After one satisfying experience tracing one of my photos in Procreate, I decided to work on another tracing project. I reported back in February that I was contemplating abandoning it. But every now and then, I would work on it a little more and earlier this week, I finished it.
Last time, I used a photo I had taken of an old Pontiac and traced it using some pencil tools in Procreate. This time, I started with a photo of one of my cameras, my Flexaret Automat.
This time, I decided to try some of the pen tools which, I think, led to my lesser enthusiasm for this project. I wasn’t able to get as fine detail with the pen tools as I had with the pencil tools. And I just liked the overall effect of the pencil tools. I had a sense of this early on so I probably should have switched back to the pencil tools before I had gotten too far along to turn back.
These tracing projects have been a good way to learn more about Procreate and to get more comfortable using it.
My process is pretty easy. I started a new canvas and set it for screen size. Then I used the Insert a File option under Actions. I needed to use the Insert a File option rather than Insert a Photo since I was pulling a photo from Dropbox. Insert a Photo is for photos located on whatever device Procreate is installed.
The photo gets imported into its own layer. I knew I would eventual disable that layer, so I left the default background layer.
I lowered the opacity of the photo layer so I could better see what I was drawing and even temporarily disabled it depending on what part of the photo I was working on.
Then I just started adding layers to trace the photo. I used 32 layers for this drawing. I found it helpful to isolate different parts of the photo on their own layers so that I wouldn’t accidentally make changes and, in some case, be able to change the opacity.
Although I preferred working with the pencil tools, I felt like I learned more about using Procreate by trying something different. I think the pen tools would be better for a drawing where I wasn’t as interested in the fine details.
One of the fun features of Procreate is the ability to capture a time lapse video of your work. So for anyone interested in the process, here’s a 6 minute video.
Despite some of my frustration with this particular drawing project, I definitely enjoy using Procreate and look forward to future projects.
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