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Draw your digital masterpiece with these iPad drawing apps

Create digital art easier with iPad drawing app features, like different brush selections, infinite canvases, classes and training, and more.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Allison Murray
Procreate | Best iPad drawing app overall
Best iPad drawing app overall
View now View at Procreate
Adobe Fresco | Best iPad drawing app for painting
Adobe Fresco
Adobe Fresco
Best iPad drawing app for painting
View now View at Adobe
Assembly | Best iPad drawing app for professionals
Best iPad drawing app for professionals
View now View at Pixite
Concepts | Best budget iPad drawing app
A tablet and a smartphone next to each other with the Concepts drawing app open on the screens
Best budget iPad drawing app
View now View at Concepts
Autodesk Sketchbook | Best beginner-friendly iPad drawing app
Autodesk Sketchbook
Autodesk Sketchbook
Best beginner-friendly iPad drawing app
View now View at Sketchbook

Many things today have gone digital, and drawing apps are no exception. They are an easy and affordable way to create digital art without any fuss. No longer do you need to collect paints and brushes, nor do you need to worry about pesky paper cuts from a stubborn paper canvas. Instead, you have a wide-open screen ready for your best creativity and next work of art.

Before you draw your next masterpiece, we've rounded up the best iPad drawing ups that will let you get creative with any iPad model.

Pros & Cons
  • Simple interface
  • Great selection of brushes
  • Fantastic tools
  • Limited image sizes
More Details

Specs: Developer: Savage Interactive Pty Ltd | Cost: $9.99 | App Store rating: 4.5 | Compatibility: iPad

There is no doubt that Procreate has remained one of the best drawing apps for iPad. Designed to work with your own iPad and Apple Pencil, there are hundreds of brushes to choose from that you can all use with 64-bit color for your new ultra high definition canvas. You have the ability to create a variety of different artwork, like sketches, paintings, illustrations, and animations. The excellent tools include a QuickShape feature to ensure perfectly-shaped shapes every time. There is also a smudging tool, plus options for 3D metallic and roughness for your painting. If you are a painter, you are sure to appreciate 3D Painting with Lighting Studio and Animated Export. Plus, you get to benefit from the super-fast Valkyrie graphics engine for better performance. 

Pros & Cons
  • Realistic tools
  • Advanced brush selection
  • Classes and training
  • Not available for Chrome
More Details

Specs: Developer: Adobe Inc. | Cost: Free, or premium version for $9.99 | App Store rating: 4.7 | Compatibility: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Compatible with all sorts of Apple devices, the Adobe Fresco gets our pick for the best drawing app for painting on your iPad. Designed specifically with iPads in mind, the compatibility is fantastic, leaving no doubt about performance. It works seamlessly with Apple Pencil and even your iPhone, syncing across devices to allow you unfettered access to your works in progress. This app is a great fit for professionals, giving the ability to use the app as a sketch pad or for watercolors or oils. 

There are three types of brushes available - live, pixel, and vector - to help you create exactly the type of lines and marks that you want. Overall, there are thousands of options for you to choose from. When you are done, enjoy easy Photoshop integration, plus extra creative cloud storage when you upgrade to premium.

Pros & Cons
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy to use
  • Free 7-day trial
  • Restricted export options
  • Subscription required
More Details

Specs: Developer: Pixite Inc. | Cost: $2.99 - $4.99 per month | App Store rating: 4.5 | Compatibility: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Assembly is excellent to use, whether it is vector art or a sketchbook. Professionals of all kinds will revel in the ability to create a variety of different artwork, including logos, icons, and illustrations. Enjoy powerful tools and features, allowing you to create groups of graphics and layer your designs. You can also choose from 25 different fonts or import others using the complete text engine. You also benefit from 250 finished stickers, 35 pre-made color palettes, and 21 themed shape packs with over 1,000 shapes. The impressive point editing system features industry-standard bezier curves for better performance. Once you are finished, you have the ability to import and export with desktop apps in your choice of formats like JPG, PNG, SVP, and PDF.

Pros & Cons
  • Infinite canvas
  • Suitable for professionals
  • Group plans available
  • No brush customization
  • Limited features under free plan
More Details

Specs: Developer: TopHatch, Inc. | Cost: $3.99 - $29.99 | App Store rating: 4.7 | Compatibility: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Just because Concepts is the best cheap drawing app for iPad, do not think it skimps on features. There are a number of ways to use the app, whether it is sketching, doodling, or making mind maps. You can draw storyboards and make design plans. You can even use the infinite canvas as a whiteboard to jot ideas and brainstorm your next project. With all its abilities, this is an app used by some of today's leading companies, including Disney, Philips, Apple, Playstation, and Google. Available are tons of pens, pencils, and brushes with the option to also create your own if you prefer a certain velocity, pressure, or tilt. Coloring comes from the COPIC color wheel, but you can also add your own images and PDF files to spice up your content. When you are done, open via AirPlay for easy sharing.

Pros & Cons
  • Wide variety of brushes
  • Perfect for kids
  • Compatible with Windows
  • Slight learning curve
  • Some data loss from saving issues
More Details

Specs: Developer: Sketchbook, Inc. | Cost: Free | App Store rating: 4.8  | Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Autodesk Sketchbook is an excellent place to start when you want the best iPad drawing app for beginners. However, that does not mean that professionals will not enjoy this program, too. There is a beautiful interface with a lifelike drawing experience, offering a variety of different brush types. It includes several different brush tropes, including pencils, markers, and airbrushes. It allows brushes and pens to work in a lifelike manner, mimicking real shading and coloring. Available tools include guides, rulers, and stroke tools, plus layers and color fill tools to brighten it all up. Make sure everything is symmetrical with vertical, horizontal, and radial symmetry tools. Whatever you are designing, Sketchbook makes it easy by giving you the right tools in a simple, uncluttered workspace.

What is the best drawing app for iPads?

Procreate is our pick for the best drawing app for iPad, and users agree with a high App Store rating. It also is compatible with Apple Pencil for easier use, plus 64-bit color and great format diversity.  

To see how it stacks up against the competition, this is an overview of the best drawing apps.

Drawing App


App Store rating




Adobe Fresco

Free, or premium version for $9.99



$2.99 - $4.99 per month



$3.99 - $29.99


Autodesk Sketchbook



Which is the right iPad drawing app for you?

After a while, all of the iPad drawing apps can start to blend together and feel the same. To help, these are our expert recommendations so you can find the best drawing app for iPad for your individual needs and goals.

Choose this iPad drawing app...

If you want...


Professional-worthy skills

Adobe Fresco

A realistic painting experience


A fantastic tool for vector images


A la carte purchasing for your iPad drawing app

Autodesk Sketchbook

A free app to help you get started 

How did we choose these iPad drawing apps?

There are several factors we consider when searching for the best drawing apps for iPad. 

  • Compatibility: Compatibility is, of course, a driving factor here as we are only considering the best drawing apps for iPad. 

  • Features: We look at the features a drawing app offers, including brush types, number of brushes, types of images you can create and what formats are available for saving

  • Cost: To help your budget, we look for the best affordable drawing apps for iPad so you can find the app you need at a price that will not break the bank.

  • Ratings: No one knows an app better than a user, so we look to thousands of real customer reviews to best understand user experience.

Before you choose which app to purchase and download, be sure to consider your individual needs and what features an app offers to meet them.

What is a drawing app?

A drawing app is a type of app that allows you to create art using your iPad. The program allows you to create vector graphics by offering several different types of brushes and brushstrokes, along with other features, to create your next masterpiece.  

Are drawing apps available on both iOS or Android?

Many drawing apps for iPad are available for both iOS and Android, but apps may vary. However, most drawing apps for iPad are available for both iPhones and Androids. 

How much do drawing apps cost?

Cost can run the gamut. The best iPad drawing apps range in price, with some charged monthly and others paid with an upfront one-time purchase.

Are there alternative drawing apps for iPad worth considering?

While searching for the best drawing apps for iPad, these apps also caught our eye. 

To help you prepare you for your best work, check out our picks for the best iPads, the best tablets, and the best large tablets

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