Unleash your creativity

Unleash your creativity
From Left to Right: Inkpad, 123D Sculpt, Pixaki and Procreate

Whether you are a Warhol or a Michelangelo wannabe, these iPad art apps might turn out to be the digital studio you have been looking for.

Inkpad

Free

Good drawings need not be complicated; sometimes all you need are just some well-placed lines.

Vector graphics make use of points, lines, curves and shapes to create an image. If you like the precise edges and clean-cut designs commonly found in advertising and hipster style artwork, you might want to try creating your own vector art using Inkpad.

People who are already familiar with vector graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator will be right at home with this app. Inkpad contains plenty of familiar features such as the Pen, Razor, Shape and Anchor tools that let you create complex shapes, masks and groups.

You can use the app's simple but powerful colour and gradient tools to add special effects such as highlights, shades and glows to your drawings. Inkpad also boasts unlimited layers per drawing, which means users can create highly complex vector illustrations.


123D Sculpt

Free

Should sculpting be your thing, try Autodesk's 123D Sculpt. This advanced app is surprisingly easy to use, but tricky to master.

Each project starts off as a 3-D model of a basic shape or object, such as a human head, cube or sphere. These pre-made shapes can then be moulded and coloured using the app's many tools.

While the simple tap-and-drag tool controls mean that almost anyone can get the sculpting features to work, teasing the virtual clay into the intended shape or design will require quite a bit of trial and error.

Once you are done, there are three ways to export your work: upload it to the 123D Sculpt community on Autodesk's website, snap pictures and save it as an image or record a video and save that to your iPad.

While 123D Sculpt could do with more beginner-friendly features and a tutorial, it is probably as good as it gets for an app that costs nothing.


Pixaki

$5.98

Old-school gamers will probably love this app. Some of the earliest images in video games such as Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong are made up of cleverly arranged pixels. With a pixel editor app such as Pixaki, you can recreate the same art style.

Drawing with pixels is probably one of the easiest ways to produce simple but great looking artwork - all you need to do is to fill in the grid-like digital canvas with the right coloured squares.

Pixaki's many useful features such as a straightforward colour selection panel and zoom tool make drawing pixel art even simpler.

The app also lets you create image layers, so you can work on different parts of a drawing separately before combining them to form the final picture.

If you are a complete beginner when it comes to digital art, Pixaki is probably your best bet of the lot. Its tap-to-colour controls and simple interface mean that you do not need special accessories, or be familiar with professional software to get the best out of this app.


Procreate

$6.98

A full-featured illustration app that even professional artists will love, the app is chock-full of features such as layers, multi-touch transform and image filters.

Well worth its modest price tag, Procreate also boasts an impressive collection of 120 digital brushes that resemble true-to-life pencils, and ink and paintbrushes.

An ultra high-definition canvas lets you create artwork of up to 4,096 by 4,096 pixels, so you can turn sketches and doodles into full-fledged illustrations all on the same app.

Artwork can be exported as Photoshop PSD files, as well as common PNG and JPEG formats. If you want to do more than digital finger painting on your iPad's touchscreen, Procreate works with digital pens such as Wacom's Intuos Creative Stylus.


This article was first published on Oct 8, 2014.
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