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Vivid history of animation through the eyes of Disney
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Fascinating treatise on the science of color
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A virtual art museum curated just for students
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The best way to get to know Van Gogh
$4.99 Download
Serious tools, friendly interface

Community Picks

Find more Visual Arts apps suggested by our growing community of teachers and parents.

About the Apps


The iPad’s form is ideal for drawing, sketching, and painting. With Retina Display, it’s also an exceptional tool for viewing images up close. Students and educators in the visual arts now have unprecedented access to the world’s great works of art and photography. They also have the virtual tools to create new ones!

The App Store is flooded with drawing, painting, and photo editing apps. It’s also become a repository for many of the world’s finest museums and private curators to showcase their exhibits. The trick to picking the right apps for kids in middle school is getting the feature set right. We want to avoid anything that looks like it was designed for little children, but also avoid detail overload so the student isn’t overwhelmed. The goal is to inspire, not frustrate.

With that in mind, we’ve chosen five drawing, photo editing, and museum apps that will engage tweens and hopefully steer a few in the direction of further visual arts education.

We picked Van Gogh HD by developer Boram Kim because while the entire series of single artist collections - both western and eastern - is wonderful, this app also won kudos from Apple. Kim's apps all have tons of high quality photographs of famous paintings or sculpture divided into galleries according to the artists’ phases or medium. Selected works draw on Wikipedia for extra information.

ArtRage is our pick for creating art in middle school. The app is powerful and capable of results that almost rival the most sophisticated software. The interface is not only uncomplicated, it’s inviting and intuitive.

Art Authority K-12 for iPad introduces students to a digital gallery of some of the most famous artwork of all time. The interface alone will intrigue encourage them to explore and learn as much as they can about priceless works of art.

Color Uncovered takes a look at the science of art. It explores how artists trick the eye with their use of color. The app includes information from museum exhibits at San Francisco’s family friendly Exploratorium.

Disney Animated captures all the magic that is missing in the hot, crowded amusement parks at Disney World. It’s a complete archive of Disney’s films that includes text, video clips and interactive scenes. The app took top honors from Apple in 2013.

Comments & Suggestions Have a suggestion for an educational app for this category you think we should feature? Let us know.

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