If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to draw or paint, this is the best time. We’ve got devices that fit in your hand which can create a canvas for a house wall graffiti. You can easily learn how to blend oils and make the perfect stroke with a custom brush without making your room look like a crime scene. Here’s the best part, you can do all that even when you’re on the go.
Whether you’re someone who just got an iPad as a gift or planning to up your digital drawing and painting game to embark on your journey to becoming a digital artist, there’s a perfect drawing, sketching, and painting iPad app for everyone.
Before you’re off with flying colors in the world of drawing apps (see what I did there), make sure to check out the best drawing apps for iPad with Apple Pencil support.
Procreate – The DaVinci of Drawing Apps
Procreate is a professional digital sketching app for iPads that is designed for both drawing and painting on the iPad. It is a paid drawing app, available for a one-time purchase of $12.99 USD. Procreate offers a variety of features that make it a popular choice among all kinds of artists, including a large selection of brushes, customizable color palettes, and layer options.
One of the standout features of Procreate is its huge brush library, which includes over 130 default brushes as well as the ability to create your own custom brushes. This is further aided by over 100 different brush customizability settings to let you create your perfect stroke. You can even import your existing brushes from Photoshop! This vector drawing app for iPad Pro also offers the ability to record videos of your artwork, which can be useful for sharing your creative process. You can export the full video in 4K for your YouTube channel or a quick time-lapse video for sharing on TikTok or Instagram Reels. Furthermore, it now supports 3D painting with lighting for 3D models.
Procreate also includes several other advanced features, such as the ability to import and export PSD files, support for animation and
GIF creation, and pressure-sensitive compatibility with the Apple Pencil.
Thousands of artists have proclaimed Procreate for its easy-to-use user interface and industry-leading wide range of tools and features. Many digital artists have also praised the app for its fast performance and the ability to work with high-resolution images without any lag. Yes, you can create a canvas up to 16K x 8K resolution. Of course, you need an M1 or M2-powered iPad Pro for that but this kind of power on a tablet was unimaginable until a few years ago. Pair this with the right monitor and you can start your journey as a digital artist or graphic designer with just an iPad and the best drawing app for iPad.
Procreate is a great drawing app for both beginner and professional artists who are looking for a powerful digital art tool on the iPad. This iPad Pro drawing app with
Apple Pencil support is frequently updated with new features and improvements, and its active community of thousands of users provides an abundance of resources and tutorials for those looking to improve their skills. There are literally thousands of tutorials available to help you master this drawing and sketching app for iPad.
There’s a reason why Procreate is a crucial part of the workflow for all levels of artists and designers. It is because is suitable for all kinds of design workflows. Be it digital painting or vector design even 3D coloring, Procreate does it all.
If you’re into illustration and comic art then Procreate’s brush library and customizable tools will come in super handy. Procreate’s ability to work with high-resolution images and support for
pressure-sensitive styluses like the Apple Pencil and Adonit Pixel allows artists to create detailed and intricate illustrations even when they’re on the go.
Procreate’s painting tools and color palettes make it a great app for digital painting for iPad Pro. Budding artists can choose from a range of brushes, including airbrushes, watercolors, and oils, to create realistic-looking digital paintings. They can even import their existing color palettes from Adobe ASE and ACO.
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Procreate’s customizable brushes and vector tools make it a great option for lettering and calligraphy. Logo makers and graphic designers can create custom lettering brushes and import vector graphics to create precise and detailed lettering designs. Got a quick logo design gig on the go? Now you know which app to launch during a coffee break.
In terms of export formats, Procreate supports several popular file types, including PNG, JPEG, PSD, and TIFF. After the 3D support update, this drawing app for iPad supports OBJ, and USDZ formats as well. This Apple Pencil drawing app for iPad also includes support for cloud storage and sync via iCloud, which allows users to access their artwork across multiple devices.
In conclusion, Procreate is a highly recommended app for drawing and painting on the iPad. Its extensive feature set, customizable tools, and support for super-high-resolution images, 3D models support, and pressure-sensitive styluses make it a powerful tool for artists and designers. While the app is not free, its low one-time purchase price and active community of users make it a great value for anyone looking to create digital art on their iPad. Know anyone who loves sketching or painting, this could be the perfect tech gift for them to develop a skill that will come in handy down the road.
Freeform – Get Started with Drawing on iPad
Freeform is a free digital sketching app for the iPad that specializes in offering a simple and intuitive interface for artists. The app is available for free on the App Store and is compatible with
One of the major features of Freeform is its endless canvas design and user-friendly interface, which allows anyone to quickly start sketching without needing to spend time learning complicated menus or tools. This free drawing app for iPad includes a range of brush options, including a pen, pencil, and marker tool, as well as the ability to import photos, video, audio, documents, PDFs, links to websites, map location links, and more. It offers over 300 tools and menu options. You can export the canvas as a PDF or an image.
One unique feature of Freeform is its support for 3D Touch, which allows users to vary the thickness of their lines depending on how hard they press down on the screen. The app also includes a ruler tool for creating precise lines and shapes.
In terms of export formats, Freeform supports popular file types such as PDF, PNG, and JPEG. The app also includes support for cloud storage and sync via iCloud, which allows users to access their artwork across multiple devices i.e. iPhone, Mac.
Freeform is a great drawing app for iPad for quick sketches and doodles, thanks to its simple interface and intuitive drawing tools. However, users have noted that the app’s selection of brushes and tools is limited compared to other sketching apps. In short, if you want to brainstorm an idea with a team, this is the perfect drawing app for your iPad with collaborative features. You can also get on a
Facetime call while keeping the canvas clear from any kind of annoying pop-ups or interferences.
Overall, Freeform is a good option for beginner artists who are looking for a simple and intuitive sketching app for their iPad. While the app’s feature set is limited compared to some other options, its user-friendly interface and support for Apple Pencil make it a unique and worthwhile option for those looking to create quick sketches on the go.
If you’re looking for an iPad drawing app to create sketches and storyboards for a comic book project, Freeform’s simple interface and quick setup will you to start sketching ideas right away.
It’s not just drawing, you can scribble as well. Forgot your notebook in a college lecture or want to quickly write down an idea, Freeform is the perfect app to quickly jot down notes and sketches while on the go. Seamless sync with iCloud will allow you to access sketches and ideas from any device.
Did you know Freeform is a great option for creating digital sketches of clothing designs? This free drawing app’s ruler tool helps create precise lines and shapes.
Artists appreciate the app’s ability to quickly capture their ideas and sketches on the go, without needing to spend time learning complicated menus or tools. The app’s support for 3D Touch and cloud storage are some of the most useful features.
Freeform vs Procreate
When comparing Freeform to Procreate, one major difference is the price. While Procreate is a paid app, Freeform is available for free. Please note that you need to be running iPadOS 16 to
use it. At the same time, Procreate offers a much wider range of features and tools, including advanced brush customization, layer masks, and more advanced selection and transform tools. Procreate is also known for its powerful animation tools, which Freeform does not offer.
On the other hand, Freeform is known for its simplicity and ease of use, collaborative features, making it a great option for beginner artists who may find Procreate overwhelming. While Procreate is designed to be a full-featured digital art studio, Freeform is more focused on offering a simple and intuitive sketching experience. Freeform’s 3D Touch support is also a unique feature that sets it apart from other sketching apps.
In short, if you’re looking for a drawing app to learn sketching, drawing, and painting or planning a brainstorming session with your project group, Freeform is the right choice. On the flip side, if you know your brushes and want an app to take your skills to the next level, Procreate is the perfect choice for drawing on an iPad.
Did you know Apple developed the Freeform app for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac? Freeform was launched back in December 2022 only.
Download Freeform from AppStore
Adobe Illustrator – The Best Multi-platform Drawing App
If you’re a graphic designer then Adobe Illustrator is not a new name for you. You’ve heard of it and it is the industry standard. But what if I told you Adobe has put its decades of expertise into making this one of the top drawing apps for iPad? You read it right, Adobe Illustrator for iPad is a powerful vector graphics editing app that has been optimized for use on almost all iPads. Be it an iPad mini, iPad Air, or iPad Pro, it runs buttery smooth. The Apple Pencil drawing app for iPad Pro allows users to create and edit vector-based graphics, with support for features such as layers, gradients, and hundreds of customizable brushes.
The reason why Adobe Illustrator for iPad takes the W is its integration with the larger Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem. This allows users to seamlessly switch between working on their iPad, laptop, and desktop. You can start a rough sketching edit on an iPad in a subway and continue working on it on your laptop on a flight or finish that on a desktop at your office (as long as you have internet access). It also offers seamless syncing support for popular cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, making it easy to share designs with your team or clients.
Compared to other drawing apps for iPad, Adobe Illustrator stands out for its advanced vector editing capabilities across all platforms. However, the app’s user interface may be overwhelming for newcomers, who may find it more complex than other iPad drawing apps. I’ve tried it a bunch of times and always had trouble getting used to the user interface. It takes some time but once you get the hang of it, there’s no going back.
Plus, the app requires a Creative Cloud subscription for full use, which may be a barrier for some users. But if you’ve already got Illustrator for desktop then this iPad drawing app is free for you. It’s part of the package with no extra charge.
One of the reasons why Illustrator is still the top drawing app for iPad is because of its wide variety of resources. It offers over 18,000 fonts, Adobe Stock template support, 20+ color palettes, and more. Heck, you can even scan your paper sketches and rasterize them right on the iPad. This is a game changer for people who draw on paper. This fashion illustration app for iPad supports exporting and importing files in industry-standard formats such as SVG, PDF, PNG, PSD, and open Illustrator (AI) files (lossless format).
If you’re a graphic designer by trade, you can create complex designs with ease using the app’s vector editing capabilities with
Apple Pencil or any third-party stylus. Plus, you can always switch between devices, all thanks to the seamless cloud sync.
For marketing agencies who need the all-in-one professional grade app for creating vector-based logos and branding materials, Illustrator’s ability to create custom gradients and patterns makes it a chartbuster. On the flip side, if you want to take your storytelling skills to the next level and finally publish the children’s storybook you’ve been working on for months, the Illustrator’s precision and control over tools could help you achieve those intricate details and effects in your graphics.
Overall, Adobe Illustrator for iPad is a powerful vector graphics editor that offers a wide range of advanced tools and features. While it may be more complex than other drawing apps for iPad, it is a great option for professional or intermediate designers and illustrators looking to create complex vector-based graphics. The app requires a Creative Cloud subscription to use and is available for a free trial period, after which it requires a monthly or annual subscription fee. Once again, if you’ve already got Illustrator for desktop then it is free for you. You just need to enter your account details and you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for a new hobby, then going down this rabbit hole of vector graphics and digital drawing is the perfect activity for this summer.
Download Adobe Illustrator from AppStore
Linea Sketch is a drawing app for iPad that specializes in sketching and wireframing. In comparison to Adobe Illustrator mentioned above, this iPad drawing app offers a super clean, minimalist interface that is optimized for use on iPad and even iPhone, making it a popular choice among artists and designers.
Linea Sketch app for iPad Air offers a range of features designed to support wireframe workflows, including customizable grids and templates for app development and icon design. This is complemented by a large variety of brushes, a super clean and easy-to-use layers system, and support for pressure sensitivity with Apple Pencil.
Compared to other drawing apps for iPad, Linea Sketch stands out for its ease of use and focus on sketching wireframing annotations, and wireless presentation mode via AirPlay. The app’s minimalist interface makes it easy to get started, and its support for templates and grids can be a time-saver for user interface and user experience designers. Did we mention you can record a timelapse or a full movie of your drawing with just one touch?
Thousands of designers have praised the Linea Sketch app’s simplicity and ease of use, noting that it allowed them to quickly sketch out ideas and wireframes on their iPad when they’re on the go. Support for Apple Pencil makes it super easy to create precise sketches.
Similarly, Linea Sketch has built up a good reputation among students and professionals as a note-taking app on their iPad during meetings. They appreciated the app’s minimalist interface and the ability to organize their sketches using the app’s advanced layer system.
Redditors adore the app’s grid system for easy wireframing and the ability to export their sketches in a variety of formats including PSD, PDF, and standard image formats (JPEG, PNG).
Linea Sketch is a paid app that offers a free trial period. It is compatible with iPads running iOS 12 or later. The limited cloud storage and sync features may be a drawback for some users. You can export your files directly to Dropbox, Slack, and more but you can’t sync them like you can do with Adobe Illustrator for cross-platform use. You can only sync your projects on iCloud and not on any third-party cloud services.
Nonetheless, its focus on sketching and wireframing makes it an excellent option for UI and UX designers for an efficient workflow.
Download Linea Sketch from App Store
Inspire Pro is a drawing and painting app for iPad that offers a range of features for artists and especially painters. This must-have iPad app specializes in creating realistic digital art, with a focus on natural media brushes that mimic the look and feel of traditional painting and drawing tools. Be it oil painting or water coloring, Inspire Pro does it all with an exceptionally good user experience.
Some of the key features of Inspire Pro include support for high-resolution canvases, customizable brushes, and a range of advanced layer options. Did you know you can create up to a 64MP canvas on this painting app on iPad Pro?
The app also offers a variety of export options, making it easy to share your artwork with others. Compared to other drawing and painting apps for iPad, Inspire Pro stands out for its focus on natural brushes, its variety, and an entirely different settings menu on how those brushes work. The credit goes to the app’s own Sorcery painting engine. It takes full advantage of iPad Pro’s M1 or M2 GPU to create a 64-bit color canvas with support for rendering brush strokes in 120fps. For reference, most drawing apps for iPad work at 60fps, and some even struggle at 30fps.
This is a dream come true for concept artists and designers.
Digital artists can create realistic watercolor paintings on their iPad using Apple Pencil with full support for pressure, orientation, tilt angle, and even Apple smart keyboard shortcuts.
The support for high-resolution canvases and automatic brush stroke recording with zero delays make it an attractive offer for people who want to show off their creations both online and offline. Inspire Pro’s advanced layer options and realistic brushes and strokes make it easy to create lifelike digital illustrations for books.
Inspire Pro is a paid app for $9.99 USD. It is compatible with iPads running iOS 12 or later and supports a variety of export formats, including PNG, JPEG, and PSD. This top drawing app for iPad Pro isn’t the best choice when it comes to cloud storage and sync. Apart from that, whether you’re an amateur or professional artist, Inspire Pro is definitely worth the money if you’re looking for a drawing and painting app that offers realistic natural brush strokes and advanced layer options, especially for iPad Pro.
Download Inspire Pro from App Store
ArtRage is a drawing and painting app for iPad with a lot more focus on the latter. It simulates oils, watercolors, and pencils in the most accurate way possible. It is available for iPad, iPhone, Mac, and even Windows and offers a variety of features and tools for drawing and painting.
One of the unique features of ArtRage is its ability to simulate natural brush strokes like real paint, chalk, or pencil strokes. The app includes tools such as a palette knife, watercolor brush, oil brush, and a ton more features and settings specifically for painting which can be used to create realistic textures and effects.
In terms of comparison with other apps, ArtRage stands out for its ability to replicate traditional media i.e. oils and canvas with such accuracy. It offers a unique experience for artists who are looking for a more traditional painting approach in the digital realm. However, this comes at the cost of a steeper learning curve compared to other drawing apps for iPad that use more standard digital brushes and tools.
ArtRage also has a somewhat limited number of export formats like JPEG, PNG, and BMP. It’s good enough for sharing your artwork across different platforms. Similarly, it also has support for cloud storage and syncs with iCloud and Dropbox, allowing users to seamlessly work on their projects across multiple devices.
ArtRage is a paid app, with a one-time purchase price of $2.99. It does not offer any in-app purchases or a free trial. The app is compatible with
iPad and iPhone devices running iOS 10 or later.
If you’re a digital artist and want to create digital paintings with a traditional look and feel. ArtRage takes the cake with its ability to simulate oils and watercolors and has been praised by hundreds of artists. This allows for more control and creativity in their artwork. Some users have also noted that ArtRage has helped them to improve their traditional painting skills by practicing in a digital medium. It’s just less messy than making a crime scene of paint oils in a room.
Artists and illustrators use ArtRage to create realistic oil paintings on their iPads.The drawing and painting app’s ability to replicate the texture and blending of traditional oil paint allows them to create artwork with a high level of detail and depth. Here’s an example of a digital oil painting.
If you’re someone who wants to learn digital sketching and painting of landscapes and nature. ArtRage’s ability to simulate natural oils on a different canvas and how naturally they blend makes it one of the top drawing and painting apps for iPad Pro. It offers full support for Apple Pencil including pressure & tilt even 3D touch on iPhone.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for the best iPad drawing and painting app for oil painting, blending oils and watercolor on a digital canvas, ArtRage is definitely worth downloading. It removes all the mess of oil painting and helps you channel your inner Leonardo da Vinci on an iPad.
However, if you’re a beginner or more comfortable with standard digital brushes, the learning curve may be a bit steep. If oil painting, blending oils, or delicate watercolors are more your cup of tea, then go ahead and pull the trigger on this one.
Download ArtRage from App Store
We will be updating this article with more apps after testing them. Stay tuned.