A character designed by Swolfchan using PixelSquid objects and the Procreate app on an iPad.

Tutorial: Building a Character from PixelSquid Objects in Procreate

PixelSquid objects can be rotated and downloaded from our website interface (no plugin necessary), meaning the full library is suitable for any program that can open PNG file formats, like the popular Procreate app for iPad! Follow along with freelance illustrator Swolfchan as he constructs a character using PixelSquid images in Procreate!

A character designed by Swolfchan using PixelSquid objects and the Procreate app on an iPad.


Tools used within this process: iPad Pro, Procreate, PixelSquid Library and My Imagination.

Hi, I’m John, and I go by the name Swolfchan. I’ve been working independently as a freelance traditional artist/illustrator for more than 10 years. I discovered a year ago the power of digital art. I bought myself an iPad Pro and ever since then, I’ve found new potential. I have so many new ideas and dreams to fulfill, and I’ve made so many new contacts within the digital art scene. It’s made me realize an idea from a time ago: to connect like-minded creative thinkers together with the linear thinkers, and to help push new boundaries, to inspire and collaborate, to create something new you couldn’t have created by yourself… and in this case, one plus one equals three. I’ve teamed up with PixelSquid to create a new collaboration and I challenge you to do the same. The idea for this work was to create a monster-mash character using only the premade PNG collections offered by PixelSquid, manipulating them as I pleased.

But first: setting up the workflow and the technical process of getting PixelSquid elements into procreate.

iPad Splitscreen: Procreate & Pixelsquid (Safari browser)

  1. Open up Procreate and open up the Safari app. Make sure you’re already signed into PixelSquid
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Dock
  3. On the Dock, touch and hold the second app that you want to open, then drag it to the screen

Setting up iPad splitscreen to work with Procreate and PixelSquid

Importing Pixelsquid Objects Into Procreate

  1. On Safari, log in to PixelSquid and find the element you would like to import, and rotate within the website
  2. Download the PNG with or without shadows; these elements will be saved on your iPad within the Downloads folder
  3. In Procreate, click the Spanner Icon (top left) > ADD > Insert a file > Locations, On my iPad > Downloads > Then find your downloaded element and click to import

Importing PixelSquid objects into Procreate

Pixelsquid Creature Design Challenge Process

1. First, I’ve drawn a simple character structure using an isometric grid, lines, and organic shapes to create a silhouette.

Step one of PixelSquid Creature Design

2. Grab the elements from PixelSquid’s PNG collections. (I’m using elements mostly from the +70 Greco-Roman Style Collection.) Start filling out sections on your character, using Layer Masks on the objects to shape and bring out the character’s uniqueness.

Step two of PixelSquid Creature Design

3. Thinking about materials and textures, I’ve added a shield and a battle axe. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of your silhouette– it adds character.

Step three of PixelSquid Creature Design Construction of Character

4. Once you’re happy, you Save then Merge your Layers. Now you can start thinking about playing with various lighting scenarios. Duplicate the original, and then with the Levels/Curves drop the brightness. From there, you then add/remove from a mask layer to relight your piece of work.

Step four of PixelSquid Creature Design

5. Now for the finishing touches, I’ve gone over with my painting skills to bring out my own style.

A character designed by Swolfchan using PixelSquid objects and the Procreate app on an iPad.


Swolfchan has worked as a freelance traditional artist/illustrator for more than 10 years, and has recently broken into digital art. You can follow his work on his Instagram.

If you’re interested in being featured in our artist tutorials and spotlights, you can email our content team at marketing@pixelsquid.com.

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