Created from scratch originally just for the iPad, Procreate is top favourite painting app for many digital artists. It has a wonderful variety of textured brushes. Behind its simple interface Procreate hides a high performance graphics engine.

Procreate Pocket for the iPhone has now made its debut. It has quickly made its way to top billing among best pro-level iPhone painting apps.

On the large, high resolution screen of my iPhone 6+, Procreate Pocket is fast and easy to use. You start off with a dozen 'Concept' and 'Illustration' brushes, but can import more or create your own. Actions include Cut, Copy and Paste. Layers can be swiftly moved, transformed and combined in a host of ways.


Always a top choice for mobile artists, Sketchbook Pro has had a rather confusing variety of versions. Autodesk Sketchbook is a much revised and improved successor to Sketchbook Pro.

Not so long ago, mobile artists would have been amazed at Sketchbook's variety of tools, all in a mere iPhone painting app. Sketchbook offers layer transform, selection, vector shapes, symmetry, text. There are Copic colour ranges as well as the usual rainbow. You even have time lapse recording.

Four Smudge brushes, once lacking, have been added to Autodesk Sketchbook for smooth blending, plus four oil paint type brushes.


The third really top class iPhone painting app is Art Rage, with its painterly range of artists' brushes.

True the iPhone version of Art Rage is very much cut down from the brush bonanza of its desktop cousin. There are just 4 brushes in 4 modes, though stroke width is variable. This makes Art Rage refreshingly simple to use, yet it's surprisingly versatile. At one time slow, Art Rage has now speeded up, and wonders can be worked with the palette knife, tube paint and fill bucket.


Photoshop Touch is of course a photo editing app, with a wealth of layer transforming and special effects. It also makes an excellent mobile painting app. Photoshop Touch now offers 24 different brush heads. There's a particularly useful diagram to help you adapt the brush you select to your liking.

With palette knife, spray can, adaptable eraser and even an fx brush, Photoshop Touch is a treasure box of inspiring ways to create your sketch or painting.

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Mobile paintings sharp at any size

(c) Valerie Beeby 2000 - 2015