Skip to Content

Home » Drawing » 21 Free Best Drawing Apps for iPad & Apple Pencil of 2021

21 Free Best Drawing Apps for iPad & Apple Pencil of 2021

21 Free Best Drawing Apps for iPad & Apple Pencil of 2021

If you have the new iPad Pro, you might be wondering how you can start drawing immediately. While there are plenty of high-end drawing apps that come at a cost, there are many free drawing apps for iPad.

In the land of development, a cost does not mean quality. Transversely, free does not mean a bad app. You might be surprised by how many great free drawing apps for iPad there are.

Whether you are looking for a sketch app or a full notebook, the App Store is filled with opportunity. You can draw for free. You can sketch for free. More importantly, you can download any free app to try.

There is never any harm in testing out an app to see if it is right for you. This is the best way to find your dream tool for drawing. Fortunately, there are many iPad drawing apps, and in this article, you’ll discover the best free drawing app for iPad.

Also, if you want exclusive tools that will help you create art no matter where you are and/or services that will help you grow your art business, go to my Recommendations page.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I’ve used or really like. Please read my disclosure for more info. 

If you’re interested in drawing, check out our other drawing-related content:

drawing apps for ipad

Adobe Photoshop Sketch
adobe photoshop sketch

Adobe is known for its contributions to creativity. This company makes a variety of digital artist tools, and the consensus is they rock. When Apple and Adobe paired to bring a creative suite to the iPad Pro, people were thrilled. This is one of many amazing free iPad drawing apps that they have to offer.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch was made with artists in mind. You have access to countless tools and colors to make all of your dreams come true. This app offers a wide array of drawing options. You are also able to zoom, layer, and alter opacity. It’s perfect for getting started.

Search “iPad” on Skillshare to improve your iPad drawing skills. What I love about Skillshare is I got to watch so many videos for one low price. I learned so much that I rapidly improved my art, and I could watch the videos on my own time. Get 2 weeks free with this link.  

Adobe Illustrator Draw
adobe illustrator draw

This best free iPad drawing app is created from the Adobe suite for the iPad Pro. It offers a beautiful drawing interface and vibrant colors. There are plenty of great tools for you to draw with to accommodate your designs. Specifically, this is the best free drawing app for iPad created for vector artists in mind. It offers stenciled and resizable canvases for all day drawing.

This app touts being able to print in 8K, which is a digital artist’s dream. You can easily sketch, layer, and color to your heart’s content. Each brush is customizable, and you can even add photos. This app gives you complete creative control.

Paper by WeTransfer
paper free drawing app for ipad

This is one of the best free drawing apps for iPad for artists who like to organize. In addition to a full artist suite, you can enjoy notebooks to separate your art. The app itself makes it easy to organize your collections with custom notebooks that allow for cover options. It also has a beautiful and incredibly user-friendly interface that makes drawing simple.

Having something to organize your drawings or organize your art supplies is one of the best ways to easily start creating your future masterpiece.

The system itself comes with some great tools for getting down your next sketch idea. It also offers a pro version with even more tools for those who are interested. The interface is easy to use and will have you drawing in your favorite digital notebook in no time. You can even publish your drawings in the app!

Flow By Moleskine

flow by moleskin

Moleskine is renowned for its incredibly famous notebooks. They are the people who make the snazzy-looking notebooks and sketchbooks that people love. They have decided to take their iconic notebook digital with this app. This app is the product of a lot of love and a ton of research, and it shows.

This app offers a wide array of tools and color options clearly making it one of the best free drawing apps for iPad. This makes it ideal whether you’re taking notes or drawing a masterpiece. This app set out to combine a beautiful UI with awesome functionality, and it succeeded.

Learn to improve your drawing skills on the iPad with Skillshare online courses. What I love about Skillshare is that I got to learn so much from all the different videos for one low price. I was able to binge different courses and rapidly improve my art. Get 2 weeks FREE with this link. 


Notebook is a brilliant little app designed to bring your worlds together. Whether you want to type, write, or draw, this iPad drawing app has it. With a simple UI, you can choose notebooks to organize. Each notebook is composed of various cards, and the cards are where the magic happens.

With these cards, you can write, draw, add pictures, or all of the above. Each card lets you do whatever you want to, and they can be rearranged, which helps to storyboard. The simple design and bonus tagging options make this app great.

bear app

The Bear app is known for writing and is commonly overlooked when it comes to drawing apps on the iPad. However, the functionality in this app makes it ideal for quick sketches as well. It is the best free drawing app for iPad that helps you keep tidy work notes and separate your doodles off to the side.

The more basic design of this app from a drawing perspective is what makes it shine. You can draw without being overwhelmed by too many tools or options. This makes it ideal for brainstorming your next comic.


Evernote is a renowned note-taking app. This app offers a multitude of subscriptions beyond the initial free service, making it a powerful tool.

What is Evernote used for?

You can use this to keep your grocery lists or to make your next big masterpiece. Evernote has an easy drawing interface that lets you get the most out of your notebooks. As a bonus, they provide you with storage for your various notes.

This drawing app is known for its beautiful UI, cross-compatibility, and ease of use. As far as drawing apps on the iPad go, it is simple and useful. You can enjoy putting all of your work in one place with this one. It even makes reorganizing your notes simple, allowing for maximum control. You can also scan in drawings done by hand for your digital records.

Do I need Evernote?

Evernote allows you to keep everything in sync. Whether you’re drawing quick sketches or doodles or you want to elaborate on a sketch or even possibly write notes on your sketches, Evernote will allow you easily access everything on your different devices.

Is Evernote free?

With the free version of Evernote, you can do the following:

  • You can add attachments and format things in tables
  • You can take web images and screenshots from different browsers or devices
  • Record audio notes
  • Create to-do lists with checkboxes
  • Take notes with your stylus on any mobile device
  • Highlight, comment, or annotate on any image
  • Attach PDFS, receipts, files, and other documents
  • Clip full pages and text from webpages
  • Search and find notes easily
  • Create notebooks and tags
  • Sort and organize your content by title, date, or a tag
  • Search for text inside an image
  • Share a notebook with others
  • Set permissions for editing notes
  • 60MB monthly upload limit
  • 25MB max note size
  • and much more

Microsoft OneNote
microsoft onenote

OneNote is an easily overlooked but completely invaluable app. Made by Microsoft, this app offers a full collection of notebook options. You can write, list, and draw all in one app. The tools provided in the drawing portion surpass most general notebook apps. You can even enjoy some more creative color-changing options while you draw.

If you are looking for good drawing apps on the iPad, Microsoft has you covered. This app excels when it comes to strong organizing, making it a must-have. You can enjoy drawing and rearranging your notes to match your preferences.

Since it is Microsoft, you can find all of your work in the cloud as well. All you need is your Microsoft office login, and you are good to go.

AutoDesk Sketchbook
autodesk sketchbook

This app is notable for going free. Yes, previously this was an app you would need to pay for. Now, however, it is free for all users. If you are looking for an incredibly powerful drawing app, this is what you want. Online, you can find countless videos on how to use the amazing tools in this drawing app.

When you open this app, you will know it is a cut above the rest. It offers a wide range of tools and a completely open-color selector. You can enjoy working on complex projects. The app is proud to show off its more beautiful creations. For digital artists, this is a must-have before spending any money.


Penultimate comes from the same creators of Evernote. This app is often paired with Evernote to create a more comprehensive creative suite. This provides a more complex notebook experience than Evernote, complete with a variety of drawing tools. It easily integrates with Evernote to help you control your projects.

A major perk of this app is its ability to let you search handwritten notes. This makes tagging easy and is great for compiling themes. The app itself offers various tools and colors for you to get the best hand-drawn experience. For a clean and easy workspace, this app more than delivers.

How do you use Penultimate?

  1. Create a new notebook
    penultimate create notebook
  2. Click on the notebook you created
  3. You’ll get an option to create a new note or edit a one you previously made
    penultimate create note
  4. Use the drawing tools to draw in your note and you can adjust the settings for your stylus
    penultimate draw

Microsoft Word
microsoft onenote

Many people are surprised to learn that you can now draw in Microsoft Word. The updated for iPad Pro Microsoft Word app offers an entire drawing tab. This means you have access to a variety of unique tools. This is great for sketching, drafting, and storyboarding. Since it is Microsoft, your work will be available in the cloud.

Though Microsoft Word might not be your go-to for drawing, they deliver. They have collaboration options for drawing with friends. This can make for a lot of fun in a simple design. It also means that you can provide handwritten feedback for a personal touch.

Apple Notes
apple notes

The Apple Notes app has been completely redone. This app is great for drawing on the go. By simply double-tapping your pencil to the screen, Notes will open. This means you are a mere tap away from drawing without distraction.

Notes now offer a wide variety of drawing tools and paper styles. This makes it easy for sketching, doodling, and drafting in one place. It even has a ruler so you can draw clean and straight lines. You can easily draw or add a sketch to any note, which makes this the perfect app to create amazing sketch notes! As a future bonus, this app is bringing organization to the next level. Soon, you will have complete creative control over your Notes space.

Apple Photos
apple photos

As far as drawing apps on iPad go, you might not think of this one. If your art is more in the photo realm, the stock Apple Photos app is great for drawing. You might not want to draw a tree, but rather some devil horns on your sibling.

The Apple Photos app officially has your back. When you open a picture, you now have a drawing suite that will let you mark it up. This can have some truly fun results. This best free iPad drawing app is amazing because it is extremely convenient and easy to use. You can quickly add doodles and sketches to any photo.

While you likely won’t want to use it to go pro, this functionality is awesome for simple drawing. It is particularly great for some laughs. Whether you are marking up a PDF or drawing on your dog, this app has what you need.


If you are looking for a more specialized design app, Archisketch is for you. This app lets you draw in a more professional capacity. It is ideal for sketching architecture and various other design options. You can easily move, scale, and rotate any image. This makes it ideal for more complex technical drawings.

This app lets you create in 3D, which can bring your art to the next level. Like all good drawing apps, it allows for layers. This means that you can alter your drawings safely without being impacted by changes. If you have design in mind, this might be what you are waiting for.

Tayasui Sketches
tayasui sketches free drawing app for ipad

For a creative and one of the best drawing apps for iPad with the Apple Pencil in mind, fans love Tayasui Sketches. This free drawing app for iPad offers a ton of fun features for the vibrant artist. You can enjoy access to over twenty tools.

They were designed with great art as a focus, and act like the real deal. With this, you can easily organize your drawings into folders to match your preferences.

This app provides full pressure sensitivity support. This means that the tools respond to your weight and touch. You can capitalize on this by using layers and great color matching tools. This is one of the best free iPad drawing app that is fun and delivers on your needs.

vectornator free drawing app for ipad

This program touts itself as an advanced vector design tool. With this, you can enjoy a full desktop interface. It will help you to create beautiful vector designs with all of the functionality you might need. This app has been used to create many beautiful designs with vibrant colors and precise tools.

Whether you are making logos or marketing materials, they have you covered. This full-service graphic design app is ready to carry your drawings forward.


This app was designed with creativity as a focus. Folioscope was created to work with your finger. This means that they want you to have fun making art, and they deliver. Though you can use your Apple Pencil, this app lets you draw easily without one. Of course, the big selling point is the animations.

This app is designed to take your basic drawings and turn them into animations. This means that you can make easy shorts on your iPad Pro in no time. With a focus on fun, you can enjoy making just about anything.

Sketch.Book – Draw, Drawing Pad

This is a premiere doodling app. While you can certainly make great art, this space is ideal for just letting your mind wander. With a collection of fun tools, you can enjoy making art easily on the go.

This app offers various drawing instruments as well as stickers, and even allows photo drawing. You can do just about anything here as long as you have fun.

This easy to use suite lets you draw, paint, and sketch as much as you want. You can change the shapes, sizes, and colors of the tools. This makes it a perfect space for brainstorming and having a good time.

Drawing Desk, Doodle, Sketchbook

This complete art tool is for the creative at heart. You can enjoy a seamless UI that is easy to understand and offers great services. If you want to edit photos, you can enjoy drawing and adding stickers for fun.

If you are looking to create, you can draw, sketch, and paint. This system offers a wide collection of useful tools that will make an amazing digital studio.

Drawing Desk: Draw & Paint Art
drawing desk

This exciting drawing app offers a collection of different utensils for you to create. You can enjoy a complex drawing experience using all kinds of shapes and tools.

They offer support for both Apple Pencil and thirty party styluses. For an artist who is looking for more without the price tag, this fun suite is a great fit.

Improve your drawing skills on the iPad with Skillshare courses. I really love how I could watch so many videos for one low price. I was rapidly improving my art because I was learning so much. Get 2 weeks FREE with this link. 

Adobe Fresco
adobe fresco

If you’ve checked out Procreate, but don’t want to spend money on a drawing app then Adobe Fresco may be for you! It has a lot of similar features of Procreate. There is a premium version of the app, but you can still accomplish a lot with the free version. Fresco has over 50 Photoshop brushes, vector brushes, and their exclusive Live Brushes.

Like Procreate, you can do some powerful editing like masking, create layers and layer groups, make different types of selections, automatically create time-lapse videos, and export your files as png or jpeg.


The iPad Pro was created with creativity as a general focus. Free drawing apps for iPad are a great way to kickstart your digital artist career. This is why there are so many amazing drawings app available for free. All you need is your imagination, creativity, and a stylus.

Before long, you will be creating digital masterpieces. We suggest trying all of these best free drawing apps for iPad before paying for one. They are all pretty amazing in their way. Whether you want to improve your drawing ability or improve your digital painting, these apps are a great start to do so!

My personal favorite is Tayasui Sketches. I love the simulated sounds of different drawing tools. Something about the sounds makes it feel like you’re drawing on paper!

In addition to these free drawing apps, go to my Recommendations page where you will get exclusive tools that will help you create art no matter where you are and/or services that will help you grow your art business.

What’s your favorite drawing app?

Drawing Apps FAQ

What is the best free drawing app for iPad?

Tayasui Sketches simulates the drawing experience the best. Its drawing tools have texture and look like actual pencils and brushes. In addition, you can also hear the ASMR sounds of each stroke of the tool you use. 

What app is like Procreate, but free?

Adobe Fresco. It has many versatile drawing tools like Procreate. You can have multiple layers, create selections, and masking. It also offers pixel and vector brushes. You do have to pay for premium features though.

What apps are as good as Procreate?

Tayasui Sketches, Adobe Fresco, and Autodesk Sketchbook. While Procreate has many robust features, these have many features that Procreate has, and you don’t have to pay for these three apps.

Where can I draw on an iPad?

You will need to download a drawing app on your iPad in order to draw on it. There are many apps you can get for free. In this article, there are many links to download free drawing apps for your iPad.

abstract painting ideas
Are Your Abstract Painting Ideas Bad? Do This Instead
← Read Last Post
art deco
Do You Know This About Art Deco?
Read Next Post →