The Big iPad Painting App Test
I bought myself a new iPad (again). With the big hope of being able to use it for painting.
I went online to the blogs and forums to find the best painting app. But I had to find out that most oft the people write their reviews just based on the developers description on iTunes, often without even testing the app.
I decided to run my own test for nearly every available painting app from the iTunes app store. It took me several months. Now I hope I can help everybody else with my findings. Please, enjoy the results and find YOUR favourite painting app.
A few explanatory words first, before we dive into the app reviews.
Main Groups of painting apps:
I classified the painting apps into two main groups, based on how the brushes work and therefore how it will feel for you working with them.
Group A tries to emulate real brushes as accurately as possible. On desktop computers Corel Painter is a famous example of this group.
Group B provides you with a basic tool to which you apply different brush textures and settings. They usually try to emulate real brushes as well, but less successful. On the other hand this approach is more flexible. Adobe Photoshop is the most famous exponent of this group.
As you can see with the two examples, great software can come from each of the groups. It really is a question of your preference. With apps from Group A it usually is easier to get to a good result quickly, Group B generally offers you more options and flexibility, but it is harder to start with.
I should add that there is a Group C, which would be creating graphics based on Vectors like Adobe Illustrator. They are more for illustrating than for painting and are not part of this test. One app sneaked in though…
– Here is a list of the apps I have tested, divided into the three groups:
Group A: Tayasui Sketches, Paper, ArtRage, Auryn Ink, Adobe Sketch (actually the only hybrid between the two groups)
Group B: ArtStudio, Procreate, Inkist, Autodesk Sketchbook, Brushes Redux, Inspire Pro
Group C: Concepts
There are still some apps waiting to be tested. Mainly I decided to skip them for now because they don’t look very promising, don’t offer a free test version and I have spent enough money already on the other apps.
Sketch Club: 3,99 Euro, Group B, doesn’t look very promising
Asketch: Looks very basic, offering only a pencil and an airbrush for 3,49 Euro.
Zen Brush: 3,49 Euro, looks interesting, the style seems quite limited to chinese brush.
Pixelmator: 2,29 Euro, I believe it’s mostly for picture editing, but will be the next one to test.
For the people who want a quick overview, here are my recommendations, based on the tests:
Group A: Tayasui Sketches, Adobe Sketch
Group B: Inkist
Group A: Tayasui Sketches
Group B: ArtStudio, (alternatively Procreate)
Not worth the money:
Inspire Pro, Auryn Ink, ArtRage