How to Use a Fill Color in Procreate

Although there are many digital art tools, Procreate stands out for a reason. It’s designed to draw original art using a stylus and a tablet, giving you a pencil and paper experience. Also, you can easily trace the visual element tools, but using them to fill color is not obvious.

How to Use a Fill Color in Procreate

However, whether you have interacted with Procreate or are a newbie, you can learn to fill color in multiple ways with a little guidance.

This article explains five different ways of filling color on Procreate. Keep reading to find out which method works for you.

How to Fill Color on Procreate

Procreate is a masterpiece for anyone passionate about digital art. This iPad and iPhone tool comes with over 200-inbuilt customizable brushes, adding versatility to your artwork. Apart from the brushes, Procreate has a modern paint bucket and a ColorDrop that helps you fill enclosed areas with color. These tools can save you a lot of time that you’d otherwise waste by painstakingly avoiding going over lines.

The great thing about Procreate is allowing you to do one thing in multiple ways. Here we discuss five ways of filling color on Procreate.

Filling in Color with Reference Layer

Do you live for creating clean art and keeping your line art intact? Filling in color with the reference layer can help you live the dream. This method adds a layer to your art, keeping your base line drawing and color portions separate.

The reference layer works together with a ColorDrop. It selects closed sections of your line work that you want to paint. ColorDrop can then drag and drop colors into the closed areas. This method allows you to paint quickly and experiment with several colors.

How do you fill color on Procreate using the reference layer? Follow these instructions:

  1. Create a clean art line on your canvas or open an existing one.
  2. Tap anywhere inside the clean art with your finger or stylus to open its settings. A toolbar appears in the top right corner.
  3. Select the “Layer icon” (resembles two interlocked squares) from the toolbar.
  4. Your active layer is selected and highlighted in blue on your panel. Click on it to open more options.
  5. On the drop-down menu that opens to the left, scroll down to the bottom and tap on “Reference.” This turns your line art layer into a reference for the subsequent steps.
  6. Head to your layer’s panel and tap the “Add” button to the right. Select another layer above your reference. Now you’re ready to start painting.
  7. With the new layer highlighted on your line art, navigate to the top-right corner and tap the “Circle” icon. You can now select your desired color from the colors that pop up.
  8. Tap the color, then drag and drop it into a closed section of your art. A closed section means that all the edges of a shape are touching. If they are not connected, the color fill won’t work.
  9. Choose “Continue filling” at the top to fill the color to more sections. When you finish, go back to the layer settings and change the settings from “Reference” to normal.

Filling in Color with Color Drag

Filling color by dragging is simple and won’t take up much of your time. It works similarly to the reference method. The only difference is that you don’t need to add another layer to your existing line art. So, any color you add becomes one with your art. This method may be less convenient if you want to experiment with multiple colors.

Here is how you fill color via dragging on Procreate:

  1. Create a clean line art or open a saved one from your device.
  2. Tap anywhere inside the art line to open the settings.
  3. Choose the “Circle” icon in the top right corner and select your desired color.
  4. Drag and drop the color in a closed section of your drawing.
  5. Tap “Continue filling” to fill more closed sections of your drawing.

Filling in Color by Selection

If your art has thick outlines, you’ll quickly fill color with this method. Conversely, you might find it tedious if your line art has thin outlines. Another thing to note is that filling color using this method is laborious because it requires you to manually select specific sections of your line art to fill color.

The following steps elaborate on filling color in by selection:

  1. Open an existing line art or create one.
  2. Go to the Gallery in the top left corner and select the “S” icon. This activates the selection option.
  3. A menu will appear at the bottom with four options: Automatic, Freehand, Rectangle, and Ellipse. Choose “Freehand” to make your selections via stylus or touch.
  4. Beneath the selection options, click the “Add” and “Color fill” icons to activate them. The “Add” option allows you to make several selections, while the “Color fill” automatically fills your selections with the color you’ve activated in the color picker.
  5. With the freehand mode activated, go to your line art and make a selection. It automatically fills with color. You can make more selections until you are satisfied.

Alternatively, you can use the ColorDrop instead of the Color fill. Once you make a selection, drag and drop the color from the “Color panel” in the top right corner.

Filling in Color with Alpha Lock

Most artists usually take lots of time painting around line art borders. A slight deviation will add more work of undoing and redoing. But when using Alpha lock, you can bypass this hurdle. With an active Alpha lock, you only need to select a layer and paint without worrying about overstepping the boundaries.

However, this method is less favorable because it merges all layers into one after saving. Therefore you won’t be able to customize your work or undo your painting.

Use the following steps to fill color using Alpha lock:

  1. Create a piece of art that you want to fill color or open an existing one.
  2. Tap anywhere inside the line art to activate the settings.
  3. Select the “Layers” icon in the top right corner.
  4. Tap your active layer (the one highlighted in blue).
  5. On the menu that opens to the left, enable “Alpha lock.” Once the alpha lock is active, you can return to your art and paint your selected layer. After painting, remember to turn off the alpha lock from the settings.

Filling in Color with Brush Strokes

This is a manual way of filling color to your piece of art. As much as it is a fun way of finding relaxation from art, you may find it time-consuming if you want to paint faster. There is also a high risk of painting outside the borders. But you can use an eraser to remove the unwanted strokes.

You can fill color using brush and strokes on Procreate using these steps:

  1. Open your piece of art and tap anywhere within its boundaries.
  2. On the menu that appears, click the “Circular” icon to choose your desired color.
  3. Click the “Studio pen” icon and start painting your art. To move faster, you can enlarge the brush by selecting the plus sign on the right side of the screen.

Make Your Procreate Art Colorful

All the above methods will help you fill color in your art. Some methods are fast and stick to the lines only, while others allow for more creative experimentation. You can adapt your coloring process to various artistic styles that meet your needs. Remember, practice is key to mastering Procreate’s coloring features.

Have you tried any of these color-filling methods in Procreate? Share your thoughts and let us know which works best for you in the comment section below.

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