The best apps for artists

Procreate MainFor a number of years now, app developers have been working hard to create amazing apps for artists. With current technology, it is possible to simulate wet and dry brushes, color blending, and smudging on an iPhone or iPad.

We have a list of some of the best painting, drawing, and sketching apps for iOS. Whether you are learning to draw or a professional graphic designer, these apps are a great addition to your iPhone or iPad…

MyBrushes Pro

MyBrushes ProWith this unique drawing and painting app, users can record their entire creation process and play it back to share with others. There are more than 100 preset realistic brushes to simulate oil, watercolor, Chinese painting, drawing, calligraphy, and more. Choose from an unlimited canvas size and a nearly unlimited pallet of colors. This app is available for $1.99.

Inspire  – Painting, Drawing & Sketching

InspireThis realistic painting app simulates wet oil paint on canvas, allowing users the ability to blend colors naturally on the canvas. Each of the five brushes can be customized by size, amount of paint loaded, and pressure. When you use a dry brush, you’ll be able to create realistic blending and layering of paint. You can even create a stipple texture by tapping the brush on the canvas. This app is available for $4.99.

SketchBook Pro for iPad

Sketchbook Pro for iPadThis popular Mac desktop drawing app has been redesigned to work perfectly with the iPad. Access your canvas with full screen portrait and landscape support, customize your canvas, and take advantages of the app’s dynamic symmetry. There are more than 100 preset brushes that you can customize. Create multiple layers, record your creation with the time-lapse recorder, and save all of your art in iCloud so you can access and continue working on your desktop. This app is available for $4.99.

Freeform – The Vector Drawing App

FreeformThis iPad app makes it possible for users to create quick sketches, mockups, and diagrams. Use shape tools, like oval, rectangle, line, polygon, and more to design and draw perfect icons, logos, and other graphics. Using the apps’ distinct technology, sketch a shape with your finger or tap to start a shape and drag the line to where you want using additional points. This app is available for $9.99.


iDrawThis iPad drawing and sketching app makes it easy for you to create and share graphics and illustrations it comes with a list of preset shapes, brush and pencil tools, a color picker wheel and more. Create multiple layers, add text gradients, and export your works of art as vector-based PDG and SVG files, or send them as PNG or JPEG images. This apps is available for $8.99.

Paper by FiftyThree

Paper by FiftyThreeIf you are just looking for an app to sketch out ideas, this artist’s journal is perfect for quickly drawing out ideas. There are not a lot of additional features with this app, but the ones it comes with work perfectly. Pick a tool and a color from the limited options and start drawing, coloring, and writing down your ideas. You can easily share your entries through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and email. This app is available for free.


ProcreateThis iPad app uses a proprietary Silica painting engine to help you create deep, lush paintings with lighting fast 64-bit speed. Choose from 120 customizable brushes, pencils, pens, and inks. Create custom canvases up to 4096 x 4096px. The advanced layering system lets you create up to 128 layers on one canvas. Use the included blend modes to create colorful and interesting textures and lighting. This app is available for $4.99.

ArtRage for iPhone

ArtRageThis powerful app makes it possible for artists to paint and draw with a natural experience. Using specially designed tools, users can create realistic paint strokes, load brushes for thicker application on the canvas, and blend with oil painting options. Use the ink pen for graphics and drawing. Use the pencil for sketching. Use the crayon for waxy shading. This app is available for $1.99.

Zen Brush

Zen BrushIf you would like to focus your training on one type of art, this app gives you all of the tools you need for using an ink brush to create water-based paintings. Chose from three different ink shades, increase or decrease the brush’s size, and choose from more than 60 different paper types. Practice Chinese calligraphy, create folk style water sketches, and share your images to Twitter. This app is available for $2.99.

Learn to Draw Digital Sketchbook

Learn to DrawIf you are completely unskilled at painting and drawing, maybe it’s time to take a class. Don’t worry. You won’t have to make time every Tuesday and Thursday night at the local Learning Exchange. With this iPad app, you can learn how to draw faces, animals, and more with the Walter Foster instruction guide. This app is available for free.

What are your favorite artist apps? Do you like painting and drawing on the iPhone and iPad, or do you prefer doing it the old-fashioned way, with real tools and paints?