iPad Art Tools

APPS

Sketching and Painting Apps

Sketching and Painting – Top Eight

Other Sketching and Painting Apps You May Wish to Check Out

Photo Effects, Filters and Image Processing

Video Adjustment & Enhancement

Printing and File Management

I recommend experimenting with all the apps you can find and then honing in on the ones that resonate for you.

KIT

En Plein Air iPad Art Kit: From Cases and Easels to Umbrellas and Cleaning Cloths

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SOLO Sentinel Slim Case for 12.9 Inch iPad Pro

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Mudder Pencil Holder Leather Sleeve for 12.9 Inch iPad Pro Apple Pencil, Black

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Global Leather Zippered Pencil Case for iPad Styluses


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Wood mini-easel for sketching at a table – great for still life painting and portraiture
Winsor & Newton Brent H-Frame Table Easel, Mini



Light weight metal tripod easel for vertically mounting your iPad – great for plein air painting and presentations
Napoli Easel with Carrying Case – Black



Light weight (4.25 lbs) plein air adjustable angle sun shade with black interior for minimizing reflection on your iPad screen when painting outdoors.
Guerrilla Painter Shadebuddy Umbrella with Stand and Bag



iKlear iPad screen complete cleaning kit
iKlear Complete Kit – Eco-friendly Package


Black gaffer cloth tape – useful for just about everything! From making sure your iPad doesn’t slip off a surface, to securing adaptors and wires, and attaching an umbrella to your chair or stand.
Black Gaffers Tape 1 in. x 60yds



Light weight portable adjustable stand for placing your iPad on – great for traveling, plein air painting and presentations as a flat surface alternative to an easel.
insTand CR3 Portable Laptop Stand for Standing or Sitting



Apple Lightning to HDMI adaptor
Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter (White). If connecting to a Thunderbolt / USB-C display, projector or device then you will also need the HDMI to Thunderbolt / USB-C adaptor.

STYLUSES

Which Stylus to Choose?

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Apple Pencil
This is my top favorite, hands down! It is an absolute MUST HAVE if you have an iPad Pro (the Apple Pencil does not work on other models).

When it comes to styluses, nothing I have come across compares to the Apple Pencil / iPad Pro combination. When it comes to other styluses, I find that different styluses are good in different circumstances. I should also add that using your finger, instead of a stylus, is also fine! Many artists do and with amazing results (see Kyle Lambert’s artwork as a wonderful example of what can be achieved with painting with your finger).

For any model of other iPad other than the iPad Pro, styluses to consider include the following (all of which also work fine on the iPad Pro, but none equal the Apple Pencil):

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Wacom Bamboo Sketch
Very comfortable and with great pressure-sensitivity when used with apps like Zen Brush 2.

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Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus – Walnut edition
The Walnut Pencil by FiftyThree is very light and comfortable to hold, looks and feels like a carpenter’s pencil and gives a silent soft painting experience. In addition to be available for purchase online, it is now also available at all Apple Stores. Be aware that the rubber tips wear out fast so I recommend ordering some extra Pencil by FiftyThree replacement tips and erasers (53T003) when you purchase the Pencil stylus.

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Adonit Jot Touch with PixelpointThis has a precision tip and pressure-sensitivity with Jot enabled apps. It is a little heavier than the Pencil by 53 or Wacom ICS, which may suit some users who prefer a heavier feel.

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Sensu Stylus Brush
This brush is great for washes, glazes and watercolor type brush work.

This page is divided into three main sections: APPS, KIT and STYLUSES. See a summary of my upcoming iPad art classes and workshops in Classes and Events. Though I also use other mobile devices besides the iPad for making art – including the Android Touchjet POND, the Microsoft Windows Surface Pro and the Wacom Cintiq Companion (also a Windows device) – the iPad is my main mobile art device and therefore that is what I am focusing on here. Mobile painting is in an exciting period of growth with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, and an ever improving and growing range of fabulous art apps! I encourage you to try things and experiment. Whatever I share and recommend here on this page is simply a snapshot of my current faves at the time of writing and is likely to change.

For a general discussion on mobile digital art please see my Thoughts on Mobile Digital Art.

Jeremy Sutton

Originally from London, I studied drawing, sculpture and print-making at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing, Oxford University (while earning a degree in Physics), and subsequently studied at the Vrije Academie in The Hague, The Netherlands. I\'ve been using digital paint since 1991, including every version of Painter. I love teaching and have taught workshops and given presentations all over the world for the last twenty years. I create commissioned fine art paintings and perform live action painting and digital portraiture. I founded PaintboxTV in February 2009. Thank you for being part of this creative community!

Leave your Comment:

24 Comments added

  1. February 12, 2013
    Very interesting subject Jeremy!! Love to read and see it I think a lot of people 'need'that information. What brush is your favourite so I can buy one too!! Does these brushes work on all tablets because I've got a Asus..? greetings from Holland Ad Reply
    • February 12, 2013
      Hi Ad, Great to hear from you! I am an admirer or your wonderful paintings, both digital and non-digital, and can't wait to see what you do with "mobile" painting (of the words are inadequate - plein air painting is already "mobile"...) Currently, if I were to recommend just one brush (meaning stylus), it would definitely be the Sensu brush. I love the feel of this brush. I have only used it on an iPad so I can't vouch for other mobile devices. On their web site (https://www.sensubrush.com/home/apps/) they say the following: "The Sensu works with capacitive touch screens like the iPad and iPhone (all versions), Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy, HTC Desire S, Google Nexus S, the Motorola Atrix, and many more." Not sure if your Asus will come under the "many more". Hope this was helpful and look forward to seeing you in the Netherlands sometime. Tot ziens! Jeremy Reply
  2. February 14, 2013
    Jeremy, Enjoy getting your periodic updates. Really like the info on ipad art. Thanks for sharing. Gerry Triangle Institute, Pittsburgh, PA Reply
  3. March 11, 2013
    Hello! I'm pretty excited with my new iPad mini! (Of course I run Painter 12 on my iMac with a Wacom Board).. I am so used to my stylus, that I got a sore finger going through the iPad tutorials! I have been navigating on this site, as well, and have been looking at the different 'brush' - stylus types. I looked at the Jot Touch, but felt it was more than I needed. I'm glad I read through the page to find your comments! I'm going to check-out the Sensu brush, after all! And, THANKS! Kathy Reply
    • March 14, 2013
      Hi Kathy, Thanks for your comment. The more I use the Adonit Jot Touch the more I love it!! Once you start using the pressure-sensitivity in apps like Sketch Club, Art Rage, Brushes, etc it's difficult to go back to anything else, even the Sensu. I would say the Jot Touch is well worth the investment. The newest version, Jot Touch 4, is the best yet and works with the iPad Mini. Cheers, Jeremy Reply
      • March 18, 2013
        Brilliant! Thanks for your reply! I just got my Sensu brush, and agree the Jot would be helpful ... Now I want to know where to get painting Aps for my iPad! I'm still looking through your suggestions! Thanks again, and I wish I could get to your class in SF on the 30th. It's just a day trip from the Sierra Foothills, if I can 'Paint' by then! Kathy Reply
  4. March 30, 2013
    Hello Jeremy! I'm enjoying the site. If you could pick an app for iPad that will save and send my drawings to my computer somehow, that would be great. I'm going to be using an iPen 2 when it comes out. Kathy Reply
    • March 31, 2013
      Hi Kathy, Thanks for your comment and question. Glad you're enjoying the site. You can save your paintings from any iPad painting app into the iPad Camera Roll Photos Album and export from there to your regular PC or Mac for printing, or just email from the app to yourself and then download via email. In any case there is no limit on the apps you can use with regard to printing. As to which of the many painting apps you'll enjoy most, that is very dependent on what your style is and what you're trying to create. I love using Zen brush for simply black and gray ink brush painting, Auryn Ink for watercolor, Sketch Club for quick sketching and convenient exporting of replay to QuickTime with musical accompaniment, and ArtRage for oil effects. Cheers, Jeremy Reply
  5. January 7, 2014
    Happy New Year, On this iPad just to make sure, you can download painter X3? Reply
    • January 21, 2014
      Hi Donna, Thanks for your question. Corel Painter X3 exists for Mac and PC but not iPad (oh how I wish it did:-). There is a Corel iPad app called Cinco that is a companion for Painter X3 and allows you to control shortcuts from the iPad but Cinco is not a painting app. The closest to Painter on the iPad is Art Rage. Cheers, Jeremy Reply
  6. February 27, 2014
    Loved your presentation in Marin last Monday the 25th-- 'm trying very hard to change my plans on 15th so that I can take your class on the iPad Painting. I'm scheduled to teach an iPhone Workshop that day-if I don;t have enough students I will be able to cancel my workshop and take yours-- Love your ART !!! Reply
  7. March 21, 2014
    I loved the Hockney exhibit and was searching for ideas to introduce IPad art to my 3rd grade students. Is there a free app you would suggest we start with? Reply
    • March 21, 2014
      Hi Gwen, Thanks for your comment and question. The Hockney exhibit was indeed very inspiring. For getting going in iPad painting there are two wonderful free apps: Paper by Fifty Three (in app purchases offered) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paper-by-fiftythree/id506003812 Brushes (the app Hockney uses) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brushes-3/id545366251?mt=8 Please let me know if you have any other questions and whether I can be of any more help. You'd be welcome to bring your kids down to visit my studio one day if you wished.... All the best, Jeremy Reply
  8. October 31, 2014
    Just found your website. Very informative. Are you planning any classes in Marin or the bay area in February or early March? Reply
  9. January 15, 2015
    This is a very interesting blog to read, as I'm just learning how to use my Wacom Intuos 2 pen , and finding out which app suits me best! Thanks for the info and advice. Reply
    • March 28, 2015
      Hi Elaine, Thanks for your comment. I just uploaded a video, part of my new iPad Art Training Online course (http://www.paintboxtv.com/paint-on-the-go-ipad-art-training) that includes the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2. It's a great stylus! Cheers, Jeremy Reply
  10. March 24, 2015
    Just got an iPad air two weeks ago.....Can't wait Reply
    • March 28, 2015
      Hi Carole, That's great to hear! Please check out the new series of iPad art videos I am starting here on PaintboxTV: http://www.paintboxtv.com/paint-on-the-go-ipad-art-training Enjoy drawing and painting with your iPad Air! Cheers, Jeremy Reply
  11. April 20, 2015
    Thank you so much for up graded information. Reply
  12. April 20, 2015
    I just got I pad, so i need time to search and learn. Thank you so much for this information. Reply
  13. July 15, 2015
    I am a newcomer to painting on an iPad & don't know where to start. I wish your classes were available where I live (in London, Ontario, Canada). Are any of your classes available online? I have a mini iPad but nothing else. I have never even seen any paintings done on an iPad . I have never seen any iPad classes around here but I certainly intend to start looking. Reply
  14. March 6, 2016
    Thanks for turning me on to the iPad Pro and all the fun things you can do with it. PaintBoxTV is great and I love hanging out on it. I am learning a lot and hope someday to paint half as good as you! Reply
    • March 6, 2016
      Thanks for your comment, Greg. I'm looking forward to seeing what you create with your iPad Pro and Apple Pencil! Reply
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