The Best & Most Creative Drawing Apps for Any iPad

Tablets have revolutionized the way artists use digital media, and no product has been more cutting edge than the Apple iPad. The attention to detail, combined with the natural user interface and easy-to-use operating system, has created the perfect tool for creating handmade digital drawings. This system has created the perfect storm for app developers to introduce their own entries into the digital art marketplace. With hundreds of different apps to choose from, how do you know what the best drawing apps for iPad are? Today, we will look at ten of the most popular apps you can use to create gorgeous pieces of art on your iPad and help you choose the one best for you.

Product FAQ

ipad drawing using whiite pen

Image Source : Pixabay

Before we get to our picks for best drawing apps for iPad, we want to address some of the most common questions people have when looking for these types of programs.

1. Do These Apps Require a Stylus or Apple Pencil?

2. Is There a Way to Add Brushes or Other Tools to These Apps?

3. Do I Need an iPad Pro to Use Any of These Apps?

How We Reviewed the Best Drawing Apps for iPad

illustration and applications

Image Source : Pixabay

To determine what programs would make the list of best drawing apps for iPad, we looked at several key details. Each app was judged on ease-of-use, the suite of features, versatility, and value.

Overall Price Range

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Image Source : Pixabay

About half of the best drawing apps for iPad we looked at were free for the initial download with a limited set of features available at no cost. Those apps all had premium features available as in-app purchases, sometimes requiring a subscription or initialization fee. For the pay-to-play apps, we looked at the price ranging from about $5 to $20.

What We Reviewed

  • Animation Desk
  • Concepts
  • Pixelmator
  • Paper by WeTransfer
  • Procreate
  • Affinity Designer
  • Adobe Photoshop Sketch
  • Sketch Club
  • MediBang Paint for iPad
  • Graphic for iPad

Animation Desk


Features

Animation Desk is one of the oldest titles on this list and with that age comes a wonderful set of well-developed tools for creating amazing artwork and animations. This is one of the best drawing apps for iPad that includes an additional animation toolset. The focus on traditional frame-by-frame drawing of animation makes it a throwback to the old days of traditional cell animation. The drawing tools make it easy to mimic pencil and ink illustrations, so you can produce authentic-looking, cell animation right off the iPad.

Where to Buy

Concepts


Features

Concepts is a vector-based drawing application that makes every stroke an editable object. That makes this one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you're doing professional design drawings. This is one of the preferred apps for people in the fashion and architectural design industries, as it presents the tools and layout much like a CAD or vector graphic program. This is one of the best values on the list as the initial tools available on download are already professionally aimed.

Where to Buy

Pixelmator


Features

Pixelmator does double-duty as an illustration tool and a photo editing application. That makes this a favorite for photographers and non-traditional graphic artists. You can find all the standard brushes and filters in the app with no additional purchases or a subscription. There's a clean interface for layer-based drawing, which makes it comparable to Adobe Photoshop for iPad.

Where to Buy

Paper by WeTransfer


Features

Paper is a minimalist's dream, offering a clean and open canvas for free-form drawing. There's a basic toolset that has enough customization to let you experiment with many drawing styles. The unique “book folio” filing system also gives you a sketchbook kind of feel, making this a great option for artists that like to create more sporadic types of illustrations while out on the road.

Where to Buy

Procreate


Features

The big feature for Procreate is the introduction of a 3D painting toolset. This makes it easy for beginners to create stunning, three-dimensional renderings by just using their finger or a stylus. There are some massive canvas sizes available as a preset in this application, so if you're looking for something that can go above and beyond the standard web banner or thumbnail image, this is the app for you.

Where to Buy

Affinity Designer


Features

Affinity is a professionally aimed vector graphic application tailored for professional artists. While this is the most expensive of the best drawing apps for iPad, it's also the most feature-heavy. This is not for the beginning graphic designer, as the toolsets are made for precise vector generation and traditional raster-based drawing. Affinity also works great with the Apple Pencil, with a completely customized toolset for taking advantage of the pressure and tilt sensitivity of the tool.

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Adobe Photoshop Sketch


Features

It has the Adobe brand, so you already know this will be a heavy hitter. This is one of the best drawing apps for iPad for someone looking for multi-app integration. Adobe has an extensive suite of sister applications that can bring additional tools, brushes, filters, and exporting options to Adobe Photoshop Sketch. This cross-application movement makes it ideal for a professional artist that needs everything and the kitchen sink at their disposal.

Where to Buy

Sketch Club


Features

Sketch Club is a standout application for amateur artists looking to expand their tablet-based drawing capabilities. An extensive toolset allows the beginner to customize and experiment with different brushes on several base pages. The calligraphy toolset is a noted favorite for graphic designers that like to develop their own web fonts and title cards.

Where to Buy

MediBang Paint for iPad


Features

MediBang Paint is the mobile answer to the popular MediBang Paint Pro for the desktop. With over one-thousand brushes available with add-on purchases, there's no limit to the customization available for this powerful application. MediBang Paint is a particular favorite for comic creators, with a ton of comic-based fonts and page layouts available. This is one of the best drawing apps for iPad aimed towards the professional comic artist.

Where to Buy

Graphic for iPad


Features

Graphic is one of the best drawing apps for iPad that's comparable to Adobe Illustrator. There's a focus on vector graphics that makes it ideal for logo art, web design, and element creation. This app delivers desktop-level tools on an iOS system and includes all the features you would find in a professional illustrating tool.

Where to Buy

The Best Drawing Apps for iPad: The Verdict

drawing in blank  page

Image Source: ​Pixabay

These apps are all fantastic, with each one offering a unique set of features that set them apart from the competition. That being said, we would like to single out our favorites from our list. Paper is beautiful and simple, bringing the best tools to a minimalist user interface. This makes it a great drawing app for the more casual user. If you're looking for something a little more professional, then we recommend Adobe Photoshop Sketch. This drawing app has a myriad of great tools and brushes combined with the full intersectionality of the Adobe suite of products. This makes cross-platform work much easier, and it opens you up to a whole new level of filters and toolsets.

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Where to Buy