Is Procreate Really the Best Option?

Is Procreate Really the Best Option?

There is a large number of drawing application out there that get the job done. But are there other options that get the job done as well as Procreate that work as applications on iPad and iPhone that are also free? To answer this question, I did a test run of 3 different free drawing applications to see if they could be as good as the infamous Procreate.

Below there will be three different pro and con tables for each application, listing the elements that worked for me and some that I didn’t really find quite useful. Keep in mind that these are solely just my opinions, and any of these applications can work differently for others depending on their needs.

  1. Flow (by Moleskin)
You can edit brushes in a numerous amount of ways.

Lots of colour options which you can edit the tone, colour, and brightness of easily.

The ruler tool is quite useful, where there are options to create guides for one, two, and 3 point perspective.

The cut tool is really great and useful.

Different canvas customization options (colour, grid, etc).
There is a paid subscription that gives you more canvas and brush options and freedom ($15.99 per year or $2.79 per month).

The free version only allows you to have one sheet that is a specific size which you cannot change.

Only 7 different brush heads.

No option to create multiple layers,

More sketch and note based without tools and functions for graphic design.

2. Linea Sketch

Similar function and interface as Procreate.

Ability to have layers.

Able to move the canvas freely.

Useful for note taking, sketching, illustration, and design.

Lots of colour palette options.

There are no limitations to the app with the free version when it comes to using the tools, canvas, colours, and amount of projects created.

Grid options for canvas.

Really useful gestures to undo and such.
Limited brush options, there are 7.

Watermarks on all exported projects.

The paid subscription only is to remove the watermarks from all exported projects and reminders ($39.99 for paying once, $13.49 per year, $1.29 per month)

Unsure how to change the canvas size or you can’t change it at all.

You can only have 5 layers in total.

3. Paper


Lots of different template layouts (grid, storyboard, checklist, etc.)

Lots of different pre-made colour palette options, and you can build your own.

The gesture feature and the ability to edit them is beneficial (limited by free version).

The brushes are nice, especially the watercolour one.

The colour mixer tool is really useful and simple.

More of a sketch-based app than a design and illustration one.

For full use of the application there is a paid subscription ($13.99 per year and which is $1.17 per month)

With the free version not all the tools an page layouts are available.

There are a limited number of tools even with the paid version.

You can change the canvas size; all pages are set to one dimension.

Only 5 brush options.

In conclusion I think the best free option to Procreate is Linea Sketch. It has the closest functionality to Procreate where you can have multiple layers, create an infinite amount of canvases, and the gestures are quite useful among a load of other features and tools that are just as useful as Procreates. Although there is a paid subscription option, its amenities don’t dampen the free version experience too much since the only things it removes are reminders and the watermark. The watermark is a pretty big deal but there are ways to resolve that. Paper and Flow are okay, but the paid subscription tarnishes the experience of the free versions since it removes a lot of features. As well as the fact that they don’t have the options for adding multiple layers, which is one of the biggest things in Procreate that makes it so useful.

Overall if you don’t want to have to pay for Procreate I would gravitate toward Linea Sketch since it seems to get the job done pretty well.

For more information on the app click the link below: