iPads have become fantastic devices for artists of all levels. Whether you are a painter or sketcher by trade, or just for fun, there are many iPad apps that can provide users with stunning artistic experiences. This list of apps has been curated with the goal of making your painting or sketching experience an easy, engaging and fulfilling endeavor. Check out our list of the best painting and sketching apps for the iPad and take your artistic expressions to a whole new level.
The best iPad apps for painting and sketching
10 Dec 2020, by Cherry Mae Torrevillas
Powerful enough for creative professionals. Simple enough for everyone. The award-winning Procreate Pocket is the most versatile art app ever designed for iPhone.
Offering hundreds of varied pressure-sensitive brushes, an advanced layer system, and the breathtaking speed of Silica M, Procreate Pocket gives you everything you need to create expressive sketches, rich paintings, and gorgeous illustrations on an expansive, ultra-portable canvas. Work on the couch, at the beach, on the train, or while waiting in line for coffee. It’s a complete art studio in the palm of your hand. Now with all the features you love from Procreate for iPad, Procreate Pocket includes:
- Massive High Definition canvases up to 8K
- 3D Touch for built-in pressure-sensitive painting
- All-new interface designed exclusively for iPhone
- Advanced customisable QuickMenu puts all your favourite tools at your fingertips
- Revolutionary new QuickShape feature for perfect shapes - instantly
- Powered by Silica-M, the industry leading painting engine behind Procreate for iPad
- Haptic integration for immersive feedback throughout the app
- Deliciously responsive 64-bit smudge sampling
- Optimized for iPhone X and iOS 12
- Stunning 64-bit color
- 250 levels of undo and redo
- Continuous auto-save - never lose work again
- Hundreds of breakthrough brushes
- Full-featured layering system
- Dramatic finishing effects and even more….
This app prides itself on being the #1 ranked social coloring app aimed for relaxation. Paint by numbers or freeform with a host of painting tools to create amazing artwork with your fingertips. Finger painting has never been so easy or mess free. The app features a huge library of coloring pages in various themes and a spectacular tool list for great effects while you are coloring.
- Control your artistic side with realistic brushes, different line color and thickness, and finishing effects
- Relax while you paint with calming music and soothing sound effects
- This developer is responsive to their community.
The OG coloring app boasts over 25 million users. Choose from a huge host of patterns, mandalas, and images to find the perfect picture to color. This app offers great features to take you to the next level including uploading your own artwork to Colorfy, a new augmented reality feature to visualize your art in the real world, and creating your own mandalas.
- Share your drawings and colored art with any social media easily
- Join the largest art coloring community for inspiration and artwork from around the world.
- This app is updated daily.
Ibis Paint X boasts one of the most robust artistic apps available on the market. Utilize thousands of materials and fonts, work with hundreds of brushes, different filters, screen tones, and blending options. Record your drawing process and upload your artworks easily. Follow other artists and take tutorials to improve your own style. The app can utilize layers like desktop apps to build on your artwork without messing up previous iterations.
- Offers several tools to make this the easiest art drawing app on the market
- A high functioning professional art app that rivals desktop drawing apps.
- This indie developer focuses solely on this app.
Doodle Art is one of the more popular drawing apps on the iOS with millions of users worldwide. It’s touted as the easiest and friendliest drawing, sketching and doodling app in the Appstore. You can draw anything, find every color for whatever creative purpose, customize colors if you wis, import photos, rotate and sale photos, 200 stickers to use, Und and Redo options, change brush size, change Opacity settings, rulers, shapes, view or hide toolbars, save artwork and share with others. This app is free to use, but does have ads. There are in-app purchases to remove ads and get more stickers. Drawing, Painting & Sketch Pad Free app review
- Easiest and friendliest app for drawing, sketching and doodling
- Add colors, Import photos, View or hide toolbars
- Adjust Brush size or Opacity settings
- Undo and Redo options, Rulers, Shapes and 200 Stickers
- In-app purchases to remove ads or get more stickers
Sketchbook is a simple app that allows users to express their creativity and showcase their imagination. Draw or doodle anything you want, color or paint with a vast array of colors, draw or paint actual pictures, draw a scenery or famous artistic piece, adjust the custom settings for tools like pencils and brushes, save your drawings to the iDevice or share them with others via Social Media. This is a great app for beginners as it provides a simple platform to draw on. Also a great app for kids looking to do more sketching on a tablet.
- Simple app that allows users to draw whatever they want
- Choose from a vast array of colors
- Adjust settings for Pencils and Brushes
- Save your drawings or share via Social Media
- Great tool for beginners and kids
This app combines powerful vector manipulation with pencil and paper to provide users with an awesome experience. The free version of this app is limited, but the Pro Version allows access to the full power and potential of this cool app. There are precision tools, adjust anything in the drawing, advanced transformations, infinite amount of layers, many export options, infinite canvas, zoom and rotation, copic colors, unlimited projects, the ability to import images, adjustable paper, gorgeous vector brushes and much more. The developers are dedicated to helping users when needed and have created an app with a clean interface and elegant design. Concepts app review
- A unique approach to precision sketching for work or play
- Precision tools, Vector brushes, Advanced adjustments
- Infinite Layers, Infinite canvas, Import images
- Powerful export options, Support for users
- Free version is limited, Pro Version gives full access
This app is a drawing game that allows users to guess what others are drawing or doodling. You can play with friends and family, take turns drawing or guessing, draw with all the colors of the rainbow, uses bombs to help guess a word, new content updated regularly, move up the leaderboard and more. There’s a daily guessing challenge for those who can’t get enough of this game. Put your drawing and guessing skills on display, all while having fun. Draw Something Free app review
- Guess what other people are drawing
- Daily guessing challenges, Play with friends and family
- All colors to draw with, Get help when stumped
- Updated content, Move up leaderboard
- In-app purchases for more coins
Save a tree and use this app! Gone are the days when writing or drawing something requires pen and paper. With apps like Notepad+, users can now jot down anything that comes to mind right on their iPad. This app makes it easy to take notes for work or school, annotate PDF documents, advanced organization functions for notes, change templates for notes, password protect projects, add photos, use ink pens or highlighters, powerful exportation options and more. This is a fantastic digital notebook app that really presents users with unlimited writing or drawing opportunities. Notepad+ app review
- One of the best digital notebooks or drawing pads on the iOS
- Great for work or school, Powerful note taking options
- Password protect projects, Share notebooks or just one page
- Many great drawing tools, Easy to reorganize notebooks or projects
- Import images, Many editing options, Use stylus or keyboard
This realistic and powerful sketching app could be just what you are looking for to express your creativity and imagination. The app provides a powerful set of artistic tools that will help users create stunning and artistic expressions. Realistic water colors, 20 tools, import photos, color eyedropper, edit brushes, use layers, power export options, create folders to organize drawings, pressure stylus support, shapes, eraser, ruler, smudge tool, patterns and more. The app is free, but does have an in-app purchase for the Pro Version. Additionally, users can purchase more layers and tools. Tayasui Sketches app review
- A realistic and powerful drawing app
- Over 20 artistic tools, Realistic water colors
- Create folders to organize drawings, Powerful export options
- Edit brushes, Use layers, Eraser and Ruler
- In-app purchases for Pro Version, more tools and layers
This comprehensive art app allows users to draw, sketch and paint on the iPad with ease. Additionally, this is the free version which does have some limitations. However, the Full Version gives access to the entire set of tools and features. There are 150 high quality brushes, 16 tools to choose from, numerous fonts for text, save your favorite tool settings, customizable stroke settings, support for Bluetooth styluses, shapes, guidelines or grid, layer options and masks, distort, Undo and Redo, 40 filters for images, video tutorials and more.
- A comprehensive app for drawing and painting
- Customizable brushes and tools, Save favorite settings
- Layer options and masks, Video tutorials
- Add images, Filters for images
- Free version is limited, Full Version available
Procreate is an Apple Design Award winner and dubbed an essential app. It’s an extremely powerful app for sketching, drawing or any other kind of illustration. The app has a groundbreaking canvas resolution and sizes, the fasted 64-bit painting engine, very responsive, 250 levels of Undo and Redo, continuous auto-save, share or save via the cloud, a quick menu, great for advanced users or beginners, in 15 different languages and more. This streamlined interface and canvas layout provides users with a unique artistic experience and one that will lead to stunning artwork. With all of the options for customization, it’s easy to see why this app is an award winner. Procreate app review
- Award winning app, Powerful and simple to use
- Groundbreaking canvas resolution, Various canvas sizes
- Streamlined interface, Quick navigation, Save and share via the cloud
- Undo and Redo, Customize and save favorite settings
- Does have an in-app purchase