The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

Although nothing can truly replace a traditional piece of paper or sheet of canvas, the iPad Pro comes incredibly close to bringing digital art up to the same level as analog art. The larger screen opens the iPad Pro to new levels of artistry and turns a fun sketching tool into a serious platform for creativity.

Designed from the ground up with the promising Apple Pencil in mind, the iPad Pro is the ultimate digital canvas. Luckily, there are scores of drawing apps in the App Store, and many of them have already been optimized for the Pro’s enlarged screen and the Pencil’s fine-point tip. Below are 20 of the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro, so you can become the Michelangelo of the mobile world.

MediBang Paint

best ipad pro drawing apps medibang app1

MediBang Paint is a very easy to use painting program that may remind you of Photoshop, in that it allows you to work with layers. It has a very good brush editor, and offers the ability to add styles to your layers. This program has so many tools that it feels more at home on the larger iPad Pros, but it is also compatible with the fourth-generation iPad and above, or iPad Mini 2 and above. If you like to draw comic books, this app gives you a lot of comic book fonts to get the professional look you want. You can save your projects locally or to the cloud.

Download now from:

iTunes

Artrage ($5)

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The main idea of Artrage is to make painting as realistic as possible on the iPad. You can mix different paints with one another as though you were blending them on a real canvas with a palette knife. This app works with layers, so if you’re already familiar with Photoshop, you’ll feel right at home with the blend modes. Artrage also allows you to record your strokes for later viewing on your desktop. It not only supports the Apple Pencil, but also has support for Wacom, Adonit, and Pogo styli.

Download now from:

iTunes

SketchBook by Autodesk

sketchbook

Even if you’re not a professional artist, you’ve probably heard about Sketchbook by Autodesk. It is definitely one of the most popular apps for artists. The layout is everything when it comes to design programs, and Sketchbook’s toolbars are organized in an easily accessible way — and you can even pin them to the screen. Great features include import/export from and to Photoshop, and the ability to zoom in as much as 2,500 percent to let you work on those fine details. It supports the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro, along with some of the better styli available for other tablets.

Download now from:

iTunes

Graphic ($9)

graphic-ios

If you remember when the iPad Pro was announced, it was touted by Apple as being a replacement for your PC. Graphic is like having Adobe Illustrator on your iPad. This app used to be called iDraw, and because it is available for your Mac, you can go back and forth between your desktop and your iPad designing and drawing. It features different brushes and full support for the Apple Pencil, but it also lets you create vector-based technical drawings. If you’re into graphic design, you will be amazed how Graphic can push the capabilities of the iPad.

Download now from:

iTunes

Adobe Illustrator Draw

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Similar to Graphic, Adobe Illustrator Draw allows you to create vector-based designs. This app, however, is a lot simpler, with a less intimidating user interface. It’s geared toward someone who wants to dive in and start working on ideas right away. The app lets you take your work on the go, and you can easily transition your latest project to Illustrator on your desktop or laptop when you’re back at the office.

Download now from:

iTunes

Inspire Pro ($8)

inspire

This app is one of the most intuitive options when it comes to drawing and sketching. Taking advantage of the iPad’s multicore CPU and OpenGL, it can draw and render images quickly, which is one of the things you want when you’re drawing on a tablet to help it mimic real drawing. The app saves your favorite colors for quick access and fully supports the Apple Pencil.

Download now from:

iTunes

Assembly

best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

Making stickers, icons, and other graphics with Assembly is easy. You can create crisp and professional-looking work in no time at all with this app. There’s also a vast selection of shapes, symbols, and stickers for you to manipulate and layer. You can save your work as a high-resolution JPG or PNG, as well as in vector formats like SVG and PDF. The app is free, but if you want 21 themed shape packs, a text engine with 25 custom fonts, the ability to combine and intersect fonts, or even import vector images, you’ll have to pay for a Pro subscription that costs $3 per week, $5 per month, or $30 per year.

Download now from:

iTunes

Sketch Club ($3)

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Sketch Club has something unique going for it — a community of artists with whom you can share your art. You can comment on everyone’s work and find some inspiration. The app lets you create up to 64 layers in total, and you can create your art on canvases that are up to 4K in resolution. With a wide selection of brushes and vector tools, this is a full-fledged drawing app. It has full support for the Apple Pencil and the ability to record in 1080p.

Download now from:

iTunes

Brushes Redux

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Brushes took the stage when the Apple iPad debuted back in 2010 and showed the world that an iPad could be a tool for artists. Since then, the app has grown to support the iPad Pro. Because this app is an iOS exclusive, it has been written specifically for iPad. It supports OpenGL and takes advantage of the 64-bit processing on the iPad. Not only is it very fast, but it has the typical iOS interface design language that iPad users will be comfortable with, so finding your way through the very simple toolbar is a breeze. It has layers support, but unlike other more robust professional apps, you can only create up to 10 layers.

Download now from:

iTunes

Astropad ($30)

Astropad panels left

Astropad pairs your iPad Pro with a Mac and turns your tablet into a dedicated drawing slate. It’s meant for professional creatives who use applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator. The app is even optimized for the iPad Pro to showcase improved image quality, reduced latency, a custom pressure curve specifically designed for the Apple Pencil, and support for tilt with the stylus. There’s also advanced stroke tuning for removing stray points and providing strokes with the Pencil, which means you only see what you intend to draw. It’s the ultimate drawing app for professional illustrators, comic book artists, and anyone who’s ever wanted a Wacom tablet. It does cost $30, but that easily beats the price of professional drawing slates.

Download now from:

iTunes

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