Tracing is a big art and it is really common for all the artists. Even if we are tracing our own art, trace a random photo, or even learning the way of tracing so that we can master the shapes and other reference photos, learning how to trace on procreate is a very vital and important skill that can be used to make awesome sketches and drawings. This can also bring the artists talent to its full potential.

In short, if you want to trace, you need to first import the photo that you need to trace into your Procreate design by going to the “Insert an image” button which can be located in the Actions tab. After that, you should lower the opacity so that you can see the layer of the image that you imported and then you should add a new layer on top of it. After that, you will be able to trace over the image on the new layer and finalize your project.

Thanks to Procreate, it is really easy to trace over anything and this has become a huge perk of digital art in the general. If you think that haven’t mastered the art of tracing on Procreate yet, don’t worry, if you follow our article, then we are sure to teach you how to trace on Procreate. Here are the steps and detailed instructions on answering your question, which has been simplified for everyone’s use.

How to Trace on Procreate

Step Number 1: Making Sure That the Photo That We Want to Trace Is Already in the Photos App

If you want to trace a photo that you want to find, you will have to make sure at first that you already have the photo that you are looking for in your Photos or Gallery app, depending on the device. If you want to work on a photo that you want to trace on Procreate and you don’t have that, you can export that and save it to your Photos app.

Step Number 2: Creating a Brand-new Canvas or Opening an Existing Piece of Art Where We Are Going to Trace


In this step, we are going to find the option in Procreate where we need to be if want to start our tracing. To do this, you can click Creating a New Digital Canvas in our gallery. You can also open an existing piece of art on which, you can start your work. In this tab, you will be able to have a lot of different options for different resolutions that you can easily work on, if you know the correct size, you will easily be able to work on that.

Step Number 3: Opening the Actions Tab in the Top Toolbar and Clicking on the “Add” Button

You will be able to find the Actions tab by clicking the icon that resembles a wrench. After you have clicked on that, you will find “Add” button that is the first thing you see on this menu. Clicking this sub-menu will give you additional options that will give you the ability to copy, paste, cut, and add text.

Step Number 4: Clicking and working on the “Insert a Photo” Tab for Further Clarification

After clicking on the “Insert a Photo” button, you will be able to open up your Photos or Gallery app that has all the most recent photos showed on the top. If you are looking a photo that is old, you will be able to get them by scrolling down or finding the exact date of the image.

If you want to make things easier, you can make a copy of your older photo and then add it again to your Photos library. This will make sure that the images are in the recent photo again and it will show up at the beginning of the list. In this way, you will have an easier time while searching for the photo.

Step Number 5: Using the Transformation Tool for Resizing and Repositioning the Image

After you are done with tracing the original photo, you will have to limit the number of times you resize and reposition the image. This is done because if you keep resizing and repositioning it, you will start having pixelated art. This also might result in having quality loss in your photos. As a result, if you don’t want to make that mistake, then you should definitely use this feature with caution


People who are looking to know the answer of how to trace on procreate should make sure that when you are tracing in the right spot and the size of the image is correctly resized. Don’t worry about anything else since you are already going to delete the original image so resizing that image isn’t much of an issue.

Therefore, it shouldn’t matter if you lose the quality of that image. If you want to adjust the image, you have to use the Transformation tool. You can access this tool by clicking the arrow icon that you can find in the top side of the toolbar. If you want to know how to use the Transformation tool and get the guide of using it, please do keep an eye out in our website as we will be writing about that too in the future.

If you ask me, then I think using the “Uniform” setting in the Transform tool settings will make sure that you image doesn’t get stretched or distorted. This will definitely solve a lot of valuable time for you in the future

Step Number 6: Lowering the Opacity and Working from there

After you have inserted your image into the Procreate design, you will see a new layer. If you want to make it ready for tracing on top of it, you have to first decrease the opacity of the upper layer only to the extent when you will start seeing both the layers. To do this, you have to open your layers panel, and then find your image layer and then click “N” which you can find in the right corner of the panel.

This shortcut stands for Blend Mode (Normal). However, this also opens the layer’s settings that will come in handy to do a lot of things. Within the settings of this layer, you will an opacity slider, which is used to lower the opacity of that specific layer.

This amount mostly depends on the image you chose and you should lower only enough to see both shapes and the outlines of the image. You shouldn’t lower the layer so much that you won’t be able to see the shapes and the details in the image. There is no hard and fast rule of this, and hence, you need to play around the slider and then work from there.

Step Number 7: Creating a New Layer

This step is really important and if for some reason, you forget to do this step, then you should definitely have to start over and that will be a huge problem. Please keep in mind that you must not want to do your tracing on your image layer. In the end, you will want to remove the original image that you are using for tracing


As a result, if you trace the image directly on your image layer, you will fully delete the whole tracking as well as the image if you remove the layer. This is also a problem. A safe side for this is that, each and every time you start tracing, you should make sure and triple check your layers so that you know that you are on the right track.

Step Number 8: Tracing the Image (Finally)

At last, you are ready to trace your image. To do this, you should first choose your preferred Procreate brush and then trace whatever you are trying to trace. We will be posting an article on the best Procreate brushes to use for your art. You don’t have to worry too much because tracing in Procreate is an easy and straightforward process, if you get the hang of it.


Can you Auto Trace in Procreate?

Unfortunately, Procreate doesn’t have any auto tracing feature and it cannot trace automatically for you. The only way to trace something in Procreate is if you manually complete and finish the tracing yourself by using your favored style and the Procreate brush of your choice.

Procreate has a lot of amazing features, but auto tracing is not one of them. If you want to trace and finish your work, we would recommend following our guideline on how to trace on Procreate that we have mentioned above. We can only hope that this auto tracing feature will be available in the future for us.

Is tracing in Procreate Cheating?

No! Tracing on Procreate shouldn’t be cheating but rather, it would be considered as a great opportunity to learn and improve anyone’s drawing and sketching skills. This will also give the opportunity to master hand strokes and also give the artists the ability to adapt and become faster in tracing, proportions, angles of the images and lines, the sense of perspectives, and the composition altogether.

However, we should always be mindful and concentrate on our works so that we can learn the best and educate ourselves to get the benefit out of this experience. Instead of carelessly outlining and sketching different shapes, we should instead be very mindful and pay close attention to the things that matter. If you are tracing from a photo that you have taken, it is not considered cheating.

Here, you are just using an additional technique of art so that you can create your own work. It should be noted that you should never trace on someone else’s original work because that will definitely be a problem if you don’t have the required permission to do so if you want to master how to trace on Procreate.

Is there an app for tracing pictures?

Absolutely, there are a lot of apps that you can easily find in your App Store if you are using Apple or your Google Play Store, if you are using your Android Phone.

image tracing projector

Among them:
Tracing Projector
Tracer! Lightbox tracing app
Trace Together
Sketch AR
Are a few amazing apps that you can easily download and use for your tracing projects? Besides these, you can just search tracing apps in those stores and you will able to get a vast library of different apps that are suitable for your work.

Precautions While Tracing on Procreate

Even though tracing is a relatively easy work, there are a few precautions that you should definitely keep in mind because that will definitely help you in the long run. One of them is layer selection. You should always keep in mind that you are selecting the required layer because if you don’t do that, you will definitely have trouble and do the work over again if you mess the layer up.

Besides these, don’t forget to take permission if you are using another artist’s work and instead, you should use your own photos that you have taken or have gathered in your library.


After you have learned how to trace in Procreate, you should definitely be able to widen your horizons and do a lot of other things that will definitely help you shoot your shots in your preferred career. By being good at it, you will be able to learn how to trace on Procreate and also learn how to draw from any image with the help of tracing over your own arts.

Each and every individual have different perspectives and opinions about tracing. This is mostly because this skill can be used for a lot of different purposes and benefits you as an artist, while on the other extreme can also damage your reputation if you don’t use this wisely.

After you have finally finished learning how to trace on Procreate, we are sure that you will be able to take decisions on where to use this skill and where not to. If you liked our article, then please do take a look at our other articles that can also help you gather a wide range of knowledge on art and photography.

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