Introducing iPad For Artists + a Giveaway!

I have written a new book called iPad For Artists! It has been published by Ilex Press and is available to order TODAY! The book is filled with tips and tutorials for artists who are interested in drawing and painting on the iPad. I am excited to finally share it with all of you!

As you may know if you’ve kept up with this blog, I love drawing on my iPad. You can check out some of my previous iPad art and videos that I’ve posted before. It has been a big learning experience for me, and now you can grab all my tips, tricks, and knowledge that I’ve gained in one super book.

Learn all about the book and view previews on the dedicated page I made here:

Here is a short flip-through video:

iPad For Artists includes:

  • Lots of tutorials!

  • Many styles of art, including children’s illustration, landscape painting, still lifes, comic art, and sketching.

  • A review of my favorite styluses.

  • A list of my favorite apps and the advantages/disadvantages of each.

  • Articles and interviews with guests artists of a variety of backgrounds and interests.

  • A gallery of iPad art featuring many different artists.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Will Terry, Reed Bond, Fraser Scarfe, Eric Merced, Marc Scheff, and Jorge Lacera for contributing to the book. You all blew me away with your iPad talent!

Learning how to use the iPad for sketching and illustration work has been a rewarding journey for me. I will admit, it was frustrating at first! The iPad is so much different than your typical graphics tablet, but it also has HUGE potential that you can’t get anywhere else. I’m excited that other artists might start creating art on their iPad because of this book. If you are one of those people, be sure to let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

Buy the Book!

You can purchase the book from Amazon here.


To celebrate the book launch, I am going to giveaway some books! Here is how to enter:

    The giveaway is over! Congrats to the winners. Be sure to check out all the lovely iPad tips left in the comments. You’re welcome to continue leaving tips and tricks here and on the book page if you want!

  • Do one of the following:

    1. Comment on this blog post with your favorite iPad art tip, such as an app recommendation, favorite stylus, or any general advice about drawing on the iPad.

    2. Share the link to the book on Twitter with the hashtag #iPadForArtists.

    3. Share the link to the book on Facebook. You must tag my fan page. Update: Because of technical difficulties, I changed the rules of the Facebook portion of this contest! If you entered before under the previous rules, it will not be counted because it is likely I didn’t see it in the first place. Please enter again! NEW FB RULES: Comment on this post on my FB page with your favorite iPad art tip.

  • You can do one of these things or all of them for more chances to win. I will draw a random winner from each group (three giveaways in all!).

  • You must do this between now and midnight January 22 U.S. Eastern Time.

  • Winners receive a free, signed copy of iPad For Artists!

59 thoughts on “Introducing iPad For Artists + a Giveaway!

  1. ReadItDaddy

    One of the best (and slightly ickiest) tips I ever received about iPad art, particularly for those horrid rubber-tipped styluses is to rub your face all over the iPad screen! Bear with, as it sounds like a horrible piece of advice but does slicken up the drawing surface making it easier to draw flowing lines (particularly on packages like Sketchbook Express). Try it, it works!

    (commenter takes no responsibility for smeary displays / displays scratched by piercings :)

  2. ClaireWhitmore

    My ipad and I are just getting acquainted but so far, I like the Paper app (for its simplicity) and the ProCreate app (for it’s shockingly high level of complexity). So far, ProCreate is turning out to be very worth the $5 and I would rec it without hesitation.
    I don’t have a stylus yet which is becoming a bit of a problem, so I can’t wait to see what people’s stylus recs are. I’ve heard only good things about the Jot, but would love to hear about the Pogo.

  3. Tami Traylor

    Cool book! I can’t wait to check it out. I’ve been drawing on the iPad for about two years and its been a real learning experience, quite different from using a Wacom tablet as was my habit. I’ve tried a lot of apps, and quite a few of the bulkier stylus out there (though I haven’t had the opportunity to shell out the cash for the adonit jot touch…Though I REALLY want one).

    My best tip is an app tip. I LOVE Procreate. It is the most elegant, well designed app and affords a natural transition if you are used to Photoshop. It seamlessly exports to PS if you want to fine tune on the computer. It also supports high res images which is great! That’s my two cents!

    1. Dani Post author

      I agree, Procreate is awesome. If you can’t afford a Jot Touch, the regular Jot styluses are also very good.

  4. Nick Perkins

    My advice would be to experiment with several different apps. I particularly like Sketchbook Pro, Procreate, and Adobe Ideas, but still have a lot to learn about each.

  5. Lynell

    I’ve had my iPad for less than a week so I’m still trying out different apps and seeing how they feel and what they can do. The only tip I can offer so far is to keep experimenting! I will definitely check out the Procreate app, and I’m getting your book ASAP!

  6. peet

    The best tip they gave me: not even an Ipad will help you. Buy a sketchbook and learn to draw. Throwing away paper instead of an Ipad is the way for you. No wacom pen or app but crayons.

  7. Michael McClain

    For me, the most important thing for making art on the iPad is a solid case. The naked device is too ambulatory for my tastes. I keep mine encased in a Bookbook cover that allows it to perform more like a traditional drawing pad. Great looking book Dani!

    1. Tami Traylor

      I don’t care for a naked iPad either. I have a Belkin shell on the back and the apple Smart Cover up front. I tried the big cases but they felt too bulky for me and compromised the aesthetic of the iPads slim design.

    2. Dani Post author

      I actually don’t have a case at the moment. The only reason I used one for awhile was because I needed something to clip my stylus to. I should check out more cases – that bookbook case looks kinda cool!

      1. J Rushton

        Congrats on the book. I think something like this was definitely needed for artistic folk that want to dabble with iPad art. If you are looking for a case that doesn’t impose too much on the iPad’s slim design, I would recommend the Targus slim case. I love mine. It does have a place to hold a stylus on the back.

  8. Charlotte

    I like doodling on the go with my iPad and have found the sketchbook pro app to be quite handy. You can export to Photoshop, have layering options, and a large set of brushes to choose from!

  9. laurie jess

    Tip: I made an expensive mistake by using the wrong screen protector cover on my iPad2. I bought it at Staples, it said made with “Nasa technology” cost $39. I’m sorry I can’t tell you the exact brand as I tossed the box. Sadly, weeks later I learned it wont allow any stylus pen to write on top of it! So now, I will be taking it off, throwing it away, looking for a new screen protector, one that will accept stylus pens. Beware of any screen saver that says Nasa technology!

    1. Beto

      This is intriguing for me. The first thing I did with my current iPad (which I had replaced by Apple due to some glass scratching) was to put an “Invisible shield” protector on it, hoping to preserve the screen from scratches this time. Sure, it does the job, but I feel it gets on the way of the precision you need when drawing or sketching with a stylus. Even a Jaja stylus I got as a Kickstarter backer doesn’t respond as well as I expected. Maybe us artists simply cannot afford to have anything on top of our iPads and rather be extra careful with the handling… I’m actually not a fan of screen protectors, but they seem like a necessary evil. I don’t know.

      1. laurie jess

        Good point Beto, maybe no protection screen is best! I learned from the Apple Store, because I bought the Apple Care plan with my iPad, I will get 3 replacement iPads if I drop or scratch it. I also keep it inside a case, therefore my new direction is I’m going without a screen protector.

        1. laurie jess

          Subject, Screen Protectors for my Adonit Touch Stylus
          Here is the list ;
          * Adonit always recommend using a matte finish screen protector *
          To be used with Adonit styluses:
          Moshi iVisor
          SGP Steinheil Ultra Optics
          SGP Ultra Optics Fine Series
          SGP Ultra Crystal Screen Protector
          Anti-Glare Protection Film for Iconia
          Zagg Smudge-Proof Invisible Shield
          Zagg Smudge-Proof Invisible Shield HD

          Not to be used with Adonit styluses:
          Zagg Glossy Invisible Shield
          Ghost Armor

  10. Seth Greenwald

    I totally love Procreate. I am trying a process where I block in basic lighting and color on the iPad, and finish out in ArtRage or Photoshop. My biggest frustration with Procreate is that when you merge multiple layers of different blending modes, it creates a nasty halo effect, that has to be remedied. Any advice on that? I got a pogo connect for Xmas, not noticing that it is 3rd gen iPad only. I can still use it with pogo bridge with my iPhone 5, but it is annoying to have to do so. All in all, I love painting on my iPad. It’s very intuitive for me.

  11. Kristel Kelly

    My best tip would be to get your kids drawing in the iPad. My 2 year old twins have mastered ‘Doodlebuddy’, and if you upgrade to the ad free version, they can draw to their hearts content. You don’t have to clean their latest artwork of the walls, couches and chairs, you can save anything that looks like its worth keeping (I just take a screenshot) and it allows them to create while you are creating on real surfaces.

    Allowing kids to be creative allows them to have more repect when you need to create things yourself. You can point it out to them how much they enjoy it, and then explain you want to enjoy yourself too.

    Better still, it starts kids off on an artistic path nice and early!!

  12. Teresa Rodriguez

    This comment isn’t for the contest, since I already have a copy of the book in my hot little hands. :) It is quite awesome. I saw how much it offers just flipping through it. Can’t wait to sit down and actually study it. The iPad die cut is so clever. Congratulations!
    I don’t have too many tips that you haven’t already mentioned, since I’ve only had the iPad for about 2 months. But, even though it’s awkward to draw and paint on it at first, it does get better over time with practice. So far, my favorite app is ProCreate. ArtRage sounds nice – I’ll have to try it.

  13. christy

    Happened to discover your book while perusing the shelves of Barnes & Noble today. I cannot verbalize enough how very excited I am to finally see a book geared towards artists. I’ve searched many a blogs on styluses, apps, etc for the iPad-but this is the 1st to clearly illustrate the capabilities & more so the tested techniques & tools for optimal production. thank you thank you thank you.

    My general tip would be, I suppose, to not trust the blog ‘guides’ for styluses. They are not definitive but merely a help for readers to know what products are out there. I’d tried a few of my share of styluses (not to mention returned nearly all-based off of either misinformation or personal preference.) Therefore, I suggest that it’s necessary to try various pens out because it really comes down to one’s own personal preference. the weight, the grip, the (unfortunate) lag of many….all come into play.

    1. Dani Post author

      Nice! Happy to hear people are finding the book, and thanks for the tip. Yes, I’ve found that favorite styluses comes down to personal preference as well.

  14. Bill

    My tip would be to always clean the screen of your iPad before drawing on it, regardless of the stylus you use. This will prevent the screen from scratching.
    Also don’t be intimidated by the iPad. Have fun and express yourself.

  15. Dani Post author

    A quick note – I’ve received A LOT of questions here and elsewhere about the availability of the book in digital formats. There are no ebook versions currently to my knowledge. That is up to the discretion of the publisher.

    If you would like the book in a certain format, I would encourage you to let the publisher know so they know there is a demand for it.

    I’ll be addressing other FAQs about the book over on the book main page here:

  16. Robhert

    Hey! Congratulations! My tip is: a stylus is better than finger, because you can be more precise. sketchboook pro is good, but there are still other apps like MyBrushes Pro, Pixels, Sumo Paint and Ink Artists.

  17. Anand

    Very nice book….I myself am trying to learn to draw on an android tablet and I am sure I am able to use the principles here but apply them on another platform…I am currently using a stylus from a little Irish company called Applydea called Maglus. It’s a pretty well-built stylus (great reviews on the verge) with replaceable tips (it’s the clunky rubber ones but because of the stylus weight, it works well)…check out their website at


  18. Amanda

    Hard to believe that a book about iPad art and technique is not available in an iPad-compatible format. That’s just silly marketing on the publishers behalf.

  19. Nikki Jeske

    I’d been using Adobe Ideas for sketching on the iPad and then discovered Paper by 53. Oh my gosh how I love that app. Maybe it makes me lazy, but I really love using it for quick doodles and ideas for bigger paintings. Plus the interface is gorgeous. :)

    I can’t wait to read this book, Dani! It looks awesome!

  20. ender

    Procreate and Sketchbook Pro have been the two apps I’ve been playing with. I tried a couple of the less expensive styluses early on, but I personally cannot get used to drawing with a huge marker. I like a crazy-fine tip and I haven’t found one yet that works with my brain very well.

  21. SueRankin

    I love my JotPro stylus and am really enjoying Paper as an app. The JotPro is nifty because it has a point you can see and the clear disk protects the screen. Looking forward to seeing this publication for more tech iques and apps to try!

  22. Anita

    Got an iPad mini for christmas (from my loving hubby, who couldn’t see any good use for such a thing), so obviously, I’m still trying out different things.

    I bought a Jot Touch pen, and I love it. Found the info right here on the blog, so thanks. Feel I have jumped right to the prince, and skipped kissing a lot of frogs ;)

    App-wise I have tried out several different ones already. I started with Sketchbook Pro. It’s fine, but it’s a hard road to take, when you’re used to Photoshop. The more layers you want, the smaller canvas you have to pick. For me, that’s bad. I’m used to my layers, and even if the app is fine, it’s not top-notch for my way of drawing.

    I bought Paper and Clibe too. They’re more like digital sketchbooks, than real drawing apps. I like the pencil in Paper, but I use Clibe the most of those two. I can share my books, insert pictures and so on, and others can follow you right inside the app. No social features though.. Wish they would add that, then it would be perfect. I add sketches and drawings from other programs and apps, and hope to be able to see my journey by the end of the year :) It’s not a very good app to draw in, other than quick rough sketches.

    My favourite app for drawing is Procreate. It’s just amazing. Love it. For sketching, painting and everything in between. Feels so natural, and I don’t feel limited by it’s features. The gestures feels intuitive, and blending colors is really easy, the same for color picking, so you don’t have to open the palet, but can jump around on different areas. You can have many layers, lock transparacy and so on. Well, I just love it.

    Hope the book will be out in e-book format too. It would be natural, since it’s a digital subject. We’ll have to let the publisher know how we feel about that :-D

    Hope the book will fly off the shelves! It was a brilliant idea to write it =)

  23. Rhoda

    I’ve just started drawing on my iPad, and I have a few of the apps (including ones that you have recommended). I also have a few iPads in my classroom for my Art students with the same apps on them. It came in really handy this week when one of the students broke their arm. I just gave him the iPad and told him to pick a drawing App to work in. Problem solved!! :)

  24. Bradley Cooper

    I have to, enthusiastically jump on the Procreate band wagon. I loved Brushes, but Procreate is so much more versatile. I draw my sketches on paper, take a photo of them with the iPad camera and use that as my base in Procreate to do my illustration. I still use this more as a study than final illustration, but I’m working on the idea of doing final illustration on the iPad. I have a pressure sensitive Hex3 Jaja stylus (with a disc tip) and a Bamboo stylus (rubber tip) and I have to say I like the Bamboo stylus better. I have had many others including an Adonit Jot Pro and the Bamboo is the most responsive.
    Love your tips and advice Dani, looking forward to the book.

  25. Ted Hobgood

    This isn’t a DIRECT drawing tip, but it’s something the iPad helps me with a lot in my art:
    I use the iPad for photo reference. I search the web for people in poses I want to draw, or snap pictures of friends in the correct pose. Then I have a little cradle I made that hooks to the top of my drawing table to hold the iPad. I glance up at it and start drawing on my drawing paper. It’s much nicer than having reams of printouts spilling all over the place.

  26. Jamie Willmott

    Jot Pro are producing a new stylus with 2000 (count ’em) levels of sensitivity. Look forward to seeing some tests on that. Using a pressure sensitive stylus gives much more control over brush strokes. Would love to see a pressure sensitive stylus from Wacom.

  27. Mark Bredius

    My app suggestion for anyone who wants to draw on an iPad is “Sketch Club”. I own just about every drawing app, and this is the absolute best app out there, backed by a very active and motivating community, daily challenges, weekly competitions (with prizes), co-ops (people working together on one drawing), live streaming so other people can watch you draw live, and soon (live stream) lessons by some of the community’s best artists. The developer is very actively involved and continuously adding the most requested features. “Sketch Club” is so much more than just another drawing app. It really is something special, but please don’t take my word for it. :)

  28. Liz Staley

    This book sounds great! I just got an (old) iPad recently but I do like drawing on it. Usually I do quick sketches, like when I have an idea and am away from my laptop. However, for Christmas I got a Sensu brush stylus and I LOVE it! It’s not pressure sensitive, but the brush is far more intuitive for me than a regular stylus or my fingers!

  29. andrea

    After using SketchbookPro happily for many months, I tried ProCreate. I was extremely impressed with brush selection, blending, interface, etc. Anyone who asked, I would have told them that I liked ProCreate more than SketchbookPro. However, I realized a crucial difference between the two: ProCreate autosaves your work. If there’s a way to turn off autosave, I haven’t found it. I can’t call this a “flaw” — for many people, I guess it would be a benefit — but for me, it’s a bit bothersome when I end up not liking something I did and it’s too many steps back to undo completely. So, I guess my tip is that different apps can be better for different working methods?

  30. Patricia Crystal

    Only just got my iPad, but as I’m sure it’s been said before, begin at the very beginning, put pencil to paper first, then all the apps become second limb to you, otherwise it just feels like you are negotiating your way through a series of white water rapids, scary scary…….
    Well done Dani and all the best to you “invictus animus” xx

  31. Angela Koenig

    I like sketchbook pro, paper & adobe ideas. I would love to try the jot pro stylus. Right now I have a fat rubber tipped stylus which I hate.

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