Best drawing apps for iPad with Apple Pencil in 2023

Best drawing apps for iPad with Apple Pencil

iPad is undoubtedly a device that unlocks your creativity. With an ideal accessory like the Apple Pencil, you can transform your iPad into a digital notebook with an infinite supply of paper and ink. To aid your quest for thought-provoking art, we have chosen the finest drawing apps for your iPad.

Whether you’re an experienced artist or a total novice, these apps would be of great help. So, without further ado, here are the best drawing apps for iPad and Apple Pencil.

  1. ArtWorkout
  2. Procreate
  3. Sketchbook
  4. Adobe Fresco
  5. Lake
  6. Paper by WeTransfer
  7. Adobe Illustrator
  8. MediBang Paint
  9. Astropad Studio

1. ArtWorkout – Editor’s choice

ArtWorkout is a unique drawing app for your iPad that acts as your personal drawing trainer and works exceptionally well with the Apple Pencil. Unlike other apps, it combines the elements of a game-like experience and performance evaluation to teach you how to draw.

The app offers over 500 lessons in various categories, such as doodling, sketching, drawing, painting, and handwriting. These interactive courses provide step-by-step guides, making them stress-free and easy to learn. The lessons are designed in bite-size pieces, perfect for adults as well as kids. Additionally, the app provides valuable drawing tips and tricks to enhance your skills.

What sets ArtWorkout apart from other drawing apps is its ability to measure your accuracy and evaluate the quality of your strokes. You can also track your progress and identify areas for improvement with the app. Additionally, the comprehensive lessons offered in the app combine theory and practice, providing a well-rounded learning experience.

With Apple Pencil support, you can enjoy the precision and control needed for creating beautiful artwork as the app goes beyond simple line tracing exercises. It offers skill trainers with immediate feedback, allowing you to refine your drawing techniques.

Whether you are a novice who’s looking to learn the basics or an experienced artist wanting to polish your skills, this app caters to all skill levels. While the monthly subscription is priced at $7.99, there’s an annual subscription which brings it down to just $3.5 per month – making the latter a sweet deal!


  • A vast pool of exercises to choose from.
  • Exercises are simple to understand and follow
  • Progress tracking is available


  • Could include more lessons for kids

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $7.99)


2. Procreate

With numerous functionalities and a dynamic interface, Procreate has taken the digital art world by storm. This digital illustration software is easy to use and one of the best free iPad drawing apps for beginners as well as experienced artists.

The app’s USP is its flexible and adjustable UI, allowing personalization. Powered by the Valkyrie engine and 120hz speed, the tool includes 3D model painting, stroke stabilization, and page aid.

Procreate also supports a wide range of file types, including PSD, TIFF, GIF, PDF, and others. In addition, your work may be imported or exported to other applications, cloud services, and your desktop. Procreate also works with the Apple Pencil and other styluses, making it ideal for individuals who wish to create intricate and precise artwork.

Additionally, you may utilize keyboard shortcuts when linked to an iPad keyboard while using the software. Although the program is pricey, it is compensated by capabilities such as time-lapse replay, animation, page help, and so on.


  • Available in multiple languages
  • Value for money
  • Compatible with keyboards and Apple Pencil


  • UI is tricky

Price: $12.99


3. Sketchbook – The free drawing app

Sketchbook drawing iPad app screenshot

Sketchbook, a powerful and user-friendly tool, is the top contender for our list of the best drawing applications for iPad. The app is accessible to both novices and experts due to its user-friendly UI. According to the developer, the award-winning software is capable of following your imagination wherever it leads.

Some of the app’s most notable features include adjustments of size, shape, and opacity from a wide variety of brushes. These enable you to create a range of effects and styles, from accurate graphics to loose, expressive drawings. To complement the modifications available, the app also has symmetry features that make it easier to make symmetrical patterns like kaleidoscope patterns and mandalas.

Sketchbook lets you export your work as a video or GIF and supports a number of file types, including JPG, PNG, and PSD. This makes it simple to cooperate with others on a project or to post your work on social media. To my astonishment, the app syncs flawlessly with Apple Pencil.

Furthermore, if you choose to purchase the premium version of the software, you’ll get access to a ton of fresh features, including extra color harmonies, personalized gradients, layer grouping, layer masking mix modes, exporting the work as a PDF, and much more.


  • Multiple language support
  • Regular bug fixing
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil


  • No evident cons found

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $1.99)


4. Adobe Fresco – Like a canvas

Adobe Fresco- Painting Studio drawing iPad app screenshot

Adobe Fresco is an exceptional iPad app for digital painting and drawing. The software contains a huge selection of brushes, tools, and functions, which is practically everything you need for digital painting.

The brushes can assist in smoothening up the oils and watercolors, unleashing the energy of Sensei. It has the look and feel of handmade artwork, with colors combining and blooming. You can smudge and swirl creamy oils on the canvas to add thickness and create a 3D effect.

Because the designs are kept in the cloud, they immediately sync. Aside from that, the software allows them to isolate components and change the UI by selecting layers and masks.

While you use it in full-screen mode, it provides better touch with a stylus. The app makers also give you a variety of other functions with the premium edition of the app, which is essentially accessible for in-app purchases.


  • Mimics the real painting feel
  • Clean UI
  • Includes tutorials


  • Requires Adobe Illustrator membership to export vector files

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $9.99)


5. Lake – The organized drawing app

Lake- Coloring Books & Journal drawing iPad app screenshot

Lake is a terrific iPad and iPhone Apple Design Award winner app that provides a unique and exciting way to relax, unwind and express your creative side. This software is a fantastic blend of coloring books and journaling, offering an all-in-one solution.

The app’s audio component is responsible for the modest brush sounds heard while using the paintbrush. Furthermore, when using the spray paint tool, you can hear a ball bearing rattling as if you were shaking a paint can.

Another enticing feature of the app is its ability to keep the colors inside the lines while adding extra shades and color effects. This lets you be more creative rather than focused on the mistakes while filling the color. Moreover, you can consider the colors from the extra color palette provided by the artist if in case unsure about the colors.

Furthermore, if you are confused about the colors, you may use the supplementary color palette offered by the artist. The free version gives you nine free coloring pages every day. However, if you upgrade to the premium, you’ll receive access to all of the coloring pages, additional color choices in the wheel, and the ability to use a blank canvas.


  • Available for iPhone
  • Multilingual support
  • Easy-to-use UI


  • Crashes unexpectedly

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $2.99)


6. Paper by WeTransfer – Multipurpose

Paper by WeTransfer drawing iPad app screenshot

Paper by WeTransfer is a simple and easy-to-use app that lets you quickly and amusingly create and organize your ideas, sketches, and notes. Users who appreciate organizing and jotting down their ideas while also exhibiting their creativity will benefit most from the app’s various modifiable themes.

Along with mind maps, sketchpads, and note-taking pages, the software also includes a number of drawing and sketching tools like pens, markers, and brushes. Additionally, a broad range of pressure sensitivity is available, providing you with total control over the appearance and feel of your artwork.

For those who wish to produce accurate and intricate artwork, the software supports Apple Pencil. Additionally, people from all around the world may utilize the app because of its multilingual support.

Much like the other applications on the list, Paper by WeTransfer offers an in-app payment option for users to access more features. You may get this innovative software by tapping the download button below.


  • Supports Apple Pencil
  • Easy to export files
  • Creates pin-point designs


  • Advanced features are behind paywall

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $1.99)


7. Adobe Illustrator – Beginner-friendly drawing app

Adobe Illustrator drawing iPad app screenshot

Adobe Illustrator for iPad is a potent vector graphics editing software and one of the best free iPad drawing apps for both beginners and experienced designers. What differentiates the app from the competition is its wide selection of tools and features that make it easy to create high-quality graphics and illustrations.

The USP of the software is the ability to generate and modify vector graphics composed of mathematical equations rather than pixels. This makes the images ideal for usage in print, online, and mobile design projects since they can be resized to any size without losing resolution.

Users may simply transition between projects while working on many ones at once, thanks to the app’s support for multiple artboards. Along with a wide range of tools and features, the app supports the Apple Pencil, allowing for more accurate sketching and editing, and it can import and export files in a number of different file types.

Since the app has live streaming capabilities, you can watch and learn from leading designers every day. Additionally, if you choose the software’s premium edition, you’ll gain a few extra capabilities.


  • Can sync projects to the cloud
  • Supports Apple Pencil
  • Clean UI


  • Doesn’t display thumbnails

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $9.99)


8. MediBang Paint – Comic art sketching app

MediBang Paint drawing iPad app screenshot

MediBang Paint is a well-known program for creating digital paintings and comics. The software provides a number of brushes, tools, and effects that can be tailored to fit individual preferences, all with an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

A panel ruler, text balloons, and a sound effects editor are just a few of the additional tools available in the software that include standard brushes to make it simple to produce comic-style artwork. In order to make comics and manga that seem professional, you also receive a range of pre-made layouts, backgrounds, and other materials.

What draws my attention to the sketching software is its multi-layer capability. You may work on various aspects of your artwork on separate levels using the functionality and then change the opacity or blend mode of each layer to get the result you want. This tool makes it simple to make changes to a specific area of the design without impacting the artwork.

Keeping in mind the designers who work across platforms, the manufacturers have included cloud storage. Furthermore, you can quickly publish your work on social networking channels to gain feedback.


  • Updates regularly
  • Comes with pre-designed templates
  • Allows comic art


  • Loose progress when the app refreshes

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $2.99)


9. Astropad Studio – Multi-monitor syncing app

Astropad Studio drawing iPad app screenshot

Astropad Studio makes use of cutting-edge technology to deliver fast and responsive connectivity between the iPad and the Mac, allowing users to work seamlessly across both platforms. The drawing app is aimed at creative professionals that demand a high-performance graphics tablet, such as graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers.

The software has a customizable toolbar that can be adjusted to include the most commonly used features and shortcuts. It also features gesture controls, which let users accomplish routine tasks like zooming and panning with simple finger gestures.

Another notable feature of the sketch app is its support for multiple monitors. Users may utilize this feature to expand their Mac desktop onto the iPad, giving them extra screen real estate to work with. This capability is very beneficial for users who need to work on many documents at the same time.

It also supports pressure-sensitive stylus input, which is an extra plus. Users may now work with the same accuracy and control that they would with a typical graphics tablet. The app’s functionality for hotkey customization allows users to create their own shortcut keys for certain tools or tasks. This can save a lot of time and improve workflow efficiency.


  • Can sync with multiple monitors
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil
  • Highly customizable


  • In-app purchase is a bit costlier

Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $14.99)



Is iPad good for digital art?

Yes, the iPad is an excellent gadget for digital art. It boasts a huge, high-resolution display and a number of pen alternatives, including the Apple Pencil, for sketching and painting.

Do professional artists use iPads?

Yes, professional artists use iPads. Because of its large, high-resolution display and variety of pen options, the device is a popular choice for creating digital art.

So which app are you using?

This was my list of the best drawing apps for iPad. I hope these apps will enhance your drawing experience while on iPad. Did I miss your favorite app? Let me know in the comments below.

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Author Profile

Bhaskar is a member of the iGB family and enjoys experimenting with words and rhythms. He also has a knack for web and app development. If not writing, you may find him on strings or engaging in sports. And by evening, his quotes will be appearing on your Instagram feeds.


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