Art Apps

Part of my rehabilitation after working in IT for so long was to get back into Art. The iPad gave me the perfect device to do this, and ever since the iPad 2 and iOS 4, I’ve been playing with apps like Procreate. Shown below are my all time favourite apps I currently use in an artistic way.


What can I say that has not already been said about Procreate. It is exceptionally good at letting the artist do what artists do best, without putting the interface in the way of your work. Alias Systems may have been the first to create this kind of interface with the iconic Sketchbook Pro, but Savage Interactive took it to heart to create Procreate.


Originally titled iDraw, it changed its name to Graphic when Autodesk purchased it. Now back in independent hands, it is slowly being reworked. Even with the problems and occasional show stopping bugs, it is by far the best app I have found for creating Vector artwork. This Apple 1 motherboard image was created entirely with Graphic.

Artstudio Pro

ArtStudio Pro is my main app that I use for Photo editing. Whilst it is missing the Pen tool from photoshop, it has pretty much everything else. Easy to use and not overburdened with features, it delivers on almost everything you need to edit photos efficiently.

Flame Painter

Flame Painter is an odd app, in that it relies heavily on interesting and flowing brush types. It does what it does very well, although it has not been updated in quite a while.


This is a very simple to use poser tool, that allows you control of several mannequins. To the best of my knowledge, Posetastic! has not been updated since it was released, but it still works very well. The only downside is that it appears to be available only on the German Apple Store.

Photo Album Privacy Organiser

After the introduction of iOS 10, the Apple’s photo album became too social media and iPhone orientated. I just wanted an easy way to organise my photos, without the rubbish AI tools trying to second guess things for me. Photo Album Privacy Organiser allows me to organise what I want in ways I like to find them.


iMovie is all well and good, but in most cases it just seems like a video movie maker from the 90’s. Yes the UI is more modern, but the whole template thing just smacks of cheap software provided with a video capture board. Lumafusion, makes no such assumptions and gets down to providing exceptional tools for making videos.


I have yet to find anything easy for making fonts on any platform. Although it is not yet possible to turn fonts into true type files on the iPad, it does allow you to easily make a personalised fonts that can then be uploaded to the web for conversion. iFontMaker is excellent and well worth the small outlay to get it.


Ever seen those photos of trees with sunlight streaming through them? Well Rays is the application that can post process this for you. It currently only supports photos, but the effect is amazing.


TouchRetouch was the first app in the iOS domain to provide content fill aware processing. It helps heal photos, invent content in certain areas and help solve the cloning problem. Again a useful app, if used sparingly as the app is only so good at inventing something that was never there in the first place.


Ever wanted to see what your graphics, photos, screen shots might look like on an older machine, well look no further than Retrospecs. Just load an image into the app and it will render to match a wide variety of home computers and consoles from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Give it a try, you know you want to.


Darkr is one of those apps that sits in between something useful and something interesting. It allows you to modify your photos in a more traditional fashion with Black and White output that remains faithful to the original analog film stock.


Diptic is one of those apps that helps with layouts. You are provided with many templates in the basic purchase, whilst in-app purchases allow you to add to the stock of templates. You can then create Diptychs, Triptychs and other layouts with multiple photos.

Frax HD

As Stephen Fry wrote in a review of Frax HD, “This app is so beautiful it makes me want to weep”. It’s great exploring the world of fractals, with the help of simple gestures and controls on screen you will find things you never knew existed. This rates as one of the best ways to see the beauty of maths.

Auryn Ink

Auryn Ink is a simulation of water colour on various papers. The effects it produces are highly accurate and fast, even on lower powered iPad’s. Extremely good at what it does.