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12 Best Drawing Apps for iPad With Apple Pencil

by Sajid Shaik
The Best Drawing Apps for iPad and Apple Pencil Featured

Choosing the right tools becomes crucial if you’re an artist or designer. With the advent of Apple Pencil, drawing on iPad took a turn and has become a widely used tool for digital artists and designers. However, you’ll need some drawing apps to use the Apple Pencil on iPad. We’ve compiled a list of the best drawing apps for iPad with an Apple Pencil. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional artist, these apps will help you use your Apple Pencil best.

1. Procreate

You must have heard about Procreate if you’re looking for iPad drawing apps. It’s a vector-based feature-packed drawing app to create digital art on your iPad. Whether sketching, painting, or illustrating, Procreate has the right tools to help you, like dual-texture brushes, grids, pencils, and many more. Also, you can create a custom one if you don’t find the right tool.

Procreate app on iPad

The Apple Pencil works nicely with Procreate’s gesture controls, pressure sensitivity, and drawing assist tools. Moreover, Procreate can import and export to standard formats like PSD, procreate, PNG, JPEG, PDF, and many more. The app would cost you $12.99, but it’s worth every penny.


  • Customizable UI
  • Best optimized for iPad and Apple Pencil
  • Support for various formats
  • High-resolution canvas


  • Limited layers
  • Complex color selection
  • A little expensive for new artists

Download Procreate

Here are some alternatives for Procreate for Windows and Android users.

2. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is better if you want to draw logos, illustrations, and other vector-based graphics with your Apple Pencil on iPad. It brings all the essential tools from its desktop app to the iPad. However, it manages to work seamlessly with the desktop app. It has an easy-to-use interface though not much customizable.

Adobe Illustrator on iPadOS

You get tools like different brushes, shape transformation, shapes, fonts, and many more. Furthermore, the app supports many formats for importing and exporting to SVG, PNG, PDF, JPG, and others. Adobe Illustrator is free to download but works on a subscription model, which costs $9.99/month.


  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Desktop and iPad app sync
  • Import and export multiple formats


  • Expensive subscription model

Download Adobe Illustrator

3. Sketchbook

Sketchbook is an ideal app for product sketching. The minimal user interface lets you focus on what matters most – sketching. Essential drawing tools like different brushes, pens, and pencils are all there, and you also get different styles in most tools. Furthermore, you can customize the interface by pinning your favorite tools to access them instantly.

Sketchbook on iPadOS

It supports the Apple Pencil, but you must select it from the app’s Preferences first. The app is free to download and usable to some extent. Premium Bundle costs $1.99 and unlocks features like custom brushes, more color harmonies, custom gradients, layer grouping, exporting to PDF, etc.


  • Minimal and customizable interface
  • Wide range of brushes
  • Dropbox integration


  • Limited layers
  • High learning curve

Download Sketchbook

4. Adobe Fresco

If you want the best of both worlds, Photoshop and Illustrator, go for Adobe Fresco. It combines your favorite brushes from Photoshop and adds vector capabilities to them like Illustrator. It is ideal for both beginners and professional artists. Furthermore, it’s a new addition to the Adobe suite of apps and is available exclusively on iPad and iPhone.

Adobe Fresco on iPadOS

Adobe Fresco supports Apple Pencil out of the box along with its gestures and pressure sensitivity. The app is free, but you’ll need the Premium subscription, which costs $9.99/month, to unlock its full potential.


  • Life-like brushes
  • Minimal and focused UI
  • Supports Apple Pencil


  • Expensive subscription model

Download Adobe Fresco

5. MediBang Paint

MediBang Paint is the iPad counterpart of the desktop app MediBang Paint Pro. It is excellent for new artists and provides the right tools to begin their journey. It is similar to Photoshop when it comes to features. You get a slightly different user interface from Photoshop, but managing layers, editing brushes, selecting colors, and other tasks feel more or less the same.

MediBang Paint for iPadOS

Apple Pencil is supported but you can only use some of its features, and on specific iPad models only with particular brushes. MediBang Paint is free to use, with some ads in the app that you can remove by subscribing to MediBang Premium for $2.99/month. The Premium subscription allows you to use unlimited brushes, use local fonts, and unlock more features.


  • Variety of brushes
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Comic Panels


  • Less advanced features

Download MediBang Paint

6. Affinity Designer 2

If you primarily work with vector graphics, go for Affinity Designer 2. It mimics the desktop interface and its capabilities on an iPad. Affinity Designer 2 packs features which best suited for creating illustrations, logos, typography, and more. With its minimal interface, you’ll find all the required tools are just a tap away. You also get Vector Warp, Shape Builder, and Knife tools.

Affinity Designer for iPadOS

Like Procreate and Illustrator, Affinity Designer 2 is optimized for iPad drawing using Apple Pencil. It goes hand in hand with the iPad’s gesture controls and virtual memory swap to improve your workflow. It offers a 30-day free trial, after which you’ll have to pay a one-time fee of $19.99.


  • Infinite canvas size
  • Advanced illustration tools
  • Support for many formats


  • Slow processing on non-Apple silicon iPads
  • High learning curve
  • Misses some features from the desktop app

Download Affinity Designer 2

7. ArtStudio Pro

ArtStudio Pro is an Apple Pencil-optimized drawing app that takes advantage of iCloud Drive and Metal and supports gestures, pressure sensitivity, and also tilt. It is the successor to the ArtStudio app, which is still available on the App Store. ArtStudio Pro utilizes a GPU-accelerated ArtEngine that provides you with a smoother workflow. It supports large canvas sizes and lets you create infinite layers in your artwork.

ArtStudio Pro on iPad

The app comes with essential tools such as brushes, pencils/pens, blur, etc. ArtStudio Pro is free to use with some limitations. The Pro subscription costs $9.99/year, or you can go for a one-time purchase of $39.99, whichever suits you the best.


  • Optimized for Apple Pencil
  • 64-bit painting support
  • Variety of brushes and blending modes
  • Import and export to a wide range of formats


  • Freezes sometimes
  • High learning curve

Download ArtStudio Pro

8. Comic Draw

If you’re fond of drawing comics primarily, consider the Comic Draw app for your iPad. This app lets you create panels on your page where you can draw. These panels act like a guide and help you plan your drawings before writing them down. Moreover, there’s a digital sketchpad available in the app to experiment before you start drawing.

Comic Draw on iPadOS

It comes with a number of brushes to help you draw comics. Also, you’ll find different typefaces and balloons for adding dialogue to the characters. You can create as many pages as possible to meet your comic’s requirements. The Comic Draw app is free to use with limited features. It offers a 14-day free trial before you go for the paid version, which costs a $9.99 one-time fee.


  • Easy-to-use UI
  • Right drawing tools available for comics
  • Support for various formats


  • Works on only 64-bit iPad models and later
  • Not as powerful as other drawing apps for iPad

Download Comic Draw

9. Linea Sketch

You will find Linea Sketch a better option if you’re a casual artist, where you don’t have to deal with advanced tools. It has a minimal interface with a low learning curve. You can choose from various tools, including brushes, colors, shapes, and more.

Linea Sketch app on iPadOS

If you draw a lot of shapes, ZipLines and ZipShade will help you. All you have to do is draw the shape or shade and hold on until it turns perfect. Linea Sketch is free to use with limited features, and you can unlock all features by subscribing for $0.89/month or $9.99/year.


  • Simple-to-use interface
  • ZipShade and ZipLines for quick shapes and shading
  • Better color selector


  • Limited export options

Download Linea Sketch

10. Concepts

The Concepts app is an advanced iPad drawing app primarily made for professionals. It has a minimal and distraction-free user interface, where you can access tools from a wheel on the top left. You get an infinite canvas for drawing and tools like pens, pencils, brushes, and more. It runs on a responsive vector drawing engine that feels natural.

Concepts app on iPadOS

It supports the Apple Pencil’s pressure sensitivity, gestures, tilt, and also velocity on your iPad. The Concepts app supports various formats that a drawing app does and also AutoCAD files. It’s an excellent choice for architects, illustrators, product designers, or anything related to visual thinking. Concepts has a free plan with limited features, but you can unlock everything for a $4.99 monthly subscription.


  • User-friendly interface
  • Best for professionals like architects and engineers
  • Responsive vector drawing engine


  • Most tools are paid

Download Concepts

11. Tayasui Sketches

The user interface is free of distractions so you can focus on the canvas and your drawing. It comes with some of the most realistic brushes, like the watercolor brush. Besides, you get your usual tools like a pencil, pen, smudge stick, oil pastels, and more.

Tayasui Sketches on iPad

The layer management lets you export individual layers separately if you want. Tayasui Sketches is a free-to-use app with most tools asking you to purchase the Pro version, which costs a one-time purchase of $5.99.


  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Realistic brushes
  • Export individual layers


  • Fixed canvas size and can’t rotate
  • Most tools ask for the Pro version

Download Tayasui Sketches

12. Paper by WeTransfer

If you are looking for a clutter-free user interface in a drawing app, you can’t go wrong with Paper. Paper lets you work in a distraction-less environment by using gestures mainly. If you’re a beginner, Paper provides daily prompts, how-tos, and tips and tricks to improve your skills.

Paper by WeTransfer on iPadOS

The app provides all the necessary tools needed by an artist. Also, you can use this app as a journal or a note to jot down things. Paper is free to use to an extent, but if you want access to all the tools, you’ll have to get the Pro subscription which costs $11.99/month.


  • Minimal interface with no distractions
  • Best for casual artists
  • Daily prompts and lessons for beginners


  • Not for professionals
  • Requires Pro version for most tools

Download Paper by WeTransfer

Make the Best Use of Drawing Apps with Apple Pencil

However, the best use cases of an Apple Pencil would be note-taking apps for students and drawing for artists/professionals. These were some of the best drawing apps you can get for your iPad with Apple Pencil. We recommend you try a few drawing apps, if they are paid then use the trial version, and see what it has to offer. Then choose the one that helps you achieve your goals while drawing on iPad using Apple Pencil.

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