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Is Procreate worth it for Beginner Artists? (The Truth) 2023

Is Procreate worth it for Beginner Artists? (The Truth) 2023

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Most artists (and even non-artists) ask me why Procreate is worth it and why it’s so popular. There are quite a few drawing features beyond pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition that make Procreate worth swapping to an iPad for.

What makes Procreate so good? It is an extremely intuitive, easy to use drawing app on iPad with some of the most complex features that allow artists the potential to create pro-level digital art and graphic design faster than most apps.

Procreate also has a small learning curve, making it great for both beginner and professional artists.

We surveyed our users and found the following reasons are what make Procreate worth it:

See my guide: The 7 Best iPads For Procreate – I cover everything from budget, to the capabilities of each iPad for Procreate.

Procreate review knowledge tip

Related: How to get the Procreate App on MacBook

When I tested procreate against other drawing apps for iPad… the end result w as similar in many ways – but the app navigation, tools, and overall UI & design were so much smoother.
Paul Michael

In this post I’ll discuss why Procreate is worth getting an iPad for, the pros and cons of using it, and why so many believe it’s worth the $9.99 purchase cost.

Quick notes on Procreate

Procreate drawing example that i drew words over

Procreate was far more intuitive to draw and paint digitally on when compared to other drawing apps like FireAlpaca, Krita, Sketchbook, Medibang, and many others.

I’ve tested nearly every version of Procreate and reviewed them over the years. Let’s see what makes it worth buying, if it’s right for you, and possible alternatives if it’s not.

Is Procreate worth buying an iPad for?

At a Glance Our top picks for tablets that you can read comics on 1

Why is Procreate worth getting an iPad for? Procreate is extremely easy to use and provides the tools both beginner and professional level artists need to create several different types of digital artwork.

It’s no surprise that graphics artists want to use an iPad because Procreate works seamlessly with the Apple Pencil.

An iPad paired with the Apple Pencil 2 grants the user a very unique drawing experience that feels very natural on Procreate. 

It almost feels like you’re using a real pen, pencil, or marker on paper. 

Don’t want to use the Apple Pencil for Procreate? See my post on the 7 Best Stylus Pens For Procreate.

I found very few drawbacks besides the price point of the iPad which is required- everything regarding the app worked amazing and without lag, stutter, or delay.

A chart comparison of which iPad is best for Procreate that I made

Which iPad is the best for Procreate? I made a guide on the 7 Best iPads For Procreate where cover the pros and cons of each iPad model so it can fit both your budget and overall drawing preferences.

I tested the Apple Pencil vs other stylus pens and found that it worked significantly better for Procreate due to its tilt recognition, pressure sensitivity, and most unique Feature of all: gesture functions such as tapping the apple pencil to change your color palette or swap to the eraser tool.

Best iPad Air stylus Apple Pencil 2 why vs third party alternative 2

Procreate also lets you effortlessly export the final format of your digital art or graphic design projects to Apple devices.

This allows you to share your digital illustrations with ease – something many other apps had trouble with when I tested them. 

Users found that the type of art they can make in Procreate is amazing and the overall feel is different – compare this to using a drawing tablet for photoshop and you’ll see the difference. 

How much does Procreate cost?

A beginner drawing about how much procreate costs I sketched up Large

How much is Procreate on iPad? Procreate costs $9.99 as a one-time purchase and there is no monthly or annual subscription. This digital illustration app allows over 100 brushes installed as well as full apple pencil compatibility. The learning curve is short and the user interface is intuitive, which allows beginner artists, professionals, and even non-artists to benefit from its low price point.

Industry experts I’ve spoken with agree that for $9.99, the Procreate app provides substantial value to artists of all types and skill levels.

However, the required equipment costs more – For example an iPad Air can cost over $500 and the Apple Pencil 2 can cost up to $130 in many online stores.

Note: that there is no free trial on Procreate. Popular free alternatives include sketchbook and Krita.

Note: The Apple Pencil competes with the Surface Pen & Surface pro combination for drawing – which end up being quite similar in costs when you purchase both microsoft devices. 

See the difference between the iPad vs Surface Pro for drawing.

If your focus is the stylus pen, then you can see my comparison of the Apple pencil 2 vs the surface pen – I cover everything including the costs of each stylus and how drawing performs between the two.

Procreate costs money ($9.99), but it is a one-time purchase and you don’t need to worry about recurring fees or anything extra besides an Apple Pencil, iPad, and (optionally) some accessories. 

Possible accessories include extra pen nibs or a screen protector like this one (built specifically for iPads)

Also Apple offers the option of a refund if you want your money back, just visit Apple support and go to ‘Billing & Subscriptions’, locate ‘Purchases’, then select ‘Request a refund’.

Procreate Benefits

Procreate Benefits

Artists of all skill levels will find that procreate allows for a digital illustration & painting process that is not only easy to learn, but incredibly intuitive (especially when using the apple pencil as a stylus)

There are over 100+ brushes already installed when you open the app and you can download and add custom brushes you find online – some are free and others cost money.

Related: The 7 Ultimate Drawing Tablet Setups for Digital Artists

Rotating your image or artwork mimics seamlessly (something Apple does well) iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad allow for very straightforward editing tools and Procreate adopts this style. 

There are also multiple layers you can work with in addition to the time lapse feature – which is quite unique and allows you to visualize how your work is built over a period of time. There are multiple formats and you can take Procreate anywhere you’d like (there’s even a procreate app.

Here are the main benefits of Procreate:

  • Powerful brush options: Procreate has a powerful and customizable brush options that allows you to create a wide range of brush styles and textures. You can even download or buy extra brushes that are really unique.
  • Wide range of customization options: Procreate offers a wide range of customization options, including the ability to adjust brush settings, create custom palettes, and adjust canvas settings. When using the apple pencil you can navigate through most of these options using the gesture feature (example: tapping the apple pencil to swap to eraser or color pallet)
  • Responsive and smooth performance: I didn’t experience any lag or delay. I found it to be smooth and responsive performance, particularly on the iPad Air and Pro.
  • Intuitive interface: Procreate has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate and use. It’s extremely easy to launch the app and begin understanding how to use it without much effort.
  • Supports multiple layers: Procreate supports multiple layers, allowing you to easily build up complex compositions and make non-destructive edits. Many drawing apps support these features now, but this app does it well.
  • Supports a variety of file types: Procreate can import and export a variety of file types, including PNG, JPG, and PSD. It does not support vectors because it uses pixels.

Procreate Drawbacks

Procreate Drawbacks

Procreate has a few drawbacks depending on what type of art you’re creating and what devices you currently have. If you don’t have an iPad then you’ll need one for Procreate. 

Also, iOS is a unique operating system, so if you’re used to Windows operating systems or Android devices, you’ll need to get used to navigating iOS.

Here are a few drawbacks of Procreate for drawing:

Limited platform support: Procreate is only available on iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), so it is not an option for users of other platforms, such as Android or Windows.

No support for vector art: While Procreate has a powerful brush engine and a wide range of customization options, it does not support vector art. This means that you cannot create scalable vector graphics or edit them within the app.

Limited file compatibility: Procreate can import and export a variety of file types, but it does not support all file formats. For example, you cannot open or edit Photoshop files in Procreate.

Limited collaboration features: While Procreate does offer some basic collaboration features, such as the ability to share a document with other users, it does not have the same level of collaboration features as some other digital art tools.

Overall, while Procreate is a powerful and feature-rich app, its lack of support for vector art and limited file compatibility and collaboration features may be drawbacks for some users.

What is the Procreate app?

What is the Procreate app

Procreate is a powerful and intuitive digital art app for the iPad and iPhone that provides artists with a range of professional-grade features and tools. For example, you can take advantage of the Apple pencil gestures and create artwork with its easy to use toolset. 

Simply put, It is a popular app among digital artists, illustrators, and graphic designers due to its wide range of features and capabilities such as brushes, layering, and apple pencil compatibility.

Procreate offers a range of brushes (over 100 to start with), different digital drawing tools, as well as layering and blending options.

Procreate app is not used along with a laptop, it’s used with iOS devices only. See the best laptops for drawing & digital art if you need to use apps besides Procreate that aren’t available on iOS.

You will also have the ability to add text and shapes, and the ability to work with multiple layers and undo/redo actions. 

It also includes tools for color adjustments and cropping. Something that makes it unique is it’s ability to import and export designs in a variety of file formats (and does so easily). It is not a free app, but the price point is fair compared to many drawing apps on the market I’ve used. 

It also allows artists to create digital artworks from scratch or to import and edit existing designs and images – some of the best digital artists and graphic designers use Procreate for digital illustration and painting.

Is the Apple Pencil worth it for Procreate

Is the Apple Pencil worth it for Procreate

One of the features that really stood out to me when I tested the Apple Pencil 2 is its advanced tilt recognition, which allows the digital pencil to detect subtle changes in the angle at which it is being held. 

Even though many stylus pens do this (like the surface pen and Logitech crayon) the Apple Pencil felt the most natural to me.

See the 7 Best Stylus Pens For Procreate

Here’s a few things to note when understanding why the Apple Pencil is worth it for Procreate:

  • For Procreate, the Apple Pencil is far more useful than third party alternatives like the inexpensive Amazon stylus pens (capacitive). This is because the apple pencil connects to the iPad using a different technology and it communicates like no other stylus can with iOS.
  • This feature can be particularly useful in Procreate, as it allows you to create a wider range of brush strokes and effects by tilting the pencil at different angles.
  • In addition to tilt recognition, the Apple Pencil 2 is also highly pressure sensitive, which means that it can detect how hard you are pressing on the screen. This can be useful for creating variations in line thickness or for adding more subtle shading effects to your digital art.
  • The Apple Pencil 2 also has some unique gesture functions that can be useful in Procreate. For example, you can tap the pencil to change your color palette or swap to the eraser tool, which can be a convenient way to access these features without having to navigate through the app’s interface.

I have to admit that the Surface pen models were also comparable in precision, but you can’t run procreate on a surface pro without a few hacks because it is windows based.

See our post on How To Get Procreate On Windows.

Overall, the combination of tilt recognition, pressure sensitivity, and gesture functions makes the Apple Pencil 2 a great accessory for Procreate, and can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital art workflow.

Supplies needed for Procreate

Supplies needed for Procreate

To use Procreate, you will need an Apple Pencil or iPad in addition to the Procreate app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store. You will also need a model iPad that is compatible with the Procreate app, which includes most newer model iOS devices.

In addition to the app and a compatible iPad, you will also need an apple pencil or an alternative stylus such as the logitech crayon. Optionally you can use pen nibs, and screen protectors. 

To use Procreate, you will need an iPad and optionally an Apple Pencil (technically you can use your finger or a third party stylus, but those don’t provide the same smooth drawing experience the way an Apple Pencil does.

You can see the difference between the Apple Pencil 1 and 2 here – I explain the compatibility and details of each digital pen.

The Apple iPad (Air, Pro, standard, and mini)  the only device Procreate works on. So you will need one to run the Procreate app and create your digital art. Keep in mind that the Apple Pencil is a specialized stylus designed for use with the iPad.

In addition to an iPad and Apple Pencil, there are a few other supplies that you may want to consider for use with Procreate:

  • Extra pen nibs: The Apple Pencil comes with a single pen nib, but you may want to consider purchasing additional nibs as a backup or for different drawing styles.
  • iPad stand for drawing: An iPad stand can be helpful for holding your iPad at a comfortable angle for drawing, and can help reduce fatigue when drawing for long periods of time.
  • Screen protectors: A screen protector can help protect your iPad’s screen from scratches and other damage, which can be particularly important if you’re using it for drawing.

Overall, while an iPad and Apple Pencil are the essential supplies you’ll need to use Procreate, there are a few additional items that you may want to consider depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Is Procreate good for beginners? How to get started

Is Procreate good for beginners How to get started

What makes Procreate so good and is it ideal for beginners? Procreate is an impressive digital art app that is suitable for both beginners and professionals. 

It is easy to use, with an intuitive interface and menu options that make it easy to get started. In fact, you can launch the app and begin drawing within minutes, even if you are new to the app or digital art in general.

It is easy to learn Procreate and it’s incredibly fun to use no matter how good you are at drawing.

Procreate has a wide range of features and tools that make it suitable for a variety of art styles and techniques, including digital painting and illustration. The app is also known for its powerful brush engine and a wide range of customization options, which can be useful for creating a wide range of brush styles and effects.

If you’re new to Procreate or digital art in general, there are also a ton of tutorials and resources available to help you get started. These resources can be particularly helpful for beginners who want to learn more about the app and its features.

Users on a budget will be pleased to hear Procreate is very inexpensive compared to the drawing apps Adobe offers. Both professionals and beginners can benefit from Procreate’s versatility, features, quick learning curve, and power.

Can a non artist use Procreate?

Can a non artist use Procreate

Even though Procreate can be used by non-artists, it is probably best suited for those with some familiarity with digital art or image editing. It is easy to pick up quickly and the features are very simple and straightforward; making it great for professional artists, non artists, and beginner graphic designers.

Procreate is primarily designed for artists and designers, but it can also be used by non-artists who want to create digital art or edit images. In fact, I have many friends who use it to mess around or scribble notes. 

You don’t have to be good at drawing to have fun with Procreate. Procreate is a easy to use app for anything related to sketching, painting and illustration. You won’t be left behind even if you’re a beginner.

  • College students can use it to quickly sketch something on their iPad because not everybody has a windows based laptop or 2-in1 touch screen device handy – however they do have an iPad handy.
  • The app has a relatively user-friendly interface and a range of tools and features that can be used to create and edit digital art.
  • Procreate is a powerful and feature-rich app, and it’s less likely for it to be overwhelming for users who are new to digital art or image editing when compared to other digital art softwares.

You can sketch and draw on traditional pen and paper right? Procreate makes it fun just like when you drew as a kid – the difference is it is also capable of professional level digital artwork, but you’d never know because the interface is designed so well by Apple.

If you’re a non-artist looking to use Procreate, it might be helpful to familiarize yourself with the app and its features before diving in, or to take advantage of the various tutorials and resources available on Youtube, google, or even reddit.

Procreate vs Photoshop

Procreate vs Photoshop

Photoshop and Procreate are both powerful software programs used for graphic design and image manipulation, but they differ in a few key ways. Each software is compatible with iOS and lets you draw – but they both are optimized for different purposes.

One of the main differences between the two is the learning curve. Photoshop is a more complex program that allows for amazing sketches, with a wide range of advanced tools that require a bit of time and effort to learn. On the other hand, Procreate is good for sketching, but it is known for its short learning curve and intuitive interface, making it an appealing choice for novice designers and illustrators..

Price differences: Another key difference is the price. Photoshop is a subscription-based program, which means you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to continue using it. In contrast, Procreate is a one-time purchase, meaning you’ll only have to pay for it once and you’ll have access to all of its features indefinitely.

Comparison between features: One area where Photoshop excels is its ability to work with layers. Layers allow you to stack designs and make changes to specific elements without affecting the rest of the image. Procreate also has layer support but it’s not as robust as Photoshop’s..

Supported image types: On the other hand, Procreate has some features that Photoshop doesn’t offer, such as easy navigation and the ability to sketch on the go. It’s also easier to export your creations from Procreate, as you can save them as GIFs, PNGs, or MP4s and import them into other apps like Cricut or Photoshop.

Drawing tools: In terms of overall capabilities, Photoshop is the more powerful program, with a wide range of tools and features that allow you to do just about anything with your images. Procreate is a more streamlined and focused app, with a focus on digital drawing and painting.

Ultimately, the choice between Photoshop and Procreate will depend on your needs and experience level. If you’re a professional designer or photographer looking for the most comprehensive toolset available, Photoshop is the better choice. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner or just want an easy-to-use app for creating digital art, Procreate is a great option.

Also see the 7 Best Wacom Tablets For Photo Editing & Photographers

Procreate vs Illustrator

Procreate vs Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator and Procreate are both powerful graphic design tools that offer a range of features for creating high-quality graphics and artwork. However, there are some key differences between the two programs that may make one more suitable for your needs than the other.

Key differences:

One of the main differences between Adobe Illustrator and Procreate is that Illustrator is a full-featured desktop software program that is available for Windows and Mac, while Procreate is a mobile app that is only available on iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone.

This means that Illustrator is generally more powerful and feature-rich than Procreate, but it also requires a more expensive computer to run, while Procreate can be used on a much more affordable tablet.

Another key difference between the two programs is their focus. Adobe Illustrator is primarily used for creating a wide range of graphics, including logos, detailed illustrations, web page designs, and more. It is a vector-based program, which means that it creates graphics using paths and anchor points rather than pixels, allowing them to be scaled to any size without losing quality. 

In contrast, Procreate is more focused on creating digital paintings and drawings, and it offers a range of features specifically designed for this purpose, including the ability to create custom brushes and color palettes, and to import and manipulate images.

One of the main advantages of Adobe Illustrator is its wide range of features and versatility. 

It is the industry standard for vector graphics, and it is used by professionals in many different fields, including graphic design, marketing, and advertising. 

Interface: It also has a very intuitive user interface and a range of powerful tools that allow you to create complex graphics and artwork quickly and easily. However, it does have a steep learning curve, and it can be expensive to use, as it requires a monthly subscription to access all of its features.

In contrast, Procreate is a more affordable and easy-to-use option for creating digital artwork, particularly if you are already an iPad or iPhone user.

Features: It offers many of the same features as Adobe Illustrator, but it is specifically designed for creating digital paintings and drawings, and it is generally more user-friendly and easier to learn. However, it is not as versatile as Adobe Illustrator in certain aspects such as vector creation, and it is limited to iOS devices, which may not be suitable for everyone (some of us like our windows based computers).

Which is better for you? Overall, both Adobe Illustrator and Procreate are excellent options for creating high-quality graphics and artwork, but they are suited to different purposes and audiences. 

If you are a professional graphic designer or artist looking for a powerful and feature-rich program with wide compatibility, Adobe Illustrator is a good choice. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for an easy-to-use and affordable app for creating digital paintings and drawings on your iPad or iPhone, Procreate is an excellent option. So, it all depends on your personal preference and needs. I personally would only go Illustrator if you want to further invest yourself into the vast world of Adobe products.

Procreate vs Adobe Fresco

Procreate vs Adobe Fresco

Adobe Fresco and Procreate are two popular digital art tools used by artists and designers alike. Both software offer a range of features and tools for creating digital art, but they have some notable differences.

Key differences: One key difference between Adobe Fresco and Procreate is the type of devices they are available on. Adobe Fresco is available on both iOS and Android devices, as well as on the web, while Procreate is only available on iOS devices. This means that if you want to use Procreate, you’ll need an iPad or iPhone.

Related: 9 Best Stylus for Drawing on Android Devices

Another key difference is the range of tools and features available. Adobe Fresco has a larger set of features and tools, including advanced support for vector art, live brushes that mimic the behavior of real media, and the ability to work with Photoshop files. 

Procreate, on the other hand, has a more streamlined set of features and tools, but it is known for its powerful brush engine and a wide range of customization options.

Features: In terms of performance and features, both Adobe Fresco and Procreate are fast and responsive, but Procreate is known for its particularly smooth performance on the iPad. Procreate has hundreds of brushes and is very intuitive… and this holds true for beginner and pro level artists.

In terms of pricing, Adobe Fresco is available as a part of the Creative Cloud subscription, which requires a monthly subscription – the cost depends on the app. On the other hand, Procreate is a one-time purchase, with a price of $9.99 as mentioned earlier in this post.

Overall, both Adobe Fresco and Procreate are excellent options for digital art, but the choice between them will ultimately depend on your specific needs and preferences. 

If you need a wide range of features and tools, including support for vector art and the ability to work with Photoshop files, Adobe Fresco might be the better choice. If you want a powerful and customizable brush engine, and are willing to sacrifice some features for a more streamlined interface, Procreate might be the better option for you.

FAQ

Is procreate worth it without an apple pencil

Is procreate worth it without an apple pencil

Procreate was designed to be used with a stylus, particularly the Apple Pencil 1 or 2. for a more natural and intuitive drawing experience.

While it is possible to use Procreate without an Apple Pencil, some users may find the experience to be less optimal compared to using a third party stylus such as the Logitech crayon or Adonit Note stylus pen models.

However, you can use Procreate with either your finger or another stylus such as the Logitech Crayon.I created a guide specifically for this: Apple Pencil vs Stylus: Is it worth paying extra?

For example, the Apple Pencil is equipped with pressure and tilt sensitivity, which can allow for more nuanced and expressive drawing. Additionally, the Apple Pencil is designed to be more comfortable and easier to use for extended periods of time compared to using a finger or a non-stylus input device.

That being said, some users may still find Procreate to be worth it without an Apple Pencil, especially if they are only interested in using the app for basic drawing and sketching. Ultimately, whether or not Procreate is worth it for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Also see: Zagg Pro vs Apple Pencil vs Adonit Note+ vs Adonit Pixel

Is Procreate pocket worth it

Is Procreate pocket worth it

Procreate Pocket is a version of the Procreate digital art application designed specifically for use on iPhones.

Whether or not Procreate Pocket is worth it for you depends on your specific needs an Artist. Do you need to use exactly the same graphics engine as Procreate for iPad? If so, then Procreate Pocket allows you to use these same files, making it a mobile option for those on the go.

So here’s a better question you may want to ask yourself: Is Procreate worth it for an iPhone? 

The reason for asking this is because the iPad version and iPhone version are very similar apps, the difference is the limited functionality of Procreate pocket for certain features as well as a smaller display size.

Related: 11 Best Stylus Pens For IPhones (Drawing & Writing)

Some users may find it to be a valuable tool for creating digital artwork on the go, while others may prefer a more fully featured version of Procreate or a different art application altogether.

Is Procreate worth it for cricut

Procreate is a digital art application that allows users to create a wide variety of visual designs, including sketches, drawings, and more. You can export your designs from Procreate and then use a Cricut maker to make stickers, T-shirt art, ornaments, and many other type of designs you might find on Etsy. 

Related: 10 Best Drawing Tablets For Cricut Design Space

You’ll need to use your imagination, but Cricut uses SVG, so you’ll need to export art on Procreate and import on Cricut. Which is located in the menu at the top of each app.

These designs can be imported into Cricut Design Space, a software platform that enables users to transform their creations into physical products through cutting, drawing, and printing.

If you have access to a sublimation printer, you can make a plethora of creative designs. Keep in mind, you can also use a Laptops For Cricut Maker & Design Space and an iPad for Procreate.