1. Technology

ArtStudio Art App Review

Advanced Painting and Drawing App for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


ArtStudio Art App

ArtStudio is an iOS art app with many features and a well-designed user interface.

© Lucky Clan

What is ArtStudio?

ArtStudio is an intuitive, yet advanced, art app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It offers a large number of brushes and tools, plentiful options, layers support, filters and effects, and a well-designed user interface.

Version reviewed: ArtStudio 3.1

Cost and Compatibility: Currently on sale for $0.99 and works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 3.0 or later. iPad-specific version is $2.99 and requires iOS 3.2 or later. ArtStudio LITE version is available for free.


  • Loaded with tools, effects, and options.
  • Use up to five layers with layer blending modes, layer transformation, and layer masks.
  • Drawings are automatically saved.
  • Export PSD files.
  • Shake menu gives quick access to useful functions.
  • Create drawings in custom canvas sizes (up to 1024 x 1024 pixels).
  • Symmetrical drawing modes.
  • Offset drawing mode.
  • Import photos and perform basic adjustments.


ArtStudio App Screen Shot

ArtStudio provides many painting tools, including several brush varieties. Within each tool, a wealth of options allow you to customize each tool.

© Lucky Clan
  • Slow to open.
  • Maximum of five layers.
  • Maximum document size 1024x1024 pixels.
  • Crashes occasionally.
  • Color picker could be streamlined.

ArtStudio 3.1 Art App Review

ArtStudio is intuitive enough that I was able to find my way around the program without looking at instructions. The options available in ArtStudio were a bit overwhelming at first, but once I became comfortable working in it, I was glad to have so many powerful options available.

A quick start diagram is provided for essential functions, and there is also a tips and tricks section which explains some of the more advanced features in ArtStudio. A detailed user manual can be downloaded from the publisher's website. ArtStudio even includes step-by-step drawing lessons within the program.

It really is quite amazing how many features have been packed into this tiny art app. ArtSudio offers more tools and features and costs less than most of the other art apps I have tried so far. Not only does it have a layers feature, but it also supports layer blending modes, something I have not seen in many other iOS art apps. It offers several adjustments, filters, and effects such as brightness/contrast, colorize, posterize, Gaussian blur, vignette, emboss, and so on.

ArtStudio Digital Painting

A beginner painting done with ArtStudio. Now I need to learn to draw some fish!

© Sue Chastain
ArtStudio provides many painting tools, including several brush varieties, as well as an eraser, a clone tool, text tool, selection tool, gradient fill, smudge, dodge, burn, and more. Within each tool, a wealth of options are offered specific to that tool. When painting and drawing freehand, your strokes are automatically smoothed, and you can draw lines, rectangles, ellipses, and polygons. "Symmetric" drawing modes let you paint mirrored images.

You can start your work in ArtStudio from a blank canvas, import a photo from those stored on your device, or you can capture a photo right in the app. Documents can be any size up to the maximum of 1024 pixels in each direction. When you want to export your work, you have options to save to the camera roll (Photos app), copy to clipboard, send PNG by email, send PSD by email, or save PSD in the gallery.

At the current sale price, ArtStudio is a steal, but even at the full price of $3.99 ArtStudio is one of the best value art apps in the app store.

ArtStudio in the iTunes App Store:

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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