How to draw on an iPhone in the Photos or Notes app

  • You can draw on your iPhone in the Photos or Notes app.
  • In the Photos app, you can draw over existing photos with the markup tool, which lets you choose different colors and drawing styles.
  • You can also use the annotation tool to create new drawings in the Notes application.
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Without a stylus, your iPhone designs might not look very good. And frankly, unless you are a talented artist, you might not be creating any masterpieces drawn on an iPhone.

That said, it’s fun to draw on your iPhone, and the doodles you create can enhance a photo, charm a friend, or just have fun creatively.

IPhone’s Photos app and Notes app come with all the tools you need to create colorful sketches, and both make it easy to share your illustrations with others.

Here’s how to do it.

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iPhone Xs (from $ 999.99 at Best Buy)

How to draw on your iPhone in the Photos app

1. Open the photo you want to draw on and make sure to duplicate it if you want to keep a copy of the original. (Duplicate the image by tapping the lower left icon, the one with an arrow pointing up out of a box, then swiping to the word “Duplicate” in the lower toolbar).

2. Tap the word “Edit” in the upper right corner of the photo.


Tap the Edit button in the top right corner.

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3. Tap the circle with three dots at the bottom of the screen.

4. Tap the “Tagging” icon.


Select the markup tool.

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You can now select different drawing styles, from marker to pen, pencil and brush. You can also choose the colors you want to use to draw directly on the photo.


When you’re done drawing, tap Done.

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When done, tap the yellow word “Done” followed by the blue word “Done” and the photo will be saved with your artwork added.

How to draw on your iPhone in the Notes app

1. Launch the Notes application.

2. Tap the icon at the bottom right of a pencil on paper.

3. Tap the icon of a pen tip in a circle.


Select the annotation tool to draw in Notes.

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4. Choose the type of pen, pencil or brush by tapping on the markup icon, select your color and draw.

The design will be saved when you tap the word “Notes” to return to the previous menu.

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