Tracing in Procreate is super easy. In this article, I will walk you through a step-by-step process of creating beautiful traced pictures in Procreate.
Step 1: Download the image you want to trace
It doesn’t matter if you are using one of your own pieces or pictures found on the Internet; you need to save it to your Photo gallery first. And once you have it saved in your Photo Gallery, you can access it whenever it is needed.
Step 2: Create a new canvas in Procreate
We would need to create a new canvas in Procreate to start tracing. To do that, go to Procreate Gallery and hit a little “+” icon in the top right corner. Once you open the New Canvas menu, you’ll see a list of preset canvases. These templates include Screen Size, Square, high-resolution 4K, A4 paper, 4 x 6 Photo, and US Paper. You can use one of those or create a custom canvas.
To create a custom-size canvas, go to the New Canvas menu, and tap the rectangle icon with a “+” in the top right to bring up the Custom Canvas menu. From here, you can adjust your canvas in a few ways:
- Color profile
- Time-lapse settings
- Canvas properties
When you create a canvas, open it to start tracing.
Step 3: Add the image you want to trace to Procreate
To add a picture to your canvas in Procreate, go to
Actions (wrench icon) > Add > Insert a photo. Then select a photo from your Photo Library.
You can also take a picture if you don’t have it saved in your Photo Library. To do that, go to Actions > Add > Take a photo. Then simply snap a picture and hit Use Photo in the bottom right corner, which will bring it into Procreate.
Step 4: Resize your image
After bringing your image to Procreate, you might need to resize or rearrange it before starting tracing. To do that, click on Transform Tool (arrow icon), and you will see a border around the image you want to trace. To resize it, click on one of the corner nodes of your image to type in a specific size. Or simply drag one of the corner nodes in and out to resize the image.
To move the image to another part of the canvas, simply click and drag the image to the desired location. Once you are happy with the size and placement of the image, click on Transform Tool one more time.
Step 5: Reduce the opacity
Now we need to reduce the image’s opacity to make it easier to trace. To do that:
- Go to Layers and select the layer with your image.
- Tap N to bring up the Opacity slider.
- Drag the Opacity slider to the left to reduce it (I usually set Opacity to 30-40%).
Step 6: Create a new layer
To create a new layer, go to Layers and hit a plus sign in the top right corner. Make sure that you add the new layer on top of your reference.
Step 7: Start tracing
Now it is time to trace. To do this, select your brush and begin tracing the outline of your image. When you’re done, turn off the reference image layer.
Tracing is a great way to create digital art. While many think of it as cheating, I consider it a common practice among all artists and a great way to improve drawing skills. Just make sure that you don’t trace someone else’s art because that’s plagiarism.
Tracing in Procreate is very easy, and by following these seven steps, you can learn how to trace in Procreate.
I hope this tutorial was helpful and will inspire you to create more fun and beautiful illustrations in Procreate. Please consider checking out my other Procreate tutorials and subscribing to Procreate Member Area, where you will find the biggest Procreate Resources Library.