Procreate 4.2 Tutorial – Brush, Smudge and Erase Tools

Procreate 4.2 Tutorial - Brush, Smudge and Erase Tools header image

Welcome back to my tutorial series on how to use the Procreate drawing app. In this tutorial, we will be looking at how to use the brush tool, the smudge tool and the erase tool.

There are lots of different preset brushes that are available to use when you download the app. Those are enough for beginners to experiment and play around. However, for those who are more experienced in digital art and wish to work with a more specific type of brush or texture, you will be able to create and customise your bushes as you please.

In this tutorial, I won’t be going into details on the customisation of the brushes. This tutorial is for beginners who are new to digital drawing or just want to quickly learn the basics of the app so they can quickly get started. However, I will be writing another post in the future on the details of customisation.

Navigating your brush library

Navigating your brush library

brush library window iamge

Tap the brush icon to select it and start painting.

To open the brush library, tap on the already selected brush icon on the top right. You will be able to see 2 columns. The column on the left shows all the different categories of brushes that are available: sketching, inking, painting etc. There are also special textured brushes you can play with

The column on the right shows all the different types of brushes available in the chosen category. Tap on one of them to start using it. Both columns are scrollable.

organising brush library image

Organising your brush library

You can rearrange the items in each column by simply holding and dragging the brush category or brush to your desired position.

You can select multiple brushes to arrange. Tap on one brush, then side right on other brushes you’d like to move at the same time. Hold and drag to move all the selected brushes. You can’t do that for the brush category column on the right.

Swipe left on a bush to share or delete it. If you’ve made some changes to the brush and want to change it back to its original form, there’s a reset option too. You can’t delete default brushes.

Tap on a selected brush category to duplicate, rename, share or delete it, these only work on none default categories. Default categories only have the duplicate function.

new brush

import

To create a new brush, tap on the + sign on the top right of the window. You can also import brushes by tapping on the import on the top right of the window after you’ve pressed the + sign.

add brush category

To add your own brush category, swipe down on the category column and you should see a + option at the top.

For more advanced users who want to customize their own brushes, simply tap on a selected brush and the settings page will be displayed.

Using brushes image

Using brushes

brush setting sliders

You can change the brush size and opacity on by adjusting the 2 vertical sliders on the left side of the canvas. The slider on top controls the brush size and the slider at the bottom controls the brush capacity.

smudge and erase tools image

Smudge and erase tools

smudge and erase tools

The interface and controls for smudge and erase tools are the same as the brush tools.

Just take note that the opacity slider for brush and erase tools are the strength slider for the smudge tool.

However, their customisation options are different. But I won’t be going into details about that in this tutorial.

The smudge tool can add style to your artwork or soften edges. Different textured smudge tools can achieve different looks and feelings to an artwork

The eraser tool: Erasing with an eraser brush with completely different textures than your painting brush is going the make the erase area out of place. You may want to use the same textured brush for both painting and erasing, however it can also be a stylistic choice to use different textured erasers and brushes for interesting effects.

You can transfer your current brush settings among the brush, smudge and erase tools. Simply tap and hold on the I selected tool that you wish to use to transfer the properties.

Conclusion

These are the basic things you need to know to start painting, smudging and erasing in procreate. The various different brushes and the ability to customize your brushes to your needs gives you a whole new area to explore with your style and techniques. Now that you’ve done reading this tutorial, try it out for yourself and start creating!

I hope you’ve learnt something new from this post.

Try out the Apple Pencil to bring your creative process to the next level on the Procreate App!


These artist gloves for digital painting are a must for me when I paint on the iPad, when I don’t wear the gloves, sometimes the Procreate app sense my palm resting on the screen as 2 fingers tapping and holding and start undoing! Or sometimes it starts colour picking. I’ve tried the different palm support options but I still get the problem sometimes.  If you’re having these kinds of problems as well, the gloves may be your solution, it makes you feel and look more professional too!


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5 Responses

  1. Hi, i am a graphics designer but i am new to digital painting  and smugde painting this tutorial has been helpful. The procreate 4.2 is a good app to get, now I’ll  be able to work well on my smartphone  not going through the stress of photoshop and mouse. I have also gone through the previous tutorials and they have been really helpful. I hope to get  better with this smugde painting soon

  2. This is exactly what I was looking for. I’m new to using Procreate 4.2 and am noticing that there is SO MUCH that can be done with this program. I really like how you added the use of different textured brushes in regards to erasing as well. That does add a really nice effect.

    I’m going set up some brushes myself right now and then read your post on using the colour interface.

    1. Thankyou! Glad my post helped^^ hope you’ll enjoy my other posts on the Procreate app as well.

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