlights, so don't hold back.
  5. Adding the finishing touches: For a touch of realism, add tiny scratches or dents with a fine brush. It's the small details that can make a big difference.

And there you have it, a rough and ready metal texture. The beauty of sketching texture in Procreate is the limitless possibilities it provides. Each new texture is a new journey, a new exploration of what's possible. So keep practicing, keep exploring, and above all, keep creating!

How to save and export your textures

Once you've mastered the art of sketching texture in Procreate, the next step is to save and export your creations. This process might seem daunting at first, but fear not! Let's break it down into simple steps for you.

  1. Saving your texture: To save, simply tap on the wrench icon in the top left corner of your screen. Then, select "Share" and "Procreate". This will save your texture as a Procreate file, preserving all your layers and brushes.
  2. Exporting your texture: If you want to use your texture in another program or share it with the world, you'll need to export it. To do so, tap on the wrench icon, select "Share", and then choose your desired file type. Procreate supports a range of file types, including JPEG, PNG, and PDF. Choose the one that fits your needs best.
  3. Sharing your texture: If you're excited about your creation and want to share it with others, you can do so directly from Procreate! Just tap on the wrench icon, select "Share", and then choose your preferred sharing method. You can send it via email, message, or even post it directly on social media.

And there you have it! Saving, exporting, and sharing your textures in Procreate is as easy as pie. Now you can add your personal touch to any project, or even start your own texture library. Happy sketching!

Tips and techniques for more realistic textures

Now that we've covered the basics of sketching texture in Procreate and how to save your work, let's dive into some tips and techniques for creating more realistic textures. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to experiment and try new things!

  1. Observe the real world: One of the best ways to create authentic textures is to observe real-life objects closely. Look at the way light interacts with different materials, or how certain textures feel under your fingers. Incorporate these details into your work to add depth and realism.
  2. Use reference images: If you're trying to recreate a specific texture, such as wood or metal, using reference images can be incredibly helpful. They can guide you on the details to pay attention to, and how to capture the texture accurately in your sketch.
  3. Layering is key: Creating realistic texture often involves layering different colors and shades. Start with a base color and gradually add darker and lighter shades to create depth and dimension. Remember to keep your strokes loose and uneven for a more natural look.
  4. Experiment with different brushes: Procreate offers a wide range of brushes that can help you achieve different textures. Don't be afraid to experiment and mix different brushes to create unique effects.
  5. Take your time: Creating realistic texture takes time and patience, so don't rush. Take your time to build up the texture gradually, and don't be afraid to make adjustments until you're happy with the result.

Remember, there's no 'right' way to create texture. It's all about experimenting, having fun, and finding what works best for you. So grab your iPad, fire up Procreate, and start sketching. You might be surprised at what you can create!

If you're eager to learn more about creating realistic textures in Procreate, we highly recommend our 'Daisie Original Animation Course' with none another than Alex Jenkins who will you take you through his complete animation process. Dive in and take your animation skills to the next level!