Setting Up Your Procreate Space: A Beginner's Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Get familiar with Procreate interface
  2. How to create a new canvas
  3. Explore the brush library
  4. How to select and manage colors
  5. Understanding layers and how to use them
  6. How to use gestures for efficient workflow
  7. How to export your artwork

Imagine you've just opened up a brand new sketchbook. There's an excitement in the air — the smell of fresh pages, the feel of a crisp cover, and the potential of all the art yet to be created. Bringing this excitement to the digital world, the Procreate app offers a similar thrill. But before you start sketching, painting, or designing, you need to set up your workspace, just like arranging all pencils, erasers, and colors before you start working on a physical sketchbook. This blog will guide you through setting up your Procreate space to get started.

Get familiar with Procreate interface

Procreate's interface might look a bit overwhelming at first, but fear not. Let's break it down together and you'll be navigating like a pro in no time. Here's a quick rundown of the main components:

  • Gallery View: This is your digital sketchbook. It's where all your artworks live. It's the first thing you'll see when you open the app. You can organize your works into stacks, much like grouping your physical sketches into different folders.
  • Toolbar: At the top of the screen, you'll find the toolbar. It has options for painting, erasing, smudging, and more. Think of it as your tool belt — everything you need to create is right there.
  • Canvas Interface: Once you open a new canvas (we'll learn how to do that soon), this is the screen you'll be working on. It houses your artwork and the tools you're actively using.
  • Brush Library: Located in the toolbar, this is where you can select different brushes to use in your artwork. It's like having an endless supply of paintbrushes with a single tap.
  • Layers Panel: This is a game-changer for digital art. It allows you to work on different parts of your artwork independently. It's like having multiple transparent papers that you can stack, rearrange, and edit individually.
  • Color Picker: Also found in the toolbar, this is where you'll choose your colors. You can pick any color you can imagine here — there's no running out of paint in the digital world!

Remember, setting up your Procreate space to get started is like setting up a new studio. It might take a while to know where everything is, but once you do, you'll be creating art in no time!

How to create a new canvas

Now that you're more familiar with the Procreate interface, let's dive into creating your first canvas. This is like tearing out that first page from a brand new sketchbook, but without the fear of making a mistake — because in Procreate, you can always undo!

Follow these simple steps to create a new canvas:

  1. First, tap on the "+" button located in the top right corner of the Gallery View. This opens a panel with a variety of canvas size options.
  2. If you're not sure what size to choose, don't worry. A good starting point is the Screen Size option — this will create a canvas that matches the dimensions of your iPad screen.
  3. Want more customization? Tap on the "+" button under the Custom Canvas section at the bottom. Here you can input your preferred canvas dimensions.
  4. Once you've selected or created your canvas size, tap on it and voila — your new canvas is ready. It's time to start creating!

Setting up your Procreate space to get started is as easy as that. Remember, the canvas is your playground, so don't be afraid to experiment with different sizes and orientations. Now let's move on to exploring the brush library, where all the magic happens!

Explore the brush library

With your canvas set up, you're ready to dive into the world of brushes. Procreate's brush library is like an artist's toolbox — it's packed with different brushes that you can use to create unique textures and effects. Think of it as your digital art supply store, where every brush is always in stock and you never have to worry about running out of your favorite paint color!

Here's how you can get started with the brush library:

  1. Tap on the paintbrush icon in the top right corner to open the brush library.
  2. You'll see many pre-made brushes organized into different sets. Feel free to explore. From sketching to painting, there's a brush for every style.
  3. Try out a brush by selecting it and making a few strokes on your canvas. You can adjust the brush size and opacity using the sliders on the left side of the screen.
  4. Looking for something specific? Use the search bar at the top of the brush library. You can also create your own custom brushes by tapping the "+" button.

Remember, every artist has their own favorite brushes. So, take the time to explore the brush library and find what works best for you. As you continue setting up your Procreate space to get started, you'll discover that the right brushes can truly bring your artwork to life!

How to select and manage colors

Now that you've got a good handle on brushes, let's add a splash of color to your Procreate space. The color selection and management process is incredibly simple and intuitive, but it's still worth going over to make sure you're comfortable with it.

Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Tap on the circle located in the top right corner. This will open your Color Picker.
  2. From here, you can choose a color in a few different ways. You can use the disc to select a hue and saturation, or the classic color sliders for more precision.
  3. Once you've chosen a color, you can adjust its brightness and opacity using the sliders below the color disc or sliders.
  4. For easy access to your favorite colors, save them in the Palette section by tapping on an empty square and then tapping your chosen color.

And there you have it! You're now a pro at selecting and managing colors in Procreate. Remember, there's no limit to the number of colors you can use. So, feel free to let your creativity run wild as you continue setting up your Procreate space to get started.

Understanding layers and how to use them

Layers are the secret sauce to a well-organized Procreate space. Think of layers as clear sheets that you can draw on, stack on top of each other, and move around. This allows you to work on one part of your artwork without disturbing the rest.

Let's break down how you can add, use and manage layers:

  1. At the top right of your screen, you'll find the Layers menu. Tap on it to open the Layers panel.
  2. To create a new layer, tap the '+' icon at the top right of the Layers panel.
  3. You can tap on a layer to get more options such as renaming it, changing its blending mode, or adjusting its opacity.
  4. To move a layer up or down, simply press, hold and drag it to its new position.
  5. If you're working with many layers, you can group them together. Just swipe right on the layers you want to group, then tap 'Group' at the top of the panel.

Isn't it amazing how layers can make your artwork so much easier to manage? As you continue setting up your Procreate space to get started, remember that layers are your friends. They're here to make your digital art journey nice and smooth.

How to use gestures for efficient workflow

As you continue setting up your Procreate space to get started, you'll discover that Procreate has a robust gesture control system. This is what makes Procreate stand out—it's designed to streamline your workflow and make your digital art process a breeze. Let's take a look at some basic gestures to get you started:

  1. Undo: If you make a mistake, don't panic! You can simply tap with two fingers anywhere on the screen to undo your last action.
  2. Redo: Changed your mind and want the last action back? No problem. Just tap with three fingers anywhere on the screen to redo.
  3. Brush Size: Want to quickly change the brush size? Slide your finger left or right on the slider at the top of the screen.
  4. Move Layer: To move a layer, use three fingers to pinch and drag anywhere on the screen.
  5. Zoom: To zoom in or out on your canvas, use two fingers to pinch or spread apart on the screen.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you use these gestures, the more they'll become second nature to you. And soon, you'll be breezing through your Procreate projects with these efficient workflow gestures!

How to export your artwork

Now that you've done a great job setting up your Procreate space to get started, let's go a step further. After spending time creating a masterpiece, you'll want to share it with the world. But how do you do this? Here's a simple step-by-step guide on how to export your artwork:

  1. Open the Actions menu: Find the wrench icon at the top left of your screen and tap on it. This will open up the Actions menu.
  2. Select Share: Within the Actions menu, you'll see an option labeled 'Share.' Tap to select it.
  3. Choose your format: Procreate supports various file formats like JPEG, PNG, and PDF. Select the one that best suits your needs.
  4. Export: Now, all you need to do is tap on your chosen format, and your artwork will be exported, ready to share!

And there you have it! You've not only created a piece of art, but you've also successfully exported it from Procreate. Now, you're all set to show off your artwork to friends, family, or the entire world. Just remember, each piece of art is a step in your journey, so don't be shy—share your creations and embrace the artist in you!

If you're new to Procreate and want to learn more about setting up your workspace and using the app effectively, we highly recommend checking out 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!