How to Fill in Color on Procreate: A Fun and Family-Friendly Guide


Welcome to this colorful journey of learning how to fill in color on Procreate! Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a seasoned pro, Procreate offers a wide range of tools and features to bring your creations to life. In this article, we’ll dive into the exciting world of digital coloring and show you step-by-step how to make your artwork vibrant and captivating. Get ready to unleash your imagination and create stunning masterpieces that will amaze your friends and family!

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Procreate

Understanding the Interface

When you first open Procreate, you’ll be greeted with a user-friendly interface designed to enhance your digital art experience. Familiarize yourself with the toolbar located at the top of the screen, where you’ll find essential tools like brushes, color palettes, and layers. The canvas occupies the center of the screen, allowing you to focus on your artwork without distractions. Take a moment to explore the various options and get comfortable with the layout.

Creating a New Canvas

Before you can fill in color on Procreate, you’ll need a canvas to work on. Tap on the ‘+’ icon at the top right corner of the screen to create a new canvas. Procreate offers a variety of preset canvas sizes, or you can customize the dimensions according to your specific requirements. Consider factors such as resolution and orientation to ensure your artwork looks its best. Once you’ve selected your canvas size, tap on ‘Create’ to begin your colorful journey!

Choosing the Right Brush

The brush is your primary tool for filling in color on Procreate. The app provides a vast collection of brushes, each with its unique characteristics and effects. Experiment with different brush types such as pencils, markers, or airbrushes to find the one that suits your style. You can adjust the size, opacity, and other settings to create precise or textured strokes. Don’t be afraid to explore and try different brushes to achieve the desired coloring effects in your artwork.

Exploring Color Palettes

Color brings life to your artwork, and Procreate offers a plethora of color palettes to choose from. You can access the color palette by tapping on the color wheel icon in the toolbar. Browse through the various preset palettes, or create your custom palette by tapping on the ‘+’ icon. Procreate also allows you to import color palettes from external sources or generate harmonious colors using the ColorDrop feature. Take your time to explore the different color options and choose the perfect palette for your artwork.

Chapter 2: Selecting the Perfect Color

Understanding Color Theory

Color theory plays a vital role in creating visually captivating artwork. Understand the basic principles of color theory, such as the color wheel, complementary colors, and color harmonies. Procreate provides easy-to-use tools to help you select colors that work harmoniously together. Experiment with different color combinations and observe how they interact with each other. By understanding color theory, you’ll be able to create captivating and visually balanced artwork.

Using the Color Picker

Procreate offers a convenient color picker tool that allows you to select colors from your artwork or reference images. Tap and hold on the canvas to activate the color picker, then move your finger or stylus to sample colors from different areas. This feature is especially useful when you want to match colors precisely or replicate a particular shade in your artwork. Take advantage of the color picker to ensure consistency and accuracy in your color selection.

Creating Custom Color Palettes

If the preset color palettes don’t suit your needs, Procreate allows you to create custom color palettes. Tap on the ‘+’ icon in the color palette and start adding colors that resonate with your artwork. You can adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness to fine-tune each color. Consider creating palettes based on specific themes, moods, or color schemes to add a cohesive touch to your artwork. Let your creativity guide you in curating the perfect color palette for your masterpiece.

Experimenting with Color Variants

Procreate offers color variants, which allow you to explore different shades and variations of a selected color. To access the color variants, tap and hold on a color in the palette. A pop-up menu will appear, displaying a range of shades and tints. This feature is particularly useful when you want to add depth and variation to your artwork. Experiment with different color variants to achieve unique and eye-catching effects.

Chapter 3: Applying Base Colors

Preparing Your Artwork

Before you start filling in colors, it’s essential to have a clear outline or sketch of your artwork. If you haven’t done so already, create a new layer above your sketch and lower the opacity of the sketch layer. This will allow you to see the sketch underneath while you work on adding colors. Having a well-defined outline will make it easier to fill in colors accurately and avoid any unintended overlap or bleed.

Choosing a Base Color

The base color sets the foundation for your artwork. It’s the color you’ll use to fill in the main areas or shapes of your design. Select a color from your palette that best represents your vision for the artwork. Consider the mood, lighting, and overall theme to make an informed choice. Take your time to experiment with different colors until you find the perfect base color that brings your artwork to life.

Using the Fill Tool

Procreate offers a handy Fill tool that allows you to quickly and efficiently fill in large areas with color. Select the Fill tool from the toolbar and tap on the desired area to fill it with the chosen color. You can adjust the tolerance level to control how much of the area is filled. The Fill tool is particularly useful for backgrounds, large shapes, or areas that don’t require intricate coloring. It saves time and ensures a uniform fill in your artwork.

Applying Base Colors with Brushes

While the Fill tool is great for larger areas, using brushes to apply base colors gives you more control and precision. Choose a brush that suits the style and size of the area you’re working on. Adjust the brush size and opacity to achieve the desired effect. Use gentle strokes to apply the base color within the outlines of your sketch. Take your time and pay attention to edges and corners to ensure a clean and flawless base color application.

Layering for Depth

Layering is a powerful technique in Procreate that allows you to add depth and dimension to your colors. Instead of applying all the colors on a single layer, create multiple layers for each element or area of your artwork. This way, you can easily make adjustments or corrections without affecting other parts of the artwork. Start with the base color on the bottom layer, and progressively add layers for shadows, highlights, and details. Layering gives your artwork a more professional and polished look.

Refining Edges

After applying the base colors, take a moment to refine the edges and ensure a clean transition between different colors or shapes. Use the eraser tool or a smaller brush with a contrasting color to clean up any unwanted overlaps or bleed. Pay attention to details and make sure each color is contained within its intended area. This step may seem subtle, but it significantly contributes to the overall clarity and impact of your artwork.

Chapter 4: Adding Depth and Shadows

Understanding Light and Shadow

Light and shadow play a crucial role in creating depth and realism in artwork. Before adding shadows, visualize the light source in your artwork. Determine where the light is coming from and how it interacts with different elements. This understanding will guide you in placing shadows accurately and creating a three-dimensional effect. Consider factors such as the intensity of light, direction, and the surface material to achieve realistic and visually striking shadows.

Choosing Shadow Colors

When it comes to shadows, avoid using pure black. Shadows are affected by the surrounding colors and light sources, so they often contain hints of the environment or reflected light. Select a color that is a shade or two darker than the base color. Mix complementary or analogous colors to add depth and complexity to your shadows. Experiment with different shades and observe how they interact with the base color to create realistic and visually appealing shadows.

Adding Shadows with Layers

To add shadows effectively, create a new layer above the base color layer and set the blending mode to “Multiply.” This blending mode allows the shadows to interact with the underlying colors and creates a natural shadow effect. Use a brush or the Airbrush tool with a low opacity to apply shadows in areas that would be naturally darker. Build up the shadows gradually, keeping in mind the direction and intensity of the light source. Use gentle strokes and consider the shape and form of the object to create convincing shadows.

Blending and Smudging Shadows

To achieve a seamless transition between colors and create a softer shadow effect, use the smudge tool or a soft brush with a low opacity. Gently blend or smudge the shadow edges into the base color, taking care not to overdo it. This technique helps create a more realistic and natural shadow appearance. Experiment with different brushes and smudging techniques to find the one that suits your style and artwork.

Emphasizing Cast Shadows

Cast shadows occur when an object blocks the light source and creates a shadow on the surrounding surfaces. To emphasize cast shadows, create a new layer above the color layers and set the blending mode to “Multiply.” Choose a darker shade of the shadow color and carefully paint the cast shadows in areas affected by the object. Pay attention to the shape and direction of the cast shadows to ensure accuracy and depth in your artwork.

Refining Shadow Details

After applying the initial shadows, take a step back and observe your artwork. Look for areas that may need further refinement or adjustment. Use smaller brushes, lower opacities, and finer strokes to fine-tune the shadows and add details. Consider the texture and surface properties of the objects in your artwork to create realistic and convincing shadows. This attention to detail will elevate the overall quality of your artwork and make it more visually engaging.

Chapter 5: Highlights and Details

Understanding Light Sources

Before adding highlights, it’s essential to establish the position and intensity of the light source in your artwork. Determine where the light is coming from and how it interacts with different elements. Understanding light sources will guide you in placing highlights accurately and creating a sense of depth and realism. Consider factors such as the direction, color temperature, and intensity of the light to achieve visually stunning highlights.

Choosing Highlight Colors

When selecting highlight colors, aim for shades that are a few tones lighter than the base color. Avoid using pure white for highlights, as this can create harsh and unrealistic results. Consider the color temperature of the light source and how it affects the colors in your artwork. For cooler light sources, use slightly bluish or neutral tones for highlights. For warmer light sources, opt for yellowish or golden tones. Experiment and observe how different highlight colors interact with the base color to achieve the desired effect.

Adding Highlights with Layers

Create a new layer above the color and shadow layers to add highlights. Set the blending mode of this layer to “Overlay” or “Soft Light.” These blending modes allow the highlights to interact with the underlying colors and create a natural illumination effect. Use a brush or the Airbrush tool with a low opacity to apply highlights in areas that would catch the light. Think about the surfaces and materials in your artwork and how they would reflect light to determine the placement and intensity of the highlights.

Building Up the Highlights

Add highlights gradually, using gentle strokes or dabs of color. Start with a lower opacity and gradually build up the intensity of the highlights to avoid overpowering the artwork. Observe how light interacts with different objects and surfaces in real life and replicate that effect in your artwork. Consider the shape, form, and texture of the objects to create convincing and visually appealing highlights. Take your time and experiment with different brushes and techniques to achieve the desired results.

Creating Texture and Detail

Highlighting isn’t just about adding brightness; it’s also an opportunity to create texture and detail in your artwork. Experiment with brushes that mimic textures like fur, foliage, or fabric to add depth and interest to your highlights. Think about the direction and nature of the light source when adding texture. For example, if the light is coming from above, the highlights on a textured surface will appear raised and more pronounced in the upper areas. Pay attention to such details and use them to enhance the realism and visual impact of your artwork.

Refining Highlight Details

After adding the initial highlights, step back and evaluate your artwork. Look for areas that may need further refinement or adjustment. Use smaller brushes, lower opacities, and finer strokes to fine-tune the highlights and add additional details. Consider the micro-contrasts and subtle variations in light reflection to create realistic and visually engaging highlights. This attention to detail will elevate the overall quality of your artwork and make it truly shine.

Chapter 6: Refining and Polishing

Zooming In for Precision

Zooming in allows you to work on smaller details with greater precision. Use the pinch gesture to zoom in on specific areas of your artwork that require refinement. This level of zoom allows you to focus on intricate details and ensure a clean and professional finish. Take advantage of the ability to zoom in and out to maintain a balance between the details and the overall composition of your artwork.

Touching Up Colors

After applying the base colors, shadows, highlights, and details, it’s natural to encounter areas that may need touch-ups. Use smaller brushes or the eraser tool to correct any mistakes or smudges. Pay attention to edges, transitions between colors, and areas that require additional blending. Take your time and be meticulous in examining your artwork to achieve a polished and flawless result.

Polishing the Edges

Make sure the edges of your colors are clean and well-defined. Zoom in and use smaller brushes or the eraser tool to refine the edges and ensure a crisp transition between different colors or shapes. Pay attention to areas with overlapping colors to avoid color bleeding or unwanted overlaps. This extra step will give your artwork a professional, refined look.

Creating Depth with Blending Modes

Procreate offers a variety of blending modes that can enhance the depth and richness of your colors. Experiment with different blending modes like Overlay, Soft Light, or Color Burn to achieve unique and visually compelling effects. Apply adjustments to specific layers or elements of your artwork to create a sense of depth and bring out subtle color variations. Don’t be afraid to explore and push the boundaries of your creativity with blending modes.

Adjusting Brightness and Contrast

Once you’re satisfied with the colors and overall composition of your artwork, you can make final adjustments to brightness and contrast. Use the adjustments menu in Procreate to fine-tune these settings and enhance the overall appearance of your artwork. Adjusting brightness and contrast can make colors pop and add an extra level of visual impact to your masterpiece.

Adding Filters and Effects

To further enhance your artwork, Procreate offers a range of filters and effects that can be applied to your layers or the entireartwork. Experiment with filters like Gaussian Blur, Noise, or Bloom to add depth, texture, or artistic effects to your colors. Keep in mind that filters should complement your artwork and not overpower it. Apply filters subtly and with intention to achieve the desired artistic effect without detracting from the overall composition.

Chapter 7: Finalizing Your Artwork

Merging Layers

Once you’re satisfied with the colors, shadows, highlights, and overall look of your artwork, it’s time to merge the layers together. Merging layers simplifies your artwork and makes it easier to export and share. To merge layers, tap on the layer icon and select “Merge Down” or “Merge Visible” to combine the desired layers into a single layer. Keep in mind that merging layers is irreversible, so it’s recommended to duplicate your artwork before merging in case you want to make further adjustments later on.

Exporting Your Artwork

To share your artwork with the world, you’ll need to export it from Procreate. Tap on the wrench icon to access the Actions menu, then select “Share” or “Export.” Procreate allows you to export your artwork as various file formats, including JPEG, PNG, or PSD. Choose the format that best suits your needs and select the desired quality and resolution. You can then choose to save the artwork to your device, send it via email or message, or share it directly on social media platforms. Procreate makes it easy to showcase your colorful creations with just a few taps!

Sharing and Getting Feedback

Sharing your artwork with others can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Post your artwork on social media platforms, online art communities, or your personal portfolio website. Encourage others to leave comments, feedback, and constructive criticism. Sharing your artwork allows you to connect with fellow artists, gain inspiration, and grow as an artist. Embrace the feedback and use it to improve your skills and further explore the world of digital coloring.

Continuing to Learn and Experiment

Learning how to fill in color on Procreate is just the beginning of your artistic journey. The app offers endless possibilities for creativity and innovation. Continue to learn and experiment with different techniques, brushes, and styles. Take advantage of Procreate’s frequent updates and additional resources available online, such as tutorials, courses, and artist communities. Embrace the process of continuous learning and growth, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make in your digital coloring skills.

Sharing Your Artistic Journey

As you evolve as an artist, consider sharing your artistic journey with others. Document your progress, experiments, and breakthroughs. Start a blog or YouTube channel where you can share your experiences, tips, and tutorials with fellow artists. Inspire and motivate others by showcasing your growth and the beautiful artworks you create. Remember, art is meant to be shared, and your unique perspective and journey can have a significant impact on aspiring artists around the world.

Never Stop Creating

Above all, never stop creating. Embrace your passion for art and use Procreate as a powerful tool to bring your ideas to life. Explore different subjects, styles, and concepts. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. The more you create, the more you’ll discover about your own artistic voice and the endless possibilities of digital coloring with Procreate. Enjoy the process, celebrate your successes, and let your colors shine!

Important: Please Read!

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. The techniques and tips mentioned are based on personal experience and may vary depending on individual preferences and device settings. Always ensure you have the necessary permissions and licenses when using Procreate, especially for commercial purposes. Practice good digital art etiquette and respect copyright laws. Happy coloring!

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