white and green floral painting

How to Trace on Procreate: Save Time & Create Stunning Art

Embarking on the journey of tracing in Procreate is a breeze. Allow me to be your guide as we explore the art of  how to trace on Procreate, step by step.

Just a quick heads up! If you’re still looking for the best tablet for Procreate, I’ve personally tested a few iPad’s to help you find the best one for you. Feel free to check it out!

Step 1: Import the Image

Start by importing the image you’d like to trace. Remember, it can be anything that lights your creative fire, from a scenic landscape to a superheroine in action!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch the Procreate app on your device.
  2. Tap the “+” icon located in the top right corner to create a new canvas.
  3. Next, select the size of your canvas. Procreate provides a variety of predefined canvas sizes including Screen Size, Square, 4K, A4, and many more. Each size is designed to fit a different use case, so choose the one that best suits your needs. It’s also possible to create a custom canvas size by tapping on the ‘+’ symbol under the ‘Custom’ section, allowing you to tailor the dimensions to your specific project. Remember, larger canvases may affect the number of layers available due to memory limitations.
  4. Select the “Photo” option to import an image from your device’s photo library.
  5. Choose your desired image and voila, it appears on your canvas, ready to be traced!

Note: The quality of image you import matters. A high-resolution image will make your tracing job easier and the final result will be much cleaner. So, go for the best quality you can find!

Step 2: Create a New Layer

Now, it’s time to create a new layer. This will be your tracing layer. Tap on the layers icon (it looks like two squares stacked on top of each other) and then tap on the “+” icon to create a new layer. Once the new layer is created, ensure it’s selected. This is your tracing canvas now, ready to mirror your creativity.

Step 3: Trace Your Art

With your new layer selected, you’re now ready to trace your artwork. Use the brush tool to start drawing over the image. Remember, the goal is not to create an exact replica, but to create something uniquely your own.

Pro tip: Adjust the opacity of your image layer to make tracing easier. If the original image is too vibrant, it can be challenging to see your tracing lines.

That’s it! You’ve just traced an image in Procreate. With a bit of practice, you’ll be tracing like a pro in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any tips or tricks for tracing on Procreate?

Indeed, there are several tips and tricks that can make tracing on Procreate super easy. Let’s break them down:

  • Use a Layer: Start by creating a new layer for your tracing to keep it separate from the original image.
  • Adjust Opacity: Lower the opacity of the original layer to make tracing easier.
  • Choose Right Brush: Use the technical pen for a clean, precise line.
  • Zoom In: Use the pinch-to-zoom feature to fill in details.
  • Use StreamLine: This feature in brush settings will smooth your strokes.

Remember, practice makes perfect. So keep tracing!

How can I adjust the opacity of my tracing layer in Procreate?

Adjusting the opacity of your tracing layer in Procreate is simple. To start, you’ll need to open your layers panel. This is represented by the two squares icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

  • Tap on the layer you wish to adjust.
  • Look for the ‘N’ symbol; tap it to open up the Blend Mode menu.
  • At the top of this menu, you’ll see the Opacity Slider. Slide it left or right to decrease or increase opacity respectively.
  • And voila! That’s how you adjust the opacity of your tracing layer in Procreate.

What is the best way to use layers when tracing on Procreate?

The best way to use layers when tracing on Procreate really boils down to practice and personal preference. However, a common method is to set your reference photo on the first layer and reduce its opacity. Then create a new layer, above the photo, where you’ll do your tracing.

  • Layer 1: Your reference photo. Reduce opacity to help with tracing.
  • Layer 2: This is where you trace, keeping your lines clean and separate from the reference.

Remember, Procreate allows heaps of layers, so take advantage of this feature to enhance your work.

Are there any shortcuts for tracing on Procreate?

Absolutely, shortcuts can make tracing in Procreate even simpler. Here are a few tips:

  • Use Quick Shape: By drawing a shape and holding, Procreate turns it into a perfect geometric figure. This is handy when tracing straight lines or perfect circles.
  • Use QuickLine: If you draw a line and hold, Procreate straightens it out. This is perfect for tracing long, straight sections of an image.
  • Use Alpha Lock: This allows you to only paint on the existing layer content, ideal for tracing over items without going outside the lines.

Remember, practice makes perfect with these shortcuts!

Can I use Procreate to trace hand-drawn sketches?

Absolutely, you can use Procreate to trace hand-drawn sketches. It’s a fantastic way to digitize your art. Start by importing your sketch as a photo, then add a new layer above it to trace. You can adjust the opacity of the sketch layer for easier tracing.

Once you’re done, simply hide the sketch layer and voila, you have a clean, digital version of your hand-drawn art. It’s a wonderful tool for artists, designers, and illustrators who want to transition from traditional to digital art.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
– Steve Jobs


And there you have it, folks! You’re now armed and ready to trace with Procreate like a true digital artist. Remember, practice makes perfect – so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out exactly as you’d hoped.

Keep experimenting with different brushes, layers and adjustments until you find what works best for you. If you’d like a read a little more on copying and pasting in Procreate, or how to select and move objects, feel free to have a look!

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