Top 5 iPhone Apps for Artists

Whether dealing in ink, paint or pencil, the true artist is never more at home than when plying his or her trade with nothing more than a blank canvas and a bit of inspiration. But who is to say modern technology can’t help facilitate the artist’s creative process? In fact, many artists – from students to careerists – are embracing the mobile revolution and using touch-screen handheld devices to pick up where paper and canvas leave off. Mobile app manufactures have taken notice of this trend as well, which is evidenced by the arrival of many new, high-quality options for serious artists.

So with that in mind, here are some of the top mobile apps geared towards right-brained scribblers and painters. And the best thing about all the iPhone apps on this list is that they are ideal for both beginners and pros alike.

ArtStudio – iOS, $2.99

Many in the know view this as the most comprehensive mobile app for artists of all stripes. Indeed, even other popular and similar apps, such as iDraw and Brushes, merely aim to equal – not surpass – this option. That’s because ArtStudio offers a diverse range of tools and functionality across a wide spectrum of mediums that include sketching, painting and even photo editing. The new version of ArtStudio is fully compatible with iPhone 5.

Sketchbook Pro – iPad, $4.99

This app is derived from the popular computer program by Autodesk, and the app even boasts the original’s smooth painting engine. The app prides itself on being “professional grade” yet easy enough for novices to benefit from as well. The app offers a host of beginner and advanced tools as well as canvas customization, over 150 brushes, pencils and inks, symmetric drawing, the ability to import images from iPhoto and much more.

Procreate – iPad, $4.99

Another sketchbook app, Procreate is beloved by artists for its semi-transparent charcoal interface and Silica painting engine. This app offers a selection of 48 brushes as well as some fairly creative digital tools. Not only that, but it comes with an advanced layering system that allows the user to perform a multitude of functions, including copying and pasting to/from a clipboard, layer locking, layer pinching and layer swiping.

Artnear Pro – iOS, $4.99

This app is ideal for those who want to put down the brush and quell their urge for a local art exhibit or museum visit. This simple app basically functions as an address book that put all local info regarding galleries, museums, artist-in-residency programs right at the user’s fingertips.

Art Authority – iPad, $9.99

Those who don’t have the time to actually get out to the museum can opt to have the museum come to them with Art Authority. Yes, the app’s $9.99 price tag makes it one of the more expensive art-reference options out there, but that’s only because it offers a database of over 60,000 paintings and sculptors. These offerings can be viewed via a unique menu that is setup as eight period-specific rooms. Art Authority is perfect for collectors who want a handy and comprehensive reference right at hand.

By having one or two of these iPhone apps installed on the old iPad or iPhone, artists everywhere will always have the means to unleash their artistic expression upon the world.

Chris Olens writes for Bumblejax, a company that specializes in transforming digital photos into gallery quality acrylic prints.


Top 5 iPhone Apps for Artists