Wondering about the best canvas size for Procreate? Get tips for creating the perfect size of canvas in Procreate.
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If you’re new to Procreate, you might be confused about canvas sizes in Procreate. There are so many options. Do they even matter?
Canvas size does in fact matter!
Since Procreate uses raster images, it’s important to create your artwork big enough that it won’t look pixelated.
(Raster means it’s pixel-based and cannot be resized. Illustrator uses vectors, which can be resized infinitely without losing quality.)
It’s okay to size down, but it’s never going to look good when sized up.
The Best Canvas Size for Procreate
The best canvas size for Procreate will depend on its use.
When in doubt, always go bigger than you think.
Procreate comes with many default canvas sizes.
It can be tempting to use the screen size, but the DPI is only 132, so you’ll want to change that to get the best quality. Don’t use it as it is!
DPI means dots per inch and refers to the printer’s resolution. If you were to print the image, it’s how many dots would be printed in an inch.
We don’t always print our art, but it’s still a good gauge to use when creating high-quality raster images.
You want at least 300 DPI for your canvas to get good quality.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Canvas Size
There are many things to consider when choosing the perfect canvas size in Procreate.
Your size options will vary depending on what size of iPad you own.
A 12.9″ iPad Pro can go up to 16,384 x 8192 pixels. An iPad 5th generation can only go up to 8,192 x 4096 pixels.
For reference, I have a 12.9″iPad Pro, 5th generation.
Larger canvas sizes limit the number of layers you can use. If you like to use many layers, be careful of this.
A workaround is to duplicate the file every time you need more layers and merge them in the new file. This preserves your original layers while allowing you to work on your art.
Just be sure to label each file so it doesn’t get confusing.
Use of Art
Consider how your art will be used. If you are using it for Print on Demand, each site will have minimum requirements.
If you’re printing it on a home printer, it needs to be at least 8.5 x 11″, 300 DPI.
However, if you plan on using it for anything in the future, you’re better off creating it bigger, to begin with.
When in doubt, I always double the size that I think I need. So if I wanted to print it at home, I would go with 18″ x 22″.
If you want to make really large art prints, you might be better off working in a program like Photoshop.
Pixels VS Inches
The use of art will also determine the unit of measurement (px vs in vs cm.) Use pixels for artwork that will remain digital.
If you’re using print-on-demand, check with the site to see their preference. It’s typically pixels.
If you make printables, create the canvas using inches instead.
It’s not a big deal to switch between the 2 size formats though, as long as the canvas is large enough.
The color profile also depends on what you’re using your artwork for. If you’re printing it at home or even in a professional print shop, select CMYK.
Use RGB for digital art that is not going to be printed.
If you’re using Print on Demand, check out the requirements. Many places require RGB.
If you’re curious about the difference between CMYK and RGB, it’s that CMYK has fewer colors because it’s made of ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
RGB has a lot more possibilities because it’s digital. It’s possible to get really neon colors on screens, but it’s harder to produce those colors with inks when printed.
When you try to print something RGB, the colors come out weird. In my experience, they come out really neon bright, or really dull, so it’s essential to create with the correct color profile.
How to Create a New Canvas Size
It’s really easy to create a new canvas size.
From the gallery page, click the + button at the top right of the screen.
It opens a menu with preset sizes. You can create a new size by clicking on the button shown below.
Then you can choose the sizes, measurement units, and color modes.
How to Resize a Canvas in Procreate
If you’ve already started your art, it’s possible to resize your canvas.
You can find this option in the menu under Actions, Canvas, Crop and Resize.
The lock in the center locks the aspect ratio to prevent skewing the design.
Keep in mind that if you make the canvas larger, your artwork stays the same size on the new bigger canvas.
If you stretch it to fit, it will be pixelated.
It’s also possible to change the DPI in this setting.
Keep in mind that as you increase the size of your canvas, the number of layers you can use decreases.
If you don’t know the size of your canvas, you can see this under Actions, Canvas, Canvas information.
You can also see how many layers you’ve used in this menu.
If you want to name your canvas, you can do it here as well.
My Favorite Canvas Size for Procreate
Lately, my favorite canvas size is 3600 x 3600 pixels. This equates to 12″ x 12″ if printed.
Since I make a lot of patterns for my Etsy shop, this size makes sense for my art.
At a minimum, I use 2000 x 2000 pixels.
What is your favorite canvas size?
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