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How to Digitally Quill in Procreate

I first learned about paper quilling from seeing Yulia Brodskaya’s art probably ten years ago. I absolutely fell in love with it! I’ve made hundreds of traditional and on-edge paper quilling/papergraphic designs over the years, sold them at craft fairs, done commissions (mainly monograms and other typography), and I love seeing my work framed and hung around my home and in my family and friends' houses.

framed paper quilling

However, as a professional graphic designer, working on the computer and using my hands all day long, I began to notice that I couldn’t sit down to quill for more than an hour without significant pain due to the pinching, rolling, tweezers, and other fine motor actions needed. This was so sad and frustrating for me, since I LOVE this craft!

I'd begun to do more artwork on my iPad, mainly with Procreate, and I wondered if there was a way to quill digitally. I’d tried to create digital quilling in Adobe Illustrator earlier, but couldn’t find a process I liked (this was before I was using a stylus - the mouse was too clunky and not intuitive). Now with Procreate, I’ve fallen in love with the easy way I can translate traditional art styles into digital art - acrylics, watercolor, chalk, etc.

doing digital art on ipad

After a lot of trial and error, I created a process and some brushes that have enabled me to digitally quill on my iPad! I’ve had a couple of these printed to see how they look on paper and canvas and the effect is really nice. The digital shadows and highlights give a 3D look to the 2D print.

I knew I couldn’t keep this to myself, so I worked hard to create an online course that anyone can follow to create their own unique, beautiful DigiQuill designs. It’s live on Skillshare right now, but starting today, I’m also so proud and excited to announce that the Digital Quilling course, as well as my Digital Papercut Typography course, are available on my own Course + Community site.

It’s been my goal since I started teaching digital art to have an online community where students could come together to share their art, ask questions, get feedback, and make connections in a safe, friendly space. I’ve never been a fan of Facebook groups, as I feel there are too many distractions, ads, politics, etc. that can get in the way of real connections. I knew I wanted to have my online community on a separate platform and, ideally, integrated with my courses. I found one that fit all my needs and I’ve been working hard over the last few months to get everything ready to welcome new students.

The great thing about this course platform is that we have gamification built right into it, so not only are you going to learn how to make some cool art on your iPad and have access to a supportive online community, but you'll genuinely have FUN while you're doing it! It's like nothing you've seen before!

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