Draw and paint with digital pastels that behave just like real ones!
This app simulates many aspects of pastel painting, including soft pastels, oil pastels, pastel pencils, and realistic color blending right on the screen.
Perfect for creating beautiful works of art, but also for practising or for a quick sketch whenever and wherever you have a burst of inspiration.

Pastelists and other artists can try out ideas and compositions before starting on a new painting in real life.
Beginners will be able to practise and refine their skills, without the added cost of pastel sticks and specialty papers.

• Realistic Pastel Simulation
• Realistic Color Blending
• Change and Adjust Size, Force, Color while Painting
• Seamless Pattern Editing Mode
• Layers
• Dark Mode Support
• Touch Bar Support
• Wide Color Support
• Engine Based on Metal₁ (with 128-bit color and floating-point arithmetic)
• Developed with Swift₁

₁ Since version 3 (the code was completely rewritten).

We have put years of research and hard work into making our own painting engine from scratch, and we continuously work to improve it.
The engine is based on Metal, uses 128-bit color and it always utilizes floating-point arithmetic for increased accuracy and a high dynamic color range.

The app calculates everything in real-time, instead of just dragging a simple “brush” across the painting.
Each stroke interacts with what’s already there, as it would in real life.

One of the most widely used techniques in pastel is to blend the colors into each other on the paper, as part of the painting process.
This is fully supported in iPastels!
When painting with soft pastels, you can apply different colors and then use Smudge or the Cotton Swab to blend and smoothen the colors.
With oil pastels, the blending is mostly done by the pastel sticks themselves, but occasionally you may want to use Smudge or Cotton Swab for softening backgrounds and shadows.
You can also use pastel pencils for the initial sketch and for adding details, or for making full pencil drawings.

All the control knobs in the toolbar can be changed and adjusted while you paint, by using the number keys (1, 2, 3...) on your keyboard.

The unique Seamless Pattern Editing mode lets you display the picture as tiles next to each other.
You’re free to paint anywhere on these tiles, so you can easily create seamless patterns for use as website or desktop backgrounds, in print, or for textures in 3d modelling.
Toggle this feature on/off in “Work in Progress”, in the menu that comes up when you click the “…” button.

On a trackpad, you can pinch to zoom, and use the rotation gesture to rotate the picture.
Scroll over the picture to pan.
On the keyboard, use the Arrow keys (pan) and - + buttons (zoom).
Use the Space key or the smart zoom gesture to reset zoom, pan, and rotation. Again to go back.

Everything from selecting a layer to adding new ones can be done in the Layer Control.
To open the Layer Control, click the button that has a mountain/house/flower (symbolizing the selected layer).
Flower = topmost layer
House = any layer in-between
Mountain = bottom-most layer

Please note that the number of layers is restricted to two unless you upgrade to Pro.
If you upgrade to Pro, you will also be able to change the color of the paper beneath the layer(s), by pressing “Paper Color”.

There’s a scrollable palette, where you can pick colors, as well as store new ones.
To edit any palette section, right-click on a color in it, and a menu will appear.

Adjacent to the palette are three control knobs that adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness of the current color.
Note that you can adjust the color while you paint!

The Current Color button is the large colored rectangle next to the knobs.
Clicking this button brings up a menu with some options, including “Eyedropper” (Pro feature).

What’s New

Version 3.9

[NEW] (Pro) Added new paint mode: Ellipse.
[IMPROVED] You can now right-click on any picture in “Work in Progress” to bring up a menu with a culled list of options (as well as selecting it, if it wasn’t already).
[FIXED] The selected picture in “Work in Progress” was not marked correctly in certain situations.
[FIXED] Some minor issues.

Ratings and Reviews

3.9 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

parJude ,

I miss the old programs

I miss the old color panels, and don’t understand why you didn’t reprogram so that you could adjust those colors as that would still allow for all points on the colorwheel (or insert the color wheel as an option). I can’t scroll the colors you have selected, and the blending tool doesn’t stop where I stop it: it smears the area along the path to the next area I want to blend. I wish you would leave the old programs in the App Store for those of us who prefer them, and work out the bugs in the new programs. I have to press hard & for a length of time to get the color change option (why not use the eyedropper?). I do like the photo trace option, but on the whole, I find working with the programs tedious when you could have used the color wheel and eyedropper, and used sliders for Pastel Stick (brush) size and a slider for the force of the stroke. If you did that, you could add sliders for dodge and burn, too. I loved the old programs, especially the option to create 5 shades or 5 analogue colors. You’ve made the new programs too cumbersome to be fun with those dials I have to constantly fiddle with to get them adjusted to my need and satisfaction.

Retro Dude ,

What a lovely program

This is a nice piece of software. It is great for both kids and adults. It is very stable, no crashes. My daughter and I love it.

robfuzz ,

Expert pastel software and a joy to use!

Update….Was already awesome. Now even smoother. Thanks!

I had this once on my iPhone and didn’t care for it much. This was some time ago. I’ve since rediscovered it when I saw there was a Mac version. Wow….they’ve made huge progress with this app! Working with a Wacom tablet I can get really beautiful effects and it feels like I’m drawing with pastels. I’ve only just begun really to delve into this app but I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s a lot of fun too, which is important, cause if you’re not having fun why bother?


8.8 MB

macOS 10.14 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2011-2019 Norbyte


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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