Apple’s iPad Pro and second-generation Apple Pencil are my favorite drawing tools. They have replaced all my traditional art supplies. I curl up on the couch with my iPad to chill and watch Netflix almost every day. I use it by far more than my phone, and that’s because of the pencil. There’s something unique about the combination of the stylus and the tablet that makes me want to draw, sketch, paint and take handwritten notes.
I am not alone. The app ecosystem that has grown around the Apple Pencil and iPad is growing rapidly as professional graphic artists leave Wacom and Windows for Apple and iPadOS. If you’re a budding digital artist, or a seasoned professional looking to take the plunge, here are the apps you need to try.
Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, including the best iPads, best iPad accessories, and best tablets.
Updated March 2022: We’ve added the Lake coloring app, NimbleGrip Pencil Grip, and a note about subscriptions versus purchases.
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