My daughter is ten years old and loves to draw and paint. Like most kids, she spends way too much time on the iPad. A few weeks ago, I saw her creating a cartoon dog on the iPad with a new app she’d download.

I watched as she flipped the canvas, swapped brushes, added textures and overlayed text. She did this like a Photoshop Pro with 20 years experience in the business. I instantly knew that Adobe hadn’t created this app – they would never make something this intuitive to use! I continued to watch as she drew lines, changed stroke thickness and deleted mistakes with multi-fingered taps on the iPad.

In my head, I thought – that’s a cute app. Obviously, it won’t have advanced features such as layers. At this point, my daughter swiped open a layers panel, filled it with a smoke effect, blending it with a graduated background and changed the opacity. Well, that’s cool, but the problem with these apps is the difficultly of exporting images in a format you can use. That’s when my MacBook pinged with an airdrop request, it was asking me to accept this cartoon dog drawing in PSD format!

“How much did that app cost?” I asked. My daughter told me I said she could buy it last week. I had no recollection of that conversion and began to worry about how much this had cost me, figuring that professional drawing packages can be relatively expensive. “What’s the app called,” I said, “ProCreate” came the reply. I searched on the AppStore and saw the price tag – £9.99. Phew, that was less than I was expecting.

A few days later, I picked up the iPad and started playing around with the app. I was blown away with how easy it was to use. Over the last 30 years, I used 100s of software packages, many of them in the field of image creation and manipulation. Most have a steep learning curve; one of the hardest to master is Adobe Photoshop. Not least because they continually change the way tools work and where you find them. Like a supermarket which keeps moving the bread aisle!

The more I played with the app, the more I liked it. I was continually saying to myself – if only Photoshop made it this easy to do XYZ. I started to wonder if I could use this app in my day job. I have several small image projects that require me to use Photoshop. However, the images are awkward to create in Photoshop. Adobe Illustrator would be better suited to the job, but I find the drawing tools in AI completely baffling.

I decided to use the Procreate app to make 40 racing silk images. My goal was to streamline the creation process using Procreate. I’d previously made these images in Photoshop, Fireworks and Illustrator. I roughly calculated it took me around 15 – 20 minutes to create each image using any of the software packages above.

Once I’d created my template in Procreate, I could knock out a silk variation in around 3 minutes!! The whole process was way more enjoyable too. I’d also saved enough time to justify the £9.99 price tag.

Compared to Photoshop or another image editing package, the Procreate price tag is ridiculously cheap. Yes, you will need a Stylus Pen/Pencil to access the full benefits of the app. However, you can pick those up a non-Apple stylus for around £30 on Amazon. Meaning you get a pressure-sensitive pen and app for approximately £40.

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