Best iPad Drawing Apps to Try in 2024

With the way the iPad and apps are used today, the iPad created a whole new way for artists to express themselves. The iPad is a bit different than just using a drawing pad, and the available drawing apps offer a unique variety of features and tools that provide new looks and strategies. Details are created more easily and there are even more ways to be creative in the digital art space.

I’m using third generation iPad Air and first generation Apple Pencil. Regardless of your iOS device, ultimately the best iPad art drawing app is the one that helps you be creative and express yourself. Whether you can draw a symmetrical face or have more of a Jackson Pollock flair for splatter, you (and digital artists around the world) are sure to find the perfect app among our picks of the best drawing apps for iPad tablets.

Read more: The best iPad of 2024

The Procreate iPad drawing app costs $13 to download, but its array of art tools and creative features make it well worth the money. The digital illustration app is available whether you are a design professional, an experienced digital artist, or a beginner in the world of digital illustration. I’ve been using Procreate for a few years now and there are still features I’m discovering that improve my creations (see all best tips for creating a fetus).

Procreate lets you customize the gesture controls so that the app is ultimately personalized to you. No matter what level of artist you are, Procreate features like Quickshape, blend mode, layering, alpha locks, and clipping masks can add a new level of professionalism to your art.

There’s a lot going on in this app, so I wouldn’t download it if you’re just looking for a place to draw. For a quick in-app reference, see official Procreate manual.

The Autodesk Sketchbook app is free, but it’s surprisingly full of art tools that aren’t blocked by paywalls. You can use the free version for seven days and then you will be asked to make an Autodesk ID, which is also free. It’s a little less intimidating than Procreate when starting your digital art. When you download the sketch app, it will give you a quick tutorial on where all the basic tools are.

Autodesk has an extensive, well-organized brush library, and with its custom brushes, it’s easy to adjust settings like brush size, opacity, and pressure. Even with a typical learning curve of a new drawing application, the toolbar is quite easy to understand. I also liked that even at high magnification, the app didn’t lose its “painting” feel, allowing you to see the pixels in the stroke.

One of my favorite parts of Sketchbook is the focus on easy transition from paper to screen. You may have been making great sketches in a notebook, and with Autodesk you don’t have to redraw the sketch in the app. Your camera doubles as a scanner so you can import your art. Images are imported with a transparent background so you can start working in the app right away.

Art Set 4 is one of the most basic, realistic drawing applications. It’s free to download, but most of its tools are unlocked through Premium Pro features, which cost $13. This app would be best if you are completely new to digital illustration; the feel is similar to physical tools and paper in front of you. I like its user interface. If you’re intrigued by the idea of ​​getting into a more sophisticated application like Procreate or Autodesk, the Art Set 4 drawing tool is a good place to start. It’s also fun if you just want to draw.

Something I really like about Art Set 4 is the ease with which even the free tools work together in one piece. It’s also nice that you can switch between multi-colored paper styles like canvas and a rough surface on heavy, cold-pressed watercolor sheets. You can choose burlap, cardboard, and grid styles without messing up a drawing you’ve already made.

When you explore the app, items that require Premium Pro will be locked. If you tap on a locked item, Art Set will ask if you want to upgrade and unlock everything. Premium gives you full access to over 200 brushes, 3D paint, liquid watercolor, the ability to layer and use masks, enable “wet canvas”, drawing guides like symmetry, shapes, fills and dozens of other ways to customize your workspace .

Not everything you create in an art app has to be a massive undertaking that ends in a masterpiece. Having fun is the most important part. Simple coloring can make for a creative and relaxing afternoon. The lake is free ASMR an art app full of coloring book sheets – in all different styles – from artists around the world.

The audio element of the app is particularly cool. For example, if you’re painting digitally with the brush, you’ll hear soft brush sounds. If you select the paint spray tool, you’ll hear a ball bearing rattle, like shaking a can of paint. You can turn off ASMR in settings.

Another thing I liked was the option to stay within the lines and add more color for shading and effects. This gives you more room for creativity instead of just tapping and filling (although you can do that if you want). In addition, the artist for each coloring page compiles an optional palette for you to use if you are not sure about the colors.

You can stay on the app dashboard and choose from free daily images or explore All Art in the toolbar. Lake sorts the coloring pages into collections of artists, children, abstract, animal, city, feminist, portraits and mandalas for relaxation and satisfying symmetrical images.

In Lake’s free tier, you get nine free coloring pages per day. If you subscribe to Premium — $3 per week, $10 per month or $40 per year — you’ll get access to all coloring pages, more color variations in the wheel and the option to use a blank canvas.

ShadowDraw: Learn how to draw: ShadowDraw is a useful free app (with in-app purchases and subscription plans for premium content) if you have trouble with proportions or drawing specific things like faces, bodies, or animals.

Drawing desk: The Drawing desk the app is a good simple app for those looking for a casual drawing app. There’s a free version with ads (which can be a bit annoying if you’re in the middle of a piece) or you can upgrade to premium for $7 a month.

For more information on painting, see these five online drawing classes you can take right now. If the iPad isn’t your drawing tablet, read our list of the best tablets of 2024.

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