15 Best iPad Apps for Art & Drawing

Bring out the artist in you with these amazing apps.

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The perks of living in 2022 are that we are surrounded by tools that were once unimaginable.

Try explaining the weather forecast to your grandparents if they don’t know about it already, and their minds will be blown.

My mind is always blown when it comes to technology. Especially a segment that involves pen and display.

I sketch a lot on my iPad mini with the Apple Pencil Gen 2, relaxing.

If you own an iPad and the Pencil, you can unleash your creativity to the fullest. Apple Pencil has become a staple tool for making art and designing your vision; all you need is a robust app to explore your imagination.

There are hundreds of apps, and choosing just 15 of them was vigorous, but I did the best for you guys!

Apart from exploring your artistry, art is also good for your mental health. More on that in the next segment.

Are there any mental health benefits of Art?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”

Even though many associate arts with creativity, it relieves stress for kids and adults alike.

Art is akin to a therapy session (or many) as there is a positive connection between art and mental health.

Be it drawing, sculpting, or painting, your stress levels will shrink, and you’ll feel mentally calm. When you indulge in art, it takes your mind off the everyday stress and offers a tremendous tranquilizing distraction.

If you have a loved one suffering from chronic health issues, take them to see beautiful art or make them use any app that will ease them for a while.

This is one of the reasons why adult coloring books are a popular escape for people of all ages.

Best iPad Apps for Art

There are a hundred ways to be creative, and art is one of them. You can draw, paint, doodle, fill colors, and be at peace.

No matter which iPad you own, the following apps will distract you and keep you busy with creativity.

If you want professional and creative apps, read about the best iPad apps for designers.

1. Astropad

iPad Apps for Art

Astropad was established by former Apple engineers who dream of making it an integral part of iPad and Mac for graphics.

The app is free and lets you treat your iPad just like a graphics tablet, and you can use a supported stylus to draw directly in any Mac app. This includes Illustrator, Photoshop, Affinity Designer, Corel Painter, Manga Studio, Pixelmator, Mischief, and many more.

What you get is a high-end experience of a Wacom pen display – sans the Wacom tablet.

You can connect this app to your Mac wirelessly or via USB. How neat!

The user interface is clean yet has tonnes of tools to make a straightforward project or a professional one. If you want, you can set customizable shortcuts to make your workflow easier.

You don’t need to worry about drawing on the iPad as the palm rejection is accurate.

Main features

  • Blazing fast keeps up with your drawing
  • Bursts to 60 FPS even over Wi-Fi
  • Works wirelessly or over USB


  • Expensive
  • It has a bit of a learning curve

Pricing: $29.99

App Store rating: 4.7

Download Astropad

2. Autodesk Sketchbook

iPad Apps for Art

Many artists might not know about Autodesk Sketchbook as Autodesk is well known for pro-spec 3D apps like Maya and 3DS Max.

Sketchbook is a robust and mainstream sketching application that provides a beautiful natural drawing experience.

You get 170 customizable brushes, switchable predictive stroke that quickly transforms your hand-drawn lines and crisp shapes, complete PSD layer and blending support, and many more.

I love that Sketchbook makes the transition from paper to screen effortless. The in-app camera doubles as a scanner that lets you import your art.

If you have an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, its ProMotion tech will go hand-in-hand.

Incredibly, this app doesn’t cost a penny, which makes Sketchbook probably the best free drawing app for an iPad.

Main features

  • A full complement of brush types: pencils markers, airbrushes, etc
  • Guides, rulers, and stroke tools
  • Clean and discreet interface


  • Problem in exporting high-quality files
  • User interface has a learning curve

Pricing: Completely free

App Store rating: 4.7

Download Autodesk Sketchbook

3. Adobe Fresco: Sketch & Draw

iPad Apps for Art

Any blog about creativity or drawing is incomplete without any Adobe app. Fresco: Sketch & Draw is a great app that could very well be Adobe’s answer to Procreate.

If and when you’ll use the app, it will give you the vibe of the traditional analog drawing materials we are used to – but in a digital format.

Live Brushes are Fresco’s best-known features that adapt to any drawing style.

The app is an expert at providing a smooth and sleek drawing experience, partly thanks to its user interface.

If you sign into the app using your Adobe ID, your Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Photoshop Sketch projects will be automatically synced. Your artwork and projects will also sync across devices.

This is a remarkable yet underrated feature to continue your artwork the moment inspiration strikes.

Even though the app gives a miss to animation or text options, it is an app worthy of a place on your iPad.

Main features

  • 50+ Photoshop paintbrushes, vector brushes, and exclusive Live Brushes
  • Color adjustment layers
  • Use powerful tools for creation, including selections, masking, layers


  • Adobe Design Mobile Bundle costs a bomb
  • Extra brushes need a premium purchase

Pricing: Free; $9.99-$149.99 in-app purchases

App Store rating: 4.7

Download Adobe Fresco: Sketch & Draw

4. Adobe Illustrator for iPad

iPad Apps for Art

Illustrator is another iPad app from Adobe’s roster.

This is an industry-standard program that lets you create transforming digital art. You can make the best vector art with Illustrator with the Apple Pencil.

The app lets you create effects, shapes, types, gradients, lines, and similar artists. If you use your Apple Pencil, you can blend and cut graphics with swift gestures.

You get to explore radial repeats, symmetry, and point gradients when it comes to effects. You can invite fellow creative people to refine your projects to make them more comprehensive.

You get access to over 18,000 fonts. The seamless cloud integration will assist you in working across your devices with Creative Cloud apps.

If you want to indulge in art on the go, you can’t go wrong with Adobe Illustrator.

Main features

  • Convert rasterimages or paper sketches into vectorimages
  • Infinitely customizable variable fonts
  • Create, save, and open Illustrator, including SVG, PDF, PNG, and PSD


  • Users complain of bugs
  • Random app crashes

Pricing: Free; $9.99 monthly/$79.99 yearly

App Store rating: 4.6

Download Adobe Illustrator for iPad

5. MediBang Paint for iPad

iPad Apps for Art

MediBang Paint is an app for exploring art in the digital world. This is a basic yet brilliant easy-to-use app.

Its features are similar to Photoshop, including adding styles, layers, and a handy brush editor.

The user interface is filled with fabulous painting and drawing tools.

Feature-wise, you get free access to 1000 textures, backgrounds, word balloons, and tones.

Pre-made backgrounds include vehicles and city scenes that will cut an artist’s workload.

MediBang Paint for iPad is an excellent app that will help you create professional-looking artwork. Consider this app if you are on a budget.

Main features

  • Free comic book fonts
  • Create your original brushes by extracting an image
  • 1000 tones, textures, backgrounds, and word balloons for free


  • App hangs if too many layers

Pricing: Free; $3.99-$7.99

App Store rating: 4.6

Download MediBang Paint for iPad

6. Art Set 4

iPad Apps for Art


Art Set 4 is for those interested in realistic drawing apps but a basic package.

The app is free, but extra tools require a premium subscription.

If you are new to digital illustration, this app will give you a vibe of physical paper and tools.

The user interface is fabulous, and it just works. I say that because many people refrain from trying creative apps owing to their complex interface, like Autodesk or Procreate.

The app lets you swap between multicolored paper styles.

Also, if you simply want to doodle, Art Set 4 will be your go-to app.

Main features

  • Fluid dynamic simulation for Watercolor
  • User Editable Palette
  • Color Wheel


  • Poor color management tools

Pricing: Free; Unlock all features at $9.99

App Store rating: 4.6

Download Art Set 4

7. Lake: Coloring Books & Journal

iPad Apps for Art

When I tried Lake: Coloring Books & Journal, I instantly fell in love with it.

This massive, wallet-friendly coloring app aims to promote healthy coloring.

The developers know that having fun is an essential part, which reflects in the app.

If your Sunday goal is to be creative while relaxing, Lake is a perfect app in your App Library.

You will find different styles of coloring book sheets from artists across the globe. There’s even a dedicated section of artists.

The app’s subtle sounds can be heard across the app. For instance, you’ll listen to firm yet quiet brush sounds when you paint with a brush. You can turn off these sounds in settings.

The spotlight feature of the app is the ability to turn on and off to stay in the lines and add more color for shading and effects. You can fill or tap in the outlines.

This gives artists more room to be creative.

Main features

  • Most affordable coloring app
  • 85+ coloring books
  • Tap-to-fill coloring option
  • iCloud Sync


  • Collection not as robust as other coloring books
  • Coloring wheel needs a learning curve

Pricing: Free; $2.99-$59.99

App Store rating: 4.5

Download Lake: Coloring Books & Journal

8. Tayasui Sketches

iPad Apps for Art

Tayasui Sketches is an elegant and clean sketching app that features some of the most realistic brushes. Try the wet watercolor brushes, and you will agree!

Speaking of brushes, there are many to choose from, and when you do, it will make for a distraction-free drawing session.

As usual, when you draw or go about the app, the UI will hide away tools, giving you minimal buttons to work with.

You can create your designs into different notepads that can be synced across all your devices.

If you want a drawing app for quick illustrations, go for the free version. Choose the paid version if you want a more professional experience with tools like layers, various paper types, brush sizes, etc.

Main features

  • Use layers to simplify your work
  • Organize your drawings into personalized folders
  • Backup your drawings to the cloud


  • App is glitchy

Pricing: Free; $1.99-$5.99

App Store rating: 4.5

Download Tayasui Sketches

9. Procreate

iPad Apps for Art

Savage Interactive Pty Ltd. created Procreate app in March 2011 with the slogan “Sketch, paint, create.” Twelve years later, the app has scaled to heights that independent developers dream of.

Procreate was voted a CNET Editors’ Choice pick for 2021, and rightfully so.

Even though this is a paid app, $9.99 isn’t much when you get lifetime access to creative tools that could be a money-maker for many.

Be it a beginner, design professional, or seasoned digital artist, Procreate caters to all of them without breaking a sweat.

The app will most definitely help you improve your artwork.

The best part about this app is the ability to create customized gestures to control the app as you wish.

Feature-wise, you will love layering, Quickshape, blend mode, clipping masks, alpha locks, etc. These tools will add a professional flavor to your artistry.

If you simply want to doodle, I wouldn’t recommend this app. Check out Art Set 4.

Main features

  • Up to 16K by 8K canvas
  • 3D Painting with Lighting Studio
  • Animated Export
  • Continuous auto-save


  • No free-trial
  • Complex tools for beginners

Pricing: $9.99

App Store rating: 4.5

Download Procreate

10. Inspire Pro

iPad Apps for Art

If Procreate is a superb art tool, then Inspire Pro in Procreate on steroids.

This app has one of the most realistic and fastest renderings on the App Store. With this feature, artists will get a natural and fluid drawing experience – akin to drawing on paper.

You’d be happy to explore the vast library of brushes, crayons, spray paint, markers, pastels, chalk, oil paint, airbrushes, etc.

Other high-quality tools can be customized as you wish.

Pair this app with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, and you’ll love what this app does.

Main features

  • 140+ high-quality brushes
  • HSB and RGB sliders
  • 64-bit color
  • Over 20 different settings


  • Users reported the interface to be complex

Pricing: $19.99

App Store rating: 4.5

Download Inspire Pro

11. Comic Draw by plasq

iPad Apps for Art

I’ll quote Alex Ogle, a Comic Book Artist: “I’ve only had it for a day, but it is by far my favorite app on my iPad Pro, and it is the app I have been waiting for. Thank you!”

The app is a true ode to comic book fans – readers and creators.

The app has a single goal – powering comic artists. This is a highly effective tool that lays out the panels on your page that prove to be your guide to assist you in keeping a perfect perspective of your artwork.

There’s a digital sketchpad that will let you experiment with your ideas.

The app’s coloring interface and inking will be the biggest push in finishing that last stroke.

Comic Draw also offers a lettering suite that consists of design tools, different typefaces, balloons that make this a must-have app in your creative arsenal.

Main features

  • 130+ bundled comic fonts
  • 34 bundled brushes
  • Easy and fast comic lettering


  • You better have an Apple Pencil
  • Not as robust as a PC software

Pricing: Free; Unlock all features at $9.99

App Store rating: 4.4

Download Comic Draw

12. Drawing Desk: Draw, Paint Apps

iPad Apps for Art

Drawing Desk: Draw, Paint Apps is a simple app for a casual app for doodling.

The app is powered by a creative engine known as Cortex, which provides robust artistic tools and brushes. They give a realistic drawing experience.

Bring your creativity to life with great sketches, paintings, and doodles.

The app is loved by adults and kids alike due to its 25+ realistic sketching tools. They include Pencil, pen, neon, spray, highlighter, crayon, progressive, ink, full bucket, highlighter brush, smudge, eraser, etc.

For iPad users, there’s custom canvas support. Moreover, there is unlimited layer support with advanced layer options that include rasterizing, duplicate, color-invert, lock, alpha, flip, merge, etc.

If you want, you can mirror your art with the Symmetric tool. Oh yes, the Quick Smart Shapes will capture the essence of the shapes.

Main features

  • 125+ unique textures
  • Custom canvas support
  • Scale and manipulate layers with the Layer Transform tool
  • Photoshop-ready PSDs


  • Known problems with internet connection

Pricing: Free; $4.99-$39.99

App Store rating: 4.3

Download Drawing Desk

13. Linea Sketch

iPad Apps for Art

Lines Sketch is an app that can be a sketching tool for every artist.

This app is more than a basic doodling app and yet provides the streamlined experience of full-fledged artistic apps such as Procreate or Illustrator.

When you open the app, you will get a fixed canvas and layers that can be easily moved anywhere in an infinite layer stack.

Several color palettes and pen options will transform the way you indulge in art.

Moreover, you get background textures, note-taking features, and other valuable additions.

If you want to edit the final export professionally, you can share your artwork via the PSD, PNG, and JPG file formats.

Main features

  • Elegant interface to focus on your creations
  • Layers that can be easily rearranged, merged, locked, or adjusted
  • Create Time-Lapse
  • 3D isometric lines, storyboards, and templates


  • No option to export artwork to PDF
  • Not an app for seasoned artists

Pricing: Free; Unlock all features at $29.99

App Store rating: 3.7

Download Linea Sketch

14. ArtRage

iPad Apps for Art

Spill all your rage in the artistic form in ArtRage, an app that lets artists create art in the most realistic format.

A dedicated watercolor brush option can bring out some distinct effects.

You can either apply a glob of paint and smear it with another or tap directly on the screen when painting.

You know what to expect if you have tried Mac and PC versions of ArtRage – overwhelming yet valuable tools.

There are tonnes of paper options, and canvas presets along with various pastels, crayons, pencils, brushes, and rollers.

You will need to figure out a bit before creating masterpieces, but your artwork will speak a thousand words once you get familiar with the interface.

Main features

  • Real-world painting tools
  • Unlimited layers with Photoshop standard blend modes
  • Unlimited Undo/Redo
  • Export PTG, JPG, or PNG


  • Noticeable lag when moving and scaling your artwork
  • On-screen brush resizing options are terrible

Pricing: Free; $2.99 in-app purchases

App Store rating: 3.4

Download ArtRage

15. Clip Studio Paint

iPad Apps for Art

Developed by CELSYS, Inc., Clip Studio Paint is a well-known app for its esoteric features for drawing cartoons and comics.

Making full-color cartoons and comics is a cakewalk in this app, formerly known as Manga Studio. Those who have used the PC version of the app can corroborate.

Developers were wise to bring Clip Studio Paint’s desktop-style UI, which supports Apple Pencil and takes full advantage of it.

You can use your fingers to create magic on a blank canvas, but the Pencil will yield more relevant results.

The fiddly buttons and menus are a bit of a turn-off at the start, but once you are familiar with them, you’d be ecstatic to explore this feature-dense app.

Don’t let the low rating or the app’s position on this list deter you from downloading it; you’ll have a ball using it on your iPad.

Main features

  • Draw, animate, add sound, create comics
  • Over 30,000 free and premium brushes
  • Place and pose 3D models on the canvas


  • Cluttered user interface
  • Lacks audio support in Animation
  • Complex Keybinding

Pricing: Free; $4.99-$71.99

App Store rating: 3.3

Download Clip Studio Paint


What is the best free drawing app for iPad?

Autodesk SketchBook is the best drawing app for iPad, completely free.

What is the easiest drawing app for iPad?

Adobe Fresco is a free painting and drawing app that is super intuitive. Amateurs and professionals alike will enjoy the app, and it is easy to use compared to Illustrator or Photoshop.

Which is the best art app for iPad?

You can try any of the apps mentioned above, which cater to drawing and painting.

Which app is better: Procreate or SketchBook?

Both apps are excellent when it comes to performance and ease of use. However, if you have cross-platform devices, you should stick with SketchBook as Procreate is an iOS-only app.

Procreate has a massive suite of creative tools and advanced features. SketchBook is advanced too, but it doesn’t let you export files with layers, unlike Procreate.

Which app is best for digital art?

Procreate, Autodesk Sketchbook, Clip Studio Paint, Lake, etc., are some of the best apps for digital art.


These are the 15 best iPad apps for art.

You will be happy no matter which app you choose.

I know there’s a difference between drawing digitally and on paper, but the combination of iPads and Pencil have scaled that gap.

When you try out digital art on any iPad, you experiment with different artistic figures and forms, which means your creativity will know no bounds.

You can try more than one app at a time and see which one relieves your stress.

I am an ambivert, an avid reader, a movie buff, a tea connoisseur, and a staunch fan of Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I like to give my insights through words, which come naturally to me. They also help me to express the myriads of emotions I go through. When not working, I'm either watching the latest tech videos or flipping through pages.