How to Blend on Procreate
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read

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Procreate is a digital painting and editing app used by hobbyists, aspiring artists, and professionals worldwide to create rich sketches, paintings, and animations with just an iPad and stylus.

While Procreate makes it easy for artists to create digital masterpieces with a stylus, many users wonder how to blend on Procreate without physical brushes. Blending is what helps artists achieve gradual transitions between colors to give their work more subtlety, richness, and depth.

The good news is that Procreate offers many blending tools, and this article explains what they are and how to use them.

What Is Blending in Procreate?

When drawing, sketching, or painting, artists may use multiple colors on the same object to show the effects of light and shadow. Sometimes artists want to show a clear separation between the two colors, and other times, artists prefer to gradually mix (or blend) the colors to create a smooth transition and soften lines. This is where blending techniques come in.

Blending can be used to make your artwork look more realistic, such as by showing more accurate effects of light and shadow, or it can be used purely as a form of artistic expression, such as in Monet’s waterlily paintings.

What Blending Tools Does Procreate Have?

When painting on a physical canvas, artists use special brushes and techniques to blend colors. So, you may be wondering how to blend in Procreate without these physical tools. There are several digital blending tools in Procreate to help artists blend better and express different art styles. These Procreate blending tools include:

  • Gaussian blur
  • Smudge blending
  • Procreate blending brushes

Let’s examine each of these tools in more detail.

Gaussian Blur

Perhaps the simplest and quickest way to blend in Procreate is with a Gaussian blur. In the Adjustments menu, you’ll find the Gaussian Blur tool, which allows you to add a blurred effect to your work.

With the Gaussian blur tool, you can choose to blur an entire layer, which is the fastest option. But if you’re looking for more control, you can choose the pencil option, which will blur only where you draw. You can also set the intensity of the blur effect. At the initial setting of 0%, you won’t see any blur, and a higher setting means a more gradual change from one color to the other.

Gaussian blur is ideal when you want to blend large areas or outlines. If you're looking to create an illusion of speed with blurred lines or give your overall work a softer appearance, then Gaussian blur is the best Procreate blending tool. However, if you're blending small details or looking for a less uniform look, then you should try one of the other Procreate blending techniques.

Smudge Blending

Another Procreate blending option is smudge blending. This is an excellent tool for mixing different colors, smoothing out your strokes, and blending small details.

The main setting used is opacity — a higher opacity creates an intense smudge effect, while a lower opacity creates a softer, subtler look.

All Procreate brushes can be used as a smudge brush, though each artist has their preference. Play around with different brush types and opacity settings to find which combination works best for you and your artistic style.

If you're interested in blending small details and creating complex effects with light and shadow, then smudge blending in Procreate is a helpful tool. For the most control and texture definition in your artwork, consider using Procreate blending brushes.

Procreate Blending Brushes

While the Gaussian blur and smudge blending tools are possible only with digital art, the Procreate blending brushes recreate older, traditional blending techniques.

Many Procreate artists like using blending brushes because they offer the most control and precision over how your blend looks. Different blending brushes create different effects, from the soft lines of the Gouache brush to the textured look of the Stucco brush. The key is to experiment with different brush types and find the set of Procreate blending brushes that matches your artistic style.

Since any brush can be used as a blending brush, you can already start using Procreate blending brushes for free. As you gain more experience and skill with blending brushes, you can consider buying specialized blending brushes to match your style. For example, there are blender brush sets designed for portraiture, while other brushes can help you better capture animal fur.

As with all brush techniques, it takes practice to master Procreate blending brushes. But with some patience and willingness to try new things, you’ll find that using Procreate blending brushes will help you achieve the artistic expression you want.

4 Top Tips for How to Blend on Procreate

Whether you use the Gaussian blur, smudging, or blending brushes to blend in Procreate, there are a few best practices to help you achieve the effect you want. Here are four tips on how to blend colors on Procreate.

1. Pick the Right Colors

If you’re interested in achieving smooth blending in Procreate, it’s important to pick analogous colors or colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. For the smoothest blending, use monochromatic colors, which are colors based on a single hue but with different shades and tints.

Of course, you may want to intentionally blend complementary colors as part of your artistic style. But keep in mind that over-blending these colors may produce a result that looks muddy or introduces additional colors into the blend.

2. Blend Wisely

If you’re aiming to achieve a realistic look in your artwork, blending helps you capture the smooth color transitions you see in real life. But there can always be too much of a good thing, and over-blended scenes can look blurry or fuzzy.

The key is to look at your subject and carefully consider where to blend. Where are there soft color transitions, and where do you see hard edges? For example, if you’re painting a person or an animal, you may notice crisp edges around the nostrils, ear openings, and mouth. Keep these edges unblended — unless, of course, blurry is the aesthetic you’re going for.

3. Start With a Light Touch

If you use an Apple Pencil, you have a lot of control over how lightly (or heavily) you apply your brushstrokes. The lighter your hand, the smoother and subtler the color transition in your blend work. You’ll also create more values between your colors, resulting in a richer overall look.

On the other hand, using harder pressure can result in awkward color blocks.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Just like with any other drawing or painting technique, blending in Procreate is as much about technical skill as it is about art style. And with so many different methods, brush styles, brush sizes, and opacity settings, the blending possibilities are endless. That’s why it’s important to experiment and be open to trying out different combinations of blending tools and settings.

It might take you a while to find and master the exact blending style that matches your aesthetic, but that’s OK. After all, isn’t good art about exploration?

Time to Start Blending on Procreate

Procreate provides a variety of blending tools and techniques to help you achieve the look and feel you want for your art, whether you’re painting a realistic portrait, an impressionist landscape, or something completely abstract. The key is to experiment with these tools so that you can discover and master the blending technique that works best for you.Interested in learning more about Procreate? Tap into your artistic abilities, connect with the global art and design community at Daisie, and learn from the best with a live class taught by artistic experts on Daisie.