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How to Tie Dye in Procreate
  • By Nadine Spires
  • 04 Feb 2022
  • 17 Mins
  • Procreate Tutorials

How to Tie Dye in Procreate

Create a fun tie dye swirl of bright colors in this Procreate tutorial. Easy to follow!

If you would like to learn how to tie dye in Procreate, then check out this tutorial. Tie dye is an age-old way of tying cloth into sections and dipping in dye. The result is usually a psychedelic swirl of bright colors. We are going to create a similar result in Procreate.

How to Tie Dye in Procreate 26

During the tutorial we will be using this Procreate watercolor brush set. We also have a wide variety of Procreate brushes for you to browse through.

First, go ahead and install the brush set. Then open Procreate and create a canvas size 1000 x 1000 px.

Step 1 - Create Tie Dye Palette

You can use a set of colors for your tie dye design and as many as you want. It is easier to start off with four colors. We chose to use green, yellow, pink and purple.

We have an in-depth tutorial on using color palettes in Procreate if you need more information. You can access the Color Palettes by tapping on the color circle on the top right. We are going to begin by tapping on the green to select it.

Create color palette in Procreate

Step 2 - Add a 2D Grid for Tie Dye

We are going to use a 2D grid to accurately add rectangle selections. To add a grid, tap on the wrench tool top left. Tap on Drawing Guide to make it active then tap on Edit Drawing Guide.

Activate drawing guide in Procreate

A new window will open at the bottom of the screen. Here you will find the settings for the grids. Make sure to select the 2D grid and change the Grid size to 985 px or Max. This will give us four corners for our colors.

Select 2D drawing guide Procreate

Step 3 - Add Rectangle Selection for Tie Dye Colors

Next we are going to use the Rectangle Selection tool to create our base setup for the tie dye. Tap on the “S” icon at the top. This will open the selection options at the bottom of the screen. Select Rectangle then tap on Add.

Drag Out Rectangle Selection

When we drag out the rectangle, it will automatically fill with the green selected on our palette. Tap then drag out your rectangle selection.

Create rectangle selection

Adjust Rectangle Size

You can adjust the rectangle size by tapping on the Move Tool, then select Uniform. We want to turn on Snapping to make things easier.

Tap on the Snapping icon on the left then turn on Snapping.

Turn on snapping guides Procreate

You can more accurately adjust the size by tapping on the top right handle. This will open the Dimensions tab. Tap on the chain link to unlink the values and independently edit if needed.

Input size values in Procreate

Alternatively, drag out one of the corner or side handles until it snaps to the edges. You will see orange lines appear when the corners and side are aligned to the canvas.

Adjust rectangle size in Procreate

Step 4 - Add More Colors then Merge

We are going to duplicate the layer, in this case the rectangle layer. Once duplicated, use the Move Tool to move the new rectangle to the bottom of the canvas. Next, select yellow from the Color Palette and drag it to fill the rectangle.

Fill rectangle with yellow

Carry on to duplicate then move the rectangles. Change the color of each duplicate according to your color palette. We now have four color layers. Now merge these layers into one.

If you need more information, have a look at our tutorial on how to use Procreate layers.

Merge color layers in Procreate

Duplicate this merged layer. The first layer will be your backup layer that you can revert back to. Untick the box for the first layer to hide it so only the duplicated layer is visible.

Step 5 - Use Liquify to Create Tie Dye Design

Tap on the Adjustments tool that looks like a magic wand. Now select the Liquify tool to open the settings.

Select Liquify Adjustment in Procreate

In the settings, tap on Twist Left and change the Size to 60%. Pressure is set to Max while Distortion and Momentum are set as None.

Tap and hold the center of the canvas to get a slight twist. Avoid holding too long as the twist will begin to distort the corners.

Twist left option Liquify tool

Now, reduce the Size to 40% and again tap and hold the center to give a slight twist.

Change size of twist option

To close out of any of the menus top left, just click back on the icon you used.

Step 6 - Feather Edges with Watercolor Brush

Now comes the more creative part. We are going to feather the edges of each color using a watercolor brush and the Smudge tool. A small brush size of 5 px is a good start. We want to create some detail before blending colors.

At the top right tap on the Smudge tool then select the Painting > Watercolor. The color is not important here.

Use the Smudge tool in Procreate

Work your way from the center and start with any color. We began with green and made short strokes from the center out. Refer to the image below for a visual guide.

Apply Smudge Tool in Procreate

Follow the rest of the green curve then repeat for the other colors.

Smudge tool applied to design

Increase your brush size to about 10 px then use long brush strokes. Apply the strokes randomly from the center out to give a slightly uneven look. Here you can start blending or bleeding colors into one another.

Use a bigger smudge brush

Decrease the brush size to 2 px and randomly add in finer details. You can also reverse the direction of your brush strokes so the bleed/blend goes in both directions.

Step 7 - Add in the Final Details

We are just about done with our tie dye in Procreate. In this step we are going to add the final details like some white paint elements and blurring.

Select the Brush and Color

Go to the Brush tool top right, then locate the category for your purchased brush. We are going to use the Magical Sponge brush.

Use purchased brush Procreate

Now go to the color palette and choose white. You can get white by double tapping the white area of the color wheel.

Create New Layer then Change Blend Mode

Tap on the Layers menu and create a new layer by tapping on the “+” icon.

Create new layer in Procreate

Change the blend mode of the new layer by tapping on the “N” and choosing Overlay.

Change blend mode Overlay

Paint in White Elements

To make this process quicker, we will add white strokes to one part of the tie dye then duplicate.

Brush Size is set to 3 px with Opacity at 100%. Create brush strokes over one area starting from the middle and moving out. Think of Sun rays reaching out. You can use the image below as a visual guide.

Add white paint strokes Procreate

Duplicate this layer then select the Move Tool. In the options under Uniform, tap on Rotate 45° twice. Then move the duplicate layer down.

Rotate the layer in Procreate

Repeat this action for the left side; duplicate the layer, rotate twice then reposition. Your design should be similar to the image below.

White painted elements added

Now merge the four layers into one containing the white painted areas.

Merge white painted layers

Blur the White Painted Layer

Let us add some blur to the white painted layer. Make sure that the layer is selected under the Layers menu.

Go to the Adjustments Menu (magic wand) and tap on Gaussian Blur. At the top of the screen, next to Gaussian Blur, tap the drop down arrow. Select Layer, then drag your finger or pencil to the right about 3%.

You can choose to add more or less blur.

Add Gaussian Blur in Procreate

Add Perspective Blur to Color Layer

Tie dye has a slight blurred appearance. We want the blur to follow the twist so we will use Perspective Blur. Select the layer under the Layers panel then go to the Adjustments menu.

Tap on Perspective Blur and make sure Layer is selected in the drop down arrow. We left the setting on Positional so it blurs from the center. Now drag your finger or pencil to the right about 80%.

Tap back on the Adjustments menu to close out of the settings.

Add Perspective Blur in Procreate

You can now save your design in your desired format. Go to the Actions or wrench icon, tap on Share and choose a format.

How to Tie Dye in Procreate

Your tie dye design works great for creating sublimation projects or filling shapes like the heart shape below.

Tie dye in heart shape Procreate

We have now completed our tie dye design in Procreate. Try different colors and brushes to get some unusual results. There are so many creative possibilities when you experiment with your designs.


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