Lots of users nowadays use drawing apps for iPad due to the ever-growing popularity of digital art. The most popular way to make digital art is using a tablet and a stylus. The iPad occupies a more than 55% market share in Tablets, so the most popular way to make digital art is using your iPad and Apple Pencil.
The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2 are the favorite drawing combo for many artists worldwide. With the new iPad Pro’s being faster than most Windows laptops, it, along with the Apple Pencil, are great tools to draw what you want, anywhere you want.
Best Drawing Apps for iPad (2021)
Procreate is a hugely popular app used by artists and graphic designers to make their imagination come to life. The Apple Exclusive and is only available on iPadOS, with a less powerful Procreate Pocket available for iOS. Procreate comes with more than 130 types of brushes, advanced layer blending, filters, masks, and more. It has a clean and straightforward UI, making it an excellent choice for any artist or graphic designer who has an iPad or an iPhone.
Procreate also comes with a beautiful 4K Canvas, more than 25 customizable settings for every brush, and unlimited combinations. The app is built mainly with the iPad in mind and is fully optimized for all iPads. You can also take time-lapse replays on Procreate, which you can then share with anyone. Procreate is one of the Best Drawing Apps for iPad regardless of whether you are a beginner or a professional.
2. Adobe Illustrator
If you already have Adobe Creative Cloud then, Adobe Illustrator is one of the best drawing apps for iPad for professionals. You can also use Adobe Illustrator to make logos, geometric designs, and more. Along with the Apple Pencil, Adobe Illustrator also supports other styluses like Wacom and Adonit.
The canvases on Adobe Illustrator can go up to 8K resolution for great detail. You also get tons of customizable brushes for great detail in your drawings. You can upload your creations to the Adobe Cloud and can access them from any device. While it is more expensive than Procreate, Illustrator is one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you are a professional and already into the Adobe Creative Cloud.
Price: $9.99/month (Free with Creative Cloud)
3. Photoshop for iPad
Photoshop is one of the most popular photo editing apps on Windows and Mac. Photoshop for iPad is one of the best drawing apps for iPad. Rather than Vector Graphics, Photoshop focuses more on traditional drawing, sketching, and painting. Photoshop for iPad also supports multiple layers, 24 customizable brushes, high-resolution canvas, and more.
Using photoshop also allows you to upload your work to the Adobe Cloud and access them anywhere. Like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop is also a great drawing app for iPad for professionals. It’s a bit overwhelming for beginners and needs a learning curve.
Price: $9.99/month (Free with Adobe Creative Cloud)
4. Adobe Fresco
While Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop have been for ages, Adobe Fresco is a new addition. Launched in November 2019, Adobe Fresco was explicitly made for the iPad and the Apple Pencil combo. An added benefit is that, unlike Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Adobe Fresco is entirely free to use.
Adobe Fresco is one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you are a beginner and don’t want to pay anything. The app does, however, require a bit of a learning curve. The app comes with tons of vector and Photoshop brushes, customizable illustrations, masking tools, and more. You can also directly export your work from Adobe Fresco to Illustrator with only your iPad.
5. Affinity Designer for iPad
Affinity Designer is one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you work with Vector Graphics. Working on an iPad will be a breeze if you are already familiar with Affinity Designer on Windows. Unlike some other apps, Affinity Designer is designed to use power. All animations like scrolling, zooming run at 120 fps. Affinity Designer also has support for the Apple Pencil 2 which means you’ll be able to make good use of its pressure and tilt sensitivity.
Affinity Designer fully supports CMYK and RGB, exporting to several formats such as JPG, PNG, PDF, etc. Affinity Designer for iPad also comes with 100 customizable brushes with different styles. It also has the entire Pantone library making it ideal for both digital and printed art.
6. Inspire Pro
Inspire Pro is one of the best drawing apps for iPad for an actual pen and paper feel. Despite being a relatively old app, Inspire Pro has one of the fastest rendering engines, which delivers the realistic pen and paper feel so you’ll forget that you’re using an iPad.
Inspire Pro offers you 150 brushes with different textures such as oil paint, airbrush, pencil, crayons, spray paint, and much more. It also supports Apple Pencil 2’s suite of features which give you extensive control over how your drawing looks. While not the best option for professionals, Inspire Pro is one of the best drawing apps for iPad for amateurs and beginners.
7. Linea Sketch
Unlike many other apps on this list, Linea Sketch is one of iPad’s more approachable drawing apps. It has often been praised for its clean and straightforward UI, which is not intimidating for new users. Like other apps on this list, Linea Sketch also fully supports the Apple Pencil 2, which gives you more control over your drawings.
Linea Sketch comes with features like layers, split-screen, exporting to various formats, various tools such as the blend and fill tool, recording your drawing process, and more. Linea Sketch also suggests colors that complement your hue, making it very easy to pick colors. If you’re a beginner, then Linea Sketch is one of the best drawing apps for the iPad.
Price: Free ($21.99 for Premium)
Like Inspire Pro, ArtRage is one of the more realistic drawing apps for iPad. The vast number of options available in ArtRage can be a little overwhelming, but you’ll get used to it in no time. It is similar to the ArtRage available on Desktop and Mac. Like in real life, you can apply a glob of paint on the canvas and use another brush to spread it.
ArtRage also comes with tons of customizable brushes to offer you complete flexibility over your drawings. It also has other tools such as the color picker, blending and smudging, and more. ArtRage, however, lacks a bit behind in speed; there is sometimes a very noticeable lag while you’re drawing. That being said, ArtRage is one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you’re not too severe and draw for fun.
9. Comic Draw
Unlike other apps which let you draw a wide range of things, Comic Draw was made with a single thing in mind: to help you make comics. You can customize the layout of the panels or choose different templates. Like other drawing apps, you also get the option to work with layers, which is an excellent tool to have.
You have the option to use different fonts to do the writing to your liking. Comic Draw also has unique designs to highlight important words. Comic Draw is one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you’re a cartoonist.
Like some other apps on this list, Graphic is mainly focused on Vector Graphics. Graphic is one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you’re into Vector Graphics. You can use Graphic with iCloud or Dropbox to easily view your drawings on your iPhone or Mac.
The Graphic comes with tons of customizable brushes and full support for Apple Pencil 2. This means you can use pressure and tilt sensitivity on the Apple Pencil to help you draw better.
11. Autodesk Sketchbook
Autodesk Sketchbook or Sketchbook by Autodesk is one of the more popular drawing apps for iPad. It comes with all the features you’d expect a professional app to go with except the high price tag. Autodesk Sketchbook is entirely free to use. The UI is simple and easy to use, which makes for a great drawing experience.
It comes with different types of brushes like pencils, markers, airbrushes, paint, and more. You can also pin your favorite toolbar, so it is always easily accessible. The app is blazing fast with different tools such as Dropbox integration, layers, transparency modes, and more. Autodesk Sketchbook is one of the best drawing apps for iPad if you’re starting in professional digital art.
Turn Ideas into Sketches with These Drawing Apps for iPad
That ends our list of the Best Drawing Apps for iPad. It would be best if you decided on which app to download based on your needs. For example, Are you a beginner? Do you want an app that focuses more on vector graphics? Do you want an app that can record a time-lapse of your process? If you wish to recommend other great apps that we might have missed, you can tell us in the comment below.
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