ProCreate Tutorial By MaryJane Sarvis – ‘My Collage With Painting Method’

We are delighted to publish this excellent tutorial by MaryJane Sarvis using ProCreate to create an absolutely stunning final image.

Follow these steps closely and you will be totally captivated with MaryJane’s workflow. Don’t miss this…over to you MaryJane. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).

If you haven’t picked up ProCreate yet, you can do so here. It retails for $4.99/£2.99.

Step 1



“When you open Procreate you’re in your gallery. To open a new work you hit the +. Choose your canvas.


Step 2



Your first toolbar is on top. Hit the wrench. The drop menu then displays the bottom bar of tools and choices. To insert a photo hit photos. Note that the canvas tab must be blue.


Step 3



Note the arrow must be tapped/lit to move and adjust image.

I started with a background texture. Added the bird. Note the blue magnet on the tool bar on right side. I find the magnet helps me size and position the top image. Then I deselect it for fine tuning. You can find a lot of detailed directions in the Procreate handbook. There is a huge range of shape control in the grey dots.

You’ll want to size and resize the top image as you erase or otherwise alter. Note that the arrow on the top left must be highlighted blue in order for the top image to be moved or sized.


Step 4



To erase around the bird or any adjustments go to the brush menus in the top tool bar. Each style tool brings down the full brush selection. Then choose brush style. From big and soft to fine point they’re all available through the style bar. I prefer the airbrush selection for basics erasing around an image. Then I change to finer points found in Sketching or Inking.

More on brush – smudge – eraser choices later.


Step 5



After my first two images are prepared I add another image via the wrench again. Here on the right is the layer menu. Every time you add an image you add a layer. Or add a layer by tapping the + on layer menu top right.

Swipe each individual layer to find each layer’s choices. Duplicate, Clipboard and Delete are shown.

Note that you can only erase or smudge or paint the layer you’re on. There’s no Unerase function. Only the undo arrow. There’s up to 250 undos per layer. It is best to use as many layers as you can. Much more control. There can be up to 20. You can merge 2 at a time or once you get too many.


Step 6



Tap the window inside each layer to bring up the other layer menu shown above. To adjust Opacity you tap that line then it disappears. You then swipe the canvas to adjust the percentage.

Note the Merge choices as well.

Tap the little oval on the right of each menu bar to reach the Blend menus.


Step 7



To paint you choose the brush. To choose a color go to the color square far right. Use any of the palette choice tools. The eye dropper on the menu top left functions to choose a color on your canvas to use. If you want to use it later then drag it from center top to a little square in the bottom palette.


Step 8



Your 3 tools, Brushes, Smudge and Eraser have a huge variety of sizes, shapes and patterns. All can be found and are interchangeable in the drop down menus. After you choose a tool, then a brush style, you can even adjust that brush to the size and shape. Each brush has settings on the flip side exposed by a double tap. I recommend duplicating it before changing it, though you can reset it too.

There are more brushes available from the Procreate Artery (store) and from the Forum sharing page. Access both under the wrench then info at center bottom menu. You can also make your own!


Step 9



I added another image, building up my layers.


Step 10



After trying several choices in the Blend menu I choose Difference.


Step 11



Using the eraser I delete in the diagonal pattern brush from the Textures brush menu.


Step 12



I continue to add images, paint, smudge and erase. These are some of my own brushes made from my photographs.


Step 13



To save the image I go to wrench and hit the Share on bottom strip. You can save from here or after your back in your gallery.


Step 14



Choose which style you want to save in.


Step 15



Note the other choices available under the wrench. Smart hide can be useful. Experiment.


Step 16



My finishing touch was a stamp I found on the Brush exchange on the Procreate Forum. Website. I went down to the layer which is blended in the Difference selection. I preferred that layer to adding a new layer.

Return to the gallery by tapping it on the top left.


Step 17



Finally, back at the gallery I chose to Share several finished works. Tap the wheel first. Then select the images. Then the actions. When you keep your work in the gallery all your layers are maintained. Very helpful!


Final Image



Finished work! I sometimes take the final piece into another App such as Camera Bag 2 or Alt Photo to name two. Just to add a vignette or unifying filter.

I leave them in the gallery for weeks until I’m certain I’m done”.


About Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter is the Founder and Editorial Director of A Professional Photographer and Associate of the British Industry of Professional Photographers, BIPP, as well as a Professional Journalist, specializing in Photography. Joanne is also a Columnist for Vogue Magazine and is Contributing Editor to LensCulture.