Mary’s Adventures on Procreate
Hello everyone! I’m currently writing this week’s blog post on my fancy, new-to-me iPad Pro! My sister gave me her old iPad and her Apple Pencil (thanks to my mom, she got paid for it…shout out to family, right?). In her words, she “never used it anymore”, so now it’s mine!
I’ve wanted an iPad for several years. I wanted to teach myself how to make art digitally, as well as use all the coloring apps I had downloaded and couldn’t use because my chunky fingers blocked everything. I bought my stepdad’s old iPad Mini but the tech was unfortunately too old for me to accomplish my goals. So when my sister mentioned giving hers to someone who wanted it, I jumped at the opportunity.
A few weeks have gone by, and I’ve been drawing and coloring like crazy! Well, coloring for sure. Drawing is another story all together.
You see, the Richmond-Leeths are an artistic bunch. My dad makes beautiful oil paintings, he sings, and he writes. My mom can basically play anything on the guitar, and she sings and writes as well. My sister graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design with an Illustration degree, and she loves art in all its forms.
I’m not going to say I’m not artistic…but if we were to rank all of us, I’d definitely be at the bottom of the list.
Obviously, I love writing, and I’ve been told I have perfect pitch. If I can hear a song, I can play it (not immediately, but pretty damn fast). I’ve played viola, guitar, and bass over the years, and I used to act in musicals.
I cannot draw to save my goddamn life.
My attempts at drawing have always been frustrating. I wish I still had pictures I had drawn in middle school…they were so awful that I’m sure I threw them away a loooong time ago. I loved anime (still do, although not nearly as much as I did when I was younger) so I always tried to emulate the drawing styles of the old 90’s animes…think Cowboy Bebob, Sailor Moon, Inuyasha. Over time, while I watched my sister improve, I wondered why I wasn’t doing the same. It was beginning to look different, but not in a good way.
Now, at 27, I can try to draw a wonky side profile of a person. Will it look good? Absolutely not.
I loved painting when I was younger, but didn’t do it very often; at a certain point I decided I wanted to be an actress or a singer, so I stopped drawing for anything other than ignoring the teachers in class for a long time. I rediscovered my love for it last year and have been doing it on and off ever since. However, I still can’t translate what I want the art to look like versus what it came out like on the canvas. This bleeds over to digital drawing for me.
The very first thing I did once I got this iPad was download all of the drawing and coloring apps I had on my phone. Lake is my favorite of the coloring apps I have because they feature indie artists from all over the world. There are TONS of different types of art for me to choose from and it really helps my ADHD self to choose from so many options. And no, this is not an #ad, I just genuinely like Lake.
After coloring a few pieces, I remembered that I wanted to learn how to use Procreate. For those who don’t know, Procreate is an app that works like Adobe or SketchBook. You can draw anything you can ever think of on Procreate, and the features are pretty neat too. Once again, not an #ad, I just think Procreate is neat!
In fact, I just went to their site and saw that there is a new version coming out on September 21st (which, if you’re reading this the day I post it, happens to be today!). While I’m excited to try out the new features, I’m intimidated by them as well.
You see, once I downloaded Procreate, I made a point not to look up any tutorials for the first few days. I wanted to see how hard it would be to learn the program as a complete newbie to digital drawing. I was honestly surprised to find out that it wasn’t that hard to figure out. Of course, since then I’ve looked up how to do various things because I just couldn’t figure it out myself (the concept of layers is still a mystery). The program is definitely pro quality, but honestly I’ve been happy with it as a casual drawer.
Because I’m not the best at drawing, I’ve taken to tracing and coloring in memes as well as a few Pokémon. Eventually I want to be able to make cool landscapes and people come alive, but I still have no idea how to approach drawing human beings. I can physically paint a landscape, but trying to digitally do so is still a challenge. I’ve been scouring Pinterest, looking for art inspo. Some of the things on my art board are funny, like goofy cats and memes. Others are more interesting, like color pallets centered around a certain scene or landscape. Eventually I’ll be able to translate what’s in my head onto the digital page. For now, I am happy experimenting with all of the pre-installed brushes and features on the app.
My biggest goal is to make retrowave inspired art much like what you would see on an album by Gunship or the Midnight. I think the retrowave aesthetic is interesting. The neon lights, the rain soaked streets, the 80’s sports cars and the leather jackets…it’s super cool! If I could get even close to that level of artistic talent, I’d be happy.
Besides landscapes, I’ve been using Procreate as an adventure in terms of cursive. I loved writing in cursive when I was younger, but no one could ever read it (my handwriting is atrocious, and my cursive even more so). The layer tool on the app make it so that I can combine some colors together and then cover that in white. Then I can write whatever I want on top and the blend of colors shine through in the words that I’ve written. It’s a little bit of a goofy thing to like to do, I suppose, but it’s nice and calming to blend a color palette together and scribble on top of it.
If you have a iPad and like drawing, I think Procreate is a great app to use. If you like coloring, Lake is a great and interesting app to invest in. Both apps cost money (Procreate is $10 and Lake, while free to start, does have in-app purchases) but I fully believe that it’s worth the little extra money to have two great apps for killing time.
And maybe improving on my goofy drawing skills.
Thanks for reading everyone! I’m currently editing this right after a nap. Today, I got a root canal. It’s my first major dental procedure (besides getting my wisdom teeth out of course). I’ll be talking about the healing process in the monthly roundup post, I’m sure, so keep an eye on that!
In the meantime, follow me on Twitter to stay up to date on my tooth pain-related complaints! As well as blog updates, of course. But mostly tooth pain-related complaints.