How to Fix Procreate Color Too Pale and Dull [Solved]

When creating digital art in Procreate, you may sometimes notice that your colors are too dull or lack the vibrancy you aim for.

It’s frustrating, especially if you’re unsure what’s causing the issue and how to fix it. 

Color profile settings, such as switching from CMYK to RGB, can significantly impact the vibrancy of your palette. 

Additionally, you can use layers, blending modes, and other color adjustment tools in Procreate that can impact how colors are presented.

Color in Procreate

The currently used color profile controls the Color wheel in Procreate. 

When creating a new canvas in Procreate, you can control the color profile, determining how colors are represented and interpreted. Here’s a breakdown of the available options:

  • sRGB: This is the most standard and compatible color space. It’s commonly used for web graphics, photography, and most devices, making it a safe choice for general use.
  • CMYK: This color space, often used in print, focuses on mixing ink pigments. While widely supported, it may translate differently to digital displays than sRGB.
  • DCI-P3: This wider color gamut is optimized for Apple devices like iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads. It offers a richer range of colors than sRGB but may display inconsistently on non-Apple devices.
  • AdobeRGB: Similar to DCI-P3 in its wider range, but often found on high-end Windows laptops and PCs.

In Procreate, you can change the color profile when creating a new canvas or project and for existing canvases.

There is a lot of misinformation on many websites and Procreate Forum that says you can’t change the color profile in existing canvases. They’re wrong. 

While you can’t change color spaces from RGB to CMYK, you can modify them if they belong to the same group. For example, from DCI-P3 to sRGB or from Generic CYMK Profile to GRACoL color profile

Changing Color Profile in a New Canvas 

Step 1: Open the Procreate app on your iPad. Tap the plus sign at the top right corner.

New canvas procreate

Step 2: Tap the rectangular box beside the “New Canvas” title. 

Color profile for custom canvas

Step 3: Tap the “Color Profile” menu and select the RGB option. 

Step 4: Choose between “Display P3” or “sRGB IEC61966-2.1.” Avoid choosing other color options, as they can appear dull and pale on different devices. 

Step 5: Tap “Create” to make a new canvas with your chosen color profile.

If you notice a discrepancy in color vibrancy, ensure that your canvas is not set to a CMYK color profile, which is better suited for printing rather than digital artwork.

Changing Color Profile in an Existing Canvas 

Step 1: Open any project or saved canvas in Procreate. 

Step 2: Tap the wrench icon in the top menu beside the Gallery icon. 

canvas tool

Step 3: Tap the “Canvas” menu and select the “Canvas Information” option. 

Color profile in canvas info

Step 4: In the left menu, tap “Color Profile.” From the “Available Color Profiles” section, tap the color profile you want to change to. 

Step 5: Tap “Done” to save the change.

Why sRGB is better than CYMK in Procreate

When you start a new canvas, selecting an RGB color profile for digital work is important. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue and is the best color profile in Procreate

Why?

If you use P3, your artwork may appear dull on screens and monitors that need more color accuracy. Unfortunately, displays with lower color accuracy are more common than those with high color accuracy. 

Therefore, choosing sRGB is typically the better option for professional artists who want their art to maintain a consistent appearance across most devices.

In contrast, a CMYK color profile—Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black)—is designed for printed materials and often results in dull colors when viewed on digital devices. 

Sometimes, CMYK can work better than sRGB for some artists. You can experiment to determine which color profile suits your needs best. 

Exporting Art in the Correct Color Format

Colors may appear different upon exporting/sharing the finished image. For consistency, make sure to check your export settings. 

This is the best setting to make sure your exported art looks vibrant and not dull.

SettingSelection
Color ProfileP3 and RGB
File FormatPNG 
Resolution300 DPI

Adjusting Colors using HSB Slider

There are many ways to adjust color in Procreate quickly. The easiest way is by using the HSB or Hue, Saturation and Brightness slider.

You can use the HSB slider to make your digital art brighter and look more vibrant.

How to Adjust Hue, Saturation and Brightness

Adjustment tool procreate

Step 1: Tap the Adjustment tool or magic wand icon beside the wrench icon at the top menu

Step 2: Tap the Hue, Saturation and Brightness menu

HSB slider procreate

Step 3: Now adjust the HSB slider. The default value is 50%

Hue: This slider will not directly affect the brightness or vibrancy but can change the overall color tone if needed.

Saturation: Move this slider to the right to increase the color strength, making the colors in your image more vibrant.

Brightness: Slide this to the right to lighten the entire image, thereby increasing its overall brightness.

By carefully adjusting the Saturation to enhance vibrancy and the Brightness to increase lightness, you can achieve a brighter, more vibrant look for your art in Procreate.

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Author
Kenny Houle
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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