How to Make a New Years Baby in Procreate

How to Make a New Years Baby in Procreate

Someone must really like you. Or, maybe you like yourself? Whatever the case, getting a new tablet as a gift is a pretty sweet deal. Ask any designer - their game elevates when they add some digital iPad goodness into the mix.

Here's how to make sure it doesn't turn into a giant screen for games or another social media machine.

We've created a step-by-step tutorial for you to draw this New Year's Eve Baby illustration!

In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to make a 2020 New Years Baby with your iPad, Apple Pencil, and a few of our favorite RetroSupply brushes.


We've hooked you up with all the brushes and textures used in this tutorial for free! They're inspired by 1950s illustrations and just what you need for that authentic look. Enjoy!

1. Inspiration

Vintage illustrations of new years baby

Baby New Year is often depicted in pop culture as a blond-haired baby wearing a shash and often walkign. But, according to myth, Baby New Year is the personification of the New Year but ages quickly and, by the end of the year, is the elderly Father Time.

Since I've never draw a New Years Baby, I had to find some images of them to refer to. I gather a bunch of images and see what they have in common and maybe look for a few other ideas I can mash in there for some humor.

The sash with the year seems to be a theme. Often, they’ll have little top hats. Why not? In old movies and cartoons, people often pop a bottle of champagne and smoke cigars to celebrate, so that’s what this baby’s going to do.

I also used a couple old character model sheets of cartoon babies to see what makes them tick. Big heads, pear shaped bodies. Got it.

Character model sheets of cartoon babies from vintage illustration books

2. Sketch

I like to start sketching on real paper. It’s what I’m used to, and I can get a more natural feel out of my drawing working this way.

I began by making a rough sketch, in red, of my basic idea. Using that as a base, I refined parts of my sketch in blue. Then I went over it all again in black, giving my drawing character and definition.

Take a nice, flat, well-lit picture of your sketch with your iPad. We’ll use this soon to create your final drawing.

Sketch of new years baby using red, blue, and black pencils

3. Create Your Canvas

In Procreate, I start by creating a custom sized canvas. I’m going with a square shape because it views well on platforms like Instagram and Twitter and because it should suit our main image’s shape. Make sure to create your canvas at 300 dpi so it can be a high quality if you choose to print it later.

Custom canvas menu in Procreate on the iPad

4. Import Your Sketch

In the upper left of your canvas, click on the little wrench icon. A menu will pop up titled Actions. Under Actions, click Add. Now click Insert A Photo.

Blank canvas in Procreate with Actions menu and insert a photo option selected

Find the picture of your sketch and import it. Once it’s in your canvas, resize and place the image how you’d like it to appear. Using two fingers, pinch to shrink, pull apart to enlarge or turn to rotate. Unclick the mouse arrow that’s highlighted in the upper left once your sketch is properly placed.

In the upper right, click on the layers menu. Go to your sketch layer and click on the 'N' next to the check mark. 'N' stands for 'Normal', which is the default blending mode. The opacity is also at 100% by default. Turn down the opacity so that your sketch is visible but not so bright that it will be distracting to draw over top of.

Sketch of new years baby on Procreate canvas with lowered layer opacity

5. Ink

Back in the layer menu, click the plus (+) signto add a new layer. Make sure it lands above your sketch. If it doesn’t, hold your finger on it and drag it above the sketch layer.

Sketch of new years baby in Procreate with layers panel open and new layer created

Click your brush icon to enter your brush library and then select Ramen Brush Pen.

On the left hand side of your screen are two sliders. The top one changes your brush size and the bottom changes its opacity. Keep the opacity at 100%. Change your brush size so it feels comfortable to work with. I had mine at about 60% for this.

Using your sketch as a guide, draw your image. I like to use pretty fast, fluid motions when I’m drawing so the lines have a smooth, natural flow. Because I try to move quickly, that means I’m not always accurate.

Black line drawing of new years baby on top of layer of photo of sketch in Procreate on the iPad

The Ramen Brush Pen brush is very dynamic. The speed you draw, the pressure you use, and the angle you hold your Apple Pencil at will all have different effects. It takes some time to master but, luckily, it’s much easier to fix not having to pull out the correction fluid to cover up mistakes. Simply tap with two fingers to backup and try again if your marks don’t come out as intended.

Another time saving trick is to tap and hold the color you are using, dragging it from the upper right and into wherever on the canvas you would like to fill. I’ve done this with the black on the top hat and inside of the sash.

After you’ve inked your character, discard the sketch behind it. Go to your layer menu, touch the sketch layer and swipe left. Click the trash bin to the layer’s right. If that freaks you out to lose, just uncheck the layer to make it invisible instead. That’ll leave it right where it was in case you still might need it for something.

Black line drawing of new years baby with sketch layer turned off in Layers Panel in Procreate

6. Paper Texture

In the actions menu again, import the Carnival Poster paper texture from the freebie pack. Enlarge and place it in so it looks natural inside the canvas. I enlarged mine a lot and so I cut off a lot of it in the final placement.

In the layer menu, go to your paper texture you just added and drag it above your line drawing layer. Click the N by the check mark and change this layer’s blending style to Multiply. This will give the appearance that your line drawing is on the old paper and will add this texture to any future layers placed underneath.

If the paper texture is too intense, you can always turn down the layer’s opacity.

Drawing of new years baby with paper texture layer set to Multiply in Procreate layers panel


A library of 21 seamless high-resolution paper textures that simulate the look of real ink on archival paper.

7. Gold Accents

In the layer menu again, create a new layer underneath your line drawing. This is where we’re going to draw in gold. Select your color from the color menu in the upper right.

Draw a big circle behind the New Years Baby, centered on the page. When you draw your circle, don’t let go. Continue to hold the tip of your pencil against the screen. Your shape will auto correct and become a smoother version of the already immaculate circle I’m sure you just drew.

Black line drawing of new years baby with gold circle drawn behind it

While your pencil is till down, you can drag your pencil out or in to make your circle larger or smaller, respectively. This is one of my favorite and most used basic functions in Procreate. You can also use this function to draw certain curves, other geometric shapes and straight lines.

Fill your circle with your gold color.

Go to the upper right, select the eraser tool and use the Ramen Brush Pen again to erase where your image is from the gold circle.

Drawing of new years baby with white negative space in gold circle in Procreate

Now, go back in with the brush to fill back in any accents or details you’d like to appear in this color, as if you were coloring in a coloring book. I filled the cigar’s label, the safety pin, the cork, and the hat band. I also added some sparkles within the champagne stream for some extra flair.

8. Halftones

Begin a new layer under your linework.

Re-select your black color and choose the 20% Rough Halftone brush. Use this brush to fill or accent areas needing shading.

This brush looks how old comics would have printed greys or pinks or any lighter version of a color you’re using on the page. I used it in the champagne bottle, under the hat brim, and accented shadows on the champagne stream for a little extra pop.

Drawing of New Years baby with halftone shading added in Procreate on the iPad

Create another new layer and do the same for your gold.

Using a separate layer for this is nice because if you get too far along and change your mind about any of these halftone fills, you can easily take them out without having to undo a lot of other work.

I filled in the cigar, sash, champagne label and added accents to the hair and diaper with this brush in gold. I also used it as an eraser to erase some smoke coming from the baby’s cigar.

Black line drawing of new years baby with gold accents and halftone shading in Procreate


DupliTone halftone brushes make it easy to add authentic halftones and shading that look like they came straight off a 1950s printing press.

9. Grunge

Now, using the Parchment Paper Grain brush as an eraser, gently erase through areas to give some texture. I turn my opacity down when doing this so that I don't take away too much too quickly.

This brush really makes it feel like the ink we’ve laid down really lives on this old paper. I like the way the gold shows a bit underneath the black that’s been grunged up, now that it’s not completely opaque.

Go into the gold layers and grunge them up in the same way.

Now, create another new layer, on top of your line drawing where we’ll add just a bit more grunge. Using the Cheap Ink Grunge as a brush, gently add black grunge to your image.

Black and gold drawing of new years baby  with paper grunge brush added on top

Since what we are replicating right now would be old printing mistakes, remember to focus using this brush along any edges. Use it along the paper’s edge a bit and also on the edges of areas with a lot of black fills. This is generally where this type of ink grunge would appear.

Repeat this process with the gold as well.


Bring analog warmth to your work with our Lo-Fi Grain and Noise Brushes. Includes 24 diverse brushes designed to emulate the look of ink on paper.

10. Finishing Touches

Zoom out so that you can see your whole drawing well. Does it look balanced? Does it read well?

Use the skills we’ve covered here to add any finishing touches or to erase anything that distracts too much from the overall drawing.

My piece felt a bit off balance so, I drew a sunburst in the bottom right that says “Happy New Year”, to compliment the weight of the black hat up top.

Drawing of new years baby with happy new year starburst on vintage paper texture created in Procreate on the iPad

Now that your drawing is complete, go to the upper left Actions menu again, select Share > Share Image > JPEG. Save your New Years Baby to your photos or airdrop it to anyone lucky enough to have their phone on and in range.

With this baby on your side and a bunch of new brushes, you’re bound to have a Very Happy New Year!


Robin Banks is a self-taught artist and illustrator living in Salt Lake City, UT.

Robin has been a RetroSupply resident illustrator since 2019.

Their work can be found on Instagram @ramenbanks or on their web store

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