Is The Procreate App Worth it For Beginners? Get the Facts

Is The Procreate App Worth it For Beginners? Get the Facts

Apple’s Procreate App is used by professional designers, artists, and illustrators to produce outstanding digital work, but is it practical for amateurs too? Is Procreate Worth it for Beginners?

The Procreate App is an excellent way to get creative and it only costs $9.99, making Procreate great value for money. It offers a wide range of features and tools that allow you to draw and paint almost anything you can imagine in no time. It’s user-friendly, easy to get started, and great fun.

With Procreate you can make art that you wouldn’t think possible. This could be your game-changer if you lack confidence.

(I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. However, I only promote products I like and recommend)

What is Procreate and What Does it Do?

In short, Procreate is a digital art and design app that allows users to create illustrations and designs on their iPad or iPhone.

The app has a wide range of features and tools that include brushes, texturing tools, and paint effects so you can sketch, paint, and draw pretty much anything.

The app allows you to digitally create designs and illustrations to suit your needs and imagination. Create artwork, posters, murals, greeting cards, album covers, postcards, logos, you name it, the list goes on.

If you want to get started in digital art, it’s never been easier to get started, BUT!…. yes there had to be a but, you’ll need a newish iPad. It is exclusive to Apple and there’s no Android version.

Is Procreate Good for Beginners?

If you’re looking for a powerful and easy-to-use drawing app for your iPad, Procreate is a great option because it has features and functions geared toward the beginner. The basics are easy to learn. You can advance your skills when necessary.

Procreate pays for itself in another way, and that’s in planning. You can develop your ideas for use in your traditional painting by using Procreate as a simple photo editor.

Import your photo, erase the background, flip it, resize it, and even trace it. You can manipulate your references and cut, paste, and stitch the layers together.

Everything you do can be saved or undone. There’s no risk.

Get started with Procreate with a real course. Brad has 37 lessons, over 23,000 students, and 99% positive reviews. Find it on Domestika

This is the Course I Bought on Domestika
Use code WILDLIFEART-10

Can I Use Procreate Even If I Can’t Draw?

If you’re wondering if you can use Procreate even if you can’t draw, the answer is yes!

Procreate has tools that can help you learn to draw, like the Quickshape feature for instance, which draws perfect shapes for you. No need for a steady hand.

You can add a grid if you want to, use the ‘drawing assist’ feature to straighten lines and correct perspective. You can even balance out an awkward drawing by correcting the symmetry. No more wonky butterflies!

When you learn to add layers you’ll understand how easy it is to build a design or illustration from the bottom up. Each layer is disposable, keep it or ditch it. It’s up to you.

The whole process allows you to experiment to your heart’s content.

Find an ONLINE COURSE that suits you

What is Good About Using Procreate?

The Drawing and Painting Process is Intuitive

Using a stylus to draw and paint on a flat surface feels ‘normal’, in that sense it is easy to get to grips with the process. Once you get used to changing the brushes, marks, and colors from a menu with one pencil, everything falls into place.

There’s a Great Selection of Brushes

The Procreate app comes with a great selection of brushes to choose from, You can also make your own custom brushes and import 3rd party brushes from elsewhere, even from Photoshop.

A Seamless Workflow

Working on a newer iPad with an Apple stylus pencil is a breeze, There is no lag to worry about, and zooming in and out, and rotating the image is instant. It has to be if you are to maintain your momentum.

The Time-Lapse Feature Is Handy

The Time-Lapse Feature is a great way to see how your project is progressing over time. Recording it back is a great way to remind yourself how you did things.

The other great advantage of time-lapse recording is for tutorials. If you want to do some simple videos for Youtube, Patreon or your blog, this is a great way to do it.

If you want to know how timelapse works on Procreate, Brad has a lesson in his Domestika Course

These reviews will help you to make an informed decision:

Saving Multiple File Types

Procreate allows you to save multiple formats. PSD, TIFF, PNG, PDF, and JPEG files can all be saved and downloaded to be reworked later with different software.

Procreate can also be saved in the CYMK format which is essential for printing accurate colors. This is something you need for printing.

The Portability is a Blessing

I don’t know about you but I hate big tech. Procreate is designed to be used on the go with a tablet. It’s like having your sketchbook and mini studio all in one. It’s so convenient. I love it.

What Are The Drawbacks of Using Procreate?

Storage Space Issues

To use procreate effectively you will need plenty of storage space, the more you have, the better it is. You can get by on 32GB but if you paint regularly and use your iPad for other resource-hungry things, the storage will soon fill up.

Plus the app slows down if you fill it up with too much.

A Frustrating Layers Limit

Going hand in hand with storage space, depending on the space available and the canvas size, Procreate will limit the number of layers you can make. Anyone making simple graphics or smaller artwork will be fine, but for very complex illustrations, the layers might be insufficient.

You’ll Need a Class For Advanced Features

The basic functions are very easy to learn and getting started quickly is a breeze for most people.

It gets more difficult as you progress. There are so many hidden tips and tricks and multiple ways to do the same tasks that you’ll need some tuition.

Most information is easily found online for free, but you’ll miss the things that you didn’t know existed in the first place.

You’ll need a course, but there are plenty and they’re not expensive

It Feels Like Cheating

This is purely subjective. If you are familiar with using traditional drawing and painting media you might be underwhelmed slightly with the actual painting experience.

Related post: What Does Media Mean in Art Terms?

If you are able to adjust your expectations, you’ll be fine. The results are good look-alike’s, but the ‘feel’ is still artificial, and there is another thing, will you feel like a fraud?

The problem with using a new medium to simulate a traditional one is the overwhelming impression that it’s fakery.

If you are making a watercolor why aren’t you using watercolor? For a commercial artist, the answer is obvious. They want results as quickly and easily as possible to please a client and get paid, but for a hobbyist? Isn’t it an admission that watercolor is just too hard to master?

I wrestle with this dilemma, others might not. It’s just fun after all, and it does make painting very accessible.

Here’s one tip that will help with your drawing and improve your experience. There’s a paper-like screen protector that does what its name suggests, it has the feel of paper. Get one, it makes a big difference.

The Classic Apple Trap

The Procreate App is only $9.99, but that’s of little help if you only use Android tablets. Will you buy an iPad to buy an app? Probably not.

And there is an issue with stylus compatibility. Apple wants you to buy Apple products and Procreate is designed to work fully only with Apple Pencils.

There is one viable, and reliable, alternative, and that’s the Logitech Crayon, which is based on Apple technology and works with all models since 2018. It works the same way as Apple Pencils BUT lacks pressure sensitivity.

Other third-party pens have limited functionality and will prompt annoying Apple pop-ups about compatibility issues. They’re a waste of money.

How Much Does Procreate Cost?

The Procreate app typically costs around $10, making it one of the more affordable options on the market, if you already own an iPad.

The cheapest Apple device that can run Procreate is the iPad 10.2, available as I flick through Amazon for about $300, but you could get away with an older model running iOS 12.4 or later.

The only way to use Procreate on an older iPad is to buy the app and send it to yourself as a gift. The older Procreate version will upload to your device.

Bear in mind that the app was only created in 2011, so if you are trying to get an old app on a very old device, it might not work or update.

You’ll also want (not need) to purchase a Paperlike screen protector and an Apple Pencil, another $100. it all adds up.

What iPad Models Work with Procreate?

According to Procreate.com in 2022, the app works with the following models:

Is Procreate Better Than Photoshop?

Think of Procreate as your sketch pad and Photoshop as your studio. Which one you prefer to use will depend on the way you work.

Photoshop has more features and in expert hands will produce astonishing imagery, but it takes a great deal of time to learn. For many users, Photoshop is overkill.

If you want to learn Photoshop get some lessons here on Skillshare

In contrast, you can get started with Procreate in just a few minutes by creating quick line drawings, and once you understand how it works, you can get great results quickly.

Catherine sells her popular courses on both Skillshare and Udemy

Procreate is more intuitive and if you have come from a traditional art background, it will feel more natural.

There are a few things Procreate struggles with at present. If you enjoy using vectors and masks, Procreate will disappoint you and Photoshop is preferable for printing.

In truth, using both is ideal, doing the body of the work in Procreate and final tweaks and adjustments in Photoshop.

If I had to choose between the two, I would use Procreate and when, or if, I needed a final touch, I would use Gimp, the free open source photo editor, and learn only the things I really needed.

Learn Gimp here, you’ll need tuition, it’s too difficult for trial and error

Is Procreate Worth it? Final Answer

If you already have an iPad, YES, Procreate is worth it, in fact, it’s a no-brainer. Procreate is a one-time purchase for $9.99 with no recurring membership BS.

You can do almost everything on Procreate and the very few things it can’t do can be done with free software.

If however, you already use an Android or Chrome tablet and want to use Procreate for fun, I personally wouldn’t buy an iPad for that reason alone. There are perfectly good Procreate alternatives available, Krita, Sketchbook, and Artrage, to name but three.

Advance Your Skills on Domestika


If you want to sell your art, the same way I have sold my art for over 20 years, take a look at my eBook below. I think you’ll be interested

Selling art made simple digital guide for starting a small art business

If You Want to Sell Your Art

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Psst…it’s only $12.99!


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