Designers may shrug when they hear the term “iPad art” (or other tablet art). You make digitally-born art all the time, right?

True. But iPad art typically refers more specifically to when an artist successfully engages the tradition of painting — as in, the smearing of oil-based pigment on canvas — on a tablet. And some of the accomplishments to come from this recent art form have been truly staggering.

David Hockney, for example, is a British artist who rose to fame around the Pop Art period. Here is one of his older works, an acrylic painting on canvas:


Photo of David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash (1967), by Ian Burt

At the age of 74, he found sudden, intense inspiration drawing on the iPad, and before long he was exhibiting tablet-based art in major museums. Here is one of his works on the iPad:


David Hockney, Yosemite I, October 16th 2011. iPad drawing printed on paper © David Hockney, 2013

Hockney has received a lion’s share of press because of his preexisting reputation, but in fact there are plenty of emerging artists who are making astonishing work on tablets. Here are a few:

Kyle Lambert

Kyle Lambert

Patricio Villarroel Bórquez

Gildas and François, 2 Drummers via Flickr
Abstraction #1367, via Flickr

David Kassan

old man

Coreliss Blakely

Onions from the Garden, © 2012 Corliss Blakely
The Collections, © 2012 Corliss Blakely

Seikou Yamaoka


Benjamin Rabe

Pastebot 2012-08-07 21.37.13 nachm. 7

Mike Miller

Finn Again (making of) from mike miller on Vimeo.

Interested in making art on your tablet? Check out these resources:

Know some other awesome iPad art? Share you favorite artist in the comments!

Cover photo: Kyle Lambert