Procreate Pocket 2 review

This iOS painting app aims to help with everything from sketches to full renders. Does it succeed?

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Our Verdict

With its advanced features and fresh code, Procreate Pocket 2 is an essential painting app for iPhone users.

For

  • Huge array of tools
  • Record your process in 1,080p HD

Against

  • Some may find the iPhone fiddly to work on
  • Controls perhaps over-sensitive

Savage Interactive released Procreate Pocket at the end of 2014. The iPhone version of Procreate was well received, with users making the most of the app’s 12 default brushes to paint on the go.  

In the years since, artists have come to expect more from their creative apps, and so the developers have stepped up to the plate with Procreate Pocket 2 , which, with its freshly written underlying code, may as well be a brand new paint app.  

Clean, user-friendly interface

procreate pocket 2 screen

The Modify, Layers, and Adjustments dialogs are just a quick tap and a swipe away

When it’s launched, you’re presented with a screen asking if you want to select a canvas from displayed examples, use a user-created one, import an existing image, open a photo, or create a new canvas. New canvases can be created in various sizes up to a whopping 8K resolution. 

Procreate Pocket 2 has a clean and minimally invasive interface that makes the most of the iPhone X’s larger screen, although it works well on smaller iPhone models, too. Basic tools are located at the top of the screen including a drop-down Modify menu. Two small tabs on the left control your brush’s size and opacity level. 

The Modify menu items enables you to make changes to either the app or your image. The spanner icon opens the Actions menu where you alter how the app behaves, while the wand icon brings up the Adjustments menu. Here, art tweaks can be applied to layers or complete images. The 'S' icon brings up the Selection menu, and the Arrow icon accesses transforming tools. 

Multiple drawing and painting tools

Procreate Pocket 2 interfaces of brushes and colour

There are various brushes to choose (left), plus four different methods of selecting colours (right)

To start painting, select the brush on the top menu. You’re presented with multiple drawing and painting tools that are arranged in 17 individual sets. Each set comprises multiple brushes – there are now 136 to choose from in the app – and brushes can be customised and saved. With a brush chosen, select a colour using the far right circle icon. 

There are four ways of choosing colours, and colour palettes can be imported, too. Click the Layers icon to see all the image’s layers. You can add or turn on and off a layer’s visibility, create new layers, group layers and change blending modes. 

Advanced features

procreate pocket 2 example artwork

Incredible artwork is at your fingertips with Procreate Pocket 2

Ready to start painting? With so many options the number of choices can seem overwhelming but really, you can start by picking a brush, a colour, and then just start getting creative. 

The app contains many more advanced features, such as 64-bit colour, continuous auto-save, 250 undo levels, and recording your work in 30-second bursts for sharing online. Overall, a product of this maturity and quality is a rare thing. Artists who own an iPhone should make Procreate Pocket 2 their app of choice, and this app also works on iPad and iPod touch.

The Verdict

8

out of 10

Procreate Pocket 2 review

With its advanced features and fresh code, Procreate Pocket 2 is an essential painting app for iPhone users.