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Why is my color on Procreate not working?

Procreate is a popular digital illustration app for iOS devices. It offers artists a robust set of painting, drawing, and sketching tools. However, many users encounter issues with Procreate’s color picker and brushes. If you are struggling to get the right color or your brushes won’t apply color correctly, there are a few potential causes and solutions to try.

Possible Causes of Procreate Color Issues

Here are some of the most common reasons why you may be experiencing problems with color in Procreate:

  • Your color profile is not set correctly
  • You have color drop enabled
  • Your Apple Pencil needs to be calibrated
  • You are using a “Tint” color type
  • Your brush settings need adjusting
  • There is a glitch or bug in the app

Checking Your Color Profile

One of the first things to check is whether your color profile in Procreate is set up correctly. The color profile controls how colors are interpreted within the app. To check your color profile settings:

  1. Go to the Procreate menu in the top left corner
  2. Tap on “Canvas”
  3. Select “Color Profile”
  4. Make sure the profile is set to sRGB or Display P3

sRGB is the standard color profile used across most web and digital content. Display P3 has a wider color gamut but is only supported on newer iPads. If your color profile was incorrectly set to something generic like “Baseline RGB”, this could lead to inaccurate color rendering in Procreate.

Disabling Color Drop

Procreate has a “Color Drop” feature that lets you sample and apply colors from your canvas using a gesture. If color drop is enabled, it could inadvertently be changing colors as you paint without you realizing.

To disable color drop:

  1. Go to the Actions menu
  2. Tap the eye icon next to “Color Drop” to toggle it off

With color drop disabled, you can ensure that your brush colors remain constant as you work.

Calibrating Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil is a highly sensitive stylus, but it can sometimes misinterpret pressure and tilt leading to unexpected changes in color. Recalibrating the Apple Pencil ensures accurate color pickup and application.

To calibrate Apple Pencil:

  1. Go to Settings > Apple Pencil
  2. Tap “Calibrate…” and follow the on-screen instructions

Be sure to fully charge your Apple Pencil before calibrating. Then test it in Procreate to see if color issues are resolved.

“Tint” Colors

Procreate has several different color types including RGB, CMYK, and Tint. The Tint color type acts differently from standard colors in that it tints the color beneath rather than covering it.

If you have a brush set to use Tint colors, it may appear transparent or show the wrong colors even if you pick a solid color from the wheel. Switch the color type to RGB or CMYK for normal opaque color behavior.

Adjusting Brush Settings

Procreate brushes have many customizable settings that could impact how color appears when painting. Here are some brush parameters to check if colors seem faded or inaccurate:

  • Opacity – Lower opacity will make colors transparent
  • Flow – Lower flow will result in less intense or duller colors
  • Wet Mix – Higher wet mix will blend and mix colors more
  • Resaturation – Lower resaturation reduces saturation and vividness

Try tweaking these brush settings to achieve the desired color behavior, and make sure the brush opacity and flow are at 100% if you want full rich colors.

Updating and Restarting

Like any app, Procreate can occasionally have bugs that affect performance and colors. Make sure Procreate is fully up to date by checking the App Store for any available updates.

It’s also a good idea to fully restart your iPad periodically to clear any memory issues. Double click the Home button and swipe up on the Procreate preview to fully close it. Then reopen Procreate and test if colors work correctly.

Further Troubleshooting

If you are still having unexplained issues with color after trying the steps above, here are some additional things to test in Procreate:

  • Try resetting Procreate to default settings
  • Enable high quality image import
  • Test with default brushes and colors
  • Try on a new canvas or document
  • Repair file permissions in iPad settings

Resetting settings, changing documents, and using basic default colors and brushes can help narrow down if the problem is document-specific or not. Repairing file permissions can potentially resolve app issues caused by corrupt files.

When to Contact Support

If you still cannot get colors working properly in Procreate after trying all of the above steps, it’s best to contact Procreate’s customer support team directly:

Procreate’s developers may be able to troubleshoot obscure app issues or bugs that the average user cannot resolve themselves. Provide detailed information on the specific color problems you are experiencing and the troubleshooting steps attempted.


Accurate and vibrant colors are essential for digital illustration. If Procreate’s colors appear wrong or are not behaving as expected, systematically go through color profile, brush, document, and app settings to isolate the issue. Recalibrating the Apple Pencil and updating Procreate can also help resolve color problems. For persistent issues that do not resolve with troubleshooting, reach out to the Procreate support team for assistance.

With the right settings and troubleshooting, you can get Procreate’s colors working smoothly so you can focus on creating amazing digital masterpieces.