How to Color With Your iPad and Apple Pencil (Free Coloring Page)

Coloring has been one of my go-to activities for stress relief since I was a child. I guess that is why I was so drawn to making coloring pages when I got older. So when I got my hands on my iPad and used the Apple pen for the first time I just knew I was going to enjoy using my iPad as a way to color. So in this post, I am not only going to share my favorite ways to color with my iPad and Apple pen but a few techniques I learned. Be sure to scroll down for a free coloring page you can use on your iPad.

Best Apps to Color on an iPad

There are many different coloring apps but as far as personal reference I use two apps for coloring that I highly recommend because of the learning curve.

Procreate –  Cost Download here

Although this app will cost you to download it is worth every penny. Not only will you be able to color pages you upload to this app but if you take the time to explore procreate you will find that you may enjoy making them as well.

Plus, you can download an app called brushes for procreate and get all kinds of free as well as paid brushes and stickers for this app that adds to the enjoyment of using it. One of the biggest things I love about this app is how compatible it is with the Apple pen and the pressure points. It feels so realistic. 

Autodesk Sketchbook – Free Download here

This was one of the first drawing apps I ever used on my phone and computer and I still use it to this day on my laptop. I love the features of this app and it allows you to do so much with an easier learning curve than photoshop which I also use. Plus, it is free!

Best Coloring Apps For Your Ipad

Now, this next list is not to be confused with the first. If you are someone who likes the functionality of a coloring app that has a color palette already laid out for you and coloring pages already installed so you don’t have to go through all the trouble of learning any extra steps then here are some of the top coloring apps that will let you simply use your Apple pen and “color by number” or “click and fill” as you may say.

Pigment – Free with in app purchases download here 

Pigment in my opinion is one of the most customizable coloring apps. It is very versatile and like other apps, it allows you to color with a variety of tools including pencils, markers, airbrushes, watercolors, oil paints, and more. So if you are looking for something with a little more freedom then I would recommend this app.

Recolor – Free with in app purchase download here

Recolor was one of the first coloring apps I used. If you are willing to pay for the premium version then it is well worth the 3D experience recolor can give. Some of the artwork I have seen from some of the other users still amazes me and the access to the hundreds of illustrations never gets boring. Even you use the free version recolor has such a large variety of images that you will get hours of stress-relieving fun and they add new images all the time.

Colorfy – Free with in app purchases download here 

For those looking for a simpler coloring app, colorfy offers a simple fill-in coloring style. However, the app still allows you to accomplish beautiful illustrations and their monthly subscription gives you the option to unlock more than 100 different shades and create your own.

How to Color With Your iPad and Apple Pen

First, you need to download a high-quality PNG

 You can simply do a search on google for free coloring pages or check out some here. Scroll down for a free mandala coloring page.

Then import your PNG into the app. Today I am showing the steps for procreate. Click Photos to import any images you have downloaded on your iPad.

How to Color With Your iPad and Apple Pencil

Next, select the drawings layer and click the “N” which will open a drop-down menu.

Select “multiply” and the N will change to an M. This makes the black line drawing static.

Add a new layer by clicking the “+” and drag it underneath the line drawing. You will have to hold down on the layer for a second and drag it down. This allows you to color underneath the coloring pages without disturbing the black lines.

Now you are ready to select the brush you want to choose and start coloring! This is where that app “brushes for procreate” would come in handy and let you be the artist.

You can experiment with many different brushes and pigments and enjoy the pressure point experience of your Apple pen. The possibilities are endless.

Free Mandala Coloring Page For Your iPad

Now that you have learned a few ways you can color on your iPad here is a free coloring page for you to experiment with. There are plenty of images you can get from around the web or PDFs you can turn into PNGs and color on your iPad. 


Can you color pdfs on the iPad?

There are apps available such as Apple books and Goodnotes that allow you to use PDFs on your iPad for coloring. Apple books, for instance, lets you import a PDF, and then you can tap the markup option which will allow you to use your finger or Apple pencil to color on the PDF.

However, do not get this confused with the options I have mentioned above in procreate or Autodesk sketchbook. If you are looking to color actually coloring pages, I would instead recommend you turn your pdf into a PNG using only tools such as this and then use either procreate or Autodesk sketchbook.

How do I make a coloring book on my iPad?

Apps like the ones I mentioned above such as pigment and recolor are a great way to turn your iPad into an easy-to-use coloring book. They can bring your or your child hours of fun and are great for family road trips, activities, and more. 


Coloring on your iPad can be a great experience and using an Apple pen makes the experience that much more exciting. Try experimenting with different apps and software to see what fits your needs. 

Don’t be afraid to test the different brushes and tools. It may take some time to get used to the apps but once you do will find that digital art will bring you and your family hours of enjoyment and beautiful artwork. 

Plus, you can even print and hang your designs as wall art!

So what’s your favorite coloring app? I would love to hear your comments below!

I hope you have enjoyed this lesson! Happy coloring!

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Published by Melissa Jiggetts

I am a graphic designer who enjoys using my skills to help busy moms and teachers as myself.

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