Back to Blog Index

The 5 Best Procreate Tools for Character Design

Make your illustrations pop by using these 5 must-know Procreate tools.

In the realm of digital art, Procreate stands out as a powerhouse for creative professionals, especially when it comes to character design. It's packed with features that can transform the way you bring characters to life. Emma Gillette, professional illustrator and lead instructor of the Character Design Fundamentals course, shares her top five tools within Procreate that are essential for character design, offering a glimpse into their functionality and how they can elevate your creative workflow.


Dive into real-time 3D with our Unreal Engine beginner's course by Jonathan Winbush. Master importing assets, world-building, animation, and cinematic sequences to create stunning 3D renders in no time! Perfect for motion designers ready to level up.

Explore this Course

Unlock the secrets of character design in this dynamic course! Explore shape language, anatomy rules, and motifs to craft animation-ready characters. Gain drawing tips, hacks, and Procreate mastery (or any drawing app). Ideal for artists seeking to elevate their craft.

Explore this Course

Elevate your freelance motion design career with our guide to client success. Master a repeatable method for finding, contacting, and landing clients. Learn to identify prospects, nurture leads, and develop a thriving freelance philosophy amidst chaos.

Explore this Course

Rev up your editing skills with After Effects! Learn to use it for everyday needs and craft dynamic templates (Mogrts) for smarter teamwork. You'll master creating animated graphics, removing unwanted elements, tracking graphics, and making customizable templates.

Explore this Course

Stand out with Demo Reel Dash! Learn to spotlight your best work and market your unique brand of magic. By the end, you'll have a brand new demo reel and a custom campaign to showcase yourself to an audience aligned with your career goals.

Explore this Course

Illuminate your 3D skills with Lights, Camera, Render! Dive deep into advanced Cinema 4D techniques with David Ariew. Master core cinematography skills, gain valuable assets, and learn tools and best practices to create stunning work that wows clients.

Explore this Course

Master After Effects at your own pace with Jake Bartlett's beginner course. Perfect for video editors, you'll learn to create stylish animated graphics, remove unwanted elements, and track graphics into shots. By the end, you'll be equipped for everyday AE needs and more.

Explore this Course

Revolutionize your Premiere workflow with customizable AE templates! Master creating dynamic Motion Graphics Templates (Mogrts) in After Effects to speed up your team's work. By the end, you'll craft easily-customizable templates for seamless use in Premiere Pro.

Explore this Course
Free Procreate Brushes
5 brushes you can download and use right away!
Your download is in your inbox!!!
Check your email (spam, too) for the download link!
Please check the spam folder if you don't see the message within a minute or two. Google likes to hide your downloads, sometimes.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We encourage you to watch the video above for the whole enchilada, but here's the gist:

1. Quick Shape Tool ⭕️

The Quick Shape Tool is a game-changer for creating precise geometric shapes and lines. It simplifies the process of drawing complex shapes, such as circles, squares, and arcs, by automatically smoothing and perfecting them as you draw. This tool is particularly useful for defining clean, sharp lines and shapes in character designs, allowing for quick adjustments and perfect alignments.

2. Transfer Modes (Blend Modes) 🔃

Blend Modes, known as Transfer Modes in Procreate, are essential for adding depth, texture, and lighting to your designs. The video highlights three key modes: Multiply for shadows, Overlay for highlights, and Color for hue adjustments. These modes can dramatically change the mood and feel of your character designs, offering a versatile range of effects from subtle textural enhancements to bold lighting contrasts.

3. Transform Tools ✍🏻

Character design often requires tweaking and refining proportions, and the Transform Tools are perfect for this. They allow for the resizing, distorting, and warping of elements within your artwork. This can be incredibly useful for adjusting character traits to better suit the narrative or aesthetic of your project, ensuring your characters fit perfectly within their intended age group or setting.

4. Layers & Clipping Masks ✂️

Layers and Clipping Masks bring an unparalleled level of control and flexibility to the digital drawing process. They allow you to add patterns, textures, and colors to specific parts of your character without affecting the underlying work. This layer-based approach enables easy experimentation with different styles and effects, making it a staple in the character design process.

5. Brush Stabilization 🖌️

For artists seeking to refine their linework, Brush Stabilization is a boon. It smooths out strokes, making it easier to achieve clean, confident lines. This tool is especially beneficial for beginners or those looking to perfect their drawing technique, providing a safety net that ensures every line is just as intended.

Wrap Up

These five tools are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Procreate offers for character design. Each brings its own unique benefits to the table, enabling artists to push the boundaries of their creativity. For more detailed information on how to leverage these tools effectively, be sure to watch the tutorial above.

Character design is an art form that requires both skill and the right tools. With Procreate's robust feature set, artists have everything they need at their fingertips to create compelling, detailed characters. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, mastering these tools can significantly enhance your design process.

If you're looking to dive deeper into character design, don't miss our course on Character Design Fundamentals — comprehensive guidance from start to finish. Happy designing!

Not sure where to start?

If you’re a beginner, here are some great courses to help you get started:

After Effects Kickstart

Dive into the fundamentals of motion design with our most popular (and recently updated) After Effects course.


Photoshop + Illustrator Unleashed

Master the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator and gain invaluable insights in this introductory level course.


Design Kickstart

An introduction to the design principles behind all great work.


More Advanced?

If you’re a more advanced student looking to up your game, here are some great options:

Animation Bootcamp

Learn the art and principles of creating beautiful movements in Adobe After Effects.


Design Bootcamp

Learn to design for motion in this intermediate-level, project-based course.


Cinema 4D Basecamp

Learn Cinema 4D from the ground up in this exciting introductory C4D course.


Now is the time to learn the skills you need to advance in your motion design career: