If you are following me on Instagram, or here on my blog; you probably already know that I LOVE to create digital art. I have been painting digitally for about 5 years now (with some big breaks), and I still can’t have enough of it. To fulfill my passion, even more, I have opened an Etsy shop this week where I sell my art as prints and stickers, and I am raving excited about it!
With digital painting, I just really love that I can express myself with my laptop, Photoshop and my Wacom Tablet. But things aren’t always like that. When I am on the go, I can’t access my computer, so I draw on my iPad in Procreate, without my finger. So now you are probably wondering; Why are you drawing on Procreate with your finger instead of the Apple Pencil? Well, let me tell you a story that happened not so long ago:
A year ago, I was blogging about something that did not fulfill my passion; Making money on Etsy. I was too un-experienced to blog about something like that, yet I still did it. Because I didn’t like where I was blogging about, my audience noticed that, and they left. This meant I did not have any income, and me not having money was an understatement.
After a couple of weeks, I decided to suck it up and work at a job in retail (Which is where I still work until I make enough money to run my business full-time). I told my dad that I wanted to save money for an iPad, and buy the Apple Pencil so I can draw in Procreate. He left later that day with my mom because he had to get some ‘’Errands’’. And a couple of hours, he got back, with an iPad in his hands. I love my dad! I was so happy, tears were flowing down my cheeks of happiness.
I am not a spoiled person, in case you might think that now. I would rather save money to purchase my own products, but my sister also got a present that day, and my dad want to give me something too.
He said if I saved for an iPad, it would take me forever (Me and my dad like to roast each other now and then). He told me I should save money for the Apple Pencil myself. And so I did. A couple of weeks later, I went with my boyfriend to his sister, and she also has an iPad with a Pencil. I wanted to plug the pencil on my iPad, and nothing happened.
When I was at my job, I asked the Apple expert if there was an error in my iPad. He checked my settings, and he said a sentence I will never forget: ‘’Ma’am, your iPad is not compatible for the Apple Pencil. It is one generation too old.’’ I was devastated and frustrated and sad at the same time. Why do they even sell iPads that are one generation too old?!
And also, I felt so bad for my dad. He bought an iPad for me, not knowing it is not compatible with the Apple Pencil. He said he did not mind and I shouldn’t feel bad. And that is where my creativity kicked in: ‘’I don’t need an Apple Pencil to make art on the go.’’ And I was damn right. Here are some artworks I have created with just my finger:
I am still saving money for a new iPad with an Apple Pencil. I want to purchase the iPad pro with the latest Apple Pencil. So I have a long way to go. If you're going to support me, consider purchasing products through my affiliate links, which are listed in these blog posts:
Or you could consider purchasing a print from my Etsy shop:
Okay, back to the point. If you are in the same situation as me; no sweat! You don’t need an Apple Pencil to create art. The most crucial phase in creating your art is coloring it and adding texture. It is harder to do that without a Wacom Stylus or an Apple Pencil because you can’t work with pressure. But is it impossible? No.
Below, I have created a video tutorial about how I blend colors in Procreate without the Apple Pencil, and how you can too. If you don’t have a Pencil, it is time to get rid of your excuses, and start creating gorgeous art!
This is one standard method to blend your colors smoothly: Gaussian Blur. By applying this method, you will create a smooth gradient. This is also a standard method used by lettering artists who work with Procreate, to create those beautiful gradient letters.
Draw the colors you want to blend next to each other, as in the video. Then, go to the layer, and select ‘‘Alpha Lock’’. This makes sure your gradient will stay in your drawing. If you don’t use Alpha Lock, it will also blend outside the shape you have drawn.
Then, go to Adjustments (The magic want symbol at the left top) and select ‘‘Gaussian Blur’’. Now, slide with your finger to the right to adjust the strength of the blur, until you get a nice, smooth gradient.
This one consumes a little more time: Blending with opacity. Depending on your brush settings, you can create different effects with opacity blending. This actually works the same as when you create color transitions with pen pressure (The harder you press, the more opacity), only you can’t work with pen pressure when you don’t have the pencil. So you have to build op by adding more strokes.
This method is ideal if you just want to blend a small part in your layer.
How to: Go to your brushes, select the soft air brush, and set the opacity all the way to 25-40%. Now, the following step is kind of hard to describe, so I really recommend you watching the video.
You need to color pick the opposite color, and keep drawing until the colors overlap. Keep color picking until you finally have the color transition you want!
The last two are the same methods, only with different brush settings: Blending with the smudge tool. Now, the smudge tool is made for blending colors, but it can be different without the Apple Pencil.
How to: Select the smudge option (The finger icon next to the brush icon), and then select the brush you want, and start blending in a diagonal direction, from left to right, until you get the transition you want.
By selecting different brushes, you can create different textures.
Want to see the end result? Below, I have created a time lapse of a digital painting made in Procreate by drawing with my finger. I hope you like it!
If you enjoyed this mini tutorial, it goes a long way if you could take 30 seconds, and share it with your friends on Pinterest and/or your favorite social media platform.