How to Create a Realistic Book Cover Using Procreate

design team - brenda procreate Sep 08, 2022
How to create a realistic book cover in Procreate

Did you ever dream of creating your own book? Would you love to see how your own illustrated book could look like? People say you have to visualize your dreams to make them come true. So that’s why I came up with this fun idea. Just for the sake of fun!

This tutorial is beginner friendly so, even if you are new to Procreate, we are going to create the book cover together, step by step. You will be using your own illustration though, but that might as well be any illustration or picture you like.

Hi, I'm Brenda Bakker, artist and teacher based in the Netherlands. I'm on The Pigeon Letters Design Team and I also teach on Skillshare.




  • iPad
  • Procreate app
  • Stylus (I'm using an Apple pencil)
  • Procreate native brushes: I’ll be using the mono liner and fine tip
  • Your own (pre-made) illustration


Want to watch the tutorial instead?



Step 1: Prepare Your Illustration Canvas

If you have your illustrated canvas in front of you, you sometimes have to create place for the fold line of the book. Select all the layers of your illustration (by swiping them to the right) except for the background and group them in one group.

Now think about where the fold line should be. Everything to the right of that line will be your new whole space now. Select the whole group and choose your new placing. 




Need to add some texture to your artwork?




Step 2:  Create the Fold, Highlights and Shadows

For the fold line create a new layer and draw a black straight line from top to bottom. Set that layer to overlay. Duplicate that layer and select color, tap white and fill layer. Remove the white layer directly left of the black layer and set the white layer to screen blend mode. Lover the opacities of both layers to make them more realistic.

Create a new layer, select white, draw straight lines all the way at the top and right sides of the canvas and set to screen blend mode and lower the opacity.

Create  new layer again but now select black and draw straight lines all the way on the left and bottom side of the canvas, set to overlay blend mode and lower the opacity.





Step 3: Choose a Background

Create a new canvas at size of your own liking. Import a lovely background where you can place your book and post-it. Tip: the website Unsplash has lovely free to use images for that and save it to your photo gallery. Download the background to your camera roll. Go to the wrench tool, add and insert a photo and tap on the photo of your choice. 




Step 4: Import Your Book Cover to the New Canvas

Go back to the book cover illustration canvas. Do a 3 finger swipe down and hit copy all. Now go to the new created canvas with the background and do a 3 finger swipe down again and paste. Your book will now be on the new layer above your chosen background. But it will look like a flat picture on picture and we’ll have to do something about that to make it more realistic.




Step 5: Add Volume to Your Book Cover

Duplicate the layer with your book cover. Go to the bottom one. Choose black, choose select and then fill layer. Go to the arrow and move the black part a bit to the left and bottom. This will give your book some volume and depth.




Step 6: Create a Drop Shadow for Realism

Duplicate the black layer you just created, move the bottom one again slightly to left and bottom side. Go to the magic wand. Choose Gaussian Blur and move the slider slightly to the right to where you think the shadow would be soft and realistic.




Step 7: Create a Post-it Note With a Message

Create a new layer, choose selection tool, choose rectangle at the bottom and create a field the size of your liking for the paper. Fill it with the color of your choice. Create a new layer above that one and write a message.




Step 8: Add Depth and Movement to the Post-it Note

Duplicate the paper layer and fill the bottom one with black. Now, select the top 2 layers (the text and the colored paper) by swiping them to the right and group them. Go to the group layer and choose the arrow tool. Choose warp at the bottom, now you can curl the paper and the text if needed to your liking. If you want more bending at different spots try warp and then advanced mesh.

The shadow is still in the same place because it was not in the group and that is because the shadow will be on the flat surface below.

If you want to move the whole note, select all the layers again and create a new group for all of them (there will be a group within a group and that is okay) choose a lovely and interesting believable place for your note.




Step 9: Finish!

Take a last good look if everything looks interesting and believable. Is there a title? Are the writers and illustrator mentioned on it? Congrats! You have finished your book!

Now it is time to enjoy and have fun with sharing your works and all the reactions you would get on it! 



Thank you for joining me in this tutorial. I hope you had fun and learned something new along the way. Tag me @dekwebbel and Peggy @thepigeonletters on Instagram if you post your result, we would love to see it.




See all of Brenda’s tutorials here! 

Artist, illustrator, letterer and teacher, Brenda Bakker is a Procreate Addict who loves to experiment and explore all kinds of creativity, inside and outside the iPad as well. She loves bright colors, rough textures and smooth color blends.