Apps that are Useful for Artists


Artists are creative people and filled with an incredible amount of ideas for their creations. Although they create works of art on their own, they need help from technology from time to time. Today, artists do not need to carry many tools with them because everything can fit into one small tablet with apps for artists. 

Painting is one of the oldest occupations. People from different parts of the world were engaged in it even before history began to be recorded in written sources. A lot of time has passed since then. And now, instead of the cave walls, we have modern smartphones at our disposal on which you can draw with your finger.

If you want to show yourself but do not have the know-how, the painting will come in handy. Here are some apps for art Lovers that really creative people can use. Some of them can significantly help improve your knowledge of the anatomy and position of shadows, better master the play of light, master painting on a graphics tablet, and just have a good time doing what you love.

Apps for Art Lovers

All digital artists have heard of Adobe Photoshop. It is a flexible and versatile tool that was originally developed for photo manipulation. Its creators, the Knoll brothers, did not even imagine that someone would paint in it. However, besides Photoshop, there are other apps for art Lovers, created purely for drawing. Many of them are available for mobile devices.

  • Autodesk SketchBook

Autodesk SketchBook app

Raster graphics editor Autodesk Sketchbook simulates real materials for drawing. It has over 190 customizable brushes, markers, airbrushes, pencils, ballpoint pens, and more. The paints are mixed and shaded, and the tools respond to the stylus’s pressure and angle of rotation. Thanks to this, you can make smooth transitions between colors.

The user can always adjust the desired shade independently using the color wheel. The interface is quite easy to learn; everything in it is sharp primarily for drawing. The mobile version is not much different from the desktop one. You can connect a stylus to the tablet or draw with your finger. Gesture commands are available to rotate the canvas or scale the image.

Sketchbook also supports layers. They can be swapped, hidden, merged, and opacity adjusted to make drawing easier. In addition to traditional bitmap formats, image import in PSD is available. The application is user-friendly and is suitable for both emerging artists and experienced ones.

    • ProCreate

ProCreate app

This is another bitmap editor and handy app for artists. This app available for iPad owners only. ProCreate also simulates the behavior of real materials for a digital drawing. The application has a large library of built-in brushes of over 200 pieces, all sorted into groups. There are many options available for customizing each stroke movement, smoothness, shape, edge adjustment, and so on. Of course, the instruments respond to pressure, movement speed, and tilt of the stylus. You can connect not only Apple Pencil but also other styluses. During customization, the brush can always be checked in the special field on the right.

Procreate has built-in support for layers, and more than 25 blend modes are available. 11 filters help simulate the illusion of depth, movement, or add special effects. The drawing is automatically saved after each touch so that a sudden crash or a dead battery does not destroy the progress. The finished work can be exported in various formats, including PSD. Procreate also lets you record 4K time lapses. Then they can be posted on social networks in full or in a short version of 30 seconds. The ability to write down the main stages of work will come in handy for those who maintain a personal art blog.

The app is used by emerging artists and art directors of AAA companies, comic book authors, professional illustrators, and concept artists.

  • ArtFlow

ArtFlow app

This is a very popular application used by artists. Here you will have a choice of 70 brushes for painting and many more additional tools to realize your ideas.

  • Paper

Paper app

This is a simple and convenient application that you will love. It has a user-friendly interface and will work great for the iPad. In this application, it will be easy for you to create notes, sketches and share them online.

  • Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas app

This app is great for artists and designers. In this tool, you can easily create a vector thanks to a variety of pressure-sensitive brushes.

  • Brushes 3

Brushes 3 app

This application is suitable for those who like to draw sketches. It has a large selection of intuitive tools and brushes. You can sketch your ideas and thoughts and send them to your friends.

  • Pixels Free

Pixels Free app

This application has a convenient interface, many brushes, and tools thanks to which you can draw in any style.

Reference tools for Artists

Searching for references is one of the most important stages of preparation for work. The artist selects images that help him create the right mood, choose the character's pose, make it expressive and, of course, not violate the anatomy. Sometimes this task turns into a whole quest, and you have to spend many hours surfing photo stocks to find something suitable. Here are some apps for artists that can make your search easier.

Handy Art Reference Tool

When it comes to showing a mood or emotion, it's not just the face that matters; body language also plays a big role. Despite the development of oral speech, the human brain still looks at the hands to better understand the thoughts and feelings of the interlocutor. They get more attention than many other body parts (apart from the face, of course). Theater artists even have special exercises to make their hand movements more expressive.

Since a painting is a frozen story without words, artists need to use all available means to convey emotion nonverbally. Professionals pay great attention to working out the hands and putting meaning in every gesture. At the same time, hands are a headache for many emerging artists. They are difficult to draw due to the complex geometry of the brushes and fingers. In the application, you can choose from a variety of suggested gestures. The hand and parts of the forearm can be twisted in search of a suitable angle.

If the ready-made options do not suit you, then you can make your reference. In a special mode, bones appear on the model. By moving them, the user bends and unbends the phalanges of the fingers and rotates the model's hand. Please be aware that the application does not respect the limitations of anatomy. 

In addition to the hands, the Handy Art Reference Tool contains models of male and female heads and a skull. Models of feet and animal skulls are available for a fee. If you need to light the model, you can add up to three lights to the scene. They move in any direction. This is enough to set up a standard three-point lighting scheme for main, back, and indirect lights. The user can adjust the brightness of the glow and customize the color for each source.

This app for art Lovers allows you to save your model with all settings so you can come back to it later. The model snapshot can be exported as a separate file for the convenience of working in the graphical editor.

  • Posebook by Silver

Posebook tool

The author of the following app is Stephen Silver, a British artist, cartoonist, character design specialist. He has worked on popular American animated series for children and adults. Silver teaches how to create cartoon characters. To help emerging artists, he created a reference library of drawing lessons and sold it as apps for artists' mobile apps. 

There are versions with male and female characters. Both applications contain almost three and a half thousand photographs of sitters in different costumes and poses that match the character’s character, be it a pirate, a mafia, or a housewife. The applications were conceived as a practical tool for learning poses, silhouettes, and expressing emotions.

Posebook has six male and four female characters, shot in different poses and angles. Each photo was taken in high resolution to practice the whole figure and its parts of the face or hands.

In addition to full-length figures, the application contains portraits for studying facial expressions and emotions, silhouettes, and photographs of hands.

Moreover, Posebook has six more video tutorials from Silver and 25 examples of popular artists who solved problems based on his lessons.

  • PureRef

PureRef tool

When everything in the workplace is laid out in its place, then the work is much easier. The PureRef application helps to clean up the visual library and conveniently decompose the necessary references.

To sort references, simply drag-and-drop the images you want from the folder with unassorted images or directly from the browser window into the program. It's just as easy to grab a still from a movie you're watching on your computer. It is enough to take a screenshot and paste it into PureRef. The finished library can be saved. So a shot with a cool composition or interesting color scheme will not be lost.

Sorting and storing references with PureRef is easier than saving, cutting, copying, and pasting images. It is enough just to drag and drop them; it is convenient for emerging artists. You can adjust the size of the library elements to make the essential references larger and the auxiliary ones smaller. They can be twisted, flipped, cropped, changed transparency, and made in black and white. At the same time, the saved images do not lose quality.

To attach the window with the program on top of all the others, you need to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + A. PureRef's interface is very minimalistic; when you run it, you will only see a gray window.

All apps above will help you increase your drawing skills and create a good artist portfolio for your professional growth.
Wish you find inspiration and creativity!


  • What art apps do artists use?

For vector graphics, artists use Illustrator. It has been around for many years and contains all the features you need to create professional artwork. All of these suggestions mean that this is one of the best drawing apps for over a decade.

  • What's the most popular app for artists?

More often than not, all artists start with Photoshop, but depending on their goals, they find more suitable applications for them.

  • What app do Tik Tok artists use?

Loved by creative professionals and aspiring artists alike, Procreate is the leading creative application made for iPad.

  • What are the best drawing app for beginners?
  1. Adobe Photoshop Sketch.
  2. Adobe Illustrator Draw.
  3. Adobe Fresco.
  4. Inspire Pro.
  5. Pixelmator Pro.
  6. Assembly.
  7. Autodesk Sketchbook.
  8. Affinity Designer.

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