5 Easy Tricks to Create Ombré Effect in Procreate

5 Easy Tricks to Create Ombré Effect in Procreate main article image
Posted on October 29, 2021 by Kymmie J.
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Ombré literally means “shaded” in French which is the blending of one color hue to another, usually moving tints and shades from light to dark according to Wikipedia.

Color gradients or also known as color transitions, where you see multiple colors blending with each other harmoniously. It contains varying levels of opacity, the interaction of lightness and darkness, saturation, and depth.

The most common types of gradients are linear and radial. A linear gradient starts from a solid color of lines, while radial starts from a central point.

What’s great about using gradients is, it can serve as a backdrop on your main artwork without getting all the attention from the main subject or artwork. It emphasizes the subject on the front.

The most critical part of creating gradients is the choice of colors. The safest way is to use colors that are next to each other. If you look closely at the color wheel, there are colors that have different shades, this is what we call analogous.

RYB Colorwheel courtesy of Wikipedia

You can use this tool to easily find colors that are compatible with each other.

Other factors that can make or break your gradient background are the use of blur and opacity. Make sure to play around with these to create a smooth transition.

You will need:

  1. Procreate 5X app (currently works with iPadOS only)
  2. Any stylus that is compatible with any iPad versions
  3. iPad tablet

Different ways to create an ombré background

  1. Linear Gradient using Gaussian Blur
  2. Selection tool using Feather Blur
  3. 1-Layer Gradient
  4. Radial Gradient using Perspective Blur
  5. Masked Background

I. Linear Gradient using Gaussian Blur

STEP A. Preparing the Canvas

1. Open Procreate app

2. Create a new canvas by tapping the + icon then use any size you want, or create a custom one

STEP B. Creating the Background

3. Tap on the Layers panel to make sure you are on Layer 1

4. Tap on the Color tool. Choose your base color, then drag and drop it to Layer 1

5. Tap on the Layers panel and using the + icon, add a new layer

6. Tap on the Color tool to choose your second color, then drag and drop it to Layer 2

7. Using the Move tool, make sure you enable Snapping 

8. Drag Layer 2 above so you’ll see 2 colors 

STEP C. Creating the Ombre effect

9. Tap on the Adjustments tool > Gaussian Blur then choose Layer

10. Drag your stylus to adjust the blur. The more you drag it, the more blurry it becomes 

Play around with the different intensities of blurs and colors to create a smooth transition.

You now know how to make a gradient background. You can stop here, or challenge yourself with the next advanced techniques. There are other ways how to create gradients and one of which is utilizing the Selection tool. As per Procreate, it gives you the power to adjust any part of your image with the fine control you need.

II. Use of Selection tool using Feather Blur

Using the Selection tool works like magic, it can speed up your workflow by creating rectangles and ellipses, it can color fill the shapes you want with just a few taps, you can remove backgrounds, you can basically control and adjust a finer selection in your artwork.

1. Prepare your canvas by following STEP APreparing the Canvas above

2. Tap on the Layers panel, make sure you are on Layer 1

3. Tap on the Selection tool, make sure to tap Rectangle

4. Tap on the Feather and drag the Amount to 50%. This will determine the intensity of the blur

5. Enable the Color Fill, then tap on the Color tool to pick any color 

6. Once you have chosen your color, draw a rectangle shape on the canvas and it will automatically apply the blur and color

7. Tap on the Layers panel then create a new layer with the + icon

8. On the Colors tool, tap your secondary color 

9. Tap on the Selection tool, make sure that Rectangle is still selected

10. Draw the next rectangle 

11. You can use the Move tool to resize the shape and adjust the placement

12. Play around with the Opacity and Blend mode by tapping the Layer you want to make changes, then tap N

III. 1-Layer Gradient

Did you know, you can also create gradients in 1 layer only! 

1. Prepare your canvas by following STEP APreparing the Canvas above

2. Tap on the Layers panel, make sure you are on Layer 1

3. You can use the Selection tool to create multiple rectangles or draw your own

4. Once done with the shapes and colors, tap the Adjustments tool > Gaussian Blur then choose Layer

5. Drag your stylus to adjust the blur

IV. Radial Gradient using Perspective Blur

You can also use different Blur types in the Adjustments tool such as Motion and Perspective like the circle shape below which can be used to create portraits or when you just want to illustrate the sun.

V. Masked Background

It doesn’t stop there, using the technique on IV. Radial Gradient using Perspective Blur, you can create blur masked background which is perfect for creating frames which you just put your photos behind it.

1. Prepare your canvas by following STEP APreparing the Canvas above

2. Drag and drop any color to Layer 1 or you can use the one we created in the III. 1-Layer Gradient

3. Tap the Layers panel to create a new layer

4. Draw a circle. To make it perfect place a finger without lifting your stylus

5. Using the Move tool, drag the circle to the center then fill it up with color

6. Tap on Layer 2 where the circle is, then choose Select

7. Once selected, tap on the Layers panel again then tap Layer 1 and choose Clear

8. This will create a transparent circle on Layer 1

9. Disable both Layer 2 and Background Color by disabling the checkbox to see the masked background

10. On Layer 1, tap the Adjustments tool to select Gaussian Blur then Layer. Drag the stylus to increase the blur intensity

11. To test, you can import a photo by tapping the Actions tool > Insert a Photo

12. Resize and adjust your photo to the center

13. Make sure to drag the photo below Layer 1

14. Change the Opacity and Blend mode of the frame when you tap the N icon on Layer 1

That’s it! You are now ready to create more gradient backgrounds for personal or commercial use.

Don’t know which colors work best?

No worries, choose from these stunning Procreate color palettes to help you get started:

1. Procreate Color Palette-BackToSchool V10

2. Color Palette Procreate

3. People Portrait Swatches for Procreate

4. Color Palette Procreate Pastel Love

5. Procreate Color Palette Cute Roses

6. Complexion Procreate Color Palette

7. Pastel Evening Sky Color Palettes

8. Mother Pearl Color Palette for Procreate

Happy coloring and creating!


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