Mastering Procreate Liquify: Push, Twirl, Pinch, Expand
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Introduction to Procreate Liquify
  2. How to use Procreate Liquify: Push
  3. How to use Procreate Liquify: Twirl
  4. How to use Procreate Liquify: Pinch
  5. How to use Procreate Liquify: Expand
  6. Best practices for Procreate Liquify

Welcome to the world of digital artistry! Today we're going to take a closer look at the wonderous world of Procreate Liquify tool effects. This powerful tool offers four main effects — Push, Twirl, Pinch, and Expand — that you can use to transform your digital art. So, grab your Apple Pencil, launch Procreate, and let's dive into the magic of Liquify!

Introduction to Procreate Liquify

Procreate's Liquify tool is a game-changer in digital artistry. This tool is your go-to when you want to manipulate and mold your artwork like clay. It offers four distinct effects that you can use to create unique and captivating visuals. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of each effect, let's lay down some basics about the Liquify tool.

Understanding the Procreate Liquify Tool

The Liquify tool, found in the Adjustments menu of Procreate, is like a magic wand that lets you mold your artwork to your liking. It's a lot like using your fingers to smudge, twirl, pinch, or expand wet paint on a canvas—except, of course, you're doing it digitally with Procreate. The Liquify tool is a favorite among digital artists because it allows for a level of control and precision that's hard to achieve with traditional mediums.

What Makes the Procreate Liquify Tool Special?

Here's the cool thing about the Procreate Liquify tool: it's not just a digital smudge stick. It's an artist's power tool. With it, you can push pixels around, twirl them into a vortex, pinch them into a focal point, or expand them outwards for a ballooning effect. These effects, when used right, can add a whole new dimension to your artwork. Each effect has its own unique power and can significantly change the look and feel of your work. So, let's take a closer look at each of these procreate liquify tool effects.

How Does the Procreate Liquify Tool Work?

When you select the Liquify tool in Procreate, you'll see a toolbar at the bottom of your screen. This is where you can select your desired effect—Push, Twirl, Pinch, or Expand—and adjust the size and pressure of your brush. When you're ready, simply draw on your canvas to apply the effect. Sounds fun, right? Well, it's even more fun when you actually try it. So, let's get ready to explore each of these effects in detail.

Now that you're familiar with the basics of the Procreate Liquify tool, it's time to roll up our sleeves and dive into the specifics of each effect. Ready? Let's start with the first effect on our list—the Push effect.

How to use Procreate Liquify: Push

The Push effect in the Procreate Liquify tool is just as it sounds — it pushes pixels around on your canvas. It's like a digital nudge that you can use to move parts of your artwork around. Let's see how you can master this effect.

Step-by-step Guide to Using the Push Effect

First, open your artwork in Procreate and select the Liquify option from the Adjustments menu. Now, in the toolbar at the bottom, select 'Push'. You can use the sliders to adjust the size and pressure of your brush.

  1. Start off by using a large brush size to make broad changes to your artwork.
  2. Gradually reduce the brush size to make more detailed adjustments.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you experiment with the Push effect, the better you'll get at using it to subtly transform your art.

Practical Tips for the Push Effect

  • Keep it subtle: The Push effect can be quite powerful, so it's best used in moderation. Use a light touch and work gradually to avoid drastically altering your artwork.
  • Play with pressure: The pressure slider can give you even more control over the Push effect. Lower pressure will result in a softer push, while higher pressure will create a more noticeable shift.

There you have it! You're now equipped with the knowledge to start using the Push effect in Procreate's Liquify tool. Eager to explore more? Let's move on to the next procreate liquify tool effect — the Twirl effect.

How to use Procreate Liquify: Twirl

Just as the name suggests, the Twirl effect in Procreate's Liquify tool spins your pixels in a circular motion. It's like a mini tornado on your canvas, adding a swirl of creativity to your artwork. Let's dive into how you can put this fascinating effect to good use.

Step-by-step Guide to Using the Twirl Effect

With your artwork open in Procreate, navigate to the Adjustments menu and select Liquify. From the toolbar at the bottom, choose 'Twirl Right' or 'Twirl Left'. These options will determine the direction of your twirl.

  1. Begin with a large brush size for substantial, visible twirls.
  2. Decrease the brush size for more detailed, intricate twirls.

Experimentation is key with the Twirl effect, and the more you play around with it, the more interesting results you'll get!

Practical Tips for the Twirl Effect

  • Direction matters: Remember to switch between 'Twirl Right' and 'Twirl Left' to achieve different effects and create dynamic compositions.
  • Pressure is your friend: Use the pressure slider to control the intensity of your twirls; less pressure for a gentle swirl, more for a dramatic spin.

And with that, you're well on your way to mastering the Twirl effect in Procreate's Liquify tool. Curious to know what's up next? Let's twirl right into the Pinch effect!

How to use Procreate Liquify: Pinch

Next up on our journey through Procreate's Liquify tool is the Pinch effect. Think of your fingers pinching a piece of dough. That's exactly what this effect does to your artwork. It brings pixels closer together, creating a pinched effect. Let's find out how to use this unique feature.

Step-by-step Guide to Using the Pinch Effect

To apply the Pinch effect, open your artwork in Procreate and go to the Adjustments menu. Select Liquify and then choose 'Pinch' from the toolbar at the bottom.

  1. Start with a large brush size to pinch larger areas of your artwork.
  2. Reduce the brush size for more precise pinching.

Experiment with different brush sizes to see the range of effects you can achieve with the Pinch tool.

Practical Tips for the Pinch Effect

  • Less is more: Pinching too much can make your artwork look distorted. Start with a lighter touch and gradually increase the intensity if needed.
  • Consider the context: Use the Pinch effect where it makes sense in your artwork, such as creating a focal point or enhancing perspective.

And there you have it! You've just learned how to use the Pinch effect in Procreate's Liquify tool. Ready to explore the final effect, Expand? Let's go!

How to use Procreate Liquify: Expand

Continuing our exploration of Procreate's Liquify tool, let's dive into the Expand effect. If Pinch pulls pixels together, Expand does the opposite — it pushes pixels apart, creating an effect of expansion. Interested to see how this works? Let's get started!

Guide to Using the Expand Effect

Just like Pinch, using Expand in Procreate is a walk in the park. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Open your artwork and navigate to the Adjustments menu.
  2. Select Liquify and then choose 'Expand' from the toolbar at the bottom.
  3. Use a large brush size to expand larger areas of your artwork. For more detailed work, reduce the brush size.

Play around with different brush sizes and pressure levels to understand the full potential of the Expand effect.

Tips for Mastering the Expand Effect

  • Don't overdo it: Too much expansion can distort your artwork. Just like spices in a dish, use it sparingly for the best results.
  • Context is key: The Expand effect works best when used to emphasize elements in your artwork or create an illusion of distance.

And voila! You've mastered another Procreate Liquify tool effect - Expand. You're now well on your way to becoming a Procreate Liquify tool effects pro, but we're not done yet. Ready for the final chapter on best practices? Let's move on!

Best practices for Procreate Liquify

By now, you've learned how to use the Procreate Liquify tool effects — Push, Twirl, Pinch, and Expand. But knowing how to use a tool is one thing, using it effectively is another. So, let's look at some best practices you can adopt to get the most out of these tools.

Plan Ahead

When using the Procreate Liquify tool effects, it helps to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Are you looking to create a sense of depth, add a unique twist to a shape, or just play around with the tool? Knowing what you want to do before you start can guide your brush strokes and help you avoid overdoing it.

Experiment with Distortion

Each of the Procreate Liquify tool effects offers different types of distortion. Not sure which one to use? Try them all! Experimentation is the key to finding the right effect for your artwork. Remember, you can always undo an action if you're not happy with the result.

Play with Pressure

Just like traditional art tools, the Procreate Liquify tool responds to pressure. More pressure = bigger effect. But be cautious, a heavy hand can quickly turn your artwork into a distorted mess. Practice using different levels of pressure to get a feel for how the tool responds.

Use Layers Wisely

Procreate's Liquify tool effects can be applied to individual layers. This gives you incredible control over your artwork. Use layers to isolate areas you want to manipulate without affecting the rest of your piece.

And that's it! With these best practices in your arsenal, you're ready to start creating some mind-bending art with the Procreate Liquify tool effects. Go forth and create!

If you're excited about mastering Procreate Liquify and want to take your digital art skills even further, check out the workshop 'Animating with Procreate and Photoshop' by Nyanza. This workshop will teach you how to bring your artwork to life using Procreate and Photoshop, making it the perfect next step for artists looking to expand their creative possibilities.