Drawing on iPad Without a Screen Protector: Pros and Cons

When you’re using your iPad for drawing, you might wonder if you need a screen protector or not. 

You came to the right place. I have never used a screen protector every time I draw in Procreate on my iPad Pro.

Drawing on an iPad without a screen protector has its own set of pros and cons. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of drawing your iPad without a screen protector.

Pros of drawing on iPad Without a Screen Protector

Your Apple Pencil tips will last longer

Drawing on an iPad with a screen protector can wear out your Apple Pencil tips faster.

After drawing on my iPad Pro for over a year, I never once replaced my Apple pen tip.

If you heavily use your iPad for drawing, you will need to replace your Apple pen tips every 3-6 months. 

Not all screen protectors will damage your Apple pencil tips, though. Only a Matte screen protector is the one that will damage your Apple Pencil tips. 

Glass-type screen protectors won’t damage Apple pencil tips, but no artist uses glass screen protectors.

It provides no benefit to drawing on an iPad. In fact, it will make your iPad more slippery for drawing and painting.

Better screen clarity for Media Consumption 

iPad Media Consumption

The iPad’s display is designed to provide optimal clarity, brightness, and color accuracy, which can be compromised when using a screen protector.

Screen protector sucks for media use.

I love watching movies and YouTube videos on my iPad Pro, and I wouldn’t want a screen protector to dull the color or brightness.

Direct Drawing Feeling

Drawing on an iPad without a screen protector feels different. It’s somewhat smooth and slippery.

While drawing directly on the glass surface can feel more slippery compared to using a screen protector, this “slipperiness” can also allow for quicker and more fluid strokes. 

It can also enhance the precision of your lines, as there is no extra layer between your stylus and the screen.

No scratching sound when drawing

You might hear a scratchy noise when you use a matte screen protector with an Apple Pencil. It’s like the sound when you scratch a broken pencil on paper.

Some artists, myself included, dislike the scratchy sound that comes with a screen protector.

It can be annoying and make drawing less fun. If you’re drawing in a quiet place like a library, this noise might bother other people, too.

You don’t want to be that guy who makes noise in a library.

But if you draw on an iPad without a screen protector, you won’t hear this scratchy noise at all.

That’s because you’re drawing right on the smooth glass of your iPad. This can be great for artists who want a quieter and more focused drawing experience.

Cons of Drawing on iPad Without a Screen Protector

iPad is slippery to draw

iPads can be pretty smooth when you draw on them. A matte screen protector changes that. It adds some grip, like drawing on paper with a pencil.

So, if you like the feeling of drawing on paper, a screen protector can give you that

So, if you want to make your iPad less slippery and get that real paper feel while drawing, a matte screen protector could be your friend! It’s all about what feels best for your drawing style.

No additional protection from Scratches

One concern about drawing on an iPad without a screen protector is the potential for the Apple Pencil to scratch the screen. 

While the Pencil itself isn’t likely to cause scratches, particles can sometimes find their way in between the Pencil and the screen, leading to scratches appearing.

A screen protector can protect your iPad from scratches. But to be honest, iPad screen quality is good. 

Most of the scratches won’t be visible and disturb your drawing experience. 

iPad is Prone to Dust and Debris

As you draw, dust and debris can accumulate on your iPad’s screen, hindering your drawing experience. 

In addition to scratching your screen, these particles might also interfere with the smoothness of your drawing strokes. 

A screen protector can help mitigate this issue by making cleaning your iPad’s screen easier without worrying about causing damage.

But it’s not a big problem. You can clean your iPad from dust and debris with a microfiber cloth.

iPad is Prone to Fingerprints and Smudges

Without a screen protector, your iPad’s screen is more prone to fingerprints and smudges, which can affect the clarity of your display. 

Matte screen protectors protect against scratches and help reduce the visibility of fingerprints and smudges, making your drawing experience more enjoyable.

No Protection if your iPad accidentally drops

Although a screen protector primarily prevents your iPad from getting scratched, it can also offer some protection against screen damage in case of accidental drops. 

While a screen protector might not save your iPad from a major impact, it can help minimize the damage to some extent. 

Investing in a good-quality screen protector may help you avoid the costly process of repairing or replacing your iPad’s screen.

Tips for drawing on iPad without a screen protector

Use Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil 2

Apple Pencil is the best stylus for drawing on iPad. 

If you have an iPad Pro and iPad Air (4th and 5th generation), you can use the Apple Pencil 2, which provides better pressure sensitivity than the competing stylus.

Apple Pencil has various features that can help artists when they are drawing on iPad. 

Tilt functionality allows you to use the side of the Pencil’s tip to create shading effects, mimicking the feel of shading using graphite pencil. 

The Apple Pencil also has palm rejection technology that lets you rest your hand on the screen without leaving unwanted marks. 

And guess what? It’s good at ignoring your hand! When you rest your hand on the iPad screen, it doesn’t leave any extra marks. Not all styluses can do that.

This makes it easier to concentrate on your art without accidentally touching the screen with your palm.

If you’re serious about drawing on your iPad, the Apple Pencil is a must-have.

It’s your ticket to better control, more accuracy, and a smoother drawing experience.

Use a Silicon Tip on your Apple Pencil

Consider using a silicone tip cover for your Apple Pencil. 

A silicone tip cover can enhance traction and reduce the slippery feeling of drawing on the iPad’s smooth surface.

Wear a Drawing Glove

Drawing gloves is optional for a digital artist. I only wear a drawing glove once or twice on my iPad Pro.

While not everyone needs a drawing glove, some artists find it helpful, especially those with sweaty hands.

You don’t have to wear it constantly, but it’s worth trying if you notice your hand sticking or smudging the screen.

Clean the screen before and after Drawing on the iPad

Every time I started drawing, I always gave my iPad a gentle wipe with a clean microfiber cloth.

You should always clean your screen before starting to draw on the iPad. This helps remove any dust or smudges that might interfere with your drawing.

You don’t want dust on your screen. Sometimes, dirt can confuse your iPad’s touch sensitivity. 

It can cause your screen not to respond to Apple Pencil as well as it should.  

A clean screen ensures that your iPad can understand your every stroke, giving you better control over your artwork.

Do You Need Paperlike to Draw on iPad?

You don’t need Paperlike to draw on iPad. While Paperlike screen protectors can offer a more paper-like texture for some artists, they’re not essential for everyone. iPad screens are already optimized for drawing, offering a smooth and responsive surface. 

Some artists do love the added texture Paperlike provides. It’s like having a piece of paper on your iPad screen, which some artists enjoy.

FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out,” is real, especially in the YouTube and Reddit art community. 

Some artists might make you believe that Paperlike is an absolute must-have to draw on an iPad properly.

They might showcase how it enhances the drawing experience, making it seem like you’re missing out on something incredible.

The truth is, Paperlike isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Many artists can create stunning digital art on iPad without putting Paperlike on it. 

There is an additional benefit of not using Paperlike.

By choosing not to use a screen protector, you’ll save time on installation and avoid the hassle of dealing with bubbles or misalignment on your iPad.

Wrapping Up

The choice to use your iPad with or without a screen protector for drawing comes down to your personal preference. 

Consider factors such as your drawing style, how much you value your iPad display’s clarity, and your level of concern about potential scratches before making the decision. 

It’s all about what makes your drawing experience the best for you.

Photo of author
Kenny HD
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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