How to create a parchment background in Procreate

How to create a parchment background in Procreate

There’s no shortage of parchment backgrounds on the internet, however I can never find what I want. I make content for print and web, and finding the right texture, colour aspect ratio and size can be tricky. Then there’s the issue of copyright. The best stuff is rarely free (and royalty-free), and even when a texture is released under Creative Commons licence it often has the no-commercial clause.

So, I set about to create a quick and simple technique for creating parchment backgrounds in Procreate on my iPad.

Step 1 Create the canvas

For this tutorial, I’ve chosen my iPad’s screen size: 2048 x 1536px. The technique works at any resolution or aspect ratio, so choose whatever suits your needs.

Creating a basic canvas
Creating a basic canvas

Step 2 Brush in some texture

Procreate creates a blank canvas with two layers, a white background and a transparent layer. We’ll brush in our texture on to Layer 1.

Layer 1
Layer 1

We’ll use the grunge brush. It comes free with Procreate and you can find it in the Texture’s brush collection.

Grunge brush
Grunge brush

With the colour set to black, paint the layer liberally with the grunge brush. If you’re using the Apple Pencil, you can take advantage of the pressure sensitivity. Pressing harder will create a darker textured. I like to start soft and press harder in areas I want to appear darker.

Basic texture pained in
Basic texture pained in

Step 3 Add a colour overlay

Create a new layer on top of your texture layer.

Add a new layer
Add a new layer

Fill the layer with a solid colour. I’ll use a light shade of brown (#ebd5b3).

Colour selected
Colour selected

With the colour selected, drag it onto the empty layer you just created with your finger or Apple Pencil.

Solid colour overlay
Solid colour overlay

To allow our texture to show through, we just need to change the layer’s blending mode to Overlay.

Changing the blending mode
Changing the blending mode

Here’s how it looks in Procreate, and the final exported texture in PNG format.

Parchment texture in procreate
Parchment texture in procreate
Exported texture
Exported texture

Exploring options

The steps above will give you a great-looking texture at the size and ratio you want in seconds.

To refine your image, you can go back to the original texture layer (Layer 1 in my example) and apply more texture with the same or different brushes, applying different pressure to create the look you want.

You can also add another texture layer, again using the same or a different brush (chalks, pastels, and washes work great), and then experiment with different blending modes until you have the look you want.

Texture with additional layers and a subtle slate overlay
Texture with additional layers and a subtle slate overlay

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