Best iPad for Drawing and Artists in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 02, 2022 •  Guides

In this article, I’ll share my recommendation for the best iPad for drawing and digital art, discussing all four current iPad models and why you don’t necessarily need to buy a new one. Enjoy!

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Overview: Best iPads for Drawing in 2022

My Pick
  • Description:

    The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

    Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

My Pick
  • Description:

    Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

Smaller iPad Pro
  • Description:

    Best smaller iPad for drawing and Procreate

    Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 11 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

Affordable
  • Description:

    Best iPad for drawing and Procreate if you are on a budget or you are a student / beginner

    Latest M1 Processor :: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light & Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit & Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

Portable
  • Description:

    Best cheapest and smallest iPad I recommend for drawing and Procreate

    Apple A15 Processor for Best-in-Class Performance :: 8.3 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

Basic model
  • Description:

    Often overlooked iPad, but an affordable gem for Artists

    Apple A13 Processor for Fast, Reliable Performance :: 10.2 inch Retina Display for Excellent Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: All Day Battery Life

My Pick
Description:

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

My Pick
Description:

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

Smaller iPad Pro
Description:

Best smaller iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 11 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

Affordable
Description:

Best iPad for drawing and Procreate if you are on a budget or you are a student / beginner

Latest M1 Processor :: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light & Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit & Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

Portable
Description:

Best cheapest and smallest iPad I recommend for drawing and Procreate

Apple A15 Processor for Best-in-Class Performance :: 8.3 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life

Basic model
Description:

Often overlooked iPad, but an affordable gem for Artists

Apple A13 Processor for Fast, Reliable Performance :: 10.2 inch Retina Display for Excellent Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: All Day Battery Life

Table of Contents

How Should You Choose Your iPad for Drawing?

Iva teaching iPad art classes - Art Side of Life
Photo: Iva teaching one of her iPad art classes – ©Art Side of Life

The most crucial specifications for any iPad artist are memory (RAM), storage, size, resolution, and battery. They will indicate how well your new iPad will serve and support you and your creative work.

Working Memory (RAM)

ModelGenerationStorageRAM Memory
iPad Pro 12.95th Generation (2021)128GB, 256GB, 512GB8 GB
1TB, 2TB16 GB
iPad Pro 113rd Generation (2021)128GB, 256GB, 512GB8 GB
1TB, 2TB16 GB
iPad Air 10.95th Generation (2021)64GB, 256GB8 GB
iPad 10.2″9th Generation (2021)64GB, 256GB3 GB
iPad Mini 8.36th Generation (2021)64GB, 256GB4 GB
Table: iPads for Drawing RAM & Storage Combinations – Source: Apple.com

RAM, measured in gigabytes (GB), is a temporary type of memory used by your iPad to store data it’s working on at the moment so it can access them very quickly.

The higher your iPad’s RAM, the more layers you will be able to work within your favorite drawing apps, such as Procreate, Adobe Fresco, and Illustrator, provided Apple allows the app developers to access the RAM. It’s indeed quite complicated!

Have a look at the screenshots below. My iPad Pro 12.9″ has 8GB RAM and supports 116 layers in Procreate in size A4 (±8.5 x 11″) at 300 DPI and 56 layers in size A3 (16.5 x 11.7″) at 300 DPI. Because of my illustration process, I like to work with many layers, and the newest iPad Pro gives me a lot of flexibility and doesn’t limit me when drawing.

My first iPad Pro was the now-discontinued iPad Pro 10.5″ (2017), which only had 4GB of RAM. The iOS version didn’t allow Procreate developers to access this memory fully. This all meant that I had fewer layers! So I am quite happy with the improvements in the iPads and the Procreate app!

Graphic: Iva's iPad Pro 12.9 with 512GB storage and 8GB RAM allows for 116 layers in Procreate in size A4 and 300 DPI - ©Art Side of Life
Screenshot: Iva’s iPad Pro 12.9 with 512GB storage and 8GB RAM allows for 116 layers in Procreate in size A4 at 300 DPI – Source: ©Art Side of Life
Graphic: Iva's iPad Pro 12.9 with 512GB storage and 8GB RAM allows for 56 layers in Procreate in size A3 and 300 DPI - ©Art Side of Life
Screenshot: Iva’s iPad Pro 12.9 with 512GB storage and 8GB RAM allows for 56 layers in Procreate in size A3 at 300 DPI – Source: ©Art Side of Life

Storage

Now, storage, measured in gigabytes (GB) as well, doesn’t directly affect the drawing experience on your iPad.

Except in two cases:

  1. As you have seen above, in iPad Pro models, the amount of storage defines the amount of RAM you get. If you plan to work with hundreds of layers, you will need the 16 GB of RAM and thus have to choose either the 1TB or 2TB storage model.
  2. If you are like me and you support your creative flow by researching and storing tons of references, and you use your iPad for studying, watching videos, reading books, and storing your own photos and videos, then you will want to go for the high storage model, too.

My previous iPad Pro 10.5″ (2017) had 256 GB of storage, and I remember it started giving me warning messages about full storage around one year after I bought it. So I upgraded to 512 GB with my new iPad Pro 12.9″, and I am quite happy with it!

Size

I’ve tried different drawing tablets throughout my creative career, from 10″ Wacom Intuos to 24″ Wacom Cintiq, including all the iPad models. I found my sweet spot in drawing tablets with screen sizes between 10 – 13″.

Why? They are big enough to allow any serious drawing and painting and small enough to be portable. Look at the Wacom Cintiq 24″ below, which I used before. Not quite the tablet I’d be able to pack in my backpack when I go to draw in cafes or on a hike 😊

Photo: Iva with her Wacom Cintiq 24″ – Source: ©Art Side of Life

My current iPad Pro 12.9″ provides me with a big enough working area when I am drawing, and I find it quite a good upgrade from my previous iPad Pro 10.5″.

Photo: Iva drawing on her iPad Pro - © Art Side of Life
Photo: Iva drawing on her iPad Pro – Source: ©Art Side of Life

Resolution

Resolution in a drawing tablet is important because it defines how many details it will be able to display. This is particularly important for artists, illustrators, and graphic designers.

All the newest iPad have comparable screen resolution, but the iPad Pro 12.9″ with its state-of-the-art True Tone Liquid Retina XDR Display and Brightness of max 1600 nits stands out!

Battery

I think the battery is only important if you, like me, like to draw on the go; in public transport, in a cafe, or on a hike, where you don’t have a readily available power outlet. There is nothing I dislike as much as when I have to stop drawing because my tablet ran out of power!

My iPad Pro 12.9″ lasts for about 5-6 hours of drawing in Procreate before I need to recharge it or plug it into a power outlet! I admit it’s good to take a break after such a long drawing session!!

Apple Pencil Support

In my and other artists’ opinion, there is no other drawing stylus better suited for drawing on iPad than the amazing Apple Pencil … period. When I think of Apple Pencil and my new iPad, I always think of one of the most memorable lines from the movie Forrest Gump: “we were like peas and carrots” 😊.

I think Apple did an amazing job improving the Apple Pencil in their newest model – the Apple Pencil 2nd, and if you can, you should get it with your new iPad. Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with the following models: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd, and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation), and iPad mini (6th generation) which may play a role in which iPad for drawing you ultimately get.

To sum up, I’ve put together a graphic and a table comparing the most important specifications for each model:

Graphic: Best iPad for Drawing Technical Specifications - ©Art Side of Life
Graphic: Best iPad for Drawing Technical Specifications – Source: ©Art Side of Life
ModeliPad Pro 12.9iPad Pro 11iPad AiriPad MiniiPad
Screen Size12.9 Inches Liquid Retina11 Inches Liquid Retina10.9 Inches Liquid Retina8.3 Inches Liquid Retina10.2 Inches Retina
Screen Resolution2732 by 2048
264 PPI
2388 by 1668
264 PPI
2360 by 1640
264 PPI
2266 by 1488
326 PPI
2160 by 1620
264 PPI
XDR (Extended Dynamic Range)Yes
ProMotion TechnologyYesYes
True Tone DisplayYesYesYesYesYes
Wide Color Display (P3)YesYesYesYesNo – sRGB
FeaturesFully Laminated, Antireflective,
Fingerprint Resistant
Fully Laminated, Antireflective,
Fingerprint Resistant
Fully Laminated, Antireflective,
Fingerprint Resistant
Fully Laminated, Antireflective,
Fingerprint Resistant
Fingerprint Resistant
Brightness1600 nits max600 nits max500 nits max500 nits max500 nits max
RAM Memory8 or 16 gigabytes8 or 16 gigabytes8 gigabytes4 gigabytes3 gigabytes
ProcessorApple M1
8 Core CPU / 8 Core Graphics
Apple M1
8 Core CPU / 8 Core Graphics
Apple M1
8 Core CPU / 8 Core Graphics
A15 Processor
6 Core CPU / 5 Core Graphics
A13 Processor
6 Core CPU / 4 Core Graphics
Processing Speed3.2 GHz3.2 GHz3.2 GHz2.93 Gz2.65 GHz
Storage Space128GB – 2TB128GB – 2TB64GB – 256GB64GB – 256GB64GB – 256GB
Compatible withApple Pencil 2nd genApple Pencil 2nd genApple Pencil 2nd genApple Pencil 2nd genApple Pencil 1st gen
Table: iPads for Drawing Technical Specifications – Source: Apple.com

How do the Different iPads for Drawing Compare?

Regardless of what the specs might say, I decided on which iPad to purchase based on how they felt when I was making art on them. Find about my experience below:

Best iPad for Artists and Drawing – iPad Pro 12.9 Inch

My Pick
NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9″, WiFi, 512GB)

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for next-level performance :: 12.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, and brightness :: Light and extremely strong :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2021 model

Get it on Amazon

The iPad Pro 12.9″ is my personal choice and my most valuable art tool. With its stunning XDR Liquid Retina display, supported by the powerful M1 processor, and an impeccable overall design, this is the best art tablet on the market today.

The screen is simply outstanding. I have used many different art tablets, and possibly only one – the Wacom StudioPro – has a somewhat screen as good as iPad Pro!

Compared to the other iPads, the largest iPad Pro is brighter and much better at conveying subtle shifts in light and color. There is also more detail overall and sharpness and depth that even the slightly smaller 11-inch iPad Pro can’t quite match. I suspect that Apple’s XDR (extended dynamic range) technology – which only the iPad Pro has – is the reason behind the 12.9’s incredibly accurate screen.

In actual use, this increase in visibility, accuracy, and expressiveness makes me work with so much more confidence and certainty, with less strain and more natural creative flow. I can work in greater detail, with more precision, and with much stronger and more effective control over colors and gradients, light and shadow, and even composition and relationships. 

Especially important to me as an artist is color accuracy – and the iPad Pro is as good as it gets in this regard – but all of these factors are ultra-important to me and my work every day.

I should also mention that the iPad Pro – and here, I also include the 11-inch model – has such a fast processor and such an ideally made work surface that the pen-to-screen experience and the flow and speed of images appearing on the screen as I work are second to none – always instantaneous and without any parallax, glitches or delays.

This touchscreen feels just perfect with the Apple Pencil 2 (which, remember, you must purchase separately), and is also perfectly anti-reflective, with no glare whatsoever except in direct sun (why don’t I just move into the shade, you must wonder!), as well as fully laminated, light and strong.

I was a wee bit worried initially about stepping up to the biggest iPad – it is, after all, quite a large screen – but the iPad Pro is so thin and light that taking it with is no big deal. And I must say that having so much room to work with and such a beautiful display is a dream come true.

I am happy to recommend any 12.9-inch iPad Pro configurations – they run from 8 gigs of RAM with a smallish 128 gig internal SSD drive up to the full-on 16GB / 2TB top of the line.

For me, though, I find that 8GB to be plenty for even more complex artwork and larger files, but I do recommend at least a 512GB SSD drive – it is so nice to have a bit of a portable portfolio with me all of the time, as well as lots of works in progress and newly finished pieces. It’s amazing how fast the somewhat smaller drives get filled up.

So, bottom line, my strongest recommendation, and for me, the best iPad on the market today, is the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. My ideal configuration would be 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 512 gigabyte internal SSD drive – as you can see HERE.

Photo: Iva's iPad Pro and Procreate Accessories - ©Art Side of Life
Photo: Iva’s iPad Pro and Procreate Accessories – Source: ©Art Side of Life

I also have a bit of a kit to go with my iPad Pro, and all of these accessories are pretty important to me and also highly recommended:

  1. Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
  2. Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

    Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

    Get it on Amazon
  3. Paperlike for iPad Pro 12.9 Inch
  4. Paperlike for iPad Pro 12.9 Inch

    Matte Screen Protector for Drawing, Writing, and Note-taking like on Paper

    Get it on Amazon
  5. Original Apple Pencil Tips (4 Pack)
  6. Original Apple Pencil Tips (4 Pack)

    I recommend you get them if you use a matte Paperlike screen protector

    Get it on Amazon
  7. ESR Case for iPad Pro 12.9" Case
  8. ESR Case for iPad Pro 12.9" Case

    iPad Pro Case with Pencil Holder, Soft Flexible TPU Back Cover, Auto Sleep/Wake, and Multiple Viewing Stand Modes

    Get it on Amazon
  9. MoKo Felt Sleeve
  10. MoKo Felt Sleeve

    Extra protection for my iPad Pro 12.9" with a handy charger case!

    Get it on Amazon

Best Smaller iPad for Artists and Drawing – iPad Pro 11 Inch

Smaller iPad Pro
Apple iPad Pro (11 Inch, Wi-Fi, 512GB)

Best smaller iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 11 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


Get it on Amazon

Honestly, it is a little difficult to get super-excited about the 11-inch iPad Pro compared to its bigger sibling, the stunning 12.9-inch Pro covered just above.

But when you compare the 11-inch iPad Pro to anything else available today – even the other iPad models – you will see that this is, in fact, a truly spectacular drawing tablet!

It is brighter than even the wonderful Apple iPad Air, and even though it has the same processor and the same clock speed as the Air, this 11-inch Pro is noticeably smoother and more predictable when you’re using the Apple Pencil – absolutely perfect flow, with no gaps or delays and no registration errors.

Detail and complexity come through with amazing clarity, and the subtle shifts in colors, light values, and even spatial relationships are beautifully presented – the best tablet screen in this regard save for the 12.9-inch Pro (or that crazy-expensive Wacom MobileStudio Pro).

The screen-to-pen interaction is essentially the same as with the bigger Pro, as are the anti-glare treatment and the strong, light construction of the fully laminated screen. 

For commercial and fine artists, photographers, videographers, and technical artists, it is also important to note that the Apple iPad Pro 11 inch has the same configuration options as the 12.9-inch version – and, just as with the bigger Pro, I would recommend an ideal setup of 8 GB RAM and a larger 512 GB internal SSD drive, as you will find HERE.

The iPad Pro 11-inch tablet is less expensive than the 12.9-inch model – about 350 dollars less retail to retail – and it is a bit easier to hold and carry around, so if these are important factors for you, please don’t worry – yes, the 12.9 is a better tablet in many ways. Still, the 11 is astonishing and better than any competitor in this range.

Best iPad for Beginners and Art Students – iPad Air 10.9 Inch

Affordable Pick
NEW Apple iPad Air (10.9″, WiFi, 256GB)

Best iPad for drawing and Procreate if you are on a budget or you are a student / beginner

Latest M1 processor :: 10.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, brightness :: Light & extremely strong :: Premium fit & finish :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2022 model

Get it on Amazon

The iPad Air is a great choice for art students, enthusiastic amateurs, and even beginners, an affordable iPad with a spectacular screen. It is also a great way for somebody working in traditional media – like painting on canvas or drawing on paper – to transition to digital art.

Here there’s less temptation to compare performance to the top-of-the-line iPad Pro 12.9. When we compare the Air to other similarly priced art tablets, there is no contest – the Apple iPad Air’s incredible sharpness, brightness, contrast, color accuracy, range, impact, and subtlety are at another level. They will serve any artist on any level perfectly.

More than just the impact and accuracy of the screen, though, I notice when using the iPad Air the same flow I get from my iPad Pro and that same ability to drop into the zone without a care in the world.

This is due largely to the ideal pen-to-screen interaction you get, the always consistent and glitch-free flow of lines as your pen moves, the speed, and the total lack of problems – even with big and complex art files and images – that the M1 processor, with its lightning-fast processing speed, offers. And again, the ability to work confidently and wholly fall into creation is also due to the sheer accuracy of the display.

Given that the Air has the same processor as the iPad Pro and is substantially cheaper, why is it not the best choice for top-notch commercial artists, fine artists, and the like?

For some, it may well be, but the iPad Pro can be configured with a lot more RAM memory to ensure the biggest and most complex pieces and projects can be loaded and worked on with no issues.

The iPad Pro also has an internal storage of up to 2 TB, in case you’re digitally rendering, I don’t know, the entire world. In contrast, the iPad Air has a maximum internal storage of 256 GB – plenty enough for most people but a bit limiting for some top-tier professionals.

iPad Air is a premium drawing tablet in every way, with the superb fit and finish we expect from not just any iPad. Still, like any Apple product, the iPad Air is a very well-made and reliable tablet, sure to give years of trouble-free service.

Best Portable iPad for Drawing – iPad Mini 8.3 Inch

Portable
NEW Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 256GB)

Best cheapest and smallest iPad I recommend for drawing and Procreate

Apple A15 Processor for Best-in-Class Performance :: 8.3 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


Get it on Amazon

The Apple iPad Mini is so small and inexpensive that I think many of us “serious” artists tend to disregard or forget about it, but that would be a huge mistake – or at least a mini mistake.

Because the Mini has a true Liquid Retina display – not as bright as the iPad Pro tablets, but just as intense, energetic, accurate, and beautiful as the more expensive Air, and sharper than any of them!

The screen alone puts the iPad Mini near the top of the list. It can be considered by any artist or creator on any level – especially if you don’t need a ton of memory, if you want a very small and most portable iPad, or if you are looking for the perfect second or backup art tablet.

But, as a first and primary art tablet, the Mini is so much better than any other 8-inch digital tablet I’ve used – the display has that amazing life and visibility, superb color accuracy, range and saturation, great brightness and contrast that we have come to expect from the best Apple iPads.

The touch screen works so beautifully with the Apple Pencil (which you have to buy separately), with that ideal combination of effortless flow and feedback, which allows you to fall into fully natural motion and gestures when you are painting and drawing – really extraordinary expressivity and total control.

The processor is not as fast as the M1 chip in the higher-up iPad models – the Air and the two Pros – and it only has 4 GB of memory, but for most artists, this is not a concern. I love the performance and the 8GB of memory I get with my Pro, but I have to say that in the time I have spent working with the Mini, I never was annoyed or put off by the speed and never ran out of memory.

And there’s one thing I kind of preferred – the tiny size. No, not tiny compared to a phone, I guess but compared to holding a 12.9-inch iPad Pro for a long time while drawing, the Mini is an effortless joy! And even though the screen is a lot smaller with this compact iPad, it is again so incredibly bright and sharp, so alive, that it is much easier and more effective working on the Mini than on any other tablet of the same size.

Best Budget iPad for Drawing – iPad 10.2 Inch

Basic model
NEW Apple 10.2-inch iPad (WiFi, 256GB)

Often overlooked iPad, but an affordable gem for Artists

Apple A13 Processor for Fast, Reliable Performance :: 10.2 inch Retina Display for Excellent Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: All Day Battery Life


Get it on Amazon

The cheapest iPad you can draw on, Apple iPad 10.2 inch doesn’t disappoint.

The standard iPad is as cheap as, or even cheaper than, many 10-inch tablets from other companies – and I would much, much rather have the Apple as a general tablet and (definitely) for making art!

Some say that the standard iPad is not worth considering, especially compared to the Mini, the Air or the Pro models. This one we have to look at a little more closely!

No, the least expensive iPad is not a match for the other Apple tablets – it has a slower processor, less memory, less color range and accuracy, and a bit less life in the displayed image. However, it has resolution and sharpness on the level of almost any other iPad – even the Pro – and a remarkably detailed and deep touchscreen display that is easy and fun to work on and that can serve even the most demanding artists quite well.

And to be fair, unless you are working with a gazillion layers in Procreate, a huge and highly complex piece of art, or an exceptionally long and high-resolution video or audio file, the 3 GB RAM and, especially, the generous internal SSD drives – 64-256 GB – should be more than enough.

I have used the super-affordable standard 10.2-inch iPad many times and for extended periods, and I can tell you first-hand that it is also a joy to use and make art on any iPad. If you are an artist on a budget or just starting out, I can’t think of a better tablet for anywhere near this money.

Why You Don’t Have To Buy a New iPad for Drawing?

Let’s face it, despite being amazing for drawing, the new Apple iPads are quite expensive, and for many artists on a budget, they are not accessible.

Nevertheless, there is one way you, as an artist, can make your dream about having an iPad for drawing come true! Buy a refurbished/renewed iPad!

Yes, you can get an older iPad that supports Procreate or other drawing apps you like and save anywhere between $200 – $500 🤩!

Don’t forget to always check the app requirements on the developer website before you purchase a renewed iPad, though! In this way, you avoid the risk of buying an iPad that doesn’t run the newest iOS and thus doesn’t support the newest version of your favorite drawing app. In my experience, iPad Pro and Air models that are 2-3 years old still support Procreate and are a perfect alternative if you are on a budget!

Here are some offers I found at the time of updating the article (September 2022):

Which Apple Pencil is the Best for Your iPad?

Photo: Iva showing her Apple Pencil 2nd Generation - © Art Side of Life
Photo: Iva showing her Apple Pencil 2nd Generation – Source: ©Art Side of Life

Unlike other drawing tablets, none of the iPads for drawing and digital art come with a pencil or a stylus, which must be purchased separately. 

The Apple Pencil (for the standard iPad 10.2) and Apple Pencil 2 (for the iPad Pro/Air/Mini models) may seem like the obvious and default choices, but many people still wonder if there are good alternatives. Well, to make this short and sweet, uhm, no…

The Apple pencils are, I admit, a bit pricey, but the quality, fit, and finish. How they feel in your hand and on the screen puts them in a completely different class than any other Apple-compatible digital stylus I’ve used.

So, don’t save on the stylus if you’re getting a new iPad for drawing. Get the Apple Pencil.

How do you choose one? See the compatibility of Apple Pencil 1st and 2nd generation below:

My Pick
Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

Get it on Amazon
Apple Pencil (1st generation)

First Generation Apple Pencil :: Compatible with: iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (10.2") generation), iPad mini (5th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch

Buy Now on Amazon
My Pick
Original Apple Pencil Tips (4 Pack)

I recommend you get them if you use a matte Paperlike screen protector

Get it on Amazon

FAQs – Best iPad for Drawing

Which iPad is best for drawing beginners?

I think the newest iPad Air 10.9″ is the best for drawing beginners because it is cheaper than the iPad Pro, but it still comes with all the newest technology that makes drawing on the iPad so enjoyable!

Is iPad Pro better than iPad for drawing?

I think iPad Pro is better than the standard iPad for drawing. The technology important for drawing used in the iPad Pro models is much better than in the standard iPad. Moreover, the upgraded Apple Pencil 2nd generation only works with iPad Pro models.

Which iPad and Apple Pencil are good for artists?

I think the newest iPad Pro 12.9″ with Apple Pencil 2nd generation is the best choice for any artist! The display is second to none, and drawing with Apple Pencil is just out of this world!

Do Apple Pencils come with iPads?

No, unfortunately, you have to buy Apple Pencils separately. Make sure you are buying a compatible one for your iPad. Apple Pencil 2nd generation is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th, and 3rd gen), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd, and 1st gen), iPad Air (5th and 4th gen), and iPad mini (6th gen). Apple Pencil 1st generation is compatible with iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (10.2″) gen), iPad mini (5th gen), iPad Air (3rd gen), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd gen), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch.

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Lis cet article en français 🇫🇷 Le meilleur iPad pour dessiner

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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