Procreate® Handbook
Version 5X

Paint, Smudge, and Erase

Start creating right away with your finger or the Apple Pencil, and discover a wealth of responsive brushes.


Paint, Smudge and Erase are the essential tools of Procreate.

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Located on the top right of the interface, Paint, Smudge, and Erase all share the same Brush Library, and all work the same way.

Tap the icon of the tool you want to use - the brush for Paint, the finger for Smudge, and the eraser for Erase. You can start working immediately, or tap again to open the Brush Library and choose a brush. Tap outside the Brush Library to close it again, and start creating.



Sketch, ink, paint, color, shade and texture in a breathtaking variety of mediums.

Paint to add pigment to your canvas.

Tap the Brush tool, select a brush from the Brush Library, and tap or drag your finger on the canvas to make strokes.

Use the two sliders in the left sidebar to adjust the size and transparency of your brushstrokes.

Explore the Brush Library and discover hundreds of unique brushes designed to create a variety of effects from the realistic to the wildly imaginative.

Tweak the settings of existing brushes or build your own from the ground up in Brush Studio.

Pro Tip

Try varying the speed of your finger, as some brushes are affected by how fast you paint.



Blend your artwork, smooth out strokes, and mix color.

Smudge to move pigment around your canvas.

Tap Smudge, select a brush from the Brush Library, and tap or drag your finger on your brushstrokes and colors to blend your artwork.

The Smudge tool creates varying effects depending on the value of the opacity slider. Raise the opacity slider in the left sidebar to strengthen your smudge tool, and lower it for a more subtle result.

High strength

When you use Smudge at full pressure, it smears color around like wet paint. Colors will be messed up quickly and you may see visible drag lines where Smudge has moved paint around the canvas. Mix color and pull transparency into your image for dynamic results.

Low strength

At lower strengths, Smudge is smoother and softer. This is useful for creating gradients, blending shadows and highlights, or smudging pencil drawings.

Smudge shares the same Brush Library as Paint. Experiment with different brushes for unexpected mixing results.



Paint away mistakes, remove pigment, carve out areas of transparency, and soften your artwork.

Erase to remove pigment from your canvas.

Tap Erase, select a brush from the Brush Library, and tap or drag your finger over your brushstrokes and colors to blend your artwork.

Match your eraser brush with your painting brush to create a seamless style.

You can adjust the opacity slider in the left sidebar to reduce the amount of pigment the eraser takes away. Use this technique to fade off or lighten areas of your art.

Pro Tip

Tap and hold an unselected Paint, Smudge, or Erase icon to transfer your current brush settings over from the tool you’ve been using. This method can be great for painting, smudging and erasing with exactly the same brush.

Paint with Apple Pencil

Use the Apple Pencil to unlock the full power of Procreate.

You can also paint with the Apple Pencil. The amount of pressure and tilt you use with the Apple Pencil changes the look of your brush strokes, varying the darkness, thickness, opacity, scatter, and even the color of the marks you make. It’s just like working with a real pencil or brush.

Discover what the Apple Pencil can do in Brush Studio, or change the way the Apple Pencil interacts with Procreate in Preferences.