The Apple Pencil has transformed the world of digital art. Purists might argue that nothing can replace the feeling of putting a new set of pens to paper. However, the Apple Pencil gets pretty close to replicating the joy of analog art.
If you’re looking to buy an Apple Pencil, you can order one on Amazon here.
There’s also the added benefit that using the stylus with the right apps means you can take your drawings to a whole new level.
Below, we’ve compiled a roundup of the best Apple Pencil apps, and we’ve included something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned pro designer or coloring is more your speed, there’s an app for you.
Autodesk Sketchbook is a sketch app that brings your standard fare to the table. Pencils, ink, and nearly 200 brushes are at your fingertips. For art nerds, you’ll have access to the full library of Copic Colors. If you’re like us, you’ve maybe spent too much money collecting them all before the Apple Pencil was an option.
Autodesk is sold as a business tool. The brand is more about software solutions with solid UX to organizations than it is creating software built for “fun.” Yet, Autodesk Sketchbook is fun.
You can snap a pic of your analog art from your tablet or phone and make changes from there. This is a good choice for those who aren’t quite sold on going full-on digital yet. Or, you can sketch out your ideas on the app’s endless sketchpad.
The website claims that the app feels just like drawing on paper, but it takes things a bit further. The app adds in features for product designers, industrial designers, and automotive designers among other skilled pros.
Procreate strikes a balance between professional-grade graphics and a relatively low learning curve. The focus is less on packing in the most tools, but more on a thoughtful interface that doesn’t get in the way of genius.
This app brings together a lot of the tools you’d find in Photoshop and Illustrator. It’s similar to the Adobe Suite in that it’s built to handle layers and it comes with brush and tool presets.
It’s also just $9.99, which is equivalent to a month of using Photoshop and Lightroom through the Adobe Creative Cloud. Procreate is an Apple Design winner for good reason. There’s no drag, and you can undo and redo up to 250 levels. You can also record your drawings as HD videos if you’re into showing off your process.
Adult coloring hit it big a few years ago. It’s known to combat anxiety, reduce stress, and it’s undeniably fun. Pigment takes the coloring book and brings it to the iPad, bringing all the tools you need to your screen.
Sure, maybe you didn’t come up with the lines on your own, but there’s something relaxing about kicking back with a coloring book. With the Apple Pencil, you’ll get a more authentic coloring experience than you might with a smartphone app and no stylus.
Pigment offers 4,000+ pages to color your way through and you can choose to color one section at a time or take a more traditional approach.
Paper isn’t exactly new — in fact, it was one of the first apps available when the iPad Pro came on the scene. Still, the whole aesthetic experience is something special.
Paper presents a personal space for writing notes, creating doodles and drawings, and journaling. Taking things digital means you’ll get some technological assists like auto-corrections. This will crisp up your rough lines. You can also input templates— storyboard, templates, and grids, for some added precision.
Use your Apple Pencil to draw, paint, and edit with a variety of tools from oil pastels to pen brushes, patterns, and smudge. Tayasui Sketches is one of the most comprehensive sketching apps for iPads and mobile devices. It’s not as complex as something like Procreate, yet the tools are sophisticated enough for skilled digital artists.
Affinity Designer is of the best professional drawing apps for Apple Pencil and iPad. It is a feature-rich design tool that allows you to create freehand vector drawings with tons of detail.
Affinity Designer is built for the iPad, so it’s sensitive to Apple Pencil pressure and allows you to pinch and pull your way around the screen. It includes a range of touch gestures that replace keyboard commands like shift or alt.
Work in layers, zoom in on specific sections, and gain complete control over your colors. Additionally, you can use Affinity for custom typography, and import your own fonts for fine-tuning or start from scratch.
Don’t let the app intimidate you. Regardless of your skill level, Affinity gives you a professional toolset for under $20.
Drawing a conclusion
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to draw, we have a few solutions for your needs.
There is an app to help you with any and all art need that comes your way. Whether you consider yourself a beginner or a master, these apps can help put the picture on the canvas in your head to the screen in your hands.