Apps for the Art Classroom


There are so many Art Apps for the Art Classroom…what should you choose? I’ve been teaching with iPads for a number of years now and I thought I’d share what Apps I’ve been using and found success with.  You can also find a presentation at the bottom of this post that has been made to make it easy to introduce these apps to your students.

Adobe Draw

Adobe Draw Art App logoThis is the App I use most frequently and in my department, we use it with students aged 11 – 18. I’m sure younger students could use it too. The eye drawing above and the line drawing portrait below are both created with Adobe Draw.  The advantages are:

  • It has layers so you can draw on top of a photo and then delete the photo.
  • You can create line and colour drawings
  • It has a colour picker which perfectly matches colour.
  • You can use it to create compositions as it has layers.

For a free App this is ace.

You can also use Adobe Draw for pointillism.  Your finger or stylus will create dots on the screen.  This fish was created by my daughter, age 13.  I have a download for how to do this here.

Pointillism Resources for Art Teachers

Pic Collage

For artist research pages this is my go-to App. This has proved to be a real advantage over teaching without iPads as this really speeds up the process of creating research pages and you can also see what they have created on screen and make suggested improvements before they print it. Students can adjust the size of images to improve presentation and add text boxes of information and annotation. The ‘Working with Clay’ Pic Collage below was created by a student aged 11.  Tips for success:

  • Tell students that the icons at the top of the page won’t print, so their images and text need to fill this space.
  • If students are then emailing the pic collage to you or themselves to print, ask them to save their pic collage to their camera roll first which should turn it into a jpeg, which is then easy to print.
  • Shake the iPad to straighten images.


Essential Skeleton

Essential Skeleton is a favourite of mine. It’s not an art App but for medical students but look at the images you can get! What’s so cool about it is, not only can you zoom in but you can rotate the skeleton in every direction getting some really interesting viewpoints.  Just screenshot the images you want.  (You can click on these gallery images to see them larger.)

Here is a wonderful gallery of charcoal and ink drawings inspired by Essential Skeleton images created by students aged 14/15.

For Skull Art Teacher Resources Click Here!

Handy Art Reference Tool

‘Handy Art Reference Tool’ is an art App and so useful for students who choose this tricky subject matter. It has many different hand positions, male and female, and you can rotate, zoom in and change the lighting. It has the same for feet and heads with all these features. Brilliant!



Grid App logo‘Grid # – Add grid on image’ is a super-useful app that puts a grid on top of any image. Some of my students have appreciated this when drawing directly from the iPad or of course you could make your own resources. I have lots of art grid drawings made for teaching here.



Google Art & Culture

‘Google Arts & Culture’ is a great way to keep developing your subject knowledge. With numerous and regular articles, paintings to zoom in on and virtual tours, it makes keeping up-to-date easy and fun. It also includes the ‘Art Selfie’ which is just a bit of fun; you take a selfie and it searches 1000’s of paintings and supposedly finds one that looks like you. What do you think?  I’m not feeling very flattered!


There are numerous Apps that manipulate photos – flipping them, turning them into negatives, adding filters.  Many of them do one of the many tasks that photoshop can do.  If you google what you want in an app you can usually find it.  I recently wanted a double exposure app and found Pip Camera…

Pip Camera

‘Pip Camera two image into one’ is a free App which creates a double-exposure effect with two photographs. Older students of mine have used this to create images to paint when they have been exploring distortion and movement as themes. The advantage it has over Apps that put two pre-existing images together is that you can faintly see the first image when you take the second which allows for greater control over positioning. The disadvantage is there is no control over the transparency of each layer which you could get with photoshop.

Pop Art Lite

Pop Art Light App‘Pop Art Lite’ is great if you are delivering a Pop Art or Andy Warhol project.  You can upload a photo, perhaps of a celebrity or take a photo in the App.  Such fun!  The photos below are me playing!



For a handy presentation, that includes all the Apps above, click the image below.  Introducing these Apps to your students will really inspire them!

art apps presentation

The images on this page belong to The Arty Teacher Ltd and are under copyright.



The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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  1. Hi Sarah,
    Thank you so much for this information. We have been an all iPad school for a while now and I can’t wait to dig into your favorite apps. I especially love the Grid app, I am so old school and this app will be great for my classes!!

    Thank you,

    • Great! Many of my student appreciate the grid app as it gives them that extra bit of support with drawing!

  2. Love these App ideas! I am a primary school art teacher and will definitely give some of these a go. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am looking for an app that will morph a photo into a paint by number-like drawing. I’ve been asked to guide a group of pet lovers in painting their pets as a fundraiser for our county’s humane society.

    • Hi Marie,
      If you register you will receive my newsletter and be able to access three free resources a month from The Arty Teacher.
      Simply click on ‘Register for Free’ in the top menu.
      Kind regards,
      The Arty Teacher

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