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100 days of Procreate

In preparing for this year’s 100 day project, I realised I had never written anything about my experiences from last year’s project – 100 days of Procreate.

To say I bought my iPad in January 2023 just for Procreate would be a lie, but it did influence my decision. I’d seen so many creatives sharing their experiences of using it on Instagram, I was intrigued to see if it would be a good way for me to experiment with drawing.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always said I can’t draw. This may not be true – in fact when I was 10 I won a prize at school for a poster I drew for the film Gremlins (I still have said poster and am proud of 10 year old me for it) – but compared to the work of others, I definitely couldn’t draw.

As I sat down on 22 February 2023 on day one of the challenge, I had no idea what to draw. I decided to get it done before I headed to work and just drew what I could see from my dining table as I finished my morning coffee. I had played with the app a bit before, watching a couple of tutorials on YouTube to understand the basic functionality, but I hadn’t really drawn anything with it – and certainly nothing that I would’ve wanted to share with the world.

As I noted on the Instagram post that day, choosing which brush to use was the toughest part. Once that decision was out of the way and I got going, it came together pretty quickly and I was pleased with the result. I felt like I had started strong.

As the days went on, I built up my understanding of how to use the app. Using layers quickly became one of my best friends. I toyed around with how to create repeating patterns, some more successful than others. In some cases the drawings were quick and simple whilst others took longer and were far more complicated.

Alongside the 100 day project, I decided to get involved in the 36 days of type challenge, also using Procreate. One of things that I found easier with that challenge was that each day I was told what to draw. Finding inspiration or having an idea for what to draw for 100 days was certainly tricky at times. Some days I had a clear vision of what to draw, others my mind was blank; I often ended up drawing something based on what I’d done that day or something topical in the news, other days I just played with colour and the brushes to see what effects I could get.

By 1 June and day 100, I had a range of artworks that I have to say I’m mostly proud of. Using a digital app was a great way of playing with different techniques and styles, without the need for lots of different materials. As long as I had my iPad and trusty Apple Pencil, I could draw wherever I was. That certainly made the challenge a lot easier and something I wanted to keep in mind when coming up with the idea for 2024’s project.

Since the end of the project I’ve done very little drawing with Procreate. I do use it still when doodling in workshops but I’ve not really purposely sat down with my iPad to draw in a while. I have inspired my niece to use it though and she’s got to grips with far more advanced tools than I did. Giving her my iPad to play with kept her very quiet on the train back from Paris last August when I collected her after a visit to my mum’s.

I’d like to use it more but right now I have too many other creative projects on the go (as is usual for me) but at least now I know I can draw if I put my mind to it, and when the mood takes me I know I can open the app and see what I feel like creating.

You can see all my creations from this project here. Let me know in the comments which is your favourite.

One thought on “100 days of Procreate

  1. Jenny

    Drawing is one of my big things I wish I could do better and improve on. Exactly the kind of thing that would be good for the 100 Day Project. But I don’t have the courage to share publicly so I really applaud you for doing it. I did a sort of daily doodle thing one year though but I felt very pressured and fragile about it.

    I think my favourites are the train seats and the roof tops next to it!

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