iPad Art Apps: 5 Essentials for the Artistic Process

There are many art apps on my iPad, and I’m a sucker for trying out the shiny new ones. But these are the ones I can’t live without. These are the apps that produce the best results:

Procreate: The iPad art app for painting

PaintMade with the iPad art app, ProcreateProcreate is by far my favorite painting app. There are plenty of brushes which are very effective at simulating paint. I use it often to give photos a more painterly effect. I love the ability to make your own brush. It’s also nice for making collages. Best of all, you can choose your resolution when beginning a new file, with the maximum being 4000 x 4000 pixels (but beware that the higher the resolution you work in, the fewer layers are available.) This is very important if you want to make printed artwork . A 4000×4000 pixel image could be printed out at 20×20 inches and would still retains its detail and quality. It’s a very useful app for digital artists who are interested in selling their artwork.

iDraw: The iPad art app for vector drawing

idraw_art_app_daisyiDraw is a must for anyone that wants to do vector drawings on the iPad. It’s quite a powerful for little vector app, for the money. Also, you can save your work as an .svg file and open it on your desktop with Illustrator, or the desktop version of iDraw. It’s great for making flyers or posters that requires type. It can also import your photos and place them in different shapes, making it a fun alternative to some of the photo framing apps, like frametastic.

Snapseed: an iPad art app for photo-editing

Snapseed: The iPad Art app for Photo EditingThere are so many options when it comes to photo editing apps. I’m not sure that Snapseed is particularly fabulous, as much as it’s simply the one I’m used to, and it has a pretty intuitive interface. There is one feature that I use again and again: Selective Adjust. It lets you zero in on part of a photo to adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation. This is particularly useful if you are photographing people in a nature setting. You can easily crank up the saturation in the “nature” part of the photo, while toning down the vibrancy on skin tones. Add selective adjust points to the underexposed areas, the overexposed areas, adjust accordingly, and voila! – you’ve just faked your way into making an HDR photo. Other than that, it has most of the basic editing tools, with plenty of filters and tilt shift tools to play with.

Waterlogue: The watercolor ipad art app

Painted with the waterlogue ipad art appRelatively new on the scene, the waterlogue app takes your photos and transforms them into gorgeous watercolor-like images. It’s basically a one trick pony, but in this dizzying world of countless features and options, I find it refreshing to use an app that does one thing only, and does it exceptionally well. I’ve had some great results with this app, although I often find myself using the procreate app to go back and clean up some of the “messy” streaks. The most important thing about this app? It’s fun. Sometimes artists just need to play with their images in order to get the creative juices flowing. It’s also great for breathing new life into old images.

iA Writer: The iPad Art App for clearing your brain.

iA writer for ipadHmmm… A text editor for making art? Actually, it’s not so much for the making of the art, but for starting the creative process. In “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron, the practice of writing “morning pages” are introduced as a way to start the artistic process. If you haven’t read the book, morning pages are simply a daily practice of writing 2 pages worth of thoughts, each day, first thing in the morning. The practice helps you to declutter your mind, and to quiet the nagging words of your inner critic.  iA Writer for iPad is great for this, as it has a distraction free user interface, with a small word count display. When I get to 500 words, I can usually assume I’ve decluttered my mind for the day. I also use it for sketching out blog posts, and writing lists.

So there you have it. Those are the apps I use almost on a daily basis. Each one plays an important role in my artistic process. Another thing I love is how well these apps play together. Make a simple vector image with iDraw, and turn it into brush for procreate. Work up your photos in snapseed, and then collage them in procreate. Create some type in iDraw, then make a watercolor effect in waterlogue. The possibilities are endless.

Do you have any iPad art apps that you can’t live without?