iPad Pro Artist Review


I’m Max, I’m the creator of the webcomic Terminal Lance and the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator behind The White Donkey. I wanted to offer this as a take on the iPad Pro from an artist perspective, which I think this device was aimed at. Hopefully it’s useful!

One thing I forgot to mention is that there’s an app called Astropad that will let you use the iPad Pro as a Cintiq with the Apple Pencil. This is amazing and works really well, and keep in mind that the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil combo is cheaper than a Cintiq if you don’t mind the smaller screen size.

Here’s a link to Astropad:


And here’s a link to my book:




24 replies
  1. oli mueller
    oli mueller says:

    I surely want one of those too. Have to wait till the used ones get cheaper. I am wondering which size to buy? Is the bigger one light enough to hold and paint at the same time? I have reviewed a Huawei mediapad m2 if anyone is in search for a more affordable tablet to paint with.

  2. Kerys Bowler Art
    Kerys Bowler Art says:

    i dont know if you will have seen this (or if you'll see this comment even) but clip studio paint has made ts software available on the ipad pro (its subscription based which sucks, but still) and from what ive seen, it's the same as the desktop version, just optimised for tablet use (like, theres the option to change it to the desktop layout if you want that) and i know that clip studio paint is designed for comics and manga more than painting/sketching (though does have the capacity for it) so that may be more up your street in terms of being able to do your more professional work on the go

    between clip studio paint being available on the ipad pro and the fact that you can record painting processes in procreate, im seriously considering getting an ipad pro and apple pencil before i attempt to upgrade my laptop and graphics tablet (currently i have a pretty okay laptop – well, the screen's gone screwy, but other than that it still works fine – nothing high power but it can run photoshop with decent sized files and canvases with only a little lag when using large brush sizes or complicated brush settings, and use a wacom intuos pro with that) because to get the desktop/laptop setup i want and a cintiq would cost me more than double what id be paying for an ipad pro and apple pencil, even taking into account the subscription to clip studio paint if i got it.

  3. David Liu
    David Liu says:

    I'm glad someone finally gave an unbiased view on this. I'm a digital artist and I can't think of the ipadpro being anything more than an expensive sketchbook. It would in no way work into my professional work flow. BUT maybe bc of years and years of habits. Thanks bud

  4. Just One More Thing
    Just One More Thing says:

    Woah woah woah there, can't create complete work on the iPad alone? Have you seen James Jean's art? Or Nicholas Kole? What about Simon Podolack? Kuzomari? Mike Henry? Sorry, but I will have to respectfully disagree and say that you definitely can create complete pieces on the iPad without the assistance of Photoshop or other desktop software! It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is an entirely possible feat!

  5. Edmar Souza
    Edmar Souza says:

    have you heard of affinity photo? I know this app was unknown by the time you made this video, but i've heard it it pretty much as good as photoshop, you should check it out and make a video about it

  6. madaca
    madaca says:

    great review. I owned the Ipad Pro first generation and returned it after I saw it was an overpriced tablet. Apple pencil was great but I needed the Pro to run photoshop and/or lightroom. Not just a mobile version but a full version. I purchased it to be my main computer but it was far from it. Even the newest one seems to still not be able to replace a computer.

  7. CherCherie
    CherCherie says:

    You should try ArtStudio. You can crop in it now.. I am new to digital art, but I have been doing alot of research on the different apps. Give it a try if you haven't already.

  8. Michel Morrissette
    Michel Morrissette says:

    You really need to spend more time drawing on your expensive iPad Pro, guy!
    It just seems like you are just too new to iOS. To new to using iPads as a another professional drawing tool!
    The iPad Pro is just fine for doing ANY type of digital artwork.
    Maybe the iPad Pro and iOS is just not a good fit for you.
    Maybe you should sell it and try out a Microsoft Surface Pro instead as this has a full OS and this means full Photoshop on a touch screen tablet
    Your experience with the iPad Pro just doesn't seem like a good one for the way you work!
    A highly customisable Surface Pro 4 with all of the bells and whistles seems like it would be a better fit for you!
    I LOVE my large iPad Pro and do some awesome artwork with mine.
    I don't even use an Apple Pencil. I am a marker/colored pencil illustration guy and I prefer the thicker feel of stylus barrels of Adonit Bluetooth Smart Stylii.
    Not everyone can deal with the way iOS operates.
    Maybe the iPad Pro isn't for you!

  9. Michel Morrissette
    Michel Morrissette says:

    Dude, have you ever used an iOS device before or was the iPad Pro your first foray into the world of iOS?
    iOS is a totally diffrent OS from and full blown computer OS.
    iOS IS definitely more app based for everything, but if you know what kind of work you want to use an iPad Pro for, there are apps you can search for that you can either download from the iOS App Store for free or purchase that will get the job done for you.
    When you finally have all of the necessary apps assembled, you still takes some time to jockey images around, bit once you have everything you need for apps, over time, the workflow goes much faster. I think you need to spend some more serious time with your iPad Pro.
    The beginning of 2017, Procreate and SketchBook Pro just got a MAJOR new features releases!
    I have been using iOS on iPads sihce 2010.
    BTW, there are ways and other apps that will let you crop and resize images.
    Some other apps you should look at for your comic and graphic novel work is Medibang Paint (there is a free Mac companion app on the Mac App Store, too!) and, possibly look at an app called Concepts. This drawing/design/idea/timeline/ story boarding-like app does a lot of different things for different types of drawing/design/art works.
    Another app to look at as a remote, cintiq-like app for both iPad/iPad Pro and Mac is Astropad.
    The only way to get better on an iPad and iOS is to force yourself to use it more and everyday.
    There are lots of professional artists, like myself, who are doing professional level work using iPads that do exceptional work.
    You need to spend A LOT more time with the tools and apps on your iPad Pro, if this is the first time you have ever used an iPad to do any drawing/illustration/digital art.
    If you haven;t done a lot of drawing on an iPad Pro, you won't get any better at art and design creation on tablets.
    I have been using iPads as artists sketchbook/drawing/illustration/design tool and idea pad for nearly 7 years!
    It will get better and easier to accomplish the things you want to do, but with an expensive tablet, like the iPad, you NEED to put that time and effort in.
    You need to start spending more time with your iPad Pro when you can. Mine is with me everywhere, all the time.
    I pretty much use my iPad Pro as a laptop replacement in addition as another artists' tool!
    Yoo keep refrerencing Photoshop on the Mac, there are a series of Adobe Photoshop apps for iOS.
    Adobe, basically takes full Photoshop and splits it up into a bunch a different Photoshop apps that cover most of what full Photoshop does.
    Also, I very good full Photoshop replacement on both iOS AND Mac is Pixelmator. Both Pixelmator on iiOS and OS X ARE nearly identical in UI and function and Pixelmator IS a very close copy of Photoshop's UI. Pixelmator is a much cheaper and Photoshop look-alike image editor. The iOS version works with any type of third party stylus and Apple Pencil.

  10. hannah quack
    hannah quack says:

    Get Astropad App on your Mac and ipad, it mirrors your Mac so you can use your desktop painting software (photoshop, etc) on your ipad with Apple Pencil :3 I use it and love it! Basically a cintiq


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *