I just learned to draw the Marvel way on iPad, and you can too

Drawing Desk app for iPad; a drawing of Spider-Man
(Image credit: 4Axis Technologies / Marvel / Future)

Art is a learned skill, and sadly there aren't enough good apps around that teach you the basics. However, Drawing Desk for iPad, iPhone and Android does just that, it offers easy to follow lessons to teach everyone, of all levels, how to create digital art. 

In the the new update Drawing Desk dev 4Axis Technologies has teamed-up with Marvel to offer step-by-step tutorials to drawing, colouring and shading some of comic's most popular characters. I tried it for myself, and honestly, I'm now a fan. (We have our own Marvel comic art tips too.)

The approach is simple, choose from more than 50 tutorials and the app begins to show, in clear steps, how to construct a character, organise a pose, draw broad-stroke lines, refine, colour and shade. Guide lines appear on the screen and you follow along. While the pose guides, a series of basic shapes, have snapping lines to keep everything tight the sketching phase is loose, enabling you add a little personality. 

Drawing Desk iPad app; apple pencil 2 and Spider-man

I used Drawing Desk on iPad to follow along and create Spider-Man, in around 10 minutes. (Image credit: 4Axis Technologies / Marvel / Future)

Steps can be repeated, and a nice feature called Guide Me offers assists and prompts; what's great here is it teaches newcomers all about layer use and settings, how to use Alpha Lock, for example, to aid your drawing. For newcomers this really demystifies the language and processes of digital art, regardless of the app you use.

Characters featured in the new Marvel lessons include, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Wasp, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Hulk. It's a good list, and an ideal learning tool for any children or beginners who want to grasp how to construct a character's anatomy, pose them and master layers for colouring. Experienced artists will find it too much like hand-holding, but the core tuition and workflows are timeless - making use of primitive shapes, refining line art, using layers.

The instruction is good and makes Drawing Desk ideal for children and beginners

While it can feel too automated for seasoned pros, the instruction is good and makes Drawing Desk ideal for children and beginners, and away from its tutorials the app is a solid sketching tool meaning you can perfect and adapt the lessons to suit you. Drawing Desk gives you the knowledge to go away and try, experiment and start creating.

The approachable nature of Drawing Desk is evident, and it's being used by more than 50 million artists around the world; learning to draw the Marvel way is universal, it seems. Find out more about Drawing Desk at the 4Axis website, including new tutorials and download options. There's a free trial but also an annual fee if you wish to use it further.

You can find alternatives to Drawing Desk in our guide to the best drawing apps for iPad and the best drawing apps for Android, and don't forget to take a look at our collection of the best Procreate tutorials.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.