How To Create A Beautiful Nuanced Full Moon In Procreate

design team - vanessa drawing procreate Sep 23, 2021
How to draw a full moon in Procreate

Ya’ll, I did it!  I took a leap and made a tutorial on Procreate instead of using traditional supplies! *Gasp* Who even is she?!?

Hi!  Vanessa Lesniak from @Vanessa_Paints_ here.  Today I will be showing you my process for creating a full moon using Procreate, an iPad and an Apple Pencil.  I hope you enjoy the process as much as I enjoyed painting it.



  • Ipad
  • Apple Pencil
  • Brushes: 
  1. TPL Splatter
  2. TPL Charcoal Round Brush
  3. Bonobo Chalk
  4. Soft Brush
  5. Glimmer 1
  6. Dry Ink
  7. Rusted Decay
  8. Splatter


 Looking for more creative brushes that will make your work stand out and impress? Check these ones out: Gouache Procreate Brushes



Prefer watching along instead?



Step 1: Create a Canvas


Create a new canvas with the following dimensions: Width – 3000px, Height – 3000px, DPI – 300 (if you want to make prints from your painting, I suggest upping the DPI to about 600) 




Step 2: Set the Background and Create a Circle


Set your background color to black.  Start a new layer above the background (there should already be one there, you can use that one).  Using a white color and the Dry Ink brush (set to a brush size of 100%) found under Inking, create a circle and manually color it in with the same brush.  I do not recommend dragging and dropping the color in because you will lose the texture of the brush



Step 3: Add Shadows and Texture


Start a new layer above the previous one.  Switch your color to black and the brush to the Soft Brush, found under airbrushing, and lower the opacity of this layer to about 50%.  Softly paint in some shadows, applying pressure to make the shadows darker in certain areas.  Try not to add shadows to the very edges of the moon, we want to keep these nice and bright.



Once satisfied, switch to the Rusted Decay brush found under Industrial and set this brush size to 100%.  Lightly swipe over the entire moon.  This will give the moon a beautiful, soft texture.



Let’s add some more texture by switching over to the Bonobo Chalk Brush found under Sketching.   Lightly swipe over the entire moon. Lower the brush size to around 15% and add some darker areas in the moon.  The harder you press, the darker the areas will be. 




Step 4: Add Some Definition


Start a new layer above the previous one. Switch the color white and the brush to TPL Charcoal Round Brush, part of TPL Brush Lettering Pack. Add a small white circle to an area close to the bottom of the moon and blend the edges out with the smudge tool.  Start a new layer above this one and lower the opacity of the entire layer to around 50%.  Using the same brush, Add lines (or striations) coming out of that circle and into the moon, make sure to curve the lines by following the curves of the moon.  Erase any lines that fall outside of the moon.




Step 5: Add More Definition


Start a new layer (yep, we have lots and lots of layer in this piece) and change the color to black.  Using the same TPL Charcoal Round Brush, add some intense black spots to the moon.  Do not make them perfectly round.  Blend the inner edges of these black spots using the eraser tool set to the Dry Ink brush.



Start a new layer above this one and lower the opacity of the layer to about 50%.  Switch to the color white.  Using the same brush, add some more (smaller) striations to one of your new dark spots.




Step 6: Bringing It All Together


Start a new layer and switch to the Bonobo Chalk brush.  Lightly sweep the brush over the entire moon.

Start a new layer (omg how many layers are we going to add??) and switch to the Glimmer 1 brush found under Luminance.  Switch the layer from Normal to Luminosity.  Increase the brush size to about 45% and gently sweep it across the entire moon for smaller star spots.  Increase the brush size to 100% and gently sweep it across the moon for larger stars spots.  Erase any star spots that fell outside of the moon.



Start a new layer (seriously??) and lower the layer opacity to about 50%.  Switch to the Splatter brush found under Spraypaints.  Splatter all over the moon and erase any splatter that falls outside of it.



Start a new layer (enough already!) and switch back to the TPL Charcoal Round brush.  Add a few lines of detail over any of the dark areas to indicate highlights.



At this point if you feel you need more dark areas, you can add them back in with the Bonobo Chalk brush (don’t forget to switch your color to black)


Merge all your moon layers (*phew* finally!)


Step 6: Background


Start a new layer (you thought we were done with them? Ha) and bring it down under the moon layer.  Switch the layer from Normal to Luminosity.  Switch your color to white and your brush to TPL Splatter Brush.  Gently tap around the moon to add bright stars around it.




Step 7

Start a new layer.. JUST KIDDING!  You’re all done.  Hope you enjoyed this one and I’ll see you next time!


Vanessa spent 16 years as a social worker and originally began experimenting with watercolor as a form of self care and it became a profound passion.  With the encouragement and support of her wife and 3 daughters, she became a full time artist and small business owner.  She now shares her passion through workshops and online tutorials. Check out more of Vanessa's tutorials here!


Pin this tutorial to always have easy access to it!