10 best drawing apps for iPhone and iPad

iOS has always been friendly for creative people. There are a variety of drawing apps, video editing tools, and various other artistic apps. In this list, we’ll round up the best drawing apps for iPhone and iPad. If you also rock an Android device, we also have a list of the best drawing apps for Android on our sister site, Android Authority. All drawing apps on this list are for iPhone and iPad unless otherwise specified.


Adobe Illustrator Draw

Price: Free / Optional subscription (Up to $53.99 per month for the maximum package)

Adobe Illustrator Draw is easily one of the best drawing apps for iPhone and iPad. It has most of the desirable features, including layers, advanced drawing tools, 64x zoom for detail, and support for Adonit, Wacom, Pencil by 53 and Apple Pencil devices. Most of the features are completely free. However, you do get a few extra perks with an Adobe Creative Cloud account. It also has support with other Adobe apps, like Adobe Capture CC.

Adobe Illustrator Draw - best drawing apps for iPhone and iPad


Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Price: Free / Optional subscription (Up to $53.99 per month for the maximum package)

Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a slightly less intense version of Adobe Illustrator Draw. It includes many of the same features, including zoom support for fine detail, support for various drawing hardware, layers, advanced tools, and more. It also comes with support for Adobe’s desktop apps, although again you do need a Creative Cloud subscription to take full advantage of everything. It’s extremely good for what it is and what it does.


Procreate

Price: $9.99

Procreate is another intensely popular, very highly-rated drawing app with an amazing amount of features. It features the ability to use a 4K canvas with over 120 brushes available. On top of that, there are 25 customizable settings for every brush resulting in a nearly unlimited number of combinations. On top of that, there are an absurd list of other features you can use including various import/export settings, 250 levels of undo/redo, optimizations for 64-bit processors, and plenty of deeper functions such as exporting HEX values for color. It’s very powerful. It’s also only on iPad, and the $9.99 price hasn’t changed in a long time. It’s made in Australia from a little studio that works on the app regularly.

Procreate - best drawing apps


ArtStudio Pro

Price: $11.99

ArtStudio Pro is the major update to a great little drawing app on iPhone and iPad called Artstudio (now known as Artstudio Lite). It’s now been given a solid round of refreshes works on both iPhone and iPad, featuring 450 brushes, layer support (along with tons of layer controls), filters, tools, and much more. It’s capable of producing some fairly quality stuff. The UI has been the real winner of the update, and the new app is generally very well received. It has jumped up in price, though.

artstudio-pro


Astropad Standard / Astropad Pro

Price: $29.99 / Optional subscription

Astropad Standard is one of the older drawing apps for iPad, and it’s iPad only, no iPhone here. But it’s interesting because this app lets you use your iPad as a Wacom device, while connecting to drawing apps on desktop (Mac or PC). Yup: this app connects to your Mac or PC just like a drawing device normally would. It also supports a range of stylus devices along with pressure sensitivity. It doesn’t draw anything on its own, though; you need a Mac and a drawing app on it to use this one. It’s quite different in its approach but $30 spent on this is cheaper than a Wacom if you own an Apple Pencil or Pencil 2! But that’s not quite the full story.

While reviews are generally positive, it’s $30 or so to get the Astropad Standard app, but the Pro version adds all the necessary bells and whistles for $11.99 monthly or $79.99 annually, but there is a free trial period. Most professionals will likely want the Pro version, so keep all that in mind.

Astropad Standard - best drawing apps for iPad


Inspire Pro

Price: $7.99 with in-app purchases

Inspire Pro is another older drawing app. This one is only for iPad and, strangely, iMessage. In any case, Inspire Pro is above average. It features 80 brushes. You can get 70 more through in-app purchases. You also get 1,000 levels of undo and redo and various other tools. The app also video records your progress for playback. That should be enough for most intermediates and some advanced users as well. There are better options for professionals, but hobbyists should be happy with this one.


MediBang Paint

Price: $29.99 / Optional in-app purchases

MediBang Paint is probably the best free drawing app for iPhone and iPad. It features over 100 brush types, tons of assets, various fonts, support for layers, and support for 3D Touch on newer iOS devices. The UI is a tad cramped on the smaller displays of the iPhones as opposed to the iPads. Otherwise, the app held up excellently during our testing. It doesn’t compete with the biggest of the big in this space. However, it’s still excellent for artists on a budget.

MediBang paint - best drawing apps


Paper by WeTransfer

Price: Free / Optional subscription

Paper by WeTransfer has a long history behind it, but it’s among the better drawing apps for iPhone and iPad. It’s also one of the more versatile apps. It supports sketches, notes, drawings, journals, and other types of personal and productivity stuff. That makes it a great app for both artists and business use. The app is free to download and most features are also free. There is an optional $5.99 subscription that renews every six months. That’s a little off-putting, but the app is still pretty good. FiftyThree originally made this app, before WeTransfer bought the studio, along with Paper and another app, Paste. It’s still going strong.


SketchBook by Autodesk

Price: Free

SketchBook by Autodesk is one of the most powerful and popular drawing apps for iPhone and iPad. It has all of the basics, including a variety of brushes, layers, effects, iCloud support, and other tools. The UI is fairly outstanding and easy to use. Additionally, Autodesk made SketchBook entirely free. That makes it arguably the best free drawing app on the iPad and iPhone, with no ads or payments required. There isn’t much else to say. We highly recommend this one, and most people will try it at some point. The only real set of limits are that it doesn’t go quite as deep as other apps, but it’s a great app to test out. Free!

SketchBook - best drawing apps for ipad and iphone


Sketch Club

Price: $2.99

Many of the apps in this list include the same basic functionality, but Sketch Club takes drawing apps for iPad to a social level by introducing a community of artists. Sure, you have a large selection of tools and can use layers and 4K canvases to create masterpieces, but the social aspect is what lands this app on the list. Within the community, users can share custom brushes, collaborate on projects and follow each other to see new work. This is also a great outlet for feedback from other artists to perfect your masterpiece.”

Sketch Club - best drawing apps


If we missed any great drawing apps for iPad, tell us about it in the comments! You can catch more of our app lists here!

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