Draw a Textured Cactus in Procreate

drawing procreate Aug 23, 2020

Hey YOU! Yeah, YOU! Get excited because this tutorial is about to blow ya mind. Lately, I've been playing around with texture in Procreate and I've found some insanely great brush packs all over. The one that's currently taking the cake is the Rough & Raw Brush Set from Design Cuts. Can we just talk about the wide range of variety this brush pack gives us? I mean... liner brushes that also have texture?! Give me MORE of this! 

Today I'm sharing with you a nifty little cactus tutorial, because I know that's what the people want. And I'm all about giving the people what they want! But this ain't no regular ole cactus... this cactus is multi DIMENSIONAL! Thanks to the Rough & Raw Brush Set I was able to really make this cactus pop with layers. Grab your iPad, snag this brush set, and let's get to work! 

PSA moving visuals learners: If you're a THAT type-of-person, I've attached the video tutorial that goes along with this in-depth blog at the bottom of the page!








Step 1: Draw Shape of Pot Using Ripple-Izer Brush and Fill with Color



Start by drawing the shape of your pot! Follow that up by filling the pot with your desired color. I'm using the ripple-izer brush from the Rough & Raw brush set. I love love LOVE this brush because it has a ton of texture on the sides but still works as a liner. If you're following along with me I definitely recommend snagging this brush set, they're serious textural goodness!

The shape of your pot doesn't have to be perfect, I actually prefer the organic look of imperfection. BUT, if you do want a perfect shape, when you finish the shape, hold your stylus down, and procreate will straighten the pot. Just a cute little Procreate tip! 



Step 2: Create New Layer and Draw Oval Shape for Lip of Pot



Create your second layer, choose a new color, and draw an oval shape on top of your pot. This cute oval is going to serve as the "lip" if that's what you call it. When you draw the oval, hold down on the shape and adjust the size to your liking. I love the humble beginnings of this pot because it really does blossom at the end! 

I'm still using the Ripple-Izer brush from the amazing Rough & Raw Brush Pack!



Step 3: Create New Layer and Draw Darker Oval Inside of Original Oval and Fill 



Create a new layer and go much much darker than your first circle. Fill your second circle with color by either color dropping and putting the layer on the bottom, OR you can use the reference tool. Select the layer of your first circle, select reference, and then go to layer three and color drop into the circle. If you go with this second option, just make sure to go back into your second layer and turn the reference tool OFF after you're done. 



Step 4: Create New Layer, Add Clipping Mask and Accentuate Pot Lip 



Create a new layer underneath your second layer (oval layer). Follow the bottom line of your oval but then drop down on both sides, and connect the two about a half-inch down. This is going to add depth to the lip of our pot!  



Change the color of the lip so that you can actually see it compared to the rest of the pot. Don't be afraid to clean up any lines that look out of place to you, this drawing is your own! You can also make the shape of your lip more rounded or squared off. I went with the in-between because I seriously couldn't decide. 



Yep, you guessed it...still using the Ripple-Izer brush from the Rough & Raw Brush Set! You really can't go wrong with this brush.



Step 5: Create Depth by Adding Light on the Left Side



I really wanted my pot's lip to be the same terra cotta color as the base so there are two ways to do this at this point. The first solution is to use one finger to tap the color of the base which will select the color. Then, just drag and drop the color into the lip. The second solution is to alpha select the color, alpha lock the pot's lip layer, and then select "fill" under the options. This will fill the layer with the color you selected. It's like, the same but different. 

From here, we're going to get into shading! Go to your first layer, add another layer on top, and apply a clipping mask to it. Select the color of your pot, go into your color wheel, and select a much lighter color to add in some depth. 

Grab the powdery brush from the Rough & Raw Brush set and play around with the amount of light you want to hit your pot! What I found that works best is to start shading way outside of your pot so that it comes in at the edge. 



Step 6: Create More Depth by Adding Dark Shadows on Right Side




Do a similar thing as the last step, but with a darker color on the opposite side. Select the color of your pot and make the shade darker. Take your powdery brush and bring in the shading on the right side. It's really up to you with how much shadow you want to add!



Step 7: Add Dark Shadow Below Pot Lip to Add Dimension



Grab the color of your pot and make it slightly darker, we're going to add even more dimension to our pot! Using the same brush (you're welcome to switch it up though!), gently add in some dark shadows to the bottom of your pot's lip. It's seriously amazing what you can do in Procreate using the Rough & Raw brush set! This step makes such a big difference because adding those shadows makes our pot look almost three-dimensional! 



Notice from left to right, the dark shadow goes from very thin to thicker. The right side of your pot is going to carry a darker shadow, while the left still has that highlight to show light hitting it. 



Step 8: Go to the Third Layer, Create a New Layer on Top of it, Add Clipping Mask, and Add Shadow Details to the Inside of Your Pot



Adding a shadow to the inside of your pot will make for a more realistic drawing. Because we're adding a cactus to the pot, we should probably assume that the cactus will create a shadow cast on the post. Also, there would be dirt in the pot, so that makes sense too right? 

Go to your pot fill layer (layer 3) add a new layer on top of it and add a clipping mask. Then, select the color of your brown-ish fill and make it darker. Like almost black, but not black. Ya feel?



Don't overdo this shadow, less is ALWAYS more! This shading adds the absolute perfect amount of depth to your pot. 

Pro tip: Group all of your pot layers together by selecting every layer, NOT merging them together, but GROUPING them. Then collapse the group and get it out of your face, so easy! 



Step 9: Draw Your Cactus Outline and Color Drop



Moving onto arguably the best part of this tutorial, you're going to draw the outline of your cactus. You can make this ANY type of cactus with ANY color that you're falling in love with right now. Or just keep it simple (like me!), all up to you! 

Grab your ripple-izer brush from the Rough & Raw Brush set and cactus away!



Step 10: Create a New Layer to Add More Depth to Cactus



Create a new layer on top of your cactus and add a clipping mask to it! Create more depth by placing the light on the left side and shadows on the right, pretty much doing the same as we did with our pot! 



Start by making your green color a tad lighter, then draw two lines from the top of your cactus to the bottom. Make sure to connect the two lines completely, so you have no problems when trying to color drop! 



I'm using the universally beautiful Ripple-Izer brush from the Rough & Raw brush set!



Step 11: Create a New Layer to Add More Dark Shadows on the Right Side



Sample your cacti's original shade of green and make it a tad darker, just like the opposite side! Then, draw two lines and fill them, to create more dimension on the right side. 

Pro tip: to recolor quickly (like a champ), just go to your wand, select recolor, hover over the area, and go to your color wheel to be able to see the color change LIVE. 




Step 12: Go to First Layer, Create a New Layer and Apply Clipping Mask, Then Add Shading Texture on Top of Your Cactus



Grab the "dirty sponge" brush from the amazing Rough & Raw Brush Set and start by adding this texture near the bottom of your cactus. This is a sure way to imitate dirt OR create that shadow effect that the top of the cactus would create. 

Bring some texture to the right side to shade. Because the light source is coming from the left, meaning we'll have a pretty big shadow on the right. Some other fun brushes from this pack to play around with on this step-by-step are "scratch me" and "charcoal". 

Pro tip: Go to the layer for this shadow, press the "N", and change the mode to "multiply". NOW, when you drag your opacity down, the multiply effect allows you to better blend the color in with your work. This tool is super smart so we don't have to be! 



Step 13: Grab the "Frizzy Brush" and Add Texture Along the Right Side of Your Cactus, Multiply the Layer and Lower the Opacity 



Usually, this brush is something you would use for harsher shadows, but because you're using the multiply tool on Procreate, it won't be a problem! Add the shadows along the right side of your cactus, in small amounts. Then go back to your layer and change the mode to multiply. Turn your opacity down to wherever feels right for you!



Step 14: Create a New Layer and Drag it Above Green Area and Apply Clipping Mask



Choose a black, or dark green color and get ready to create some serious dimension! Snag the powdery brush again and use it for your depth. Focus on the right side of each line on the cactus, then change the mode of the layer to multiply and decrease your opacity. 



Step 15: Create New Layer and Drag it on top of Layer 11



Sample the color of your lighter side on the left and move the color to a deeper shade. Play around with shading on the lighter side to really create some depth! I found that instead of changing my colors around, using the brightness tool really helped. Utilizing that tool, as well as the saturation and hue tool, can make a world of a difference! 

Grab the ripple-izer brush and select a shade of green that's very light. Make your brush super thin and just quickly add lines on the cactus to emphasize the dimensions more.



Step 16: Add Final Details!



Using an almost-white color and the ripple-izer brush, add some cute cactus spines around your cactus to make it come to life. When it comes to the side spines, make the color a little more beige-y so the naked eye can see the spines sticking out on the side.



Random splatter is ALWAYS recommended, it gives me life,  but optional! Snag the random crumbles brush and just add splatter to random areas. The more crumbles brush is a bunch of larger splatter spots and just as amazing to use. 

Add a clipping mask to your pot and start to add splatter to the pot as well! Literally, add it everywhere, the more the merrier! I'm usually a "less is more" kind of girl, but splatter really does have my heart. 



If you've read ALL the way down here, and maybe you're still on the fence if the Rough & Raw brush set is worth it, I'm going to make this easy for you... DO IT! Absolutely no regrets with this brush set, so so worth it! Either way, I hope you found this tutorial helpful, fun, maybe life-changing, and MAYBE you'll join the rough & raw fan bandwagon with me.