I have several drawing apps on my iPad: Tayasui’s “Sketches”, Sketchbook, Adobe Fresco, and just recently: Procreate.

I used to use Adobe Fresco for my digital drawings. The Peachtober drawings so far? Adobe Fresco. While I love Sketches and Sketchbook, I love Adobe Fresco’s UI/UX friendliness. Sketches is too simple for me, and Sketchbook is too overwhelming. Also, it seems like both apps don’t have dry media brushes which a problem for me, because I love dry media brushes.

Adobe Fresco has it, in one condition: Monthly subscription. The brush that I really like is behind paywall, and while it’s still okay-ish for me to subscribe monthly, things out there starting to get pretty tempting.

Enter Procreate. My first impression is how solid the community is. A lot of artists that I admire use Procreate, some of them even selling brush set that folks can purchase and use. Now, at first, I was hesitant on using Procreate — mostly because of what I just mentioned: Purchasing the brush. I thought not only I have to purchase the app, I also have to subscribe to it, and purchase the brushes. Such misinformation caused me came into this decision really really late.

Earlier today, I decided to check Procreate again. The app price on the AppStore is RM 44.90 (roughly US$ 9.50) and when I Googled it, there is no subscription fee at all. I checked their website, and I noticed they have their default brush sets available for free.

Then it hits me. So THAT is why Procreate is really popular! They know their users! The app price itself is not super expensive (I legit got so concerned when I see the price. I thought the price will be way more expensive than that, considering the hype surrounding the app,) no subscription fee, and they have crowd’s favorites as part of the free default brush sets! And yes, including dry media brush!

To tell you the truth, Procreate app’s price is Adobe Fresco’s MONTHLY subscription fee. So yeah, it was an easy switch.

Now! First impression: The UI/UX on Procreate is really simple. Too simple, even, up to a point I wondered, “… this is the Procreate that we know, right?” Working in a tech industry, I actually kind of expecting seeing tooltip or app tour throughout the process 😅 However, I can understand if they choose not to do that (using tooltip or tutorial modal) to keep the app simple and not too bulky (it’s for iPad after all.) I searched for Help menu item — pretty easy. There is no gazillion links or buttons for me to click. Granted, I had to click some buttons before I got to the one I wanted, but it’s still a short and fun trip — and found their Youtube series: Procreate for Beginners. Just one and a half minute into the video, I found exactly what I’m looking for: The brushes (come on, we are all here for that, right?)

I decided to give the app a test run so I can familiarize with the flow and where to look at, and I love it! The UI/UX is really straightforward and no fuss. I love how they maximize the use of sidebars and keep it tidy. Instead of putting everything in view, they put the advanced tools as submenu, so they can keep things distract-free.

To access the brush, click the brush icon on the top right. Tap twice to open the brush library. As you can see, there are tons of brushes available. The left sidebar is for brush size, color picker, brush opacity, and undo/redo button. My current favorite brushes are: 68 Pencil, Oberon, Ink Bleed, and Tarraleah. Tarraleah is especially beautiful for background color.

I then checked their save/export feature. I’m pleasantly surprised to see they offer a lot of variations!

I know I’m going to miss Adobe Fresco as I’ve been using it for so long, but I’m excited to see Procreate’s potentials too!



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