For artists embracing the technological age and seeking out new ways explore their craft, look no further than the App Store or the Google Play store. Once you’ve armed yourself with a handy smart device and maybe a digital pen (and a trackpad if you’re feeling extra artsy) these 8 apps are sure to help you find yourself in the world of digital art.


Artstudio and Artstudio Pro are two versions of the same very widely used program. Artstudio is considered by some to be the most comprehensive sketching, painting, and photo editing tool on the entire App Store. It is a great starting point for both experienced artists and artists who are just breaking out into the digital art realm. It is only available for Apple users, but there are plenty of other options out there (as you will soon see) for Android users too.

Sketch Book

Sketchbook is an app accessible for all smart device users. Similar to the Artstudio, it prides itself on its comprehensive nature. This program can be used to do some loose sketching out of ideas, or it can take you all the way to a fully realised work of art. With hundreds and thousands of users worldwide, Sketchbook is a well-recognised digital art app.

Inspire Pro

Inspire Pro is optimised for use on an iPad and is only available for purchase on the App Store. One thing Inspire Pro consistently wins out on is its colour blending. This makes Inspire Pro a useful program for painters. If the focus of your artistic style is the careful use of colour, then Inspire Pro is the perfect app for you.

Auryn Ink

Auryn Ink is a watercolouring app that simulates an authentic watercolour painting experience. With “wet on wet”, “wet on dry”, and a glazing effect depending on your settings, colours can drip, spread and blend just as if you were using real watercolour paints on paper.

Tayasui Sketches

Tayasui Sketches is designed to be as realistic as possible in terms of simulating the sensation of sketching on paper. Available on Google Play Store and the App Store, Tayasui offers a simple layout and user-friendly interface perfect for beginners. This app is a great starting point for someone looking to hone their skill in digital sketching because of its minimalistic design and clear features.


Award-winning design app, Procreate is built for professional illustration, sketching, and painting. Procreate is powered by Silica M which is the fastest painting engine available on iOS. You can also print your work at an extremely large size thanks to the high-resolution canvases available in Procreate. This app will do the trick for artists of all skill levels from beginner to Da Vinci.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a standard photo editing software for designers around the globe. It is recommended you use photoshop on your desktop computer as opposed to the lighter mobile app versions to make the most of the software’s capabilities. As one of the first of its kind, this design app became an example for many other high-level painting, editing, and design programs. It is still used by many designers and it is a great app to become versed in.

Adobe Illustrator

Photoshop was originally created for photo editing, and although it has the capacity to be a painting, sketching, and design platform Adobe created Illustrator to focus more on the design aspect of Photoshop and less on the photo-editing. It works using vectors instead of pixels (which photoshop uses). So, what’s the difference between vector rendered art and pixel art? Pixels tend to create a softer effect and are better for colour blending. Vector images can be enlarged or reduced to any size with no impact on the resolution. That means no matter how big you make a vector image, it will never be blurry. For that reason, vector images and vector art is ideal for artists working on sharp designs that need to be versatile in size.

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Luke Ellery


Luke Ellery,

Luke is an enthusiastic writer with a background in creative writing and content marketing. He began his content journey in Auckland, managing a wedding blog. Luke considers himself a passionate grammarian and a thorough researcher; skills he undoubtedly picked up while completing his postgraduate studies in Ancient History. In his spare time, Luke peruses the specials aisle in the supermarket, and works to pay for the backyard that his future dogs deserve.