Apple’s iPad Pro and second-gen Apple Pencil are my favorite art tools. They’ve replaced all of my traditional art supplies. I curl up on the couch with my iPad to chill and watch Netflix almost every day. I use it more than I use my phone, by far, and that’s because of the Pencil. There’s something uniquely intuitive about the pairing of the stylus and tablet that makes me want to draw, sketch, paint, and take handwritten notes.
I’m not alone. The app ecosystem that has sprung up around the Apple Pencil and iPad is growing fast as professional graphic artists ditch Wacom and Windows for Apple and iPadOS. If you’re an aspiring digital artist, or a seasoned pro looking to make the leap, here are the apps you should try.
Updated March 2022: We’ve added the Lake coloring app, NimbleGrip Pencil Grip, and a note about subscriptions versus purchases.