You are currently viewing Best Procreate Canvas Settings (step by step on how to set up your canvas)

Best Procreate Canvas Settings (step by step on how to set up your canvas)

After creating hundreds of illustrations in Procreate I’ve found the best way to set up my canvas for sketching. I’ll show you the ideal canvas settings for sketching, illustrating, and printing. Here’s how to do it!

1. Hit the plus icon on the top left to bring up the canvas toolbar

Upon opening Procreate, hit the plus icon on the top left to get started. Here you can see some premade canvases. Any of these will do, but for full control, I’d suggest you pick your own settings.

How to set up canvas in procreate

2. Tap the small plus in the top left corner to create a custom canvas

Hitting the plus icon in the top left corner allows you to input your settings. You can also name your canvas. Simply tap ‘’Untitled-Canvas’’ and come up with the title of your next masterpiece. On the left side, you see 4 different tabs in which you can adjust your settings.

How to set up canvas in procreate

Dimensions

This is where you choose your width, height, and DPI. Keep in mind how you want to display your artwork. For example, I mainly post my art on Instagram. That’s why I usually go for Instagram’s portrait size: 1080x1350px. Scroll down to find a table that features each social media’s preferred canvas size.

best canvas dimensions in procreate

What DPI should I pick in Procreate?

In Procreate, your canvas DPI should be set to 72 if your work will be digital-only. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. To keep a good resolution for prints, your DPI should be increased to 300. Just note that increasing DPI will result in a lower amount of layers to work with. The number of layers will adjust accordingly. You can’t change them yourself.

Color profile

How to set up canvas in procreate

In the color profile tab, you can choose between RGB and CMYK. Choose RGB if you are not planning on printing your work. Choose CMYK if you are going to print your work. Just note that you can’t switch between the two once you’ve decided on one. In this article, I tell you how and when to use each: The difference between BYR, RGB, and CMYK explained

Below RGB and CMYK you see a list of different options. I don’t tinker with these. If you leave it in the default setting you should be fine. These settings have to do with how screens display their colors. If you’re interested in learning more, you should check out this link: What is a color profile?

Time-lapse settings

How to set up canvas in procreate

The cool thing about Procreate is that it automatically creates a time-lapse of your process. Here you can adjust the settings of the video, which yes, you can export once you’re done! The default settings are fine to capture your process with. Increasing the quality will also result in a bigger size file.

Canvas properties

How to set up canvas in procreate

Here you can choose your background color. This is the color you start with. You can change it any time you want in the layer panel once you’ve created your canvas. You can also choose to hide your background. This too you can change in your layer panel once you’ve created your canvas.

3. Hit ”Create” to start sketching

Once you hit create you are ready to go!

best canvas settings in procreate

Best canvas dimensions for Procreate

The best canvas dimensions for Procreate are 1920 x 1080px and DPI set to 72. Of course, this depends on what you want to do with your artwork. If you create a canvas with 1920 x 1080px your canvas has an aspect ratio of 16:9 which means that your canvas will be full screen. Let’s see Procreate’s correct canvas dimensions!

Best Procreate canvas size for Instagram

Here are the correct canvas dimensions for Instagram:

TypeDimensions in pixels (with DPI set to 72)
Profile picture360 x 360px
Landscape post1080 x 566px
Square post1080 x 1080px
Portrait post1080 x 1350px
Story1080 x 1920px
Story highlights cover1080 x 1920px
IGTV cover 420 x 654px

Best Procreate canvas size for Facebook

Here are the correct canvas dimensions for Facebook:

TypeDimensions in pixels (with DPI set to 72)
Profile picture400 x 400px
Cover Profile1125 x 633px
Photo post1200 x 630px
Stories1080 x 1920px

Best Procreate canvas size for Twitter

Here are the correct canvas dimensions for Twitter:

TypeDimensions in pixels (with DPI set to 72)
Profile picture400 x 400px
Post image1200 x 675px
Header1500 x 500px

Best Procreate canvas size for print

Here are the most common canvas sizes for print. Note that your print company might have certain rules for printing. Visit their website to see their requirements for printing (e.g. adding a bleed area, how to deliver your file etc.).

TypeDimensions in pixels (with DPI set to 300)
A34961 x 3508px
A43508 x 2480px
A52480 x 1748px
A61748 x 1240 px

Best native sketch brushes in Procreate

You find Procreate’s native sketch brushes in the brush library. Tap the ”Sketching” tab to find them. Here’s a swatch of all of Procreate’s native sketch brushes:

Procreate sketching brushes swatches

Did you find your favorite yet? Mine is the 6B pencil. I love to use the hatching technique with it!

Free downloadable brushes for a paper texture look in Procreate

The one thing missing in a digital painting is the textured surface of your paper. But, you can fake it by using a textured paper-like brush or overlay an image of paper. Here you can download free paper images from a reliable source. And here you can download a free paper brush. Once you have downloaded either one, you can create your own paper textures in Procreate.

How to get a paper texture look in Procreate using a brush

  1. Download a free paper texture brush from a reliable source
  2. Set your background to a color of your liking
  3. Set your color picker to black
  4. Create a new layer
  5. Paint over this layer with your paper texture brush
  6. Set blend mode to multiply
  7. Change opacity if the texture looks too strong
How to overlay paper texture in procreate

Now you have a paper texture look! When you paint on new layers, you’ll notice that they are not affected by the paper look. You need to make sure that the texture is on top of your art. I usually finish my illustration and flatten my layers. Then I create a new layer and paint with my paper texture brush, and then I set the blend mode to multiply. Now my illustration looks like it was drawn on paper!

How to get a paper texture look in Procreate using an image

How to get paper texture in procreate
  1. Download a free paper texture image from a reliable source
  2. Import the texture into procreate and make sure it’s the top layer
  3. Change the blend mode to multiply (play with different blend modes to see what fits best)
  4. Change the opacity if the texture looks too strong

Which canvas changes can I make after creating a canvas?

Earlier I mentioned that you cannot change from RGB to CMYK and vice versa once you created your canvas. These are the settings you can change after creating your canvas:

  • The name of your canvas
  • Width and height of your canvas
  • DPI
  • Rotation of canvas

Here’s how you access and change the settings of your custom canvas:

change canvas settings procreate
  1. Hit the settings icon in the top left corner
  2. Go to canvas
  3. Hit Crop and Resize
  4. Tap Settings in the top right corner

Every time you create a new canvas there will be new options, like:

  • Animation assist (allows you to draw on and playback your layers as if they were frames of an animation)
  • Reference (to add a separate image to your canavs for reference!)
  • The ability to flip your canavs horizontally and vertically

How to save a canvas in Procreate

Once you created a custom canvas Procreate will remember and save your canvas settings. You can access a new canvas with the same properties by:

how to save a canvas procreate
  1. Tapping the plus icon in the top right corner
  2. Go to bottom of the list to see your latest created canvas

You don’t have to manually save each time you draw in Procreate. Procreate automatically saves any changes you make!

How to export a canvas in Procreate

You can export your canvas in Procreate by sharing it as a PSD or Procreate file.

how to export canvas in procreate
  1. Go to the settings icon in the top left corner
  2. Hit share
  3. Save as PSD or Procreate file

Another option is to share your layers only as one of the following files:

  • PDF
  • PNG files
  • Animated GIF
  • Animated PNG
  • Animated MP4
  • Animated HEVC

How to export artwork in Procreate

You can export your artwork in Procreate by

how to export artwork in procreate
  1. Hit settings icon to bring up the settings interface
  2. Tap ”Share” to see the share options
  3. Pick your file of choice
  4. Hit save image to save your artwork to your photos

You can also directly email your artwork or send it through WeTransfer if your file is too large to email (over 25MB).

You can save your artwork as one of the following files:

  • PDF
  • JPEG (most common and small file size)
  • PNG (can include transparancy)
  • TIFF (big file size but great for print since it stores a lot of data)

How to export video time-lapse in Procreate?

You can export a video time-lapse in Procreate by

how to export video time-lapse in procreate
  1. Go to settings
  2. Hit video
  3. Tap export Time-lapse video
  4. Choose full length or 30 seconds
  5. Hit save video for your video to be saved to your camera roll

That’s it! Super easy, right?

I hope you just learned how easy it is to set up your canvas in Procreate! I’d love to see what you create. Connect with me on Instagram so I can see your beautiful artwork or leave a message in the comments down below to let me know if you found this article helpful :)

♡ Laura

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anne

    Thank you for all that useful information but how do I export my Procreate art onto my instagram please?

    1. Laura M.

      Hi Anne, I usually save the artwork as a PNG or JPEG to my iPad. Then, I simply e-mail the saved image to myself, so I can open the image using the e-mail app on my phone. Then I save the image on my phone and I can upload it to Instagram! Hope this helps :)

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