Create a Marble Effect Backing Paper in Procreate

Create a Marble Effect Backing Paper in Procreate main article image
Posted on June 1, 2021 by Becky Louise
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In this article we’ll learn how to create a simple marble effect backing paper (or background for your digital designs!), using the preset Procreate brushes and a couple of downloads from Creative Fabrica. This tutorial is super easy, and suitable for beginners!

First off, open a new canvas by clicking the + in the right hand corner. Then click the + below that, and create a new canvas with the below dimensions. Set your DPI to 400 to ensure a good quality printout. You can set this lower if you wish however I always use 400 DPI in case I decide to print my work.

So, let’s get started on our marble effect. I’m going to select a grey from the colour palette, and go with a classic marble look; however feel free to be adventurous and use whichever colour you like. I’d suggest a darker toned colour as we’re going to do some liquifying and adding a lighter colour later on.

I’ve selected a dark grey, and the Water brush which you can find in the Elements section. This is a Procreate preset, so it’s available to everyone. Use a large brush size, I used the largest available with 100% opacity. Use your brush as a stamp and place it around the screen, focusing on a darker middle section – marble has natural vein-like lines, some being dark and others light.

Stamp a little on the edges of the canvas, as much or as little as you wish. You might also want to go into the brush settings (by tapping on the brush in the menu) and increase Fall Off, or amend the opacity, in order to get a lighter effect in areas.

Now you have your marble like veins stamped, we’re going to enhance them a little more to make it look even more realistic, I think the project even up to this point looks cool! Open the magic wand menu on the top left side, and select Liquify. The Liquify brush is really effective and very fun to play with!

On the Liquify menu you’ll see your options for the tool. I’m going to start off with the size at 50%, Pressure at max, Distortion on 0% and Momentum at none. Now, use Liquify to move the colours around the canvas and you’ll see that we get a literal liquid effect. Try not to Liquify too much as we still want some visible lines to create the marble look.

For an added effect and bit of texture, increase the Distortion up to 50% and play around with the tool a little more. The Distortion adds more of a water effect and makes it look even more marble like.

Next, we want to add some light to our canvas. Make a new layer and like before – use the Water brush and choose white as your colour. Stamp the canvas a few times, not too much, with your white Water brush. You’ve probably already guessed what’s next – Liquify! Use the same technique as previously on the white stamps, play around with them and blend them into the previous colour a little. This helps give texture and even more unevenness in the pattern.

You could leave your canvas here if you like – we’re just about done for the marble effect itself, however I’m going to add a little extra colour in the form of metallic lines. To do this, you’ll need a metallic or glitter paper texture. I used the Bokeh & Glitter Backgrounds which is downloadable from Creative Fabrica here. The paper I’ll use is the plain glitter texture, but feel free to use your own downloads in whichever colour or style you prefer.

Once you have your paper downloaded onto your tablet, ensure it is saved as an image. Click the settings tool in the top left corner of Procreate, and then Insert a photo. Your downloaded paper will now appear as a new layer.

Resize the paper so that it is covering the entire canvas. If it’s bigger than the canvas itself, that’s fine, it just needs to cover everything.

Next, click on your Inserted Image layer, and select Mask. This creates another layer attached to our image one, which you’ll see appear above. Your layer mask will appear white – select black in the colour palette and then click onto your Layer Mask and press Fill Layer. Your texture will now disappear and you’ll see your marble effect again.

So, stay on your Layer Mask and go into the brushes. Under Inking, select one of the pens – each give a similar effect but I like to use the Dry Ink as it’s a little rough on the edges and looks more natural. Select a white colour and draw lines on your marble effect – you’ll see your textured paper come through!

For this part I like to follow the darker lines on the pattern, you can do as much or as little as you want. Play around with the brush size too for a more uneven effect. The brush size I started with was 26% and then moved up to 35%.

Your marble effect backing paper is now complete! You could use this as a background for digital art, or you could print it off for card making or scrapbooking.

If you want to continue in Procreate and add text or sentiments, I’d advise saving your work and creating a duplicate so that you always have the original pattern to use however you want.

I like to play around with fonts and texts in Procreate, so here are a couple of ideas. You could add text straight onto the backing paper like below, or you could add a shape and enter a sentiment within that. A quick point to note – always make new layers when you add elements, this way, if you make a mistake you don’t affect your work so far.

To add a rectangle click on the ribbon in the top left corner and select Rectangle. You could also add a circle or add your own shape. I’ve decided to add a larger rectangle with a gold colour fill, and then a white rectangle within – this is a really simple way of creating a border.

For text, click the settings tool and then Add text – play around with fonts, colours and sizes as you wish! The font I’ve used here is Simplicity, which can be downloaded from Creative Fabrica here.

I hope you enjoy this fun tutorial as much as I loved making it, I love the marble effect as it looks so classy, and each time you create it, it’s a unique piece, individual to you!


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