Top 5 Drawing Apps for Artists and Illustrators

As an artist, there are hundreds of drawing and art apps to choose from, but choosing the right one is crucial as it would shape your journey as a creative. We know what a bummer it would be if you end up paying for an app that you might regret later. If you’re a beginner or a professional looking for the best design and illustration app to get started with or wanting to switch, don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you to choose from the best. Keep reading below and choose from our top five picks:

  • Procreate

Procreate is a virtual designing and drawing app which was developed by Savage Interactives on March 16, 2011. Procreate operates only on iOS and iPadOS but has drawn massive attention due to its features and tools.  For beginners, it might be a little challenging because of its different interface and new buttons. But once you start discovering new tools and their uses you will get the hang of it.

The whole idea of Procreate is to experience material drawing while using a virtual app. If you are a budding illustrator, you can create illustrations and animations using blending tools and applying multiple layers. The best part is that you get more than 130 brushes each with its own uses.

Procreate is only accessible for iPad and iPhone. However, illustrating using this app on the iPad is a lot more fun and convenient as you can use hand gestures to draw and design the way you want it to be. One more trump card for Procreate is that you can purchase it on the app store for only $9.99 which is cheap and better than other drawing apps that have huge subscription fees.

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There may be many drawing apps but Adobe Photoshop will always stand out with its wide range of characteristics. It was designed by Thomas and John Knoll in the year 1988. Since then, Adobe Photoshop is being used by every designer disregard of beginners and professionals. This app is available on both MAC and PC which is a plus point. This means users who don’t own MacBooks and iPads can design using their PCs and laptops.

Even though drawing in Procreate is a lot easier than in Adobe Photoshop, it has more features compared to Procreate. Photoshop is mostly used to edit pictures and take them to the next level by using a bunch of tools which include lasso, crop, pen, eraser, patch, and many more. It has some amazing features like removing undesirable content or background of any photo, alter the lighting or applying filters, and also make the pixels enlarge or shrink. 

There’s a whole lot of stuff to do and explore in Photoshop. You just need some creativity and you’ll end up with some great designs. The only disadvantage of Adobe Photoshop is the cost. To use Adobe apps you’ll need to buy an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Beginners who haven’t used Photoshop before might not be convinced to buy it but it’s well worth giving a shot.

  • Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook is an application designed to draw and sketch. Even though Alias Systems Corporation developed it, Autodesk bought it from them. Autodesk Sketchbook besides for drawing can be used as a digital notebook for doodles. Here instead of paper, you draw on your mobile or desktop. You can pen down your ideas and draw whenever you get the inspiration or design plans. The app is available on both Mac and also Android.

Sketchbook is way different than other designing apps as it does not focus on photography but intends to make drawing and sketching easy with more tools, brushes, and necessary features. People who are interested mostly in drawing, blending, or sketching their ideas can try out Autodesk Sketchbook without second thoughts. The main aim of the sketchbook is to speed up your work by using a simple interface and some powerful tools.

Unlike other apps, Sketchbook has a variety of tools and brushes each with its very own benefit. It also provides a lot of options like blending, gradient, transforming, distortion, and many more. The best part is that anyone can use this app as it’s completely free without having to buy any subscriptions. So people who don’t want to spend on subscriptions can use this great app.

  • Adobe Illustrator Draw
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Adobe Illustrator Draw is an app launched by Adobe. The app is available on both iOS and Android phones. What’s unique about Adobe Illustrator Draw is that it lets you draw vectors and send them to Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to continue finishing them on your laptop. The app has vector brushes and allows you to merge, duplicate, and switch between multiple layers with ease.

Using Adobe’s app ‘Capture’, you can also take pictures of fascinating shapes and import them to Adobe Illustrator Draw as vector outlines. This app is free to use and is very powerful when used with Illustrator or Photoshop.

  • Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is a vector editor available for macOS, iPadOS, and Microsoft Windows designed by Serif. It was first released in 2014 and is within easy reach in the Microsoft store, MAC App Store, and iOS App store. It has been set out to be an adobe illustrator substitute.

Affinity Designer tends to incorporate a wide range of tools including vector pen, brushes, shape drawing tools, symbols, stroke equalizer, font style, and a lot more. One cool feature is that the app lets you switch between vector and raster workspaces with ease. You can have unlimited artboards and undo/redo over 8000 steps. This app however isn’t free unlike many others available. You’d have to make a one time purchase instead of having to renew subscriptions.


A good drawing app lets you create without bounds and has the necessary features one might need to unleash creativity and unlock the full potential. We know how diverse artists are and we made sure to cover drawing apps that would cater to the needs of every type.