Procreate is one of the most popular digital illustration apps available for iPad and iPhone. Its intuitive interface and advanced drawing tools make it a go-to choice for artists to create sketches, paintings, comics and more.
A key feature in Procreate that sets it apart from other mobile art apps is its layer system. Layers allow you to stack different graphic elements neatly on top of each other within a composition. You can edit and manipulate these layers independently to experiment easily without damaging other parts of your artwork.
However, with the freedom layers provide also comes managing them effectively. Sometimes your layer count can grow cluttered, or certain layers may no longer serve the overall piece. In cases like these, knowing how to correctly delete a layer or multiple layers helps streamline your file, improving workflow and organization of the artwork.
This guide will outline step-by-step how to remove layers within Procreate to best suit your creative needs when digitally illustrating using your Apple device and stylus.
View All Layers To get started, you first need to view all current layers that exist in your Procreate canvas:
- Open your Procreate illustration and tap the “Layers” button near the top. This brings up the full layer menu.
- Review the list vertically to see each layer labeled and previewed with a thumbnail graphic.
- Scroll up or down through the list to audit which layers compose your piece. Opaque layers will block ones listed underneath them.
Take time here to assess layer names, content and stacking order. This informs which layers may no longer be needed or usable. Removing Unwanted Layers Once you’ve reviewed the layers thoroughly, determine which ones you wish to delete:
- Tap to select any layer name which you want removed. The name will highlight with a color outline.
- Tap the trash can icon at the lower right corner to bring up delete options.
- Choose “Delete Layer” to confirm removal of the highlighted layer.
The selected layer along with all brush strokes or objects it contains will vanish entirely from the canvas. Repeat these steps to continue removing extraneous layers as desired. This digital housekeeping can really refine the structure of drawings.
Delete Multiple Layers at Once For more efficient editing, Procreate actually allows deleting multiple layers at the same time:
- Tap the three-dot menu icon next to a layer name you want removed. This is the “Select” function.
- Repeat choosing “Select” on additional layers you wish to delete until garnering the full set. Selected layers show a check mark icon.
- Finally tap the trash can button and confirm “Delete” to remove all highlighted layers together in one action.
Utilizing Select to tag layers in groups first, you can purge them rapidly in just a couple taps for smooth, quick file management while crafting art digitally.
Exercise Caution When Deleting Layers When removing layers in your work, it’s prudent to save your file first or duplicate it, in case you delete something truly integral by accident. Here are cautions to heed:
- Don’t delete the Background layer itself as that is the base canvas; hide it instead if needed
- Be careful not to delete a layer still actively selected/edited
- Pay attention to layer order and grouping when deleting; you may disrupt intended compositing
- Consider merging layers selectively versus deleting if contents are helpful
With a steady, observant approach you’ll grow adept at deleting irrelevant layers or ones causing clutter. But tread thoughtfully in case of unfurling important progress so far. Options After Deleting Layers Once removing visual components you no longer want, a few options become available to continue perfecting your Procreate project:
Rebuild the Artwork’s Composition With simplifying layers gone, assess remaining ones to potentially rearrange stacking order that better suits the piece aesthetically or logically.
Restore Deleted Brush Strokes If you remover a layer truly by mistake, tap “Undo” rapidly to revert deletion before proceeding too far to lose the layer forever.
Merge Useful Layers
Consolidate multiple layers with similar functions into one unified layer via the Merge Down menu option to streamline further.
New Layers Feel freed up to create new blank layers where needed now to sketch or paint new elements with purpose after clearing artistic clutter.
By taking advantage of Procreate’s layer features to both delete and build up artwork components as required, you leverage the app’s versatility and customization at your fingertips… or stylus tips, as it may be!
Common Reasons to Delete Layers As you advance your digital artistry in Procreate, keep recurrent reasons for removing layers in mind:
Hiding and Unhiding Layers Deleting is permanent but temporarily hiding layers by tapping the visibility icon also lets you declutter temporarily to focus on certain details before bringing elements back into view.
Too Many Layers If your layer count grows overwhelmingly packed, assess ones that have become obsolete, redundant or whose content you’ve improved via reworking on separate layers above it. Consolidate where logical.
Need Canvas Space
Zooming to work minutely, you may require more open canvas to paint freely unencumbered by existing layers’ boundaries; selectively remove elements not integral to area.
Earlier Version Preferred
As an artwork evolves away from a stage you decide you liked best, deleting layers of recent revisions brings you back to that earlier rendition still preserved in progress.
Direction Pivoting to a totally fresh concept mid-creation may warrant deleting swaths of layers no longer applicable to the new stylistic vision forming.
Signs It’s Time to Delete Layers Watch for these clear signals that deleting one or more layers could benefit the cohesive quality of your artistic endeavor:
- Layer thumbnail miniatures look visually disharmonious together indicating messy composition
- You feel creatively confused by too many elements piled disjointedly
- Technical app sluggishness bogs you down hinting at data overload
- Certain layers cause ugly streaks, eraser marks or errors you wish to simply purge
Trust indicators like these that point to deletion opportunities for smoother artistic sailing!
In Closing From subtle sparkle accents to dramatic backgrounds, layers empower you to construct Procreate creations with depth, dimension and precision editing control. Harness the “Delete Layer” functions wisely when streamlining your working file and artistic process will benefit the final visual impact. Just be sure to give careful attention when removing layered artwork components, and leverage backup protections or Undo where warranted. With deft delete decisions, layers lift your projects to masterpiece status!