Drawing like a Pro - Create on the iPad Pro

Do you doodle or simply like to draw? Better still, are you a professional artist or a student learning art? The iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil is one of the best options created. Specially when you compare it to the stylus and fingers. Some amazing art has been created with just using the finger and smaller screens. For this review, we are looking at the application Procreate from Savage Interactive Pty Ltd.

What is it?

Procreate is a drawing software that runs on your iOS devices. It basically allows you to draw on the tablet.

What is special about this?

There are so many apps that allow you to draw on an iPad or an iPhone. It has been created specifically for the iPad. So what is special or different about Procreate that sets it apart from other apps?

The first thing that you see is the minimalist interface, almost as much UI as that found on a piece of paper. Then when you start a new document, you get to see a couple of additional options. These let you select the various types of brushes etc. However the real beauty of Procreate are the two sliders on the left that allow you to size the brush and adjust the opacity of the brush. You can set this up for a Right Handed Interface or a Left Handed Interface.

Working with the app

When you draw on paper, you can turn the paper in any direction to be able to draw and paint, Procreate provides the same functionality. This is not something that is available on many other apps. When you draw lines, Procreate can straighten them for you. If you are a student of Architecture or draw with perspective lines as a guide, Procreate creates guidelines (available via the Early Access for now, would be standard with the next release.

The silica drawing engine is the most advanced 64-bit drawing engine available. This custom engine powers Procreate allowing the users to create amazing pictures and images.


There are several brushes available on Procreate, these are all neatly categorized for easy selection. You have a full range from ink, pencil, airbrushes, etc.

What it means on an iPadPro?

The iPad Pro is a high resolution tablet with a screen larger than even the retina MacBook Pro 15". If you compare this with a Wacom Cintiq type drawing tablet the 13" has a resolution of 1920x1080 and a weight of approximately 1.2 Kgs and then requires you to hook up a mac or a PC. The other two options are the 22" and the 27" where the 27" comes close with a 2560 x 1440 and can weigh between 9 to 25 Kgs. In that sense, the iPad Pro is a good option with a 2372 x 2048 screen weighing less than a kg and paired with the Apple Pencil, pixel perfect lines. With all of that, Procreate and it's suite of tools are simply something that any budding to pro artist would look for.

Advanced Features

These are not really advanced features but features that are not apparent at first glance. These are not simply available to you without knowing about them. The stroke straightening is a wonderful feature, that allows you to draw straight lines, infact almost like in a vector drawing application. Draw a stroke and at the end, just keep holding, the stroke transforms into a straight line and if you move the point without releasing the touch, it behaves like a string, pinned at the start and moves with the point. This offers some very fine control on straight lines. However, if you want to create a box and want the next stroke to start from the last point, you have to start again from the last point, which can leave gaps for untrained artists like me.
Drawing with perspective is something that is coming soon, if you want to access these features right now, you can unlock them via an in-app purchase. If you are patient and can wait, then these are literally round the corner, in the next release.

The tilt and the pressure of the pencil does allow you to create some amazing artwork, but it seems that the next release would have greater control and integration with the Apple Pencil.


The app has not received Apple awards and accolades for nothing, it is the simple to use yet quite powerful and has been specifically designed for the iPad. The other good thing about Procreate is not just for learning, but also teaching. Procreate keeps recording your strokes, you can then play it back or export it as a video. There is however one small issue with the Apple Code, when writing with the pencil, you can notice it almost instantly, the strokes are re-sampled or whatever the app does, it simply does not look very smooth, this is more of an Apple issue than it is a Procreate as the same behavior has been noticed in the notes application.

Since childhood, I had an interest in drawing and cartooning, but somehow I did realise that I should not quit my day job (I wasn't that bad, but I had a lot to improve). You can see my first attempt at it with the pencil, I was showing someone how natural it felt drawing with an apple pencil. The strokes are captured and can be seen in the video above.

Software : Procreate
Version : 3.0.3
Publisher : Savage Interactive Pty Ltd
Website : http://procreate.si/
Platform : iOS 9.1 or later
Price : $5.99 USD
iTunes App Store : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/procreate-sketch-paint-create./id425073498?mt=8