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.
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.
We’ll use the grunge brush. It comes free with Procreate and you can find it in the Texture’s brush collection.
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.
Step 3 Add a colour overlay
Create a new layer on top of your texture layer.
Fill the layer with a solid colour. I’ll use a light shade of brown (#ebd5b3).
With the colour selected, drag it onto the empty layer you just created with your finger or Apple Pencil.
To allow our texture to show through, we just need to change the layer’s blending mode to Overlay.
Here’s how it looks in Procreate, and the final exported texture in PNG format.
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.