Drawing, sketching, and painting on iOS devices for the purposes of designing and digital art creation are common demands for both drawing professionals and lovers, and professional-grade photo drawing features don’t necessarily have to be costly. To save your time from scouring, here we’ve well-tested and gathered the 11 best free drawing apps for iPhone and iPad, while all of them are either completely free or offer a free version.
And if you ever need to make further adjustments to your drawings, like editing layers, removing objects, changing colors, etc., the 17 Best Free Photo Editing Software will certainly be helpful.
⭐Entering the time of artificial intelligence, art is one of the fields that benefit the most. Learn about the 18 Best AI Art Generators to create splendid artwork with AI’s help.
Top 11 Free Drawing Apps on iPhone and iPad: Compared
|App Store Rating
|Free, $1.99 Premium Bundle
|4.8 • 215.1K Ratings
|The best free sketching app for creators and product designers
|4.5 • 2K Ratings
|The completely-free illustration, UI, logo, and art design app
|Ibis Paint X
|Free, $2.99 Monthly Prime
|4.7 • 176K Ratings
|A free painting app with a top-shelf paint bucket tool
|Free, $9.99 Fresco
|4.7 • 29.7K Ratings
|Drawing app for professionals with natural media simulation
|Free, $5.99 Pro Version
|4.5 • 33.5K Ratings
|Best for drawing beginners and recording tutorials
|Paper by WeTransfer
|Free, $7.99 Paper Pro
|4.6 • 53.4K Ratings
|A free iPhone sketching app for journals and note-taking
|Free, $9.99 Illustrator on iPad Monthly
|4.6 • 25.7K Ratings
|The best free digital art app for iPad with an Apple Pencil
|Free, $2.99 MediBang Premium
|4.6 • 14.9K Ratings
|A free iPhone drawing app with auto recovery feature and minimum ads
|Free, $4.99 Color Gold
|4.5 • 10.1K Ratings
|It automatically saves your drawing process which eats device memory
|Clip Studio Paint
|Free, $4.49, PRO Monthly
|3.0 • 637 Ratings
|A powerful iOS drawing app with a time-limited free version
|Free, $4.99 Get Everything
|4.1 • 8.5K Ratings
|An easy drawing app for iPhone with natural brushes
The Best Drawing Apps on iPhone and iPad: Detailed Reviews
The Autodesk SketchBook is an award-winning illustration application for both skillful and inexperienced to realize pro-level drawing on computers and mobile phones. The reason that Autodesk SketchBook makes the top of this list is the complete set of drawing features that it has to offer. Many professional features in Autodesk SketchBook are free to use, you can’t even find ads or block brushes as such in the app.
Price: Free and $1.99 for the Premium Bundle
- Highly customizable shapes, size, opacity, flow, etc. for brushes and Color Puck
- Drawing aids over the canvas offers customizable rulers to draw lines and other shapes easily
- The Flood Fill tool fills colors into shapes with simple clicks, and the color can be changed
- The Layer Editor palette shows and helps edit all the layers on the canvas
If you rather not fork out on some drawing for fun, look no further than Vectornator, a free app for illustrators and graphic designers. The Vectornator iPhone app allows you to retouch your illustrations, layout mockups, and lettering on the go. Surprisingly, for so many advanced drawing features like arrows, pen tools, nodes, layers, blend mode, etc., Vectornator is completely free to use, and that’s one of the reasons that Vectornator makes the top of our list.
- Vectornator is one of the not many vector apps that support image tracing
- Plenty of vector features that even paid applications don’t have
- Flexible undo, pinch, zoom, using different finger gestures
- Dozens of customizable options from the Style panel
Ibis Paint X
According to our testing process, Ibis Paint X’s ample brush options, flexible brush customization, support for layers combining, smudge and blur tools, paint bucket, etc., are exceptionally impressive. Some features in Ibis Paint X come unexpectedly such as the detailed transform options, cool comic frames, helpful stabilizer, and various types of useful rulers, for those who have used some drawing apps before.
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Price: Free and $2.99 for the Monthly Prime
- 15000+ types of realistic and GPU-accelerated brushes and materials
- Acceptable ads for free users and reasonable prices for those willing to pay
- The developer team is constantly updating Ibis Paint X to fix new issues
- A powerful paint bucket that perfectly fills colors into shapes without edging
Adobe Fresco is an awesome sketching app for iPhone and much more, it’s what brings practically everything from Adobe Photoshop to touch screen devices like iPhone and iPad, and it has everything optimized and improved art features. Many great drawing features like multicolor eyedrop and time-lapse are available in the free version. All in all, you can’t go wrong with Adobe if you’re dealing with images and videos, plus the price is not as pricey as other Adobe products.
Price: Free and $9.99 for the Fresco
- You can easily get the hang of Adobe Fresco if you’re already a Photoshop or Illustrator user
- Comprehensive professional drawing tools including selections, unlimited layers, masking, layer groups, etc.
- The Adobe Fresco output files are supported for finishing touches in Photoshop and Illustrator
- Satisfying and smooth performance when working with drawing tablets
Given the intuitive interface and accessible feature buttons, Tayasui Sketches is one of the best free iPad drawing apps for beginners. Users can easily switch between pens, markers, crayons, watercolor brushes, pattern tools, blenders, cutting tools, rulers, etc. on the left side of the canvas, and create in the easiest way. Everything can be conducted by using 2 finger gestures, as long as you uncovered where all the features are located.
Price: Free and $5.99 for the Pro Version
- Customizable textures for papers including watercolor, canvas, lines, etc.
- The unique and realistic watercolor function gives your drawing a traditional feel
- The screen recording feature that supports external audio input
- A clean interface with feature options only appears when necessary
Paper by WeTransfer
Paper by WeTransfer is an app for digitally journaling using sketching, it helps draw thoughts, create digital artworks, and even organize diagrams using responsive and natural brushes. If you have an Apple Pencil, you’ll totally love the experience of writing down or sketching out important memories as if you’re using actual pencils and paper. The Responsive upstrokes and downstrokes with transitions are great for customization.
Price: Free and $7.99 for the Paper Pro
- The ingenious design of multi-layers of papers is perfect for note-taking and journals
- The highly detailed tutorial for users using the app for the first time
- Add multiple photos to pages in an easier way than using complicated layers
- The Procreate-like grid lines on paper are useful for creating block letters
Coming up another drawing app from Adobe, Adobe Illustrator, is a drawing app for iPad that works best with an Apple Pencil. Adobe Illustrator is fitting for creating digital logos, illustrations, and graphics, with its vector lines, gradients, shapes, effects, and other features from basic to professional. Adobe Illustrator for iPad has certain features that are not included in the desktop version, making it more than worth a try.
Price: Free and $9.99 for the Illustrator on iPad Monthly
- A good balance between the ease of use and the number of features
- Detailed adjustments including stacking order, opacity, artboard, etc.
- Select, drag, and hold existing shapes on the canvas to duplicate them with ease
- Access to the Adobe Fonts library of 18000+ fonts
Medibang Paint is a great free drawing app for users who need premade backgrounds, comic book fonts, and auto recovery for their drawing processes. As a free app, Medibang Paint does have ads, but you only see them before and after the drawing process, which won’t be a big issue. When it comes to the depth of certain drawing features, Medibang Paint sometimes fails to cater, but it’s good enough considering it is free.
Price: Free and $2.99 for the MediBang Premium
- Free brushes are available for you to download from the Medibang Paint cloud
- The adjustable Correction tool to alter the smoothness of your drawn lines
- Running smoothly even when creating a high-resolution drawing with thousands of pixels
- The drawing process won’t be closed when you have switched to other apps
Picsart Color is a useful tool when you need to paint, draw, or change colors in digital illustrations. As a free app, it also provides many professional features like color filling and pattern tools. The color erasing, stroke stabilizing, and text-adding features are also friendly for beginners. A worth mentioning fact is that the device memory consumption of Picsart color is huge, as the result of the automatic savings of your drawing projects.
Price: Free and $4.99 for the Color Gold
- Customizable opacity, thickness, spacing, scatter, size jitter, etc. for brushes in the free version
- Use images from the mobile phone’s camera roll as background or for tracing
- You can use different designs as the background of your new drawing
- The Color Picker and Color Mixer tool helps get the very color you need
Clip Studio Paint
Clip Studio Paint, also known as Kurisuta in Japan, is a rather popular digital drawing and painting application on computers, iPads, and iPhones. Clip Studio Paint is considered a complete drawing tool, even compared with other competitive paid options like Procreate. For some reason, the giant user base can be a bit picky about Clip Studio Paint, which reflects in the App Store rating, but for me personally, Clip Studio Paint is a free iOS drawing app that’s worth installing.
Price: Free and $4.49 for PRO Monthly
- 40000+ free and paid brushes for global designers and creators
- Simulate the “pen pressure” using your fingers in the Select sub tool
- Customizable brush textures, shapes, edges, dual brush settings, spray effects, etc.
- Save your drawing on your iPhone/iPad to the cloud or your desktop devices
Infinite Painter features a simple and concise user interface, so drawing novices won’t be baffled by complicated feature buttons, you can simply create a new canvas with customizable sizes, and start drawing with your favorite brushes. Infinite Painter boasts the best-in-class pencils and our testing process does prove the pencils to be super-duper natural.
Infinite Painter the Drawing App for iPhone
Price: Free and $4.99 for the Get Everything
- Unique features like Calligraphy, Sprayers, Chalks, Charcoals, etc. for you to try
- Time-lapse recording for your drawing process for further sharing
- Any stokes in Infinite Painter can be converted into editable shapes
- Filters are added as layers and they affect all layers stacked below
FAQs on the Best Free Drawing apps on iPhone and iPad
How can I draw on my iPhone for free?
For simple drawing, sketching, handwriting, and note-taking needs with fingers, you can use the inbuilt Notes app on your iPhone and iPad. And if you’re looking for more advanced drawing features like brushes, layers, fill tools, color pucks, etc. you should go with a free drawing app like Autodesk SketchBook.
What is the best free drawing app for iPhone and iPad?
Some of the best free drawing apps for iPhone and iPad are as followed,
- Autodesk SketchBook
- Ibis Paint X
- Adobe Fresco
- Tayasui Sketches
- Paper by WeTransfer
- Medibang Paint
- Clip Studio Paint
For more options, please check out the complete list on this page.
What is the best free drawing app for beginners?
According to our listing, the best free drawing app for beginners on iPhone and iPad overall is Tayasui Sketches, some other drawing apps that also feature ease of use include Autodesk SketchBook, iBis Paint X, and Adobe Fresco.
What is the best free iPad drawing app?
The best free drawing apps for iPad users overall are Adobe Illustrator and Tayasui Sketches, these two drawing apps are specially optimized for iPads. When working with an Apple Pencil, the Illustrator and Tayasui Sketches apps function intuitively, and they offer abundant features ranging from basic to professional.
Are there any drawing apps for iPhone online?
A browser-based drawing app for iPhone allows you to draw art online, without app installation. There are a handful of online drawing apps and some recommended ones are Aggie.io, Kleki, and Light-Brush.art.
The nature of being a free drawing app inevitably leads to incompleteness in drawing features, yet these recommended drawing apps are the best options possible. And for different users with different drawing demands, the best free apps for iPhone and iPad for you depend largely on what exact features you need. So make sure to try some of the introduced drawing apps, and let us know what you think.
Additionally, if you have anything in mind that can help us improve the list, please drop a line and let people know, and we highly appreciate your opinion.
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