Adobe Fresco vs. Procreate: Which is Better (2023)?

With Adobe Fresco and Procreate, businesses leverage powerful digital illustration tools.

Adobe Fresco gives you access to cutting-edge features and collaborative workflows with Adobe Creative Cloud.

Procreate provides cost-effective solutions for digital illustration tailored to business needs, especially for iPad users.

The main difference is that Adobe Fresco operates on a subscription-based model, offering continuous access to updates and Adobe Creative Cloud integration. In contrast, Procreate follows a one-time purchase model, providing lifetime access to the app without recurring fees. This fundamental distinction in pricing structures influences how users budget for and access the respective features of Adobe Fresco and Procreate.

Adobe Fresco vs Procreate: Key Features Compared

Let’s quickly compare the key features of both tools using a table:

FeaturesAdobe FrescoProcreate
Drawing ToolsExtensiveComprehensive
Brush CustomizationAdvancedRobust
Vector SupportYesLimited
Layer ManagementAdvancedIntuitive
Animation CapabilitiesYesLimited
Cloud IntegrationYesNo
Platform AvailabilityWindows, iPadiPad only
PriceSubscription-basedOne-time purchase

What is Adobe Fresco and How Does It Work?

Adobe Fresco is a digital painting app with a focus on realistic brush effects. Offering an extensive array of drawing tools, it seamlessly integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, allowing artists to access their work across multiple devices.

Adobe Fresco’s unique Live Brushes simulate real-world painting techniques, providing a natural and expressive drawing experience.

Pros of Adobe Fresco:

  1. Extensive drawing tools with realistic effects.
  2. Advanced brush customization for precise detailing.
  3. Vector support for scalable artwork.

Cons of Adobe Fresco:

  1. Subscription-based pricing model.
  2. Limited platform availability compared to Procreate.

What is Procreate and How Does It Work?

Procreate stands out as a powerful digital illustration app designed exclusively for the iPad. Boasting comprehensive drawing tools and an intuitive interface, it caters to artists, illustrators, and designers.

Procreate’s brush customization options are robust, allowing users to create unique brushes.

While lacking vector support, Procreate excels in providing a streamlined and efficient environment for digital illustration.

Pros of Procreate:

  1. Comprehensive drawing tools for versatile artwork.
  2. Robust brush customization options.
  3. One-time purchase model with no subscription.

Cons of Procreate:

  1. Limited to iPad devices.
  2. No built-in vector support.

Adobe Fresco vs Procreate: Side-by-Side Comparison

1. Drawing Tools:

Adobe Fresco offers an expansive range of drawing tools designed for artists seeking a realistic and expressive digital painting experience.

With the integration of Live Brushes, users can emulate traditional painting techniques, adding natural textures to their artwork.

The diversity of brushes caters to various artistic styles, providing versatility in creating intricate details or sweeping strokes.

Procreate excels in providing comprehensive drawing tools that empower artists to unleash their creativity.

The app’s robust set of brushes and intuitive interface make it a go-to choice for digital illustrators. From sketching to detailed illustrations, Procreate ensures precision and control.

While it may not replicate traditional painting techniques like Adobe Fresco, Procreate’s focus on diverse and adaptable drawing tools enhances the overall digital art experience.

2. Brush Customization:

In Adobe Fresco, artists benefit from advanced brush customization options, allowing for precise tailoring of brushes to achieve specific effects.

The emphasis on realism extends to the ability to modify brushes in detail, catering to artists who seek nuanced and lifelike results in their digital artwork.

Procreate’s brush customization is equally robust, providing artists with the tools to create unique brushes tailored to their artistic vision.

The app’s user-friendly interface ensures that even intricate modifications can be made seamlessly.

Procreate’s focus on empowering artists with creative control makes it a versatile choice for those who enjoy tailoring their tools to fit unique artistic styles.

3. Vector Support:

Adobe Fresco stands out with its support for vectors, enabling artists to create scalable artwork without compromising quality.

This feature is particularly advantageous for projects that require flexibility in resizing, such as illustrations intended for various screen sizes.

Procreate, while excelling in raster-based illustration, lacks built-in support for vectors.

Artists working on projects with specific vector requirements may find this limitation noteworthy, as it may impact the scalability of their artwork.

4. Layer Management:

Adobe Fresco provides advanced layer management capabilities, essential for organizing and manipulating layers efficiently.

This feature is particularly beneficial for artists engaged in complex artwork and detailed compositions, offering a structured and organized workflow.

Procreate offers an intuitive layer management system that enhances the overall user experience.

While not as extensive as Adobe Fresco’s layer management, it provides sufficient control for artists to navigate and organize layers seamlessly.

5. Animation Capabilities:

Adobe Fresco stands out with its animation capabilities, allowing artists to breathe life into their illustrations.

This feature is valuable for those exploring dynamic aspects of digital art, offering a platform for creating engaging and visually appealing animations.

Procreate also supports animation, albeit with more limited features compared to Adobe Fresco. Artists can create basic animations within Procreate, making it suitable for projects that require subtle motion or transitions.

6. Cloud Integration:

Adobe Fresco seamlessly integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, offering users the convenience of accessing their artwork across multiple devices.

This cloud integration enhances collaboration and ensures continuity in the creative process, especially for those working on projects across different platforms.

Procreate, in contrast, does not offer built-in cloud integration.

While users can manually transfer files for multi-device access, the lack of seamless cloud integration may impact collaborative workflows, particularly for teams working on shared projects.

7. Platform Availability:

Adobe Fresco is available on both Windows and iPad devices, providing flexibility for artists who prefer working on different platforms.

This cross-platform availability ensures that artists can seamlessly transition between devices based on their preferences or project requirements.

Procreate is exclusively available on iPad devices, limiting its accessibility compared to Adobe Fresco.

Artists who exclusively use iPads may find Procreate to be a dedicated and powerful tool, but those who work across different platforms may be drawn to the versatility of Adobe Fresco.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Adobe Fresco and Procreate

When deciding between Adobe Fresco and Procreate, consider the following:

Project Type:

  • Adobe Fresco: Ideal for projects that benefit from realistic brush effects and vector support.
  • Procreate: Suited for versatile digital illustration projects with comprehensive drawing tools.

Device Preference:

  • Adobe Fresco: Suitable for artists who work on both Windows and iPad devices.
  • Procreate: Exclusive to iPad users.

Subscription Preferences:

  • Adobe Fresco: Requires a subscription for ongoing access to features.
  • Procreate: Involves a one-time purchase without recurring subscription fees.

Vector Requirements:

  • Adobe Fresco: Beneficial for projects that require scalable vector artwork.
  • Procreate: Lacks built-in vector support.


1. Can I use Adobe Fresco on an iPad?

  • Yes, Adobe Fresco is available for iPad users, offering a versatile digital painting experience.

2. Does Procreate offer cloud integration like Adobe Fresco?

  • No, Procreate does not have built-in cloud integration. Users may need to manually transfer files for multi-device access.

3. Is Procreate a one-time purchase, or does it involve a subscription?

  • Procreate follows a one-time purchase model, providing users with full access to the app without recurring subscription fees.

4. Which app is better for animation: Adobe Fresco or Procreate?

  • Adobe Fresco excels in animation capabilities, offering more advanced features compared to Procreate.

Adobe Fresco vs. Procreate: Use Case Examples

1. Project Type:

Adobe Fresco: Consider an artist working on a project that demands realistic brush effects and the need for scalability.

Adobe Fresco’s diverse drawing tools, advanced brush customization, and vector support make it ideal for creating detailed illustrations with the flexibility to adapt to different display sizes.

Procreate: In contrast, an artist undertaking a versatile digital illustration project, focusing on comprehensive drawing tools and creative freedom, may opt for Procreate.

Its robust brush customization and user-friendly interface cater to artists exploring various styles and techniques.

2. Device Preference:

Adobe Fresco: For an artist who values flexibility in device choice, Adobe Fresco’s availability on both Windows and iPad devices ensures a seamless transition between platforms.

This versatility is advantageous for artists who prefer working on different devices based on their project needs.

Procreate: An artist exclusively using an iPad may find Procreate to be a dedicated and powerful tool tailored to the iPad’s capabilities. While limited to iPad devices,

Procreate optimizes the user experience for those deeply immersed in the Apple ecosystem.

3. Subscription Preferences:

Adobe Fresco: Artists who are comfortable with a subscription-based pricing model and value continuous access to the latest features may choose Adobe Fresco.

The subscription ensures ongoing support and updates for a dynamic and evolving digital art experience.

Procreate: For artists who prefer a one-time purchase model without recurring subscription fees, Procreate provides a straightforward pricing structure.

This may appeal to those who prioritize a one-time investment over continuous subscription payments.

4. Vector Requirements:

Adobe Fresco: In scenarios where projects demand scalable vector artwork, Adobe Fresco’s support for vectors becomes a crucial factor.

Artists working on designs intended for various screen sizes or print formats may find this feature invaluable.

Procreate: For artists whose projects do not specifically require vectors or scalability, Procreate’s focus on raster-based illustration may align with their workflow.

The absence of built-in vector support may not be a limiting factor for certain types of digital artwork.

Adobe Fresco Pricing:

Subscription Model:

  • Adobe Fresco operates on a subscription-based pricing model.
  • Users can choose from different subscription plans, such as monthly or annual subscriptions.
  • The subscription provides access to the full suite of features, continuous updates, and integration with Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Pricing Tiers:
    • Adobe Fresco offers different pricing tiers, catering to various user needs.
    • Pricing may vary based on the user’s location and the chosen subscription duration.
  • Trial Period:
    • Adobe Fresco may offer a trial period for users to explore the features before committing to a subscription.

Procreate Pricing:

  • One-time Purchase:
    • Procreate follows a one-time purchase model.
    • Users pay a single fee for the app, gaining lifetime access to the software without recurring subscription fees.
  • Transparent Pricing:
    • Procreate’s pricing is transparent, with no hidden costs or ongoing payments.
    • The one-time purchase includes all available features without the need for additional payments.
  • App Store Purchase:
    • Users can purchase Procreate directly from the App Store.

What to Consider When Choosing Based on Pricing:

Budget Considerations:

  • Adobe Fresco’s subscription model involves recurring payments, making it suitable for those comfortable with ongoing budget allocations.
  • Procreate’s one-time purchase may appeal to users looking for a one-time investment without continuous financial commitments.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Usage:

  • Consider the duration for which you plan to use the software.
  • Adobe Fresco’s subscription model may be advantageous for those seeking continuous updates and long-term access to the latest features.
  • Procreate’s one-time purchase is a cost-effective option for users who prioritize a single upfront payment and do not require constant updates.

Subscription Flexibility:

  • Evaluate the flexibility offered by Adobe Fresco’s subscription plans.
  • Users can choose between monthly and annual subscriptions based on their usage preferences.
  • Procreate’s one-time purchase eliminates the need for ongoing subscriptions, providing a straightforward and transparent payment structure.

Trial Period Exploration:

  • Take advantage of any trial periods offered by Adobe Fresco to explore its features and assess whether the subscription model aligns with your workflow.
  • Procreate’s one-time purchase allows users to make a single payment after exploring the app’s capabilities on the App Store.

Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud:

  • If integration with Adobe Creative Cloud is essential for collaborative workflows and multi-device access, Adobe Fresco’s subscription model may be a suitable choice.
  • Procreate’s standalone nature may be preferable for users who do not require extensive cloud integration.

Adobe Fresco vs Procreate: Takeaway

Adobe Fresco stands out for its realistic brushes, vector support, and cross-platform availability.

Procreate, on the other hand, offers comprehensive drawing tools, robust brush customization, and a one-time purchase model.

Whether you prioritize advanced animation features, vector capabilities, or a specific platform, both Adobe Fresco and Procreate contribute unique strengths to the realm of digital illustration.

Consider your workflow, creative goals, and device preferences to make an informed decision that aligns with your artistic endeavors.