If you use Procreate to design artwork for shirts, mugs, cards, or more, you need to know how to remove the background of your art so that it’s transparent. This will let you put your art on anything that you choose without having a huge white square behind it where your canvas was. But, how do you make a transparent backing in Procreate exactly?
To make a transparent background in Procreate, open your layers panel and scroll down to the layer at the bottom of the list that shows your art’s background. Tap the checkmark on your background layer to uncheck it. This will remove your background from your Procreate art and make it transparent.
Once you learn how to remove the background from your Procreate work, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you. Here are just a few of the reasons you would want to have a transparent background for your Procreate art:
- move your art to a different background. This can be neat if you want to merge the worlds of art and photography by putting your art onto a photo background.
- sell your Procreate art on so many products across so many platforms like apparel, mugs, bags, notebooks, and more. If you want to get started with this, Printful and Printify are some of my favorite print on demand platforms that I suggest you check out.
- if your background isn’t a part of your design, save it in a way that makes it a non-factor. If you’re creating characters or design elements that don’t have a background to be placed in yet, eliminating your background all together can be helpful.
Now that we’ve talked about some of the reasons why you might want to remove the backgrounds of your Procreate art, let’s walk through the process step-by-step. Firstly, we’ll talk about the process of making your background transparent in procreate, and then we’ll talk about how to export your work so that this transparency is maintained.
How to Make a Transparent Background in Procreate, Step-by-Step
Here’s the process of removing your Procreate background so that it’s transparent, step-by-step:
1. Open your layers panel
It’s easy to forget that our backgrounds even exist. They’re already there when we create a canvas, and we tend to ignore them until we suddenly need to deal with them.
That’s why it’s easy to forget where our backgrounds even live! When you need to access your background, you can find it hanging out in your layers panel.
2. Scroll down to the bottom of your layers
The background of your Procreate art will always live at the bottom of your layers panel. When you first create a canvas, it will already exist and be sitting underneath Layer 1. Overtime, if you accumulate a lot of layers in your design, you may need to scroll down to the bottom of your list of layers in order to find it.
3. Uncheck the checkmark on your background layer
Your background works in the same way that any other layer does. When you tap on the checkmark and uncheck a layer, it disappears from your art. If you want to remove the background and make it transparent, simply tap the checkmark to uncheck it. This will remove your background and make it transparent.
Once you uncheck your background layer, you will see the default Procreate grid appear. This is what you see around your canvas as you work. With your background removed, all you have is the remainder of your design elements, so now you’ll see the grid everywhere that your background used to be.
4. Export your Procreate art as a PNG file
There’s a very important reason why you need to export your Procreate art as a PNG file when you have a transparent background. Let’s dive into it a bit more.
How to Export a Procreate Image with a Transparent Background
In order to maintain the transparent background of your Procreate art, you need to export it as a PNG file. This is the only file type that will show your art with a transparent background. All other file types will add a white background once you go through the export process.
If you want to export your Procreate with a transparent background, it’s REALLY important that you export it as a PNG file. If you don’t, you’ll be frustrated because your files will all have white backgrounds.
There’s no way around this. Luckily, it’s not tricky. Honestly, the hardest part is just remembering to do it in the first place.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Make sure that your background is gone. If it’s not, scroll back up to the previous section where I give instructions about removing your background from your Procreate art.
2. Click the wrench to open the actions tab.
3. Click the share button.
4. Choose PNG within the “Share Image” list.
5. Decide where you want to export your Procreate art to and click on it.
What if you are working on a project that ultimately needs to be a PDF, JPG or other design type, but you need the transparent design element so that you can add it to what will soon be your finished work? For example, you drew a flower on Procreate and you’re adding it to a flyer for a garden party.
In this case, you’ll want to export your design as a transparent PNG and import it into Canva, Photoshop, or your other design program, in this format.
This will maintain the transparency of your background so that you can add it to your design piece.
Once you’ve finished your design, download the final product as a PDF, JPG, or PDF.
If you are downloading your Procreate art so that you can sell it on apparel, mugs, or products of any sort, you will need to export your Procreate files as PNG files with transparent backgrounds. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a white square on your mug surrounding your art, which isn’t a great look.
For example, above is a design on a Printful sweatshirt. The background is transparent so that I don’t have a white square surrounding it on the sweatshirt.
Luckily, all print on demand platforms support PNG files, so you’re good to go.
Making transparent backgrounds in Procreate is important if you plan to sell your art on products, use your work in other design projects, or just need a transparent background for whatever reason.
Hopefully this guide has given you the tools you need to remove your background and have fun with your art!
Diana has been an artist for over 25 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.