10 Best Illustration Design Tips To Get The Most Out Of Procreate

As a designer, having great illustration skills is important. This is especially true when you’re working with Procreate as it is no doubt one of the most efficient design tools for sharing imaginative thoughts with your clients and team members.  

And that’s why in this article, we’ll take you through the 9 best illustration design tips to get the most out of Procreate and become a Pro Creator – what a rhyme!

1. Create A Quality Composition

Composition has to do with the collection of elements on your design page. That includes the icons, colors, shapes, third-party images, and many others.

To achieve a beautiful, compelling design, you need to organize the elements into a framework, add contrasts and highlights, and to guide the observer down an invisible journey from the main information to the secondary ones. 

2. Use Procreate Brushes

Gone are the days when producing realistic, high-caliber artwork required a long brush stick, ink bucket, and whiteboard. You can create great illustrations anytime and anywhere the mood strikes thanks to digital tools like Procreate brushes.

Combining everything from acrylics, watercolor brushes, and traditional highlighters to dry texture brushes and shading tools, artists and designers can produce original digital art in almost any style. And that’s thanks to the sheer quantity of procreate brushes that are accessible. 

Additionally, Procreate allows PSD import and export, which broadens the range of potential applications.

Browse the best procreate brushes on the market to help you leverage your artistic abilities, upgrade your illustration as well as save valuable time and effort.

3. Use Rhythm

In graphic design, rhythm describes features that recur at intervals. It’s a powerful feature with the power to bind, guide, emphasize, and create dynamics.

Rhythm allows the tone, color, texture, structure, highlights, orientation, and dynamism to be repeated frequently. It arranges the elements and puts them into motion.

Here are some examples of how rhythm might help you create better illustrations:

Shape and Rhythm

Graphic patterns that are repeated create a rhythm. For example, you can repeat a row of triangles and fade it into the background from top to down.

The Tone-and-Tint Rhythm

Color saturation changes can create rhythm. Create a melodic rhythm by staining different shades of a certain color on various components.


Another strategy for creating a rhythm is by resizing the dimensions of your design elements. For example, you can multiple concentric circles with the size of one circle bigger than the next.

Linear Rhythm

Lines are cleverly arranged to strengthen the composition as a whole. Different widths, lengths, and configurations are possible for lines. It gives a dynamic and realistic impression of what a smooth design should look like.

4. Apply Tone and Colour

One of the primary Procreate tools for every illustrator is tone and color. These two features have an impact on both the look of particular elements and how the illustration is perceived as a whole. You can leverage them to highlight feelings and texture, as well as width and dimension.

Here are some practical tips for using tones and colors:

Tonal Evaluation

Tones can easily be categorized from the deepest shades to lightest for beginners. And applying them to your illustration will make it more aesthetically pleasing and appealing.

Regardless of if it is a monochromatic artwork or polychromatic design, ensure your tones are balanced and well-regulated to avoided looking unreal. 

A Selective Colour Scheme

It is simpler to create a specific aesthetic by restricting your color palette. You can ensure that your work is always consistent by using a pre-selected palette of tones with a specific range of colors.

Don’t forget other interesting ways to express realism through your designs, like luminosity and shadows, dots and lines, textures, softness and clarity, gradients, and opacity.

Also, consider the intangibles, the creative notion, and the inspiration behind your work. Ensure your illustrations have a purpose at all times.

5. Get Illustration Elements From Third-party Platforms

Several design platforms like Freepiks host a huge number of pre-made templates that you can download for free or at a cost when applicable. 

Once saved, import the file to your procreate dashboard and disassemble or continue working on the same template to get your expected design.

You can also decide to just browse through these templates for inspiration instead of downloading. Make sure you jot down each concepts you get and use them to build a unique illustration later.

6. Pay Attention To Motion

When designing procreate illustrations, you must understand how to depict energy, motion, and statics. You can emphasize movement using guided lines, strokes, or rhythm. 

Start with a framework that depicts the movements of the bodily components if you are illustrating a figure. Pay close attention to the object or model’s shape.

7. Use Contrast Smartly

Is there a focal point that needs to be highlighted? Use contrast to your advantage; it will always catch the necessary attention. You can employ contrast with warmth, spacing, saturation, and color combinations. 

Using Procreate, you can emphasize an object in a variety of ways, such as by making it colorful, more detailed, bolder, or more proportional. It’s all up to you to decide which element of section stands out more.

8. Create Elemental Balance

Arrangement of features that results in equilibrium and wholeness is called balance. This is similar to how composition works but goes beyond just the visible elements of your design.

Other additionals like transparency, lighting, gradients, and white-spaces must be carefully used to ensure one element is not overemphasized, unless otherwise necessary.

9. Set a Clear Goal and Express Yourself

Set a specific aim before starting your design. 

What do you want your design to express?  
Or what message do you want your illustrations to depict?
How should your drawing be constructed? 
What style and concept do you want to adopt?

You might wish to portray a real-life situation, mirror reality, or demonstrate your technical prowess, for instance. In such situations, the elements you’ll use for your illustration will obviously have some unique differences.

For example, watercolor paint brushes work well for realistic designs while lineart pens are good for drawing the shapes. Tattoo and stamp brushes are good for creating tattoo designs and consistent branding.

Jot down these thoughts or make a checklist to track your goals and ensure it’s met after a final design.

10. Keep Honing Design Your Skills

Art is a language, a means of communicating emotions. Don’t neglect your procreate skills; keep developing and improving them. Although this is a never-ending process, you will find your thrill in it.

You need to broaden your perspective, browse through other excellent works, evaluate them, and attempt to replicate the approach used.

You can also participate in more design challenges and hone your creativity with practical use of procreate illustration tools.


Procreate is an all-in-one powerful illustration tool that you can use to create awesome and life-like designs. While creating illustrations might be a no-brainer, you can use the tips mentioned above to give your designs a better edge.

Use procreate brushes to create both 2D and 3D models. Apply tonal and saturation balance while prioritizing your composition. Don’t also forget to gain some inspirations from third-party design websites or procure pre-made design elements. 

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