Whether you’re looking to just paint for fun or you want to learn more professional creative techniques, these apps will help you on your artistic journey. So, let’s take a look at what they are, shall we?
This is one of the most popular painting apps, and there is a multitude of reasons behind it being a favorite for most illustrators. It’s an art studio that has everything you need to create digital art, including the ability to create your brushes, maintain a portfolio that you can share with friends, and so much more.
Procreate also includes extensive courses for teachers and students, such as color harmony, 3D product design, exploring characters, Procreate tools, tips and tricks, learning to animate, layers, blends modes, and artistic topics covering science, math, and humanities.
And lastly, you can add a personal touch to your work by adding your signature to your artwork in Procreate.
Download: Procreate for iPadOS ($14.99)
2. Astropad Studio
This art studio is perfect if you own an iPad and is unique for its ability to mirror your screen to your laptop! It includes customizable tapping gestures to change tools the way you like, pen pressure adjustments such as drawing strokes, curves, and smoothing, and has crystal clear image quality.
With unlimited upgrades and maximum battery life, if you’re an artist who has a specific way of using digital pens, this app will be your best friend.
Download: Astropad Studio for iPadOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
Do you always have piles of sketchpads that you don’t have room for? No need to keep purchasing books to sketch in. With the screen having a paper-like feel, Sketchbook is a great tool for interior designers, architects, and artists to draw inspiration on the go.
There are hundreds of brushes to pick from, you can use linear and radial gradients, and the user interface is clean and crispy for all users to enjoy. From visual communication students to industry professionals, you’ll find a use for this amazing app.
Download: Sketchbook for Android | iPadOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
4. Clip Studio Paint
Do you dream of creating a comic book or manga series? Clip Studio Paint comes from a Japanese software company and has everything in terms of tools for design, illustration, and storytelling. We recommend this for the more professional artist, but online tutorials will help out beginners.
You can rely on Clip Studio Paint to piece together amazing concept art, character art, illustration for design, web-toons, and even animation. There’s a powerful brush engine, thousands of customizable brushes, vector lines, decoration brushes to help with repetitive design elements, photo to line art conversion, lettering features, panel creation, fast coloring, etc.
With all these tools, you’ll be on your way to a career in animation in no time.
Download: Clip Studio Paint for Android | iPadOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. Inspire Pro
This app was designed to be easy to use, so you can start creating straight away, even if you’re a beginner. Amazing blending effects enable you to blend colors using the pen’s pressure, which you can use to blur, too. The brush size and rotation of over 150 brushes will give you the flexibility you need to create a masterpiece.
Its unique painting engine makes this app incredibly fast for the iPad, giving you precision, high-quality colors, and speed. Rendering is reliable, with up to 120 frames per second, meaning you’ll have an easy time managing your work.
Download: Inspire Pro for iPadOS ($19.99)
6. Zen Brush 2
Would you like to learn the art of Japanese calligraphy or lettering? With a strong focus on the East Asian ink brush, Zen Brush 2 is excellent for those who want to embody the teachings of Zen!
This drawing program includes red ink and black ink, ink-dispersion making it appear more 3D, 92 background templates, levels of ink tone, simulated finger pressure, tilt sensitivity, and of course, the chance to share your work with others. So, try something new and different with Zen Brush 2.
Download: Zen Brush 2 for Android | iPadOS ($2.99)
Originally released in 1998, GIMP still trumps a lot of the apps we know today! The best part is that it’s completely free for Mac, Windows, and even Linux operating systems.
GIMP is great for making fun icons or avatars, user interface components, and overall graphic design. What’s so unique about it, you ask?
If you’re skilled at coding, you’ll be able to customize scripts and plug-ins. You can integrate programs such as Python, Scheme, Perl, and others. There’s nothing GIMP cannot do.
Download: GIMP for Windows | macOS ($14.99)
8. Paintstorm Studio
As a professional digital design canvas, Paintstorm Studio can assist artists with any technique, genre, or idea in mind. You can use this software for traditional art styles, comics or Manga, concept artwork, or your design work.
The user interface is high quality, allowing you to use custom panels, swift layer selection, hotkeys for brushes and sliders, and even incorporates guides for 2-point and 3-point perspective drawings.
You can use this app’s color correction tools and canvas textures to bring your work to life.
Download: Paintstorm Studio for iPadOS ($12.99)
9. Art Rage
Are you less of an expressionist and prefer to draw realistic, old-school art? In that case, Art Rage may be for you. It’s unique for having a canvas suitable for oil paints, wax crayons, pencils, or watercolors.
Replicate thick oils to give natural colors to your work. Sketch and shade, or paint with watercolor textures. The options for your traditional canvas are within your reach.
Download: Art Rage for iPadOS ($2.99)
Experiment With Digital Art Using These Apps
Whether you’re a novice or an expert in digital art, it’s a solid idea to try out all of your options with the apps available. You may discover a technique that works better for you. And if you’re just starting out, Google Canvas may be another option worth considering.
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