How To Scan Drawings Into Procreate

Every designer’southward idea starts on paper, and so transforms through software. Larn the essential steps for turning your sketch into digital fine art with this detailed guide.

The sketching and ideating process is an essential step in every designer and illustrator’s workflow. Whether you lot’re designing a new font, a affiche, or a simple illustration, it’s crucial to become your ideas down on newspaper before bringing it onto your computer.

Read on to learn four essential tips to prepare your sketches for the estimator, forth with stride-by-stride instructions on how to digitize your sketches in three different artistic programs: Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate.

Essential Tips to Know Before Digitizing

Before you brainstorm the journey to digitizing your artwork, let’s get into some essential steps to assistance guide y’all along the way. These four tips will ensure you always go a smooth transition from paper to software.

Tip ane: Ever Use Clean White Paper

No matter what you’re drawing, it’s always crucial to start out with a clean white piece of paper. This ensures that your drawing will properly scan later on. Colored papers may impede on the digitizing process.

Tip 2: Refine Your Sketch

Many artists and designers adopt to loosely sketch ideas before refining them later on. One time you lot’ve got a solid drawing downward, use a fine tip pen or marker to polish up those sketchy lines. Erasers are also your friend here, since smudges and excess lines tin can oftentimes obfuscate your scans and interfere with the digitizing process. Clean erasers are key, since dingy erasers tin muddle your drawings even more by smearing pencil atomic number 82 remnants.

Tip 3: Utilize Tracing Paper to Go Over Your Sketches

To take my drawings a step further, I like to utilise tracing paper and go over my original sketches. This blazon of paper is slightly translucent, giving you the power to trace over your original sketches and shine upwards your designs even more. For designers who prefer to have a detailed sketch before moving onto the digitizing phase, this step is an absolute must.

Tip four: Scan Your Newspaper at a High Resolution

Scanning your sketches is the last step before bringing them into design software. To ensure a seamless transition from paper to software, scan your sketches at 300 PPI (pixels per inch) or more. The higher the pixels per inch, the crisper the scan will be.

A scan with a higher PPI tends to be of higher quality due to its greater pixel density. The private pixels in a 300 PPI prototype are drastically smaller than in a 72 PPI epitome. Smaller pixels permit for a smoother blend of color and shape. If you’re turning your sketch into a vector image, then the pixel density is not as of import; if you’re digitizing your sketch in Photoshop, the pixel density is crucial.

Once you’ve scanned your drawing, transfer the browse onto a flash bulldoze for easy transport to your computer.

Digitizing Your Sketch in Illustrator

Turning a sketch into a vector is ane of my favorite techniques for bringing a cartoon to life. Adobe Illustrator’due south vast library of tools, colors, and effects make digitizing a breeze. Not but that, only vectors hold a greater reward when digitizing your artwork with its infinite scalabilities, smooth curves, and smaller file sizes.

Textures used from 50 Complimentary Distressed Textures Pack.

Step one: Bring Your Scanned Image into Illustrator

One time y’all’ve scanned your image and brought it onto your desktop, get alee and create a new document within Adobe Illustrator with

Command + Northward
. Import the browse with

Shift + Control + P
, then striking


and click on an artboard to encounter your drawing pop up within Illustrator.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Vector

Name the sketch layer by double-clicking

Layer 1

inside the


panel and typing in a discussion such as “Scan,” then add another layer with the

folded square icon
. Do the same for the new layer and name information technology something along the lines of “Vector.” This helps to differentiate the two layers and helps you track your outline progress afterward on. You tin likewise toggle the

lock icon

to lock all elements of that layer, or toggle the

eye icon

to turn on and off the layer visibility.

Step ii: Utilise the Pen Tool to Outline Sketch

On the top layer, start drawing out the outline of your sketch with the handy

Pen Tool (P)
. Yous can either edit the bezier curves as yous movement along the sketch, or map out the line so go back and accommodate the curves with the

Anchor Betoken Tool (Shift + C)
. To manipulate individual bezier curves, hold down the

Pick key

while moving the bezier arms.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Pen Tool

Rinse and repeat until you’ve covered the entirety of your sketch. If some of your drawing contains geometric shapes, speed up your workflow by using the

Shapes Tool

to quickly map out sketches. Now that we’ve outlined the entire sketch, it’s now time to add in some color.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Add Color

Footstep 3: Fill in Color

Before assigning colour to your shapes, think most what type of color scheme you’re going for. For my plants below, I took on a muted palette to give my pattern that retro feel. Color is especially important in a design, so take some fourth dimension and find a few color palettes that work best for your limerick.

Need some colour inspiration? Check out these free 25 retro palettes, 101 color combinations, or these 20 seasonal-themed palettes.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Fill in Color

Once you lot’ve settled on a color scheme, import each hue into your


panel to make colour integration a breeze. With the

Selection Tool (5)
, click on a shape and then choose from your color swatches to bring it into your blueprint. Toggle the

Make full



colors equally needed with

. To switch a stroke color to a fill, hit

Shift + X
. Continue assigning colors until you lot’ve filled out your design.

Take your analogy a step further by experimenting with blend modes or by incorporating gradients, textures, brushes, or grain.

Digitizing Your Sketch in Photoshop

While the process of digitizing illustrations in Photoshop appears like to Illustrator, it’due south drastically dissimilar. Working in a raster-based program means your illustration will feature pixels and have limits to scalability. Rather than outlining your sketch with bezier curves, you can go over your sketch with brushes if you’ve got a tablet, or fill up in those outlines with the Color Range menu.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Digitizing in Photoshop

Step 1: Bring Your Scanned Image into Photoshop

Begin by dragging your sketch image into the Photoshop program. Y’all can either correct-click on the image and select

Open up With > Adobe Photoshop
, or drag the image on top of the Photoshop icon on your desktop or toolbar. This will open upwards a new document with your scanned image.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — New Document

Y’all can resize or rotate your browse every bit needed with the

Free Transform

command (
Command + T
). Click and drag the corners to resize or place your cursor outside the corners to rotate.

Pace 2: Adapt Dissimilarity and Levels

Since many sketches volition appear a little light on screen, information technology’s important to increase the contrast and play around with the



. In the


panel, you tin can bring up these adjustment layers past clicking on the

one-half-filled circle icon

and clicking Levels or Curves. Move the sliders to increase the intensity of white and blacks in your sketch.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Adjustment Layers

I advise playing effectually with these nondestructive adjustments to see which ones piece of work best for your sketch. If you lot’re not satisfied with an adjustment, merely click the layer and hit the



One time you’ve adjusted the sketch to your liking, condense the layers down by


Layer i and each adjustment layer then hitting

Control + E

Step iii: Add Colour to Lines

Now, allow’s spruce upward your sketch with some colors. This technique can be done two ways: with the help of Colour Range to highlight the outlines in your sketch, or with the help of Photoshop’due south brushes. If you own a tablet, you tin easily go over your original sketch with raster brushes.

Before we add some colour into your illustration, add a new layer by hitting the

folded square icon

in the


console. From here, you tin can cull to activate the

Brush Tool (B)

and fine tune your castor’due south appearance within the

Brush Settings (F5)


Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Add Color to Lines

To become with the Color Range route, click back to your original sketch layer, then caput to

Select > Color Range

and click on the white groundwork with the eyedropper. This selects all areas of your pattern with white. Keep your


down to around

, and so hit


Inverse the active selection with

Shift + Control + I
, then activate the new layer you but created. With the

Brush Tool (B)
, brush over the outline with the colors of your pick. Alter the castor size as needed with


Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Brush Tool

Continue filling in the outlines until you’ve colored all aspects of your illustration. Once you’ve finished, hit

Control + D

to remove the marching ants choice.

Step four: Make full in Rest of Color

Head back to the original sketch layer and activate the

Magic Wand Tool (West)
. Click within the remaining portions of your sketch and make full it in with the

Castor Tool (B)

on the layer above your original sketch layer. This makes sure yous’re not coloring directly on the original sketch; instead, you’re adding colour to a separate layer. Continue calculation colour until y’all’ve filled out the entire sketch.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Magic Wand Tool

Selection Tip: When making multiple selections at a fourth dimension, concord down the

Shift central
; to remove selections, hold down the

Option key

Working with Sketches in Procreate*

The Procreate app is a powerful awarding designed for sketching, illustrating, and prototyping artwork. Information technology closely resembles the setup of Photoshop in regards to its brush library, layer modes, diverse effects, and raster profile. But with its endless features, tools, and brushes, this digital analogy app is in a league of its own.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Digitizing Sketches in Procreate

Procreate makes the digitizing process feel natural; with the stylus, it tracks the amounts of pressure applied and the bending it’s used at, mimicking the experience of true pen and paper.

*For an in-depth breakdown on the Procreate app, look through this handy guide.

Step 1: Import Sketch into Procreate

Brainstorm past importing your sketch into the Procreate programme. The sketch prototype tin can be fabricated by taking a photograph of the analogy, or can be transferred to your iPad from an email. I just took a photo of the sketch, since the quality of the image doesn’t matter when drawing over the original sketch. In Procreate’s main menu, select


and and then cull your sketch paradigm from the

Camera Roll
. Procreate volition automatically create a new document containing your image.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Select from Camera Roll

In one case y’all’ve imported your image, resize or rotate the image as needed by selecting the

arrow icon

at the pinnacle toolbar. Select

, and then elevate the blue corners as necessary to resize the image. Striking

Rotate 45 degrees

to rotate your image within the certificate.

Pace 2: Employ Brushes to Outline

This is where all the fun begins; the


menu is inarguably one of the best aspects of Procreate. Select the paint castor icon at the top of the program to open up the brush library. There are tons of default brushes at your finger tips, from pencils to textured brushes.

Earlier tracing over your original sketch, create a new layer by clicking the

plus sign

in the


tab. Keeping your layers consequent and organized is crucial hither; for each dissimilar shape, create a new layer and rename that layer accordingly. To name your layer, click on the layer thumbnail and select


Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — Layers Tab

To create a simple outline, I opted for the

Monoline Brush

in the


section. Experiment with unlike brush types to see what works best for your illustration. You can fine tune the brush settings by clicking on the brush name.

Click on the circle shape at the acme of the program to access your colors. There are diverse means to alter colors within the Procreate app. You tin browse through hues within the



, and



Footstep 3: Fill up in Residuum of Color

Procreate’s way of filling in color is through the


technique. Only actuate the layer y’all’d like to use the active colour to, and then click and drag the circle to the enclosed infinite. If the outline is enclosed, the color drop volition fill the space; if the outline is partially open, the color fill volition spread to the unabridged layer.

Turn a Sketch into Digital Art with This Complete Guide — ColorDrop

Rinse and repeat for the remaining shapes. To bring in some textural elements, activate the

Alpha Lock

control within the layer thumbnail and draw with a


or other textured brush.

Cover image via 32 pixels.

Originally posted by
Alex Clem

on the Shutterstock weblog here.