Best iOS Painting (Sketching) & Drawing Apps for iPhone and iPad of 2018

July 27, 2018
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As an artist, inspiration can hit you like a truck any moment, but since you don’t own a portable studio, it can be difficult to act on your ideas. However, we’re living in 2018, and if you have an iPad or iPhone, you don’t really need to carry anything else to work on your ideas!

With the right app, you’ll never feel lost when the urge to create strikes you. But there are so many drawing and painting apps in the App Store, choosing the right one for you can be confusing.

But worry not, our team put our heads together so you don’t have to. Here’s our list of the best iOS Painting/Drawing apps for your iPhone and iPad. Let’s get started.

  1. Astropad Standard
  2. Paper
  3. Adobe Photoshop Sketch
  4. Artstudio Pro
  5. Sketch Club
  6. Pigment – Adult Coloring Book
  7. ArtRage
  8. Linea Sketch
  9. Procreate
  10. Inspire Pro

Astropad Standard ($29.99)

by Astro HQ

Astropad Standard ios painting apps

If you’ve ever wanted to control your Mac from your iPad to take advantage of the touch screen but the price of a Wacom is a barrier, try out Astropad Standard for a fraction of the cost.

Astropad mirrors the display of the Mac onto your iPad Pro, on which the Apple Pencil can tap into the potential of your Mac devices. Imagine sitting comfortably on your couch and sketching directly onto the Mac from across the room. Yup, Astropad Standard is more than just a sketching app!

Paper by FiftyThree (Free)

by FiftyThree, Inc.

Paper by FiftyThree ipad drawing apps

Paper by Fifty Three instant classic iOS app turns your iPhone or iPad screen into paper. Well, all the other app do too, but this one does it far more efficiently. You can use your Apple Pencil to scribble notes or sketch just about anything. All of these go in well-organized and easy-to-access journals.

With tons of editing options, filters, and frames etc., to choose from, Photo Wonder is indeed a great choice if you want your photos to look fabulous, and the in-app purchases the app offers allow you even greater flexibility and choice.

While the sync and backup function give you peace of mind, the App takes care of a lot of stuff under the hood to let you focus on whatever you want to work with.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch (Free)

by Adobe

Adobe Photoshop Sketch iPhone Sketch Apps

Adobe Photoshop Sketch borrows its powerful brushes from the well-known Adobe Photoshop itself. You can now take advantage of those brushes on your iPad with your Apple Pencil to give life to your sketches.

The Apple Pencil can act as a pencil, a pen, spray paint, and brushes for strokes, depending on your need. And while this app won’t let you create multiple layers, your creations can be used as layers on Photoshop Creative Cloud, so it all works out!

Artstudio Pro: Draw Paint Edit ($11.99)

by Lucky Clan

Artstudio Pro: Draw Paint Edit iOS Drawing Apps

For those that like to edit their sketches via photo editing softwares, Artstudio Pro – Draw Pain Edit is a blessing. This app lets you create upto 64 Mpix canvas with unlimited layers. In a way, you can sketch your heart out with stunning results on this platform.

You can edit your sketches with 27 tools including crop, gradient fill, burn, dodge and many more. So to say, Artstudio Pro is a powerhouse for artists like you.  

Sketch Club ($2.99)

by blackpawn

Sketch Club iPad sketch apps

Sketch Club may not seem like much at first glance, but it actually does two things very well: it allows you to create sophisticated artworks without much effort, and it has an amazing community that can beckon you to keep creating awesome sketches!

If you’re an artist who’s just decided to go digital, Sketch Club can give you a light-on-the-pocket option to get started and become part of a community.

Pigment - Adult Coloring Book (Free)

by Pixite LLC

Pigment - Adult Coloring Book free iPhone drawing apps

Many apps have tried to provide ‘the’ coloring experience on iPad, but none come close to perfection than Pigment – Adult Coloring Book. The app offers multiple drawing books with many illustrations in each of them, so you can never get bored of it.

You can select from 120+ colors to give life to the illustrations. You can even play around with the multitude of tools and brushes, so the end-product can be as good as your invested time!

ArtRage ($1.99)

by Ambient Design Ltd.

ArtRage iOS Sketch Apps

ArtRage is designed to mimic the actual behaviour of paint on your iOS device. The app knows its paints and it knows them well. It knows how much of paint is used so it can be smeared, or the wetness of the paint for blending colors and even roughness of the paper for soft shading.

It enables you to produce stunning results and that too with ease of use. The app is by no means light under the hood, so if you want a real artsy experience, ArtRage is the app to get!

Linea Sketch ($4.99)

by The Iconfactory

Linea Sketch iPhone Painting Apps

Simplicity and a minimalism are Linea Sketch’s key features. They ensure that your focus stays on your artwork instead of the abundance of tools. It manages to provide a great experience when many apps tend to confuse you with endless possibilities.

You can add up to five layers which may include imported images for reference. Your creations will never be isolated because you can easily apply the lasso tool to cut them out and reuse them where ever you need as well. All in all, Linea Sketch is a great app if you want to focus on your art and not on choosing the tools to draw with!

Procreate ($9.99)

by Savage Interactive Pty Ltd

Procreate iPad Drawing Apps

For professional artists, things might not get any better than this. Designed specifically for the iPad, Procreate merges an elegant user interface with a powerful set of features that can always get the job done.

These tools include 128 brushes with 35 customizable settings. Any progress that you make with all of these tools is automatically saved, it is even recorded for a time lapse video. Also, if you are left handed, there is a separate mode for you specifically, so give this app a try to enhance your art experience overall.

Inspire Pro ($7.99)

by snowCanoe

Inspire Pro iOS App for Painting

Inspire Pro is specifically engineered for the 64-bit CPU and multi-core GPU of the iPad. Its proprietary painting engine leads to ridiculously fast speed when you need it in the heat of the moment.

You have 80 high quality brushes at your disposal which can be customized via 20+ settings. If anything goes wrong, 1000 levels of undo and redo are a great help. Oh and upto 6400% zoom means you can pay attention to the smallest of the details.


That was it for our list of best painting (sketching) and drawing apps for iPad and iPhone. Did you find any of these useful, or did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

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