Creating Stunning Gradient Maps in Procreate Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Get familiar with Procreate
  2. Choose the right brush
  3. How to apply gradient maps
  4. Adjust the colors in your gradient map
  5. How to save and reuse gradient maps
  6. Combination of gradient maps and blend modes
  7. Experiment with gradient map layers

Ever felt like your digital art needs a little more flair? A touch more color complexity? Well, you're in the right place! This guide will walk you through the world of Procreate Gradient Maps. We'll explore how to add stunning depth to your Procreate creations by using gradient maps — an often overlooked but oh-so-powerful tool in the Procreate arsenal. So grab your iPad, open up Procreate, and let's get started!

Get familiar with Procreate

Procreate is a gem of a digital art app available on the iPad. With a simple and intuitive interface, it's the go-to app for many digital artists worldwide. And today, we'll be shedding light on one of its most robust features: Procreate gradient maps.

Think of gradient maps as a way to recolor your artwork. They take the grayscale values of your image and apply a new color scheme to it. The result can be anything from subtly enhancing your artwork's mood to completely transforming it with a pop of color. But before you can work with Procreate gradient maps, there are a few basic steps you need to be familiar with:

  • Navigating the app: Procreate's user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate. The toolbar, located at the top of the screen, contains all the tools you'll need.
  • Creating a new canvas: To start a new project, tap on the '+' button on the top right of the screen. You can choose from a variety of preset sizes or create a custom size.
  • Understanding layers: In Procreate, layers are your best friend. You can add, delete, hide, or rearrange layers using the layer panel on the right side of the screen. By using layers, you can work on different parts of your artwork separately, making your creative process more organized and flexible.
  • Choosing the right brush: Procreate comes with a vast library of brushes. Tap on the brush icon in the toolbar to access them. Different brushes serve different purposes — some are perfect for sketching, while others are great for adding texture or detail.

Once you're comfortable with the basics, you're ready to dive into the colorful world of Procreate gradient maps. So, let's get those creative juices flowing!

Choose the right brush

Choosing the right brush in Procreate is like picking the right tool for any job — it makes all the difference. Brushes are the heart and soul of digital art, and Procreate offers a vast array of options, each designed to bring a unique effect to your artwork. They can be the difference between a flat, dull image and a vibrant, textured masterpiece.

But here's the challenge: with so many options, how do you choose? Well, don't worry — I've got your back. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect brush for your Procreate gradient maps:

  • Understand what different brushes do: Each brush in Procreate is designed for a specific purpose. Sketching brushes are perfect for outlines, while painting brushes add depth and texture. For gradient maps, you might want to opt for airbrushes or soft brushes — they give a smooth gradient effect that's perfect for this task.
  • Experiment: The key to mastering Procreate brushes is to play around with them. Try out different brushes with your gradient maps. See how they affect the final outcome. The more you experiment, the more you'll understand which brushes work best for you.
  • Customize your brushes: One of the coolest features of Procreate is the ability to customize brushes. You can adjust the size, opacity, and other settings to tailor the brush to your needs. So, if you don't find the perfect brush right away, don't sweat it! You can always tweak the settings until you do.

Remember, there's no right or wrong brush. It's all about what works best for your art style and the effect you want to achieve. So, don't be afraid to explore, experiment, and express yourself with Procreate's brushes!

How to apply gradient maps

Applying gradient maps in Procreate is simpler than you might think. It's like adding a splash of color to a black and white photo, giving it life and character. Here's a straightforward step-by-step guide to help you apply Procreate gradient maps to your artwork:

  1. Create a new layer: Start by creating a new layer on top of your artwork. This layer will serve as the foundation for your gradient map.
  2. Select a gradient: Open the adjustments menu and select the Gradient Map option. Procreate offers a variety of gradients to choose from, so pick the one that best complements your artwork. Remember, you can always change it later!
  3. Apply the gradient: After selecting the gradient, tap on the layer with your artwork. The gradient map will be applied to the layer, transforming the colors of your artwork.
  4. Adjust the gradient: If the result isn't quite what you expected, don't worry! You can adjust the gradient map by moving the color markers on the gradient bar. Simply drag them to adjust the color distribution.

That's it! You've successfully applied a gradient map to your artwork. The best part? You can repeat this process as many times as you want, experimenting with different gradients and effects. So, why not give it a try? Apply a Procreate gradient map and see how it transforms your art!

Adjust the colors in your gradient map

Now that we've established how to apply Procreate gradient maps let's dive into the nitty-gritty of color adjustment. Adjusting the colors in your gradient map can dramatically change the mood and style of your artwork. It's like adjusting the spices in a recipe—just a pinch can make a world of difference. So, let's get started:

  1. Select your gradient map: Tap on the layer with your gradient map to select it. This will open a color wheel where you can select new colors for your gradient.
  2. Add new color stops: To add more colors to your gradient map, tap anywhere on the gradient bar. This will create a new color stop, which you can then adjust to any color you want.
  3. Adjust color stops: To change the color of an existing color stop, tap on it and then select a new color from the color wheel. Remember, the color wheel is your oyster—you can choose any color you want!
  4. Delete color stops: If you've added too many colors or simply want to remove a color stop, just drag it off the gradient bar. It's as easy as pie!

By playing around with these options, you can create a plethora of unique and stunning effects. So don't be shy—jump right in and start exploring. After all, the world of Procreate gradient maps is full of exciting possibilities!

How to save and reuse gradient maps

Alright, you've mastered the art of adjusting colors in your Procreate gradient map. But what happens when you create an absolute masterpiece of a gradient, and you want to use it again in future projects? Do you have to memorize every single color stop and recreate it every time? Thankfully, the answer is a resounding no. Procreate has a handy feature that allows you to save and reuse gradient maps. Let's break it down:

  1. Save your gradient map: Once you're happy with your gradient map, tap on the "share" button (it looks like a square with an arrow popping out of it). This will bring up a menu with various options. Tap on "save" and your gradient map will be stored in your Procreate palette library.
  2. Reuse your gradient map: When you want to use your saved gradient map, simply open your palette library and select it. You can then apply it to any layer just like you would with a new gradient map.

There you have it—you're now a pro at saving and reusing gradient maps in Procreate! Just think of all the time you'll save not having to recreate your favorite gradients. It's like having a secret stash of your best spices ready to add flavor to any dish.

Combination of gradient maps and blend modes

Now that you've got a handle on procreate gradient maps and how to reuse them, let's take it up a notch. We're going to dive into the world of blend modes. You might be asking, "What's a blend mode?" Well, blend modes are like secret sauce recipes that help you blend your gradient map with the layer underneath it. So, ready to mix things up a bit? Let's do this.

  1. Select your blend mode: Once you've applied your gradient map, tap on the "N" button next to the layer thumbnail. This will reveal a list of blend modes like Multiply, Screen, Overlay, and more. Each blend mode will interact with your gradient map in a different way, creating unique effects.
  2. Experiment: Don't be afraid to try different blend modes with your gradient map. Some will darken your colors, some will lighten them, and others will create a mix of the two. Play around and see what you like. Remember, there are no wrong choices here—it's all about what looks good to you.
  3. Layer up: Blend modes really come into their own when you start layering them. Try applying different gradient maps to different layers and then experimenting with blend modes. The results can be truly breathtaking.

And there you have it. By combining procreate gradient maps with blend modes, you can create stunning, complex visuals with just a few taps. It's like being a digital Picasso, but without the mess of paint.

Experiment with gradient map layers

Okay, we've covered a lot about procreate gradient maps, but there's still more fun to be had. This time, we're going to experiment with gradient map layers. You're probably thinking, "Layers? Aren't those just for cakes and lasagnas?" Well, yes, but they're also a powerful tool in digital art. Here's how you can use them with your gradient maps.

  1. Create a new layer: Before you start playing with gradient maps, you'll want to create a new layer. Just tap the "+" button in your layer menu. This new layer is where you'll apply your gradient map, keeping your original artwork untouched.
  2. Apply the gradient map: Once your new layer is ready, go ahead and apply your gradient map. Remember the steps from earlier? Just in case: Tap on the "magic wand" icon, then "gradient map", and finally, choose your colors.
  3. Lower the opacity: Now here's where the fun begins. With your gradient map applied, try lowering the opacity of the layer. You'll find the control for this next to the "N" button. As you lower the opacity, you'll see your original artwork start to show through, creating an awesome blend of colors.
  4. Play around: Now that you've got the basics, feel free to play around. Try different gradient maps, adjust the opacity, even add more layers. The more you experiment, the more you'll discover what you can do with procreate gradient maps.

And that's it! Experimenting with gradient map layers is like adding sprinkles to your digital art sundae. It may seem small, but it can make a big difference. So go ahead, have some fun with your procreate gradient maps. Who knows what you'll create?

If you enjoyed learning about creating gradient maps in Procreate, you might be interested in expanding your skills with the workshop 'Animating with Procreate and Photoshop' by Nyanza. This workshop will teach you how to bring your art to life by combining the power of Procreate and Photoshop to create stunning animations. Don't miss this opportunity to elevate your digital art skills!