Drawing apps for the Ipad mini 1

These are the drawing apps I use on my very very old Ipad. I know some don’t have up to date technology so, hopefully this helps you find tools for your older Ipads. My Ipad still works beautifully – so I patiently use my rubber stylus and Ipad to create art!

There are a few apps that I have on my iPad (2010):

53 paper app

This was the first drawing app I used on the Ipad. There was a version before this one with beautiful notebooks covers. Unfortunately I hit update and I found myself with tiles rather than note books, which is a shame. I have grown to like this app more and more as I use it. This was one of the more fancy apps developed back in the early 2000s. Gosh technology has really advanced! It is great for quick sketching and jotting down thoughts. I can easily use this app whilst watching a movie. I also used it this year to do some of Inktober 2021.


  • This app is probably the most intuitive and responsive.
  • Perfect for getting your ideas on “paper.”
  • Great app to learn about colour mixing.
  • Cut and remove function is useful as you can literally fling parts of a drawing off the page or shift elements to create a balanced compositions.
  • Layers!!
  • The mixing well ❤


  • The functions are limited if you are looking for something more advance.
  • This app isn’t well supported.
  • It takes a while to learn how to use the app – but once you do it is a fun app.

Bamboo Paper app

This is the first app that helped me to draw more consistently. I even posted many of my drawings on to instagram. I started with very simple line drawings. Once I was comfortable with this I started to play around with shading and line work. I actually really enjoy using this app and found that I could work very quickly on this app to get ideas out of my brain. There is 6 brushes in total, you are given 3 for free and can purchase the others. You are given a limited colour palette.


  • This by far has the smoothest line quality. By this I mean that the finish of your drawings will have very little pixels and jagged edges as you might find on other apps.
  • Limited palette is a pro and a con – because having limitations actually helps with creating because you have less choices to make.
  • Accuracy when using a rubber stylus.
  • The greatest thing about this app is that I have used it the most out of all the apps.


  • Images exported are small usually 27 x 36 cms, 10 x 14 inchs, 768 x 1024 px, that is 72 resolutions.
  • Limited Colour Palette
  • Limited range of lines (3 different weights per brush)
  • No layers – it’s not very forgiving when making errors.
  • Hard to colour in shapes – it’s sketchy if you want that look but precision is not really achievable.
  • Hard to erase.

Evernote penultimate app-digital handwriting

Penultimate, is alright…. It’s an extension to Evernote’s note taking solution which I actually really enjoy. Evernote was an innovator back in the day when OneDrive or the cloud had not yet existed. It came during the same wave as Drop Box and Flickr. The drawing and note taking experience is pretty crap, tbh, it makes your writing look messy and the accuracy in drawing lines in unacceptable for a drawing/note taking app. There may be an update that fixes these things however I definitely have not had a good experience with this app at all.


  • It syncs up with ever note.
  • Simple app.


  • Inaccuracy – the lines seem to flick out at the end making your writing messy.
  • Colour selection in this app are not my favorite.
  • Not the most enticing app.

Tayasui Sketches app

This is the most comprehensive app. I have purchased the full version of this app. Great for the screen printing affect, that requires the layers of lines and colour. I love this app!


  • Layers!!!
  • Variety of tools.
  • You can create art in any medium in digital form.
  • The app is great for creating graphics in general, layering typography on a block of colour.
  • Every Colour you can think of is available on the app.
  • It feels like you are using real life mediums, for example the way the water colour layer and dry and the patterns you can create is realistic.


  • Can be a bit confusing for new beginners as the functions are not as intuitive.
  • There are so many tools that sometimes it can be overwhelming.

Thanks for getting to the end. Enjoy your week!

Teresa x


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