It’s a lot easier to get artistic with the best drawing apps for iPad when you have an iPad, and an Apple Pencil docked together like this. Since a digital sketchbook doesn’t require any special tools and never runs out of ink, it’s a no-brainer. In order to take your digital art to the next level, it is recommended that you invest in one of the best drawing apps for the iPad (see list below).
The 21 drawing apps for iPad that we’ve listed here have a lot to offer. Many of them are free, while others are reasonably priced. Despite this, they’re all incredibly simple to use, and many of them come packed with features that let you be more inventive. There’s an app for everyone in our list of the best iPad drawing apps, whether you can draw a symmetrical face or have a flair for splatters like Jackson Pollock.
- 1 Best 21 Drawing Apps for iPad
- 1.1 1. Procreate
- 1.2 2. Inspire Pro
- 1.3 3. Autodesk Sketchbook
- 1.4 4. Adobe Illustrator Draw
- 1.5 5. Adobe Fresco
- 1.6 6. Art Set 4
- 1.7 7. Assembly
- 1.8 8. Charcoal
- 1.9 9. Lake
- 1.10 10. iPastels
- 1.11 11. Linea Sketch
- 1.12 12. Zen Brush 2
- 1.13 13. Paper by WeTransfer
- 1.14 14. Artstudio Pro
- 1.15 15. Affinity Designer
- 1.16 16. Comic Draw
- 1.17 17. Clip Studio Paint Ex
- 1.18 18. Adobe Photoshop Sketch
- 1.19 19. Sketch Club
- 1.20 20. Astropad Standard
- 1.21 21. Pixelmator
For ten dollars, you can get the Procreate drawing app for the iPad, which includes a variety of useful art tools and creative options. Whether you’re a seasoned digital artist or new to the field of digital illustration, the digital illustration app is easy to use. Even though I’ve been using Procreate for a few months, I’m still discovering new features that help me create better artwork.
Gesture controls in Procreate can be customized so that the app is unique to you. Procreate’s tools like blend mode, alpha locks, layering, clipping masks, and Quickshape can elevate your work to the next level, regardless of your skill level.
I would not recommend this app to someone who wants nothing more than a place to doodle. Procreate’s official Handbook can be found in the app and is an excellent resource for quick reference.
It’s one of the most natural and fluid drawing experiences you’ll have on an iPad. It’s one of our favorite iPad drawing apps because of its realistic rendering engine, among the fastest and most realistic on the App Store’s list.
Oil paint, aerosol spray paint, pencil, and crayons are among the 150 brushes that come with it. Also included are paint splatters. In addition, you can choose from a wide range of high-quality and customizable tools with Inspire Pro.
The size and opacity of brush strokes respond instantly to pressure, tilt angle, and orientation with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, giving you unprecedented creative control on the go. Apple Pencil and iPad Pro users will quickly forget they are not using a pencil and paper when using a Graphite Pencils brush, for example.
Even though Autodesk Sketchbook is free, it’s jam-packed with free art tools. It’s free for seven days, after which you’ll be prompted to create an Autodesk ID, which is also completely free of charge. When you’re just getting started with digital art, it’s easier to use than Procreate. When you first open the Sketch app, it will walk you through the basics of using the app’s various tools.
You can easily adjust brush size, opacity, and pressure in Autodesk’s extensive and well-organized brush library, thanks to its customizable brushes. It’s easy to use the toolbar even if you’ve never used a drawing app before. In addition, I appreciated the app’s ability to show you the individual pixels in your stroke even when you were zoomed in quite a bit.
Sketchbook’s emphasis on ease of transition from paper to screen is one of my favorite features. If you’ve done some neat sketching in a notebook, you don’t have to redo it in the app with Autodesk. You can upload your artwork because your camera is also a scanner. Because the image has a transparent background, you can begin working on the app right away.
While we highly suggest Affinity Designer, we understand that it’s still a significant investment. Alternatively, if you prefer the Adobe Creative Cloud or are on a tight budget, Adobe Illustrator Draw is viable for the best iPad drawing apps.
You can draw, design, and stylize with Adobe Illustrator Draw’s customizable brushes. A wide variety of basic shape stencils are available to help you create amazing comic strips with perfect circles and squares, as well as French curves, polygonal shapes, and speech bubbles. Using Adobe’s tools, you can even incorporate photos into your vector drawings, resulting in some stunning results. Adobe Illustrator Draw’s canvases can be printed in large sizes up to 8K resolution for those who want to show off their work.
There is a free tier option for storing all of your work in the Adobe Creative Cloud. If you want more storage space, you can pay $2 a month for Creative Cloud’s additional 20GB. Thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud, you’ll be able to access your work from any other device that has Adobe Illustrator installed, including Macs.
The new Adobe Fresco drawing app for iPad offers a great user experience as a leader among many drawing apps. As another app in Adobe’s line of drawing apps for the iPad, Fresco attempts to digitally recreate the look and feel of traditional analog drawing instruments. A clear competitor is Procreate, but the main difference is that it requires a Creative Cloud subscription or a monthly fee of $9.99 to work.
Aside from these snags, Fresco is a joy to use when drawing. With the much-anticipated Live Brushes, Fresco will be able to blend mediums in a way that surpasses the competition. So can use it for a wide range of drawing patterns, including graphic novel illustrations, ink drawings, and even chalk or paint.
Because Fresco lacks text and animation options, it’s somewhat lacking. On the other hand, Fresco is a welcome addition for Creative Cloud users who don’t want to be constantly switching between apps.
Art Set 4 is a realistic drawing app with a more rudimentary interface. It’s free to use, but the Premium Pro features, which unlock most of the app’s features, cost $10. You should use this app if you’re new to digital illustration because it simulates working with real tools and paper. It’s got an excellent user interface, and that’s something I appreciate. If the thought of using a more complicated app like Procreate or Autodesk overwhelms you, the Art Set 4 drawing tool is a good place to start. You can also use it to doodle.
Art Set 4’s ease of use, even with the free tools, is something I appreciate. Depending on the project’s requirements, a nice feature is the ability to switch between different types of paper, such as canvas and heavyweight cold press sheets for watercolors. You don’t have to redo a drawing because you can choose between burlap, cardboard, and grids.
Any Premium Pro-required items will be locked when you’re exploring the app. Art Set will prompt you if you want to enhance and unlock anything if you click on a locked item. Over 150 brushes, fluid watercolors, 3D paint, the ability to layer and use masks are all included in the Premium version of the program.
Consider using assembly if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to create complex vector graphics such as icons, logos, scenes, and characters. By using pre-made shapes and adhering them together to create your vector masterpiece, you save time by not having to draw everything out from scratch painstakingly.
This iPad drawing app lets you layer, stack, and position shapes however you like. You can even create your building blocks by cutting out existing shapes, combining them, and intersecting them. If you’re in a rush and need a quick prototype, this is the tool for you.
You don’t have to deal with too much detail when you use charcoal as your drawing platform. When using the free iPad app, you can choose between three different canvas sizes. To the left of the canvas are a number of tools, and to the right is a simple color picker.
Draw straight lines with a tactile ruler and tools that respond well to an Apple Pencil or a finger with ease. Everything else, such as brush sizes, text tools, and layers, is now up to you.
Taking this approach means missing the main point. Uncomplicated and straightforward are the goals of charcoal’s design. With Autodesk SketchBook, you get a free digital sketching tool that’s capable of doing it all. When it comes to digital drawing, charcoal is an excellent alternative if you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available.
Not every piece of art you make in an art app has to be a monumental undertaking that results in a work of art. The most critical aspect is to have a good time. Simply sitting down and coloring can be both creative and relaxing. Coloring book sheets from artists worldwide are available for free in Lake, an ASMR art app.
The audio component of the app is particularly impressive. You’ll hear quiet brush sounds, for example, if you’re painting digitally with the paintbrush. The spray paint tool makes a rattling sound like you’re shaking paint can when used. In settings, you have the option to disable ASMR.
Adding more color for shading and effects while staying within the lines was another feature I appreciated. Instead of tapping and filling, you have more creative freedom with this method (though you can do that if you want). Also, if you’re unsure about colors, the artist for each coloring page has created an optional palette for you to use.
You have the option of staying on the app’s dashboard, where you can choose from a selection of free daily images or use the toolbar to explore All Art. Among the coloring pages that Lake has organized are artist collections, kid’s coloring pages and mandalas for stress relief, and symmetrical imagery that is pleasing to the eye.
You get nine free coloring pages a day when you sign up for Lake’s free tier. The premium version, which costs either $10 a month or $20 a year, unlocks additional coloring pages, a more extensive color wheel, and the ability to start with a blank canvas.
Using iPastels, you can produce photo-realistic pastel art. No digital app or tablet screen can replicate the tactile experience of working with pastels and charcoal like iPastels can. However, drawing apps for iPad aren’t designed to replace the tactile experience, which is what iPastels does so well. Additionally, you won’t end up with soiled fingers.
It’s amazing how well the app mimics the look and feel of traditional pastel drawing methods, including oil pastels, soft pastels, pastel pencils, as well as realistic color blending. One drawback is that you must stop drawing to change the tool’s size or pressure, but there are also benefits, such as the ability to quickly and easily correct mistakes.
For all of these reasons, iPastels is an excellent app to use before starting a real painting – or just for some light entertainment. It supports the Apple Pencil and costs $4.99 to upgrade to Pro features.
As a result of its updated user interface and robust feature set, Linea Sketch has emerged as a serious competitor in the drawing app market. There’s no better app for sketching than this one. It’s been designed with simplicity in mind and a focus on sketching in particular.
In the app, you will find a blending tool, a fill tool, and several vibrant colors, as well as a simplified 5 layering system. It works with either your finger or the Apple Pencil, and you can record your drawing process to watch it later if you like.
Ink dispersion is an attractive feature of Zen Brush 2. A drawing app for iPad that emulates traditional Japanese calligraphy brushes is Zen Brush 2. On the iPad, you’ll often lose yourself while doing Zen art because of its smooth and fluent drawing engine.
Using Zen Brush 2, you can save your work in progress with a gallery feature and add depth to your drawings with a lovely ink dispersion effect. Apple Pencil and other pressure-sensitive styluses are supported, and you’re no longer limited to using black ink; you can also use red ink.
If you’re looking for something that’s both free and easy to use, consider Paper by WeTransfer. This allows you to create a variety of sketchbooks and notepads to keep track of your ideas. Paper comes with a good selection of tools and is easy to use.
This app provides you with six basic tools for drawing, outlining, and even writing. Paper is free to use. An optional 12-month or $8 six-month Pro subscription gives you access to additional tools such as diagrams, collages, and cut-and-fill. It’s also possible to add multiple photos to a journal in Paper and cut, stick, and fix without the use of complicated layers, giving you plenty of room for creativity. Paper sketch journals can be customized to your liking, and your work is synchronized across devices if you subscribe to Paper Pro.
However, Paper’s basic features are available for free, so it’s a good idea to try them out before making a commitment. Or, if you’re happy with the minimum set of features, you won’t have to shell out a cent.
In addition to a wide range of drawing options, Artstudio Pro has a vibrant online community. For $4.99, you can still purchase ArtStudio’s legacy version of the app, which is now called ArtStudio Pro. The new version is 5-10 times faster than ArtStudio, according to the company. It’s optimized for Apple Pencil.
Among the new and improved features are 27 blending modes, over 100 built-in brushes, and the capacity to utilize all formats, including ABL brushes. Layer masks, layers, filters, and effects are all available, as well as various canvas sizes and options. When it comes to tools for artists, we don’t see many that are better than this.
Affinity Designer is among the best iPad options for those who work with vector graphics. You can think of it like the desktop app ported to a smartphone.
Affinity Designer was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Metal’s performance. When you pan the canvas or zoom in or out, everything moves at a smooth 120 frames per second (fps), which is incredible. Pressure, tilt, and angle sensitivity are all utilized when using the Apple Pencil. You’ll also have access to the best pen, pencil, corner, and curve editing tools, as well as geometry operations and smart shape tools with the Apple Pencil.
Affinity Designer is a must-have if you work with vector graphics for advertising material, icons, websites, user interface design, or concept art.
Comic Draw was created with comic book artists and graphic novelists in mind. As opposed to some of the other painting and drawing apps, Comic Draw is laser-focused on one particular skill set or creative discipline. With that in mind, it’s a very potent weapon against comic artists. Layers allow you to build your drawings while using the app’s panel layout tool. Guides help you maintain a perfect perspective while using the app.
An inking and coloring interface will help you finish your design with various brushes. A digital sketchpad will help you experiment with your ideas. Adding the important words is a cinch with Comic Draw’s lettering suite, which includes a variety of fonts, balloons, and other design tools. You can also add as many pages as you like to create anything from a simple comic strip to a full-length book. Before making a purchase, you can take advantage of a risk-free trial.
Digital artists will appreciate Clip Studio Paint Ex’s ability to mimic the look and feel of hand-drawn art. With Clip Studio Paint Ex, you can create comics and manga, as well as other types of digital art, on your iPad with a full-featured desktop paint app. Drawing on an iPad has never been easier thanks to this app, which mimics traditional pen and paper drawing techniques while allowing you to work on the go.
Many drawing tools such as pencils, pens and markers, calligraphy, and airbrushes are included in this app. In addition, thanks to the Apple Pencil and the drawing engine’s excellent pressure sensitivity, you’ll have everything you need to create excellent linework. You also get three months of Clip Studio Paint EX for free when you sign up for a subscription.
You can use Adobe Photoshop Sketch if you don’t want to learn how to vector drawing. Instead of vector graphics, this course emphasizes traditional drawing and painting techniques.
There are 24 built-in brushes in Adobe Photoshop Sketch, all of which can be customized in terms of size, color, opacity, and blending. You can import Photoshop brushes directly into Sketch if you can’t find the right tool for the job, so the possibilities are truly endless. In the same way that you can draw, you can use photos as drawing layers, and stencils are available to assist you in creating precise curves and basic shapes. Your work can be printed in massive sizes thanks to Sketch’s 8K resolution capability.
Also, because Photoshop Sketch is a part of Adobe, all of your work is automatically saved to your Creative Cloud account. For just $2 a month, you can get 20GB of storage if you want it.
While many of the premium drawing apps we’ve discussed so far are prohibitively expensive, Sketch Club is more affordable while still offering a wealth of useful features for artists of all skill levels.
A wide variety of brush tools are available in Sketch Club, along with other tools for text and vector editing such as blur, fill, and procedurals. In addition, there is no need to be concerned about having perfect shapes. Tools for shapes include automatic ratio snapping to ensure that nothing looks out of proportion. Sketch Club has layer support, and all of your canvases can print at 300 DPI and up to 16K with presets.
In addition, Sketch Club has a built-in community that’s great for finding inspiration and getting motivated. On a regular basis, there are challenges for the community to complete, weekly competitions to participate in, monthly group events to attend, and more. If you want to improve your drawing skills, the tutorials are excellent resources.
In terms of drawing apps for the iPad, Astropad stands out from the crowd. The iPad becomes a drawing tablet for your Mac as a result of using this app. That’s right—Astropad lets you use your Mac’s image editors for drawing, but your iPad for the actual drawing! As if your iPad were a Wacom pen display, that’s what it would be like. You’ll need the free Mac companion app to get the most out of Astropad.
Drawing on your iPad will be a natural experience with Astropad, and the results will be sent directly to your Mac. If you’re using Wi-Fi, it’ll keep up with your drawing at 60 frames per second. It is possible to use Astropad with your computer either wirelessly or via USB. Pressure sensitivity is crucial for accurate drawings, so it works flawlessly with the Apple Pencil.
If you have an iPad, it’s much less expensive to use the app than to buy a Wacom tablet just to use it with drawing tools. If Sidecar isn’t enough, this is an excellent fallback option.
Finally, there’s Pixelmator, an excellent choice for those looking for a powerful, layer-based image editor. Besides photo editing, this is an excellent app for drawing and painting.
Pixelmator’s drawing and painting possibilities are virtually limitless thanks to the app’s vast collection of brushes, many of which were created by other artists. As a result, it’s likely that you’ll find what you’re looking for among these painting-specific tools. Especially for watercolors and crayon brushes, they faithfully reproduce the wetness effects. In addition, the Pixel brush is a lot of fun to use because of the dual-textured brush technology. Pixelmator has an eyedropper color picker and is fully compatible with the Apple Pencil to make it even more user-friendly.
Pixelmator supports PSD, JPEG, PNG, and various other file types to save your work. If you want to share your work with others, you can do so via social media or by uploading and syncing it directly to your iCloud account.
Whatever you call it, drawing, sketching, painting, or designing is a creative endeavor. The apps listed above are merely tools for artists to work with. They won’t turn you into a creative person. There is nothing you can do except using your imagination and be passionate about it.
We sincerely hope that this article has aided you in your search for the best drawing apps for iPad. If you’re still unsure, we suggest downloading and running the free tools. By doing this, you’ll be able to find the perfect balance. Do not forget to let your friends know about this article. Thanks for reading!