Procreate makes drawing straight lines super easy. In this post I’m going to teach you how to make straight lines in Procreate, even if you can’t draw a straight line to save your life.
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I created a practice file that you can use in Procreate to practice drawing straight lines. Enter your email and I’ll send it over to you.
How to Make Straight Lines in Procreate Using Quickshape
If you’ve ever been frustrating while drawing, saying “I can’t even draw a straight line,” then Procreate will be awesome for you. Drawing straight lines in the Procreate app is so easy.
The easiest way to do this is to use the QuickShape (or QuickLine) function. For this, you draw a line and then hold your Apple Pencil on the screen until the line snaps into a straight line.
Here is a video to show how this works:
To make a perfectly vertical or horizontal line, wait for the line to snap into a straight line and then place the finger of your other hand on your screen. If you keep your finger on the screen, you can change the angle of the line in 15 degree increments.
Without your finger on the screen you can move the tip of your line anywhere you want it by moving your pencil (before picking it up). You can rotate your line, make it longer, or make it shorter. This is an easy way to create the perfect diagonal lines.
Once you lift your Apple Pencil from the screen, you can still adjust your line (as long as you haven’t done anything else).
At the top of your screen, you’ll see a button pop up that says “Edit Shape.”
When you click on that button, more options will show up. Since we’re creating a straight line, you want to select “line.”
Once you select line, you’ll see that some dots appear on the line you’ve drawn. You can move those dots around to change your line. You can change the angle of your line or the angle of your line. I’ve always found this super handy when I want to connect my line to some other part of a drawing.
As always, you can undo anything using a two-finger tap.
You can draw perfect shapes in Procreate using this same tool. You may be interested in my article on creating a teardrop in Procreate using QuickShape to see how you might use this.
Draw a Staight Line in Procreate Using Drawing Guide
Did you know that Procreate gives you a bunch of different grids that you can use for drawing in Procreate? Each off these grids also comes with the ability to use drawing assist. In a previous article I discussed using drawing assist when using symmetry.
You can also use drawing assist to create straight lines.
I created a video so you can follow along:
Select the actions menu (wrench icon). From there select your menu for canvas. Then select drawing guide and then edit drawing guide. This is where you can select the type of drawing guid you wish to use:
- 2D grid: a grid that has vertical and horizontal lines
- Isometric grid: Diagonal lines
- Perspective guide: uses one point, two point, or three point perspective
- Symmetry: allows you to use symmetry in Procreate.
Select the type of drawing guide you want and then toggle Assisted Drawing to on.
When using a drawing guide your lines will only be able to go along the lines of the grid shown on the drawing guide. For example, when you use the default 2D grid and turn on drawing guide, you will only be able to draw horizontal or vertical lines.
You can change the direction of those lines by moving the little green node to the direction you want your lines to go on the drawing guide screen. You can create angled lines at just the right angle in this way.
Other drawing guides work in a similar way. One really cool one is the drawing guide for perspective. Using the perspective grid drawing guide in Procreate helps you to draw in the correct one-point, two point or three point perspective depending on your wishes.
Hint: you can also turn on and off assisted drawing in your layers menu (once drawing guide is on). Open your layers panel, tap on the name of the layer, and select “Drawing Assist.” When you create a new layer you may need to turn this function on or off depending on whether you continue to want to use drawing assist to create straight lines.
How to Draw a Straight Line in Procreate
Because using Quick Shape to draw a line is a bit too perfect a for some of the artwork I want to create, I’ve also found it important to practice drawing a straight line freehand in Procreate.
The trick to drawing a straight line seems to be to be confident in the stroke of your line and to create the line quickly instead of going slow. At least for me when I try to draw super slowly, my line tends to wobble.
A great way to practice this is to draw a dot on each side of your screen and then connect those dots with a straight line. I created a Procreate file of this for you so that you can practice along with me. You can download that here.
Once you download, come back and practice with me 🙂
You don’t have to be perfect here. Your artwork may actually look better without perfectly straight lines. To let go of this perfection, make sure you watch this Sketchy Doodle class on Skillshare. This class will teach you how to draw great things in a sketchy way.
Draw Smooth Lines Using Stroke Stabilization in Procreate
There are some brushes that are easier to get a straight line with. Often this is because the Streamline or stabilization on those brushes is turned up. If you find that your straight lines tend to be wobbly in Procreate, you may want to look at your stabilization settings in Procreate.
You can change the stabilization settings for all of your brushes at the same time by going to your Action Menu (wrench icon), then Prefs, then Pressure and Smoothing. Then you can adjust your stabilization setting to increase the smoothness of your brushes.
Here is a video showing you how to do this:
Keep in mind that you don’t want to put this too high because it makes it harder to draw. Stabilization takes away some ability to make natural pencil strokes.
To change stabilization of a brush, open your brush library to select the brush you want to stabilize.
Hint: before moving forward I recommend duplicating this brush so that you can go back to the regular setting if you wish to do so. You can duplicate a brush by swiping left on the brush and then selecting duplicate. The copied brush will show up above the original with a 1 after the title.
Then select the brush and tap on it a second time. This will open up the brush studio for that brush.
In the brush studio you’ll see a menu along left hand side of the screen. Choose the stabilization menu. You can then increase the stabilization and streamline of the brush to get it how you want it. Stabilization is one of the new updates in Procreate 5.2. I’ve always used Streamline to smooth out my brushes, especially when doing lettering.
How to Make Straight Lines in Procreate With Different Line Weights
One of the things that makes Procreate so great is the fact that you can change the weight of your line. By changing the weight of your line you can make it thicker or thinner.
To create a straight line that has some texture to it, make sure you press heavier and lighter on the screen as you draw. When you do so, you’ll find that the thickness and thinness of your line changes. This will help your drawing look more realistic even if you’re using QuickShape to draw a straight line.
Hint: This will not work with a monoline brush since those are not pressure sensitive.
How to Erase in a Straight Line in Procreate
One thing you may not know is that you can erase in a straight line in Procreate using the same techniques I talked about above. This is super handy when you’re trying to cut away some of your drawing but want it to be precise.
To do this, select the eraser you want to use by going to the eraser icon menu. This eraser tool allows you to pick any brush you want to use when erasing. If you want to erase with the same brush you’re using to draw, make sure you’re on that brush and then touch and hold the eraser icon. This will automatically select the brush you were using as the eraser.
Using QuickShape to Create Straight Lines in Procreate
QuickShape is similar to QuickLine except when holding down your pencil, your drawing is going to snap into a shape.
It works in a similar way. Draw a circle and hold your pencil on the screen. Your drawing will snap into a circle or an elipse/oval. You can edit your circle by selecting edit on the top of the screen. You can also make sure you create a perfect circle, square, or triangle by holding your finger on the screen while you wait for the shape to snap in Procreate with QuickShape.
Help! Procreate Will Only Draw Straight Lines
If you’re stuck only being able to draw straight lines, the first thing to check in Procreate is whether you have drawing assist activated. Check this by going to the layer that you’re on and looking to see if the word assisted is written on your layer.
If it is, open your layer menu by tapping on the title of the layer and then tapping on “assisted” to uncheck the box. This should fix things for you.
But what if you can draw normal lines at first but they always snap into straight lines?
One problem you may run into is that sometimes you’ll get straight lines or angles even when you don’t want them! Why does this happen and how do you fix it?
One thing you can do is to increase the amount of time before Quickshape snaps to the perfect shape Select the wrench icon on the top left corner of your screen.
Choose the prefs menu and select gesture controls.
Toward the bottom of the screen you’ll see a slider that says delay. You can delay QuickShape al the way up to a second and a half! You can also decrease the delay so it will snap in a tenth of a second. I personally have my delay set to .65 seconds and that works pretty well for me.
You’ll want to find a balance between being able to draw slowly without the QuickShape activating and efficiency. It might slow down your work quite a bit if you have to wait 1.5 seconds for a straight line if using the straight line tool in QuickShape.
You can also turn QuickShape off entirely if you want to.
How to Turn Off QuickLine in Procreate
At times you might find QuickLine to be super annoying. If you’re going slowly and trying to be precise in a drawing, QuickLine can be a drag. Once it snaps to a line, you can undo it with a two finger tap; however, you’ll also need to lift your pencil off of the screen to do this.
To do this, go to the wrench icon and then select your preferences menu.
Choose Gesture Controls.
Select QuickShape and toggle off the button for “Draw and hold.”
You can easily turn it back on by going right back to this menu.