This lockdown is growing on me and to pass time, I have started going back to my childhood hobbies. My recent urge to learn Origami also gave way to sketch and draw. But, unlike most of us, I’m a novice and I needed some help. As always I went out looking for apps and here are the best sketch apps that will help you get your sketching game on point.
Best Sketch Apps for iOS & Android
1. How to Draw (Great for Kids)
You shouldn’t straightaway jump in making intricate landscape drawings and portraits. You need to start afresh, probably with super-easy sketches. This app has all these basics sketches like food, animals, birds, dresses, etc. All these are right on the home screen as you open the app. Simply click on the one you want to draw. From there you can use the toggle arrows and follow the step-by-step process. There is also a tools box, but I’d suggest using paper, pencil, and colors rather than draw on the screen. You also have the option to bookmark your favorite sketches and view them in the bookmark folder.
The app has banner ads at the bottom. Currently, there is no way to pay and remove the ads, but these don’t interfere while you’re looking at the tutorial and I’m sure with the Ben10 & Pokemon sketches your kid is not going to complain.
- Easy step-by-step tutorial
- Great for kids with Pokemon and Ben10 avatars
- Option to bookmark sketches
2. Sketch a Day – Daily Challenges
None of the sketching tutorials would make a difference if you don’t practice the art every day. This makes it very important to take it up as a daily challenge and convert it into a habit. This app encourages you to draw with a new subject every day with daily prompts. The home screen shows you the current day challenge along with the entries submitted by others. It’s not just restricted to daily learning. You can learn out of the box with the dedicated learning section. You can gain new techniques, tips, tutorials by other artists. These articles range from short tutorials like “Introduction to Color Theory” to slightly longer explanatory articles such as “Visual Art Reference Terminology”.
You can be a part of the artist’s community with over 20,000 registered artists. This community is very helpful as you can give and get tips from fellow artists in terms of feedback.
The app has minimal ads that can be removed by paying $2.5. However, I suggest taking the Gold membership at $5.5, which also gives you the option to chat with other artists.
- Features daily sketch challenges
- Learn section with tips and tutorials
- Community page for feedback
- Inbuilt store to buy art supplies
3. ShadowDraw: Learn How to Draw
If you have an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, this app will make sketching like a cakewalk. It’s specially designed to work with Apple Pencil and it uses an interactive tracing method to teach. After you open the app, just choose a tutorial you like and the app will guide you step-by-step by showing you realtime hand movement.
With the new update, the lessons are also segregated in levels according to the difficulty of the sketch. The sketches you see are designed by artists who’ve worked with major brands like DC Comics, Marvel, Disney, etc. Guess what, it shows you the next step only when you’ve mastered the previous step. So, you’re simply following the footsteps of the world’s best artists.
- Trace methods for easy learning
- Tutorials according to difficulty
- Greta for Apple Pencil and iPad users
Get Shadow Draw for iOS
4. Drawing & Painting
There is always an app that isn’t well designed but the content is so well curated that it’s hard to keep it out. Drawing and Painting is one of them. The app is a storehouse of important tutorials and resources from beginner to pro-level painters. It has videos (YouTube embedded), images, articles, and even an in-built music player so you can concentrate when you draw. You can find tutorials on pencil drawing, oil painting, anime, and spray art. It’s interesting to find a part of the app is dedicated to biographies of famous artists, painters, and info on the history of art.
The app is a great resource and learning app. But like I said the UI isn’t great and there are banner ads that will crop up randomly. There is no way to buy or subscribe to the app, so you have to scroll through or completely ignore them.
- Video tutorials and articles
- Details on color theory and drawing techniques
- In-built audio player for focus
Get Drawing & Painting (Android)
5. Sketch AR
This is a very unique app that uses augmented reality and machine learning to help you learn how to draw. It projects virtual sketches on any surface, whether it’s a notebook or a wall, which you can trace step by step. It’s quite normal that your paper might accidentally shift or you might want to get a new paper to start it fresh. Worry not, with the help on four cross markers, it also adjusts the virtual image as you move, so your sketch remains accurate. Besides that, you also have the option to set the app if you’re left-handed.
The app is largely divided into courses (beginner, portraits) and lessons (animals, birds, objects). However, only some of these are free. The app comes at $5.5/month, which unlocks all the courses, but if you want to take full advantage of the app, you can a yearly subscription under the “Stay-at-home” special offer for $22.
- Use AR to teach sketch
- Capture picture and make a time-lapse
- Support for left-handed artists
6. Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a far more powerful as a sketching app. If you’ve used Photoshop, imagine this just an extension of the intricate tool-set. You have the option to add multiple sketches and image layers You get 24 built-in brushes with adjustable blending setting, size, opacity, etc. If that’s not sufficient you can also import Photoshop brushes into the app. There are also plenty of canvas sizes ranging from landscape, portrait to web illustrations along with printable oversize to 8K.
If you’re a professional and you already use other Adobe products. You can send these projects straight to Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Hence you’re not restricted with just one app. Remember the mobile app is free however you would need a subscription for the desktop apps.
- Plenty of tools and customization options
- Share in other Adobe apps
- Option to import extra brush tools
- Follow, like and comment on other artist’s artwork
YouTube is a terrific way to learn any skill. You can pause, slow down the video. The amount of content is just huge. Out of the many resources here are some you can follow. Check out RapidFireArt for complete beginners and easy to follow tutorials. Alternatively, you can also check out this beginner drawing playlist by Schaefer.
Type the right keywords, like, Learn how to draw/sketch, or beginner sketch tutorial to filter tutorial videos.
If your interest lies in landscape BABAs art is a great place to start. Circle Line Art School is another one with weekly tutorials focusing mainly on perspective and architectural designs. Lastly, I’m a big fan of the almost real pencil 3D sketches that are trending everywhere. Art By Ali Haider’s video helped me have a good start.
8. Digital Drawing Pads & Stylus
You can start with Sketching and drawing on your phone. But as the hobby grows and you become more advanced, it would be wise to invest in a digital drawing pad or a stylus. Now you don’t have to blow up your budget as modern technology has made even the entry-level devices to work effectively.
Before buying a stylus, check if it’s compatible with your device.
I’m sure you aren’t expecting magic in just a day or a week. It’s an art and it takes time. If you’ve friends who draw and paint, try asking for help whenever you’re stuck. if not, then you can join communities such as Art Fundamentals on Reddit. It’s also a great platform to submit your drawings for feedback. So this was my list of Best Sketch Apps for iOS & Android. If any of the apps above help you in any way, do leave a comment, Da Vinci!
Also Read: Best Gardening Apps for Android & iOS