How to Add Paper Textures in Procreate

How to Add Paper Textures in Procreate

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on adding paper textures in Procreate! In this tutorial, we'll walk you through the process of seamlessly integrating archival paper textures into your digital work using our Phantom Paper texture packs.

Whether you're a seasoned artist or just starting out, these paper texture tips will help you bring the nostalgia and retro polish of great paper textures to your Procreate work.

I remember when I first started creating retro-inspired art and design this was a huge a-ha moment. Sure, adding paper textures on top of your work and setting it to multiply is great.

But there is much more nuance that can be added and I'm stoked to share it with you in this video featuring retro illustrator Robin Banks.

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Paper Textures in Procreate

Phantom Paper Textures provide the analog feel of real ink or paint on paper, capturing the paper's tooth, highlights, and shadows. These seamless textures can be tiled for any canvas size.

Each texture has a name hinting at its paper type, like TobaccoKraft, which is scanned from archival paper with a blend of cotton fibers and wood pulp, giving it a rich, aged look.

Here's a quick breakdown of how Robin Banks uses Phantom Paper Textures to get an authentic analog feel in the tutorial.

Step 1. Download the TExtures

After purchasing Phantom Paper, access the download page and select the textures you want. You can return anytime to download more textures, or use the "Download All" button.

Downloading a paper texture from Phantom Paper

2. Import Your TExtures into Procreate

Download the textures, open Procreate, go to "Import," locate your textures, and import them. They will open automatically in Procreate.

Importing a paper texture onto iPad

3. Set up Your canvas

Adjust your canvas size to fit your project. Robin uses a 12x12 inch canvas, ideal for Instagram and printmaking. Phantom Paper textures are seamless for any size. If using a smaller canvas, resize the texture with the "Transform" tool.

Setting up your canvas with paper textures for Procreate

4. Tile texture on Canvas (if Needed)

For a 12x12 inch canvas, duplicate the texture layer three times and align each layer for a seamless look. Use snapping to align the corners, then merge the layers into a single textured layer.

Tiling seamless paper textures in Procreate

5. Ink Your Artwork

Import your sketch into Procreate or start sketching on a layer below the texture layer. Lower the sketch's opacity for better visibility while inking. Robin uses the RetroSupply Standard Pen Set, specifically the Ramen Brush for its gritty edge.

Inking your work in Procreate with paper textures

6. Add Color and Effects

Create a new background color layer and set it to multiply. Set your line layer to Reference Mode and create new layers for each color. Drag and drop colors into enclosed areas.

For a vintage print look, use RetroSupply's DupliTone Halftone Brush Pack on a new layer over your colors.

Adding color and halftones to work with paper textures in Procreate

7. Fine Tune Textures

Change the texture layer's opacity to adjust strength. Lower opacity for subtle effects, increase for dramatic textures, or duplicate the layer for more intensity.

Adjusting paper textures in Procreate

8. Add Finishing Effects

Add glue edges and discoloration for authenticity. These effects are free with Phantom Paper. Import, drop into your work, set to multiply, and see the difference in depth and authenticity.

Adding paper stains, grit, and distress in Procreate

Seeing the Difference: Before and After

One of the most striking aspects of using Phantom Paper Textures is the dramatic transformation they bring to your artwork. Take a look at the images below to see the difference before and after applying these textures.

Before and after of paper textures in Procreate

In the 'before' image, the artwork is clean and digital, but it lacks the depth and character of traditional media. The lines are crisp, and the colors are flat, giving it a somewhat sterile appearance.

In the 'after' image, you can immediately see the rich, tactile quality that Phantom Paper Textures add. The subtle grain, the slight imperfections, and the warm tones create an authentic vintage look. This transformation not only enhances the visual appeal but also brings a nostalgic, analog feel to your digital art.

The difference is remarkable—what was once flat and digital now feels like it was created on a physical medium, with all the charm and texture of real paper. This added depth and authenticity can make your artwork stand out and resonate more with viewers who appreciate the beauty of traditional media.

User Testimonials and Examples

It really is true — not all paper textures are created equal! One of our users put it well:

“I can't get enough of these textures! They're exactly what I felt some of my projects need. I love a good paper texture but I've opted out of using [paper textures] in past projects cause I felt that the intensity of the texture was too strong but with Phantom Paper you can control that and I'm obsessed.

Check out these shots using Phantom Paper from the community!

Superhero grilling hotdogs by Matthew Dunn using paper textures
Soldier illustration by Len Roman using paper textures
Mid-century thirsty pop soda illustration by Ed Vill using paper textures
M3GAN anatomy illustration by Travis Knight using paper textures

Ready to Go Pro with Your Paper Textures?

Try Phantom Paper Textures for Procreate today and see the difference for yourself.

We'd Love to See Your Work!

Share your projects using Phantom Paper using #RetroSupply for a chance to be featured. Be sure to include what product you used and some before and after images.

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