Procreate is one of the best apps out there for digital drawing and painting on an iPad. It’s a paid app that is a one-time cost of only $9.99 on the App Store which is pretty cheap for the value it brings.
If you are a digital painter and own an iPad Pro, and you don’t know what Procreate is, do yourself a favor and go check THIS OUT.
I’ve purchased my iPad a little more over a year ago and in the beginning I wasn’t too comfortable using it for finished paintings. I thought that the best you could do with it, is a good sketch. However currently I believe that you could do some pretty amazing stuff with it and the help of Procreate, you just need to give yourself time to get comfortable with it.
The current Procreate 4.1 version gives you the Warp, Liquify and Symmetry tools. Although there are other Apps out there that have those tools, they don’t seem to match Procreate’s fluidity and integration with iOS. For example my favorite desktop app and daily driver is PaintStorm Studio and the guys have also developed a mobile version of their program. However, unfortunately, it cannot hold a candle to the performance of Procreate. PaintStorm is basically the same thing as its desktop counterpart, however it feels a bit too heavy on the iPad. I do love the idea of a desktop-grade program on a mobile tablet, however we’re not quite there yet. I have had times where I just open the App and it started showing me that I’m running low on RAM. Also most of the brushes are pretty laggy (probably because of the RAM thing). Anyway this post isn’t about PaintStorm Studio’s mobile version.
In an Instagram Q&A, someone asked whether there will be a desktop version of the Procreate. The team responded that they’re focusing all their efforts only on iOS. While it’s a bit of a bummer there won’t be a desktop version for the foreseeable future, it’s commendable that they are focusing on making the most powerful app for digital painting on mobile. (and I think that the best part is that they’re succeeding!)
Getting back to what I’ve said earlier, the biggest challenge for me was to get a gesture-based workflow and not having my trusty keyboard shortcuts. Somehow it didn’t really come naturally for me. Well all that changed when I learned that you can actually attach a bluetooth keyboard and use it with Procreate. Oh, man! Was I happy to learn that! Not quite sure why it makes such a difference (to me at least), it could be because I’ve spent years building my workflow with keyboard shortcuts. Maybe it was because too much movement was involved to toggle different tools or stuff like the eye-dropper.
Anyway here's the deal, Procreate can be used with an external (Bluetooth) keyboard, here’s the list of shortcuts:
|C||opens the color picker on the upper right side of the screen|
|B||toggles the Brush|
|E||toggles the Eraser|
|L||opens the Layer section|
|S||enter Selections Mode|
|V||enter Transform Mode|
|X||switch between previous & current colors|
|Space||toggle the Quick Menu|
|hold Option||shows the Eyedropper|
|⌘ + Z||undo|
|⌘ + Y||redo|
|⌘ + C||copy|
|⌘ + V||paste|
|⌘ + X||cut|
|⌘ + D||duplicate the active selection|
|⌘ + A||copy the screen|
|⌘ + K||open the Actions popover|
|⌘ + ;||toggle Perspective Guide|
|⌘ + 0||toggle Fullscreen Mode|
|⌘ + U||enter HSB Adjustment Mode|
|⌘ + B||color adjustment mode|
Hope this little article helps out someone somewhere. If you know a shortcut which I've missed, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know. Happy painting!