The iPad opened up a whole new world for digital artists, and there are plenty of drawing and painting apps to try out. Whether you create digital drawings and paintings with your fingers, a standard stylus, or a pressure sensitive stylus, there are options for you. Read on to see which three are our favorites.
Paper by FiftyThree (free) If you're looking for an analog to drawing on paper, Paper by FiftyThree is the go-to choice. It doesn't offer features like multiple layers, cut-and-paste, or drop shadows, but neither does a sheet of paper. What Paper does offer is a slick collection of drawing tools that includes pens, a pencil, and water color brush, journals for organizing your drawings, and an easy way to share your masterpieces through social networks and email. The app includes enough in your drawing and painting kit without feeling hobbled, but if you want to do more in-app purchases let you add more tools including color mixers and a magnifying glass. You don't need a pressure sensitive stylus to draw and paint because Paper includes a clever system to change the thickness of lines or density of paint based on how quickly or slowly you move your finger or stylus in your iPad screen. For people that really love going the pressure sensitive route, Paper supports the Pogo Connect.
Paper by FiftyThree is about as close to drawing on paper as you'll get on the iPad
ArtRage for iPad ($4.99) Having the right pencil or brush, plus the right ink or paint, makes all the difference in your drawings and paintings, and that's where ArtRage shines. You can use it for pencil or ink drawings and when you need to break out the paints and pastels it's ready to go, too. Wet paints and inks dry over time so you can create interesting effects by working with wet-on-wet media, the textures of your canvas play a part in how your works look, too, just like the real thing. It also supports the Jot Touch for pressure sensitive drawing and painting, includes layers support, image tracing, and lets you save your artwork to Dropbox and deviantArt. Where Paper by FiftyThree is an analog to creating art on paper, ArtRage is an analog to working on canvas.
ArtRage for iPad is your all-in-one art studio
ArtStudio for iPad ($4.99) Pressure sensitive stylus fans will like ArtStudio for iPad because along with the Adonit Jot, it also supports the Pogo Connect, and Hex3 JaJa. It's an all-in-one art app with pencil and pen tools, plenty of brushes, layers, selection tools, and even has a left handed mode. You can create shapes, work with wet and dry brushes, apply filters, adjust brightness, contrast and exposure, as well as hue and saturation, color balance, temperature, shadows and highlights, contrast, white balance and more. Like Photoshop, you can even start your documents with color or transparent backgrounds.
ArtStudio for iPad packs in art tools, Photoshop-like effects, and support for lots of pressure sensitive styluses