- iPads are the first choice for drawing because they’re easy to carry and work with the Apple Pencil. This makes them a favorite among artists and professionals who need to draw on the go.
- Over the years, many popular drawing apps for iPad have emerged, allowing iPad users to create stunning digital images at the touch of a button.
- Whether you’re a graphic designer, art student, illustrator, or interior designer, there’s an iPad drawing app for you. In this guide, we’ve rounded up the 13 best drawing apps for iPad.
Digital art is becoming increasingly popular and widely accepted. Many people today use their computers and devices to create digital art. Thanks to advances in technology and easy access to digital tools, anyone with a computer or tablet and the right software can become a digital artist. One of the most versatile devices that most people prefer for creating digital art is the iPad. With powerful hardware and support for the Apple Pencil, the Apple iPad has become one of the most popular and important tools for creating digital art.
As a result, many popular drawing apps for iPad have emerged over the years, allowing users to create stunning digital art. These apps offer advanced customization tools to create stunning images. Whether you’re a graphic designer, art student, illustrator, or interior designer, there is an iPad drawing app for you.
In this guide, we’ve rounded up the 12 best drawing apps for iPad. These apps offer a variety of features that will help you create stunning digital art and illustrations. Before we dive into the list, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to choose the best drawing app for you.
Table of Contents
How To Choose the Best Drawing Apps for iPad
- User Interface (UI): The first thing you should consider is the user interface. The app should have a clean, intuitive and user-friendly interface. A complex or cluttered interface can detract from the drawing experience and also requires a lot of learning until you get used to it.
- Versatility: Look for an app that offers a variety of tools and media. This includes brushes, pencils, inks, pastels, and other tools to create professional-looking drawings.
- Layer Support: Layers are the be-all and end-all of digital art. They allow you to draw or paint on a separate layer without altering your original image, and you can adjust the opacity, blend mode, and other parameters of each layer. Layers are incredibly useful in digital art because they allow you to make changes to one layer without affecting the other layers.
- Other Drawing Features: You should be able to zoom in for detailed work and rotate your canvas to draw more easily. There are also several options to choose colors, adjust your brushes or create new ones so you have more control over the look and feel of your strokes. and other tools to help you draw and edit images.
- File Import and Export Options: The ability to import different file types (like JPEG, PNG, PSD, etc.) and export your work to different formats is also important. Make sure the drawing app supports different export options.
- Cloud Syncing: An app that can sync your projects to the cloud allows you to access your work on multiple devices. Cloud syncing also provides real-time backup and saves your work without having to manually click the “Save” button.
- Apple Pencil Support: Most people use an Apple Pencil to draw. Make sure the app you choose supports the Apple Pencil and offers all the other features like pressure sensitivity and more.
- Cost: Some apps are free, some are paid, and some offer in-app purchases for additional features. Pay attention to the cost and which features are most important to you.
Best Drawing Apps for iPad
Here is our list of best iPad drawing apps. We shall be going through each of them to know their pros and cons and which one would fit your needs the best.
- Procreate (Paid): Best drawing app for professionals
- Sketchbook (Free): Best drawing app for professionals available for free
- Adobe Fresco (Free): The best option for people looking for a free and simple, and professional drawing app for their iPad and also who are in the Adobe ecosystem.
- Infinite Painter (Free): The best option for you if you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use drawing app
- Paper by WeTransfer (Free): Best app for storing your digital art in journal format
- ibis Paint X (Free): Best free drawing app with built-in templates and also the best for creating anime art. Ads are annoying.
- Art Set 4 (Free): Offers simple-to-use and realistic drawing experience which makes it best for both beginners and artists.
- Freeform by Apple (Free): Best Drawing app and also digital collaboration tool to create storyboards, brainstorm ideas, and more from Apple.
- Adobe Illustrator (Paid): Best app to create vector illustrations
- ArtWorkout (Free): Best app to learn How to draw and different drawing techniques.
- Line Sketch (Paid): Another best professional drawing apps
- Lake coloring books & journal (Free): Best digital coloring book app.
- Affinity Designer for iPad ( Free): Best app for creating illustrations
Related Read: 10 Best Drawing Apps for Android
Procreate is the most popular and one of the most professional drawing apps for iPad. Whether you are a design professional, a digital artist or a beginner in the world of drawing, Procreate is the best app for you. It offers a wide range of professional tools to help you create stunning digital art.
Procreate also offers over 200 handmade brushes, including pencils, inks, charcoal, and artistic brushes to create stunning digital art. In addition, each brush can be customized with the Brush Studio, and users can download thousands of brushes or even create their own. The app also supports an extensive library of sketching, inking, drawing, painting, airbrushing, calligraphy, charcoal, spray paint, and other drawing tools.
Plus, the layering feature makes editing easy. You can select multiple layers and edit them without changing other layers. It also supports animation features that let you easily create animations from your digital art. After creation, you can export the file to various image formats, including Procreate, PSD, PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Animated GIF, Animated PNG and more.
The user interface is easy and simple to use. On the home screen, you’ll find a list of drawings you’ve already created, and the app also shows drawings that have already been created by the app. You can tap on any drawing to continue your work, or tap the plus icon to create a new drawing. You can also import drawings from your device.
The app’s interface is also simple and straightforward. You’ll find the toolbar at the top and on the left layer. You don’t need an Apple Pencil to draw. You can also draw with your own fingers, but the only problem is that it doesn’t support pressure sensitivity when you use your hand.
Procreate is an iPad-only app. There is a version for the iPhone called Procreate Pocket, but the apps are separate. The Apple Pencil is not required to use Procreate, but it is recommended for detailed artwork. The app also supports some third-party stylus models. Procreate does not come as a free version. You have to pay $10 upfront to use the app.
Overall, Procreate is the best drawing app for iPad. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, you can create stunning looking digital art with Procreate. If you’re a complete beginner, you can watch an app tutorial to get started with the app. If you have an iPad and an Apple Pencil, you can install the app right away from the App Store and start creating your first digital artwork.
Next, we have Sketchbook, a free professional digital drawing app for iPad that is suitable for both professionals and beginners. Its easy-to-use interface and compatibility with various devices make it the best app to quickly create a graphic or edit an image.
Even the interface of the app is simple and easy to use. When you open the app, you’re taken directly to the home screen where you can instantly create a digital artwork. You’ll find the tools in the bottom and left corners of the screen. You can draw with your own fingers or use an Apple Pencil to draw. The app also supports pressure sensitivity with the Apple Pencil.
You can also import files that are on your device. You can also create a new sketch by tapping the Plus button at the top. The app also lets you set and edit settings to save time when drawing. You can export your images to TIFF, PSD, PNG, JPEG and BMP formats. TIFF is Sketchbook’s native file format and will reopen in any Sketchbook app with layers and data intact.
It includes fill tools for adding color or patterns to your drawings, auxiliary tools for drawing straight lines and perfect circles, and symmetry tools for creating mirrored images. You can add text with the text tools, crop your artwork to a specific size or shape, and move, scale, or rotate it with the transformation tools.
There are a number of brushes for sketching, drawing, and painting. The brush stroke tools let you control the appearance of your brush strokes, and the editing tools let you undo, redo, and make other changes to your artwork. If you’re using a pen, you can enable pen mode to ensure that only the pen leaves marks on the canvas, so you don’t accidentally leave marks with your hand. You can also import images into your artwork and record your drawing process using the Time Lapse Capture tool.
Sketch is also compatible with Windows, Android, iPad, and iOS devices, making it accessible to all. Overall, Sktech is the best and free drawing app for iPad if you want to quickly sketch a graphic or edit an image. With its user-friendly interface and various professional tools, the app is ideal for both beginners and professionals.
Next up is Adobe Freso, one of the best drawing apps for the iPad from Adobe. The app is great for beginners as well as professional digital artists to create professional looking drawings. It integrates easily with other Adobe apps and services, making it an ideal option for users who are already part of the Adobe ecosystem.
Adobe Fresco offers a wide range of brushes, including pixel brushes, live brushes, and vector brushes. The app allows you to work with layers similar to Photoshop, which is useful when you want to separate different elements of your digital work. The app also offers several selection tools, including lasso and markup tools, which allow you to select specific parts of your artwork for editing. The app also supports the cloud, which lets you sync your files and other content with other devices.
You can download the app for free from the App Store. The app lets you customize the experience in the app by selecting your experience while drawing. You can choose from “new to drawing,” “new to digital tools,” “new to Fresco,” or “familiar with Adobe apps.” After you select the experience level, you can choose different drawing templates that include real-world paintings, embellish your photos, access templates, and tutorials. Depending on your preferences, you can select any tools and click “Get started”.
The app’s interface is clean and simple. You can find the drawing tools on the left and right side. You can choose different brushes that you can customize to have the exact size, taper, tremble, and other specific elements that you need. The brushes use different technologies like vector, raster and more. You can also import your own brushes.
The app also has a unique feature where it automatically records all brush strokes. So if you want to share your creative process with others, you can create a time-lapse video.
Once you’ve finished your drawing, you can export it in various formats, such as PNG, JPG, PSD, or PDF, and also share it directly with various social media and other Adobe apps. You can also share a link to the app and enable comments.
Overall, Adobe Fresco is the best option for those who are looking for a free, simple and professional drawing app for their iPad. It offers a wide range of features for digital artists and makes it easy to share your artwork. If you’re already part of the Adobe ecosystem, this app can be a great addition.
If you are a beginner and looking for a simple and easy-to-use drawing app for your iPad, Infinite Painter is the best choice for you. The app offers a clean interface and easy-to-use tools that can be used by both beginners and professionals.
The app takes you directly to the drawing board. Here you will see an almost empty area where you can start drawing right away. You can access all the tools from the toolbar in the upper left corner of the screen. I would like to see the tools displayed in more detail instead of you having to take multiple steps to access the tools.
Infinite Painter has its own brush engine designed for both finger and pressure sensitive pen painting. There are over 170 built-in brush presets in 16 categories, and users can create their own brushes to create stunning drawings.
The app supports importing JPEG, PNG, and PSD files and exporting images as JPEG, PNG, PSD, WEBP, or as layers packed in a ZIP archive. It also supports system file sharing and keyboard shortcuts.
Infinite Painter automatically records the process of creating a project and allows you to play back the shot, do basic video editing and export in up to 4K quality. The app is free and you can download it from the Apple App Store. There’s also a premium subscription that lets you unlock additional features.
Overall, Infinite Painter is the best choice for you if you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use drawing app for your iPad. With professional drawing tools, it’s also a good option for professionals.
Related Read: 11 Best Drawings Apps for Chromebook
Paper by WeTransfer
Paper by WeTranfer is a simple and easy-to-use app that is perfect for quick sketches and capturing ideas on the go. The app offers a simple and intuitive experience that lets you sketch ideas in a travel format. With pre-made templates, the app is also great for creating storyboards and simple wireframes.
The app is not meant for professionals looking for advanced customization and tools to create drawings. It is best suited for users looking for a simple digital sketchbook to draw and save in a travel format. Paper is also great for wireframing, as it includes templates for web and mobile devices as well as storyboard templates in the app.
The user interface is simple and intuitive. The app lets you select the journal and add paper to create drawings. You can create multiple journals and add multiple drawings. The drawing interface is also simple. In the bottom toolbar, you can select different tools. You can also import images, edit them and add them to the journal. You can easily share the sketch with other platforms by clicking the “Share” button below the journal.
Overall, Paper by Wetranfer is the best iPad drawing app if you’re looking for an easy way to keep a digital sketchbook and store your ideas in an intuitive way.
ibis Paint X
ibisPaint X is another simple and free drawing app for the iPad. The app reminded me of the old Microsoft Paint app I used when I was in school. The app is designed for artists who like to draw anime styles and easily share their work on social media. Bispaint has features specifically for manga drawing, including a halftone tool, a frame splitter tool, and a text entry tool.
The app includes a variety of drawing tools with 12000+ brush types, 1500+ assets, 1300+ fonts, 46 screens and all other blends. The app also contains 18000+ drawings with different patterns, backgrounds, animals, insects, food and more. You can easily add them to your drawing and edit them as you wish.
The user interface is simple, but not clean because of the ads that constantly distract you while drawing. There is no option to disable them. The controls are simple once you get used to the app. You might have a hard time finding your way around at first.
The app also supports the Apple Pencil and pressure sensitivity. You can also use your fingers to draw. You can customize the drawing board, undo the changes, rotate, zoom in and out, and more. You can export the images in PNG and also in transparent PNG format. With Ibispaint you can create a video of your entire drawing process, which you can publish on Ibispaint. Com or share it on Line, Twitter and Facebook.
All in all, Ibis Paint X is the best option if you’re looking for a simple drawing app for your iPad to draw simple anime drawings and also use the pre-made drawings that are already available in the app.
Art Set 4
If you’re still looking for easy-to-use and basic tools, Art Set 4 might be the best drawing app you’re looking for. It comes with a large white drawing board and only one tool in the toolbar.
Speaking of tools, the app offers a limited number of tools that are enough for beginners to create the most beautiful and impressive drawings. As I said, when you install the app, only one tool is displayed at the bottom. When you click on the tool, you get options for different tools. You can tap on any tool and use it. The color settings are also simple: you can tap on the color picker and choose your own colors.
One thing I hate about this app is that there is no option to adjust the size of the eraser, which makes it difficult to make fine-tuned corrections or wide erasures, especially for beginners like me who can’t live without the eraser when drawing.
One thing I really like about the app is the experience of drawing. Depending on the tool, the app gives you a realistic drawing experience. For example, look at the sun in the picture above. How the color blurs out of the image. You can undo and redo changes, adjust the size and blend of the tools, add different backgrounds, and more.
The app also supports Apple Pencil and pressure sensitivity. You can also draw with your hand. You can export the drawing in PNG format. The app automatically records and you can easily share the time-lapse of the video. Overall, Art Set 4 is another simple and easy to use drawing app to get started. It offers a simple and realistic drawing experience, making it suitable for both beginners and artists.
Freeform by Apple
Next, we have Freeform, an app from Apple for iOS, iPad, and macOS. Apple’s Freeform app is more than just a drawing app. Yes, you can draw and sketch with it, but you can do much more with it. You can use it to share ideas, add images, files, links, and even chat with others in real time. So you can use it not only to draw, but also to collaborate on projects and share your thoughts creatively.
Apple’s Freeform app has several features that make it great for drawing. First, it offers a variety of brush styles and colors, so you can sketch your ideas, write comments, or draw diagrams however you like. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, you can draw anywhere on the screen with your finger.
And if you have an Apple Pencil, you can use it to sketch your ideas on your iPad, making it even easier to draw on the go. It also supports pressure sensitivity and other gestures supported by an Apple Pencil.
Freeform also has a large library of shapes that you can add to your drawings. You can change their color and size, add text to them, or even create your own shapes. Whether you’re a professional artist or just like to doodle, Freeform has many tools to help you get creative with your drawings.
All in all, apple freeform is the best app to draw, sketch your ideas, plan things or sit down with others and brainstorm ideas. The app fits seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem, making it the best option for anyone looking for a simple drawing app and a whiteboard app with seamless collaboration features.
Adobe Illustrator is another professional drawing app for iPad, especially for people who create vector images (vector images consist of points, lines, and curves based on mathematical equations) and are more focused on creating logos, graphics, and illustrators. One of the main advantages of vector images is that they can be scaled up or down infinitely without losing their quality.
Adobe Illustrator offers several tools to create high-quality vectors. You can use your hand or use the apple pencil to create vectors. The interface is simple and clean, you can access the tools on the left, right and top of the pane.
There are a number of tools to help you do different things. You can use the selection tools to select and move things around. The pen tool lets you draw lines and shapes, and you can add or remove points on those shapes.
There are also tools that let you create basic shapes like squares and circles. If you want to add text, the Text tool is available. The Brush tool lets you draw strokes that look like they were drawn by hand. The Color and Gradient tools let you add color to your work, and the Eyedropper lets you pick up colors from other places. And if you need to change the size, angle, or shape of your objects, you can use the transformation tools.
After creating the vector, Adobe Illustrator offers a wide range of file formats to export the vector, including pdf, eps, SVG, AutoCAD, bmp, jpeg, gif, png, tiff, and more.
Unlike Adobe Fresco, which we also mentioned in this article, the Adobe Illustrator app is not free and you have to pay upfront to use the app. Overall, Adobe Illustrator is the best option if you want to create vectors on iPad. It offers advanced tools to create high-quality vectors and export them to various formats.
If you are still a beginner and looking for a drawing app to learn how to draw, ArtWorkout is the best app for you. The app provides step-by-step instructions to help you learn drawing techniques. It supports more than 500 drawing tutorials that are suitable for kids, adults, and professionals. The app also offers interactive courses for doodling, sketching, drawing, and more.
You can download the app for free from the App Store. On the home screen, you’ll find different drawing categories like Lesson of the Day, Loomis Methods, Fun and Color, Boys, People, Hands, Facial Features, Landscape, and more. You can tap on any category to select the image. Depending on the category, the app offers one free tutorial or multiple free tutorials within the category. You can tap on the image and start learning.
You can use your hand or an Apple Pencil to draw the picture. The app will display a layer where you need to fill in the color. Depending on the type of image, the steps can range from 5 to 15. The app measures your accuracy and rates the quality of your strokes.
You can also pause, go to the previous step, and exit the tutorial. Overall, ArtWorkout is the best app if you are a beginner and want to learn drawing techniques. With easy-to-use techniques and a wide range of categories, Artwork is the best app to get started with.
Line Sketch is another popular app that makes drawing and writing notes easy. It has a simple and easy-to-use interface. The app offers a wide range of advanced tools that you can use to create stunning images. The app lets you work with layers that you can move, combine, or lock the individual changes.
The app has special features like Zip shapes and Zip lines that let you create perfect shapes, and a watercolor brush for painting. You can also add notes to your drawings, record a video of your drawing process, and share it with others. The app also includes built-in templates that you can use to draw the images. The app also supports syncing with the cloud. You can also save your drawings as png, jpeg, PSD, or pdf files.
Lake coloring books & journal
The app “Lake: coloring books & journal” is an award-winning platform designed to help users relax by coloring. It features a variety of coloring books created by indie artists from around the world. You can choose any coloring book and start coloring. The app offers a number of drawing tools, including an acrylic brush, a watercolor brush, a spray can, a filler, and an eraser to color the objects in the book. There is also a color picker and a blank canvas for free drawing. Users can save their favorite artists and books in “My List” for quick access, and all works in progress are easily accessible in “My Studio.”
The app also supports live collaboration, so users can paint together with friends. The app offers a free version with limited access and a subscription plan for full access to all artwork and premium tools as well. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running ios 14.0 or later. Overall, Lake is the best app if you want to relax while painting – it’s like a coloring book.
Affinity Designer for iPad
Affinity Designer for iPad is a professional graphic design app that was originally available for the desktop and has recently been converted for the iPad. It has the same features as the desktop version and allows you to create stunning looking illustrations, icons, UI /UX designs, print projects, typography, concept art and more.
The app offers several power tools for creating and editing various illustrations. It includes a quick menu for quick access to clipboard options and customizable keyboard shortcuts, as well as a compact mode to simplify your illustration. The app is available for a one-time payment of $18.49, with no monthly cost. It’s a powerful tool for designers who want the flexibility to work wherever they are.
Mastering Art on the iPad with Drawings Apps
The iPad is undoubtedly the best and most versatile device when it comes to creating digital art. Thanks to its advanced hardware and support for the Apple Pencil, many drawing apps have emerged over the years that allow iPad users to easily create stunning digital art. These apps range from basic sketching to advanced drawing customization apps. I hope you find this list helpful and can give us more suggestions in the comments.
FAQs on Best Drawing Apps for iPad
What is the best iPad drawing app for beginners?
If you’re a beginner, you can use the apps Art Set 4, ibis Paint X, and Artworkout to get started. If you don’t want to install the third-party apps, you can use Apple’s own app for notes or Freeform Digital Collaboration Tool. If you’re looking for a beginner app with advanced customization tools, you can start with Adobe Fresco.
Can I use a drawing app on older iPad models?
Yes, most of the apps listed in this post can be used on older iPad models. However, due to hardware limitations, some are only available on the latest version of iPad. You can click on the download link under each app to check compatibility. You will then be redirected to the Apple app. From there, you can check the app’s compatibility based on your iPad’s version and model.
Can I import custom brushes or create my own in these iPad drawing apps?
Yes, apps like Procreate, Adobe Fresco, Line Sketch, and other advanced drawing apps support custom brushes and offer the ability to import brushes.
Do these iPad drawing apps support pressure sensitivity?
Yes, most of the apps we’ve listed in this post support pressure sensitivity on iPad with an Apple Pencil.