Best Tattoo Design Apps for Artists

Design apps give tattoo artists the ability to create designs digitally, saving them time and allowing them to present professional designs to their clients. 

As a tattoo artist, it’s important to explore all the tools available to you so that you know what helps you work efficiently, and you can create more polished designs.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the best tattoo design apps including:

  • Procreate
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator Draw
  • Magic Poser
  • Medibang Paint Pro
  • Tattoodo

6 Great Apps for Designing Tattoos

app to get your tattoo design ideas on paper



tattoo artist using Procreate design app

Procreate is an iPad app you can use to draw much faster than you would be able to on paper. It has a very simple interface, and it’s packed with features that make it easy to design professional tattoos that will help you attract more clients. 

One of the main benefits of Procreate is that there are tons of brush options available. Procreate comes with a large offering of customizable brushes, including varied, pressure-sensitive brushes that allow you to change line weight without switching brushes. 

In addition to brushes, Procreate also allows you to access tons of stamps and tattoo fonts that can save you time and effort on your tattoo designs. 

You can also purchase and download additional brush sets in Procreate. Check out our article on all the brushes you need to be using in procreate

Another great benefit of Procreate is its advanced layering system. Procreate's layering ability allows tattoo artists to easily experiment with different elements, such as color and shading, and tweak the design as you go along.If you’re interested in trying Procreate for your tattoo ideas, check out our Procreate Tips for Beginners.  



Adobe Photoshop  

tattoo image imported into Photoshop

Photoshop offers similar features to Procreate, and it is a great option for those who want to create their own tattoo design on a computer as opposed to an iPad. The learning curve for Photoshop can be steep, but it has a wide range of features that can help you with your tattoo drawing once you’ve learned how to use the app. 

Like Procreate, Photoshop allows you to work in layers so that you can add detail as the design progresses. 

However, in Photoshop, you can manipulate photographs in more specific ways by getting rid of backgrounds, layering images, changing lighting settings, and combining images into one design. (This makes it the ideal app for artists who tattoo realism.) You can also import photos to help you visualize the tattoo image on different body parts. 

Additionally, the Pen and Freeform tools provide the ability to draw designs and shapes on a blank canvas, like you can in Procreate. All of these features can be combined to create custom tattoo designs.



Adobe Illustrator Draw

Drawing of a man in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator Draw is a vector-based graphics software and one of the most intuitive tattoo drawing apps. It is easy to use and allows you to draw lines, shapes, and text to create intricate designs. 

With Illustrator, you can add color, gradients, and textures to make your design stand out. You can also add layers and manipulate each layer separately to create a multi-dimensional look. 

With the ability to zoom in and out, you can get a close-up view of your design. Adobe Illustrator  also comes with a variety of professional-looking brushes and tools, so you can create the perfect tattoo design. 

Adobe Illustrator has a large library of tutorials available to you as you learn how to use this app for your own tattoo designs.



Magic Poser

free tattoo design app

Magic poser is a tattoo design app that uses augmented reality to use as a reference when drawing realistic designs.  With Magic Poser, you can create 3D human figures online just like a real-life doll by simply tapping and dragging the control points. Once you have your desired position, the image can be exported as a JPG or PNG file and used as the foundation for your artwork. 

With Magic Poser, you can also make use of a wide selection of body sizes, genders, hairstyles, wardrobe choices, and props. Plus, Magic Poser provides realistic adjustable studio lighting, so you can adjust the angle and shadows. Magic Poser is a free app, though some add-ons do cost money.



Medibang Paint Pro

free tattoo drawing app

Medibang Paint Pro is a simpler sketching app that was initially created for making comics. With this app, you can create new designs or work from imported photos. 

Medibang is free, and though the library is not as extensive as what you’d find in Photoshop or Procreate, it still has a bunch of brushes, tattoo fonts, and premade backgrounds to help you with your designs. 

The Medibang interface is extremely easy to use, and it allows you to share your designs with a network of other artists using the app.



Best App for Learning How to Draw Hands

Hands are notoriously difficult for even experienced artists to draw. The Handy App is great for generating references of multiple angles of hands that you can use when you’re designing tattoos.


Tattoodo is a free app that can help connect you with clients in your area and help you gather inspiration for your tattoo designs

While it’s not an app for drawing or creating your own tattoo designs, Tattoodo is a great app for gathering inspiration and getting your tattoo designs out there. Tattoo lovers use Tattoodo like Instagram, but specifically for tattoos. 

Tattoodo provides users with access to the portfolios of tattoo artists from around the globe. It has a huge gallery of tattoos that have been divided into categories and styles. 

You can share your area in order to locate local tattoo parlors, a useful marketing tool for tattoo artists. A subscription is available to stay up to date with the artists you admire. 

Additionally, you can create your own portfolio on Tattoodo and upload your designs, add hashtags, and share them with the community. 

When it comes to designing tattoos, you’ll need another app, but Tattoodo can be very helpful for exploring what’s out there and gaining inspiration for your own work. In addition to apps like Tattoodo, check out our article on Tattoo Design Ideas as you’re building up your design portfolio.


Tattoo Design Apps Can Make Your Life Easier 

Tattoo design apps

While pencil and paper is always an option for designing your tattoos, there are tons of digital apps out there that can save you time and help you create complete designs to show potential clients. 

Tattoo drawing apps can make your life as a tattoo artist much easier. Design apps can help you easily design and find inspiration for new ideas. You can use apps to customize your existing designs to fit the needs of new customers, and you can save time by having all the necessary resources in one place.  

As you continue to focus on your tattoo drawing, it’s worth trying out some apps to see what works best for you. For more tattoo design tips, check out our article on Tattoo Design Techniques.

Prepare for a Tattooing Career with the Artist Accelerator Program

Learning how to draw tattoo designs is an important step in your journey, but it can also be pretty eye-opening to how difficult tattooing can be. Without the right knowledge, it’s impossible to level up your skills and become a professional tattoo artist. 

However, finding the straight-forward information you need to progress is difficult. And with so much out there online, it’s hard to avoid picking up bad habits from incorrect and outdated resources.

This is one of the biggest struggles new tattooers face, and too many talented artists have given up their goal of getting into tattooing because of the years it would take to unlearn their bad habits. 

That’s why aspiring artists are learning to tattoo with the Artist Accelerator Program’s structured course. As a student, you learn every step of the tattooing process from professional artists with the experience and advice you need to build your skills and create incredible tattoos. 

With the Artist Accelerator, you can stop wasting time searching through incorrect information. You just get the clear, easy-to-understand lessons you need to start improving fast… along with support and personalized feedback from professional artists in our online Mastermind group.

Over 2500 students have already gone through the course, with many of them opening up their own studios. If you want to join them and learn the skills you need to start tattooing full time faster…

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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