How to Draw On iPad – Ultimate Guide for Beginners

The Apple tech-savvy iPad tablets have taken the digital art industry by storm. The iPad tablets are phasing out common digital arts, communication, and browsing tools. An iPad is simply a desktop, smartphone, and personal computer with a slim, lightweight design. The evolution and emergence of versatile iPad tabs have made learning digital art a walk in the park.

Good enough, these devices feature a new generation of super-fast processor chips multi-purpose stylus and support the finest drawing apps hence simplifying everything. Artists, illustrators, and designers can now smile with a sigh of relief as Ipads streamline everything. Just a little effort and watch your skills grow exponentially to a whole new level!

Further, the apple iPad combines a high-resolution screen, pressure-sensitive apple pencil, and creative drawing apps. For seamless drawing, if you are a novice or professional artist, this article will help you learn best practices for drawing on the iPad. But firstly, learn all fundamental tips before you embark on actually drawing.

Know the Best Drawing Apps for iPad

You’ve got an Ipad. Next, you should think about the best drawing app to download from the App store. With the overwhelming options available, it can be puzzling to choose. Fortunately, we have narrowed it down to the 5 most outstanding, user-friendly, and versatile options to ease your task.

Autodesk Sketchbook

Known initially as sketchbook pro, this app has evolved, adding better features in each upgrade. Thanks to Autodesk developers, all features are now free to all iPad users. Further, this app has a wide range of features optimized for professional artists with any iPad model. The simplicity and intuitive nature of the user interface make the software a top preference for experienced modern digital artists.

Meanwhile, the all-in-one app platform features airbrushes, pens, pencils, markers, brushes, and other tools. Moreover, it blends modes, annotations, layering, transparency and allows users to pin some at the toolbar shortcuts enhancing accessibility. Finally, Autodesk integrates readily with other platforms allowing users to import and export files, designs, etc.


Whether you are a pro or amateur with zero knowledge about drawing, illustrator offers exciting features to grow your passion. Besides a simple user interface, this software is optimized for iPad and apple pencil. Learning with an illustrator is simple, while you can share your drawings via USB ports or cloud-based sites seamlessly.


Procreate is yet another powerful, fast and intuitive drawing app you can trust outright. The application provides a minimalist UI interface that is effortless to navigate through sliders to adjust, resize brushes or other tools. Practically, as long you have an iPad, procreate will help you concentrate and learn drawing faster than any other program. Procreate readily incorporates zooming, customize swatches, color picker, blend, smudging, and add text to arts. Apart from supporting ABR imports and animations, procreate includes over a hundred default brushes. Hence it is the ultimate drawing app for iPad.

These are not the only drawing apps optimized for iPad users. However,  they are preferable for their performance, user-friendly interface, versatility, controls and are ideal for beginners. Similarly, you can also use other apps for iPad such as Affinity DesignerInspire ProLinea SketchZen Brush 2Comic DrawSketch Club, and others. Notably, with this simplified list, you can easily pick the appropriate option for you.

Essential Drawing Accessories for iPad

As a beginner, you need to know various key accessories that shape digit art. You must use them to adjust, customize and finish your drawings, sketches, or illustrations. Follow this section to learn the essential accessories available in drawing apps for iPad.

Paper-Like or Matte Screen Protector

The market is flooded with iPad screen protectors, some similar and others unique. Nevertheless, any screen with a matte finish can work, but the best option will make you feel like an actual drawing paper. Moreover, a quality paper-like screen protector will minimize glare and parallax. Such issues send the deception that makes you see sketches change in different angles and as if the pencil or finger isn’t in contact with the drawing.

Streamline Mode

Drawing has never been so easy and exciting. As you draw, this feature grants you the freedom to make the sketch smooth and even. Available only on procreate, the quality is only available on procreate hence making the drawing app most popular among artists and illustrators using the iPad.


Why can’t I use my fingers instead of a stylus? Trust me, using your finger to draw will never beat the quality and sharpness created on the latest Apple Pencil. Yes, the stylus is an essential aspect that impacts artists’ performance while drawing with an iPad. The pencil features varying pressure sensitivity on different tilting angles. The stylus allows you to tilt and play around, responding to every pressure change when drawing.


Which style of brush do you fancy? A beginner doesn’t know types, but the effective drawing app gladly comprises many brushes. You can choose appropriate brushes from available options or design yours. Tech-savvy designers and illustrators use the tool to create unique brushes for every level of painting, sketching, or drawing. Finding one for you is easy. Try different options, the one that scratches your itch, pick it!

Layers and Grids

Working with digital art applications when drawing is now easier than ever! Learn to use layers and apply them in separating your artwork. Fortunately, all iPad-supported drawing apps have a layer feature useful in every situation. Whether doing rough sketching, shading, coloring, layers makes your work fun and simple.

Grids make portraits and drawing borderless. Certainly, when you see finished shapes or artwork, there are no visible lines or anything that hints about the references. Are you a beginner? Take advantage of grids and watch your skills evolve extraordinarily.

Beginner Tips on How to Draw On Ipad

Accept that learning to draw with an iPad can be quite challenging, but the ultimate results are worth your effort. Get to know the following sure-fire tips for beginners and grow the motivation to continue this journey.

Drawing Is a Learnable Skill

Even the greatest artist of all time was once a learner. You can learn to draw as easily as you write. So put effort with confidence regardless of how many times you make simple mistakes. All you should do is practice more and more to sharpen your skill. Focus on your drawing without comparing yourself with others; everyone is special.

Research and Copy

Everything on the internet is a copy of ideas from other achievers. You can learn from what other artists did without plagiarism. Successful artists borrow from fellow, add their own and develop something new. Reach out from Google, learn, try the style of other artists. You can draw a unique structure when you draw their flow.

Have Confidence, Be Unique

Now that you can make nice structures along the tutorials developed by others try something unique. Yes, you cannot spend the entire career drawing along copies from digital artists. Think deeply and use the fundamental skills you have learned to grow your own as a start. Develop a new unique style, work on it and practice the idea.

Get Used to Your Drawing Tools

Spend time with every new tool in our drawing app. Practice the use of tools in all situations. Apple pencil and whatever accessories, get comfortable with them, pin them some of the most used on the status bar for convenience. Learn to customize and incorporate the tools in your drawing work.

Learn, and Use Shortcuts to Customize Your App

Customize your app interface to suit your individual needs. Learn which features are often used and pi then in shortcuts. Practice using tools to learn how you can utilize them to maximize your productivity. Start simple and add new customers as you make use of various tools.

How to Draw on iPad Stepwise Guide

We have covered a milestone on theoretical parts that a serious beginner would be excited to learn practical skills. Now that you have your iPad with you, let us get started! The steps are listed in the order needed for the complete process.

Step I: Getting Started

Firstly, download the appropriate app from the app store to get started. For some reason, I would advise you to use the Autodesk sketchbook. Why not any other? I find this drawing has a simpler user interface. Secondly, any sketchbook files developed on one device can be opened and edited with the same app installed on another device. Meaning the structure you started on your iPad; you can finish it on your MacBook.

Step II: Choose a Suitable Drawing Instrument

One advantage of using Autodesk, you have the freedom to use your finger or use your apple pencil stylus. If you are a beginner, perhaps you don’t have a stylus, but that should not worry you; a finger can do. You need to vary the brush stroke with the pressure you apply for sensitive styli. To get started, create your first rough sketch.

Step III: Create a Rough Sketch

Click to open the AutoDesk app on your iPad. Tap the plus (+) symbol on the upper left side to start a new drawing. Since you are a beginner, choose the first size option from the drop-down displaying 768 x 1024. That shows the number of layers your image can have. It is advisable to start simple and make gradual progress.

Sometimes, when you see an illustration, don’t think arts drew from scratch, no the drawing app has various shapes broken down into simpler, and that is how you should get started.

Step IV: Adding Layers to Your Structure

After sketching your structure or image, the next thing you would do is add layers. The assumption is that your image is now made of one layer. At this point, you use layers to overlay bits on top of your drawing on each other.

Start by tracing your drawing. Just add another drawing on top of your rough sketch because you will get rid of the guideline after finishing. Just tap ‘’layers’’ and click (+) sign to add a new layer.

Select the right brush from ‘’properties’’ and choose the right brush size. Pinch and zoom to enlarge the drawing and have a closer view. Using the brush, trace the outline of your drawing, and if you need to revert, click the redo brush stroke.

Step V: Color Your Drawing

To color the drawing, you will need to add another layer. The layers allow you to shift gears, draw, and preserve a new layer from the previous work. Tap, and drag a new layer to the right position. While the brash tool is still selected, choose a color from the mixer to add to your drawing. Pick a slightly larger brush and trace the outside of your structure.

Step VI: Add Shadows and Highlights

Does your drawing look sharp? Then, add some highlights and shadows to make it look more vivid in 2D. This step is tremendous for a starter; see, you can be there! Now add a new layer between the color layer and the outline layer. Do not worry; you could delete the layer to remain with the original structure if you made a slight mistake. Use the airbrush to add gentle highlights and shadows rather than a paintbrush that would look more opaque.

To add highlight, select the shade from the color palette that you will use to color the structure body. Adjust the brush size to around 8 pixels, drag the brush window to lower the opacity of your stroke to say 50%.then pick another darker shade to trace the outline on your structure using an airbrush.

Step VII: Add Background to Your Structure

Adding a clear, attractive background makes your structure look smart. Now, add a new layer under all others layers on your drawing, apart from the hidden rough draft. Where needed, use the side handles on the layer box to move the new layer to the appropriate position.

Tap and hold the drawing tool panel and scroll to pick a textured background from the cross-hatching tools. Choose a bigger brush to fill the background of your image by marking huge diagonal stripes from the top left corner to the right bottom corner. Now set!

Step VIII: Clean Up the Drawing

You are almost done by now! Open the layer panel to select the highlights /shadow option to clean up your drawing. Next, tap and hold the toolbox to select the hard eraser tool. Open the toolbox; tap the eraser at the far right in the middle row; that is it.

Finally, pinch and zoom your structure or image to have a clear view. Can you see some outlines and shading expanding or bleeding beyond lines? Erase them all. Those unwanted trace lines. Smoothly erase overtones and nooks. If the eraser is not sharp, use the Brush Properties to adjust its size.

Step Finale:  Add the Your Signature to the Drawing

What have you drawn, a cow, cat, or shape? Anyway, whatever you drew, it is now looking nice and complete. If you do wish to let the world see the masterpiece you’ve created, add a signature, and share it!

Pick the most appropriate pen, pencil, or brush, and add your king/queen style signature. Tap the save icon on the upper left corner and click save your picture. After saving, you can tap the share button to export your drawing to other integrative apps or sites such as Twitter, Dropbox, iTunes, and others. Repeat these steps multiple times until you master all the steps. Identify what this article does not cover, make clarity, practice, and you sure came out perfect!

Bottom line

Above all, if you already have an iPad, you already have everything it takes to begin your digital art journey. Therefore, a career in a drawing doesn’t involve costly tools. You get internet connectivity and download a free drawing app from the App store. Recharge yourself with the right motivational energy, read this write-up repeatedly. It is a matter of time before realizing you have already mastered how to draw on an iPad. Download the right app and get started now!

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