Procreate Alpha Lock: Guide to Masking Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. What is Procreate Alpha Lock?
  2. How to use Procreate Alpha Lock
  3. Masking techniques with Procreate Alpha Lock
  4. Changing colors with Alpha Lock
  5. Creating textures with Alpha Lock

Imagine you're painting a masterpiece—a stunning landscape with a vibrant sunset. But wait! You want to change the sky's hue without disturbing the rest of your work. Sounds tricky, right? Enter the magical world of Procreate Alpha Lock. With this feature, you can alter specific areas of your artwork without affecting the rest, making your digital painting journey a smooth ride.

What is Procreate Alpha Lock?

Alpha Lock Procreate isn't some fancy jargon—it's a versatile tool in the Procreate app that artists find pretty handy. It's like your personal art assistant that makes selective editing a breeze. Let's dig into it a bit more.

Alpha Lock: The Basics

So what exactly is this Alpha Lock? Picture it as an invisible shield that protects parts of your artwork. Here's a simpler explanation:

  • Alpha Lock is a feature in Procreate that allows you to lock a layer.
  • When a layer is locked, it means you can only paint or draw on the existing pixels—everything else is off-limits.
  • This gives you control over specific areas of your work, whether it's changing colors, adding textures, or any fun experiment you want to try out.

Why Use Alpha Lock in Procreate?

Now, you might be wondering: "Why should I even bother with Alpha Lock?" Well, here are a few reasons:

  1. Efficiency: Alpha Lock Procreate can save you a lot of time. Instead of carefully tracing outlines to avoid painting over a section, you can confidently brush over it—Alpha Lock's got your back.
  2. Flexibility: Want to change the color of a character's shirt halfway through your artwork? No sweat! Alpha Lock allows you to make such changes without causing a mess.
  3. Creativity: Alpha Lock can be a game-changer when creating textures and effects. You can add subtle details to your artwork that can make it pop.

So, there you have it. Alpha Lock Procreate is a game-changer, a tool that can make your digital art journey so much more fun and efficient. But, how do you use it? That's what we'll explore in the next section. Stay tuned!

How to use Procreate Alpha Lock

So, you're all set to get started with Alpha Lock in Procreate but are unsure how to use it? Fear not, it's simpler than you think! Let's walk you through it.

Activating Alpha Lock

Before you can start painting with Procreate Alpha Lock, you need to activate it. Here are the quick steps:

  1. Open the Layers panel in your Procreate app.
  2. Select the layer you want to lock.
  3. Swipe right with two fingers on the layer, or tap on the layer and select 'Alpha Lock' from the options.
  4. And voila! Your layer is now locked. You'll see a checkerboard pattern on the thumbnail, indicating that Alpha Lock is active.

Painting with Alpha Lock

Now that Alpha Lock is active, let's see how you can paint with it.

  1. Select your preferred brush and color.
  2. Start painting on the locked layer. Notice how you can only paint on the existing pixels? That's the beauty of Alpha Lock Procreate.
  3. Feel free to experiment. Try changing colors, adding shadows, or creating highlights. The world of Procreate Alpha Lock is your playground!

Remember, Alpha Lock only works on the layer you've locked. If you want to add new elements, you'll need to create a new layer or unlock the current one.

So, that's how you use Alpha Lock in Procreate. Simple, isn't it? But we're not done yet. In the next sections, we'll explore some cool masking techniques and how to change colors and create textures with Alpha Lock. Exciting, right? Let's keep going!

Masking Techniques with Procreate Alpha Lock

Now that you have the hang of how to use Procreate Alpha Lock, let's dive into some neat masking techniques you can do with it. Remember, mastering these techniques can take your artwork to the next level!

Creating Gradients

Did you know you can create amazing gradients using Alpha Lock in Procreate? Here's how:

  1. First, activate Alpha Lock on the layer with your base color.
  2. Then, choose a different color and select the 'Soft Brush' from the 'Airbrushing' brush set.
  3. Now, gently paint over the base color. The result? A smooth gradient effect!

Adding Shadows and Highlights

Using Alpha Lock, you can also add dimension to your artwork by creating shadows and highlights. Follow these steps:

  1. Activate Alpha Lock on the layer you want to add shadows or highlights to.
  2. Select a darker color for shadows or a lighter color for highlights.
  3. Choose a soft brush and start painting. The shadows and highlights will only affect the existing pixels, thanks to Alpha Lock.

Are you starting to see the magic of Procreate Alpha Lock? It's like having a secret weapon in your digital art toolbox, right? But we're not done yet! In the next sections, we'll discover how Alpha Lock can be used to change colors and create textures. So, stay tuned!

Changing Colors with Alpha Lock

Now that you're well-versed in the art of creating gradients and adding depth to your work with shadows and highlights, let's move onto another gem: changing colors with Alpha Lock. Ever wondered how to change the color of your entire layer without losing the details? Well, Alpha Lock is the answer.

Changing Solid Colors

Let's say you have a layer filled with a solid color. Here's how you can change it using Alpha Lock in Procreate:

  1. First, make sure Alpha Lock is activated on that layer.
  2. Select the new color you want to change to.
  3. Using the fill tool, tap on the layer. Like magic, your color changes while preserving the transparency of the layer.

Modifying Multiple Colors

What if your layer has more than one color? Not to worry, Alpha Lock Procreate has got you covered:

  1. Activate Alpha Lock on the layer with the colors you want to change.
  2. Select the new color.
  3. Choose a brush and start painting over the areas with the old color. The new color will replace the old one, but the transparency and details will remain intact.

Isn't it amazing how Alpha Lock Procreate allows you to change colors so effortlessly? Just when you thought Procreate couldn't get any better, it pulls out another trick from its hat. But we're not quite done yet. In the next section, we'll explore how to create textures with Alpha Lock. So, keep reading!

Creating Textures with Alpha Lock

Adding texture to your digital art can give it a whole new dimension. And guess what? Alpha Lock in Procreate is here to make it a breeze. Let's learn how to create textures using Alpha Lock, shall we?

Creating Simple Textures

Creating textures can be as simple as choosing the right brush and letting Alpha Lock do the rest:

  1. Select the layer you want to add texture to and activate Alpha Lock.
  2. Choose a textured brush. Procreate has a wide arsenal of brushes for you to choose from.
  3. Start painting over your layer. The Alpha Lock will ensure that the texture only applies to the painted areas, leaving the rest untouched.

Creating Complex Textures

Want to go a step further and create more complex textures? Here’s how you can do that with Alpha Lock Procreate:

  1. Activate Alpha Lock on the layer you want to modify.
  2. Choose a brush with a complex texture. The more detailed the brush, the more intricate the texture will be.
  3. Paint over your layer. The texture will only apply to the existing content, giving your artwork a whole new depth and complexity.

As you can see, Alpha Lock Procreate is a powerful tool for adding texture to your digital art. It's your secret weapon for creating detailed, intricate projects. Next up, we'll dive into even more advanced techniques. So, stay tuned!

If you enjoyed learning about Procreate's Alpha Lock feature and want to dive deeper into the world of digital art, don't miss out on 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!