Apply Texture to Your Illustrations in Procreate Using Alpha Lock

design team - doriana procreate Dec 09, 2021
How to use Alpha Lock in Procreate for textures

Are you tired of seeing that your illustrations lack something? In this tutorial, I will show you how to achieve a textured look in Procreate by using the Alpha Lock tool. This is a two part tutorial teaching you how to make your illustrations come to life with textures. You can find part one, where we go over using the Clipping Mask tool, over here.

Hello everyone! I'm Doriana, architect and illustrator. I love all things texture-y and colorful, and this is a going to be a fun tutorial to learn new tricks within Procreate and to get the most out of your drawings.






Prefer watching the tutorial? No problem!



Before Getting Started: What is Alpha Lock?


Alpha Lock is an option that locks transparency of a layer. What does it allow you to do? Add texture, detail, or shading to an element of your artwork without painting outside the lines, without leaving the boundaries of the basic shape. Also, it helps you preserve your layer count to a minimum.

Anything you do or draw after activating Alpha Lock will be affected on that layer. But BE CAREFUL - after you add or modify, it becomes a permanent change as it doesn't allow for tweaking like the Clipping Mask option we reviewed last time.

We are going to learn how to use this feature by drawing these cute strawberries.




Step 1: Draw Basic Strawberry Shapes



First, grab a saturated pink color from your color wheel and select the TPL Ink Scratch brush to create your basic shape. For a simple strawberry shape, draw an ellipse attached to a pointless inverted triangle. Then, just fill them in with color drop or just coloring.



Create a new layer and place it below your first, then draw another strawberry. Create two more layers on top of everything: one for your stem and the other one for the leaves. Remember, these are just basic shapes, don't go too crazy on them, ok? You should have 4 layers with separate drawings.



Step 2: Add Overall Texture



Select your Layer 1 (the strawberry shape we drew first), tap to see menu and select Alpha Lock. You'll see that the layer has a checkerboard pattern behind the miniature.

📝 ProTip: You can also turn on Alpha Lock by swiping right with tow fingers on top of your layer.

For my overall, global texture I'll be using TPL Static brush. Set your brush size to 50%, and with a color slightly darker and more saturated than the pink color you used for the base, apply texture to the entire strawberry.



Step 3: Add Shadows 



Just as in our last tutorial, we are going to add lights and shadows to our shapes to give them more dimension. Unlike our last tutorial, we are not creating more layers, but working on our same 4 original layers.

Select the first strawberry layer, and grab the TPL Spray Noise brush. From the color wheel, choose an even darker shade of pink and start shading the opposite side from where your "light source" is coming from. Press lightly and go around the border. Go to your color wheel again and try to go darker and more saturated.  Shade again, but this time near the edges.

For the second strawberry layer, besides giving it a shadow to create depth and dimension, we're also going to create the cast shadow from the strawberry on top, where the two of them touch.



Step 4: Add Lights



Now, repeat this same steps using lighter shade of the base pink, on the side that is receiving direct light. And go slightly lighter for those shiny spots. You can also select a yellowish green to color in the top part of the strawberry where the stem is.

You'll be doing steps 3 and 4 on your stem, and for the leaves you can add extra details like the midrib and veins.



Step 5: Create Final Details



For the seeds, we are going to select a light yellow from the color wheel and draw them in alternate rows. After you finish, duplicate that layer and turn on Alpha Lock on the layer below. Select a dark shade of pink from the color wheel, then select Fill Layer from the menu. Displace that layer a few spots, to create some depth and contact shadow for the seeds.

For the Leaves, use Alpha Lock to create veins. I did this using TPL Ink Scratch brush.



And voilá! You just learned how to easily add details and shadows to these cute strawberries using Alpha Lock. If you haven't check the first part of this tutorial, where we learned to use Clipping Mask, you are definitely missing out. Remember to tag me @bydoriana.studio and Peggy @thepigeonletters to see what you create from this. You can learn more from me in bydoriana.com!


Doriana is inspired by Caribbean architecture and enjoys using gouache and watercolor, as well as her iPad to create vibrant and bold illustrations. She also loves using her bullet journal to stay organized! Check out more of Doriana's tutorials over here.