Painting and drawing will never go out of fashion, and using an app for art brings a whole new experience.
Some pastimes and hobbies have come and gone over the years, but art will always be an activity that many people enjoy. While it’s great to work with pencil and paper or canvas and paints, using an app makes it possible to enjoy painting and drawing on your Android tablet or smartphone wherever you are. It’s convenient, doesn’t require a ton of equipment, and brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘creativity,’ with new digital ways of doing things.
What are the best Free Drawing apps?
- KIDS DOODLE
- LEARN HOW TO DRAW
- ILLUSTRATOR DRAW
- MEDIBANG PAINT
- ART DRAWING
- IBIS PAINT X
Painting and drawing apps are in abundance on the Google Play Store, and we’ve trawled through many of the best picks to produce our list of the best paint and drawing apps for artists on Android. There’s something here to suit all ages and abilities, for those who want to use it for professional reasons to drawing for kids to keep them entertained. These apps can be used to create simple pictures and help beginners to learn, through to works of art worthy of the word ‘masterpiece’ for the more experienced artist.
We hope you enjoy taking a look and trying out some of these Android apps for artists. All of them are free to download, and while some are completely free and include ads, some offer in-app purchases for additional features.
1. ARTFLOW: PAINT DRAW SKETCHBOOK
This app is best suited for professional artists, and the developers of ArtFlow claim that it aims to replace a physical sketchpad with a universal art studio type app. The app is based on Google’s Material Design and uses a high-performance fluid paint engine that makes painting and drawing an enjoyable, intuitive experience. It packs a ton of features such as support for pressure-sensitive pens (e.g. the Samsung S Pen), and includes over 80 paintbrushes and tools. ArtFlow also features color adjustment (such as brightness, HSV, and saturation), hi-resolution canvases, up to 16 to 32 layers (depending on available memory and device), infinite undo and redo, and separate flow and opacity brush control.
Results can be exported to PNG, JPEG, or PDS, so that for example you can resume working on Photoshop for desktop, and the app also enables users to import images directly from a camera or the gallery. Do note that the app is free to download, but some of the more advanced features require a pro-license, available through an in-app purchase. For example, without a license, you’ll only get 20 tools and up to two layers. Also, note that some features such as pressure simulation and palm rejection are only available for compatible devices. It’s a great time to try this app as it has just been updated with further improvements, so do check it out.
2. SKETCHBOOK – DRAW AND PAINT
Autodesk’s SketchBook comes with support for numerous languages and is aimed at everybody who wants to have a go, no matter what their age. The user interface is clean and easy to navigate, and the basic free app features a full-screen workspace, over 10 preset brushes (pencils, pens, and markers), 2,500% zoom, Layer Editor with up to 13 layers and 16 blending modes, and more.
In-app purchases are available for SketchBook Pro features that include more than 100 pencils, pens, markers, and brushes, full Copic Color Library, additional layers, gradient fills tools, and advanced selection tools including a magic wand, marquee, and lasso. Work can be saved and stored on Dropbox, and the Gallery on the app features multiple view options and albums. A very neat touch with this powerful app is time-lapse recording enabling an in-app video of your work in progress that you can share.
3. KIDS DOODLE – COLOR AND DRAW
Among our choice of the best paint and drawing apps for artists on Android we’ve tried to pick something for all ages, and if your little ones love to draw, this kids app could be just what you’re looking for to keep them amused. It’s nice to see an app aimed at children that is so polished, and as it’s so easy to use that even small kids can be kept entertained.
Kids Doodle features numerous brushes with effects such as neon, glow, crayon, and rainbow, and a glorious array of vivid colors that kids will find especially appealing. Pictures and drawings can be saved in the gallery, and there’s even a movie mode so that their artwork can be played back like a mini-movie. They can paint on photos or canvas, share their masterpieces on Twitter, Facebook, Gmail or more, and clear the current painting simply by shaking the device.
4. LEARN HOW TO DRAW (FREE)
Some of us are more artistically limited than others, and we found this app really covers the basics of drawing figures rather well for those who find it a challenge. It includes a variety of tutorials that will help you to gradually develop your drawing skills, although it’s still suitable for more advanced artists as tutorials are spread over three levels for beginner, intermediate, and advanced respectively. There is plenty of content available with advice to guide you, and more content is added every week.
5. PAINTASTIC: DRAW COLOR PAINT
We loved this app that can be used to produce your own works such as paintings, logos, greetings cards, and designs, or to elaborate on other photos and pictures. Suitable for all ages, it features plenty of paintbrushes to choose from, hundreds of predefined shapes, a useful color picker, image filters, and effects, and a selection tool for copying, pasting, cropping, rotating, resizing and more. You can add pictures and photos to create cards and collages, and also add captions and quotes to your creations.
The app makes it easy to share your cards or drawings with the ones you love via social networks such as Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.
6. ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR DRAW
Adobe is a well-known name, and this drawing app is aimed more at professional artists, illustrators, and graphic designers. The app won the PlayStore Editor’s Choice Award as well as the Tabby Award for Creation, Design, and Editing, and it enables work to be sent from the app to Adobe Illustrator CC, Photoshop CC, Capture CC, or Photoshop Sketch. Features include a choice of five pen tips varying in adjustable size, color, and opacity, and up to 64x zoom for working on areas with fine detail.
Multiple images and layers can be worked on, with each layer able to be renamed, duplicated, merged, or adjusted, and the app also supports Creative Cloud services such as Adobe Stock and Powered by CreativeSync.
7. MEDIBANG PAINT – MAKE ART!
MediBang Paint is a hugely popular user-friendly app for comic creation and digital artists, gaining a user review rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on the Google Play Store. It includes many features of other good art apps, but one of the best bits of this app is cross-platform support for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac OS X, meaning you can transfer work between all of these platforms thanks to a cloud saving feature.
The app has a plethora of tools available such as Airbrush, Watercolor, Acrylic, Drawing Pen, Soft Pastel, Mapping Pen and more, and a huge mass of free resources to take advantage of including comic book fonts, and tones, textures, and premade backgrounds. Work can be uploaded to the MediBang art community or shared across social networks. For a totally free app, this one has plenty to recommend it.
8. SKETCH – DRAW AND PAINT
This Sony drawing and photo-editing app are well respected, and it’s suitable for all abilities and ages. A big part of this app is the Sketch community that you can share your art with or explore, collaborate, or use to inspire you. The use of hashtags means it’s a simple process to find different drawing styles (such as manga, anime, and comics), and you can interact and engage with other artists or follow your favorite artists.
It’s a lot of fun and features multiple brushes and tools, a zoom feature, layers, and the option to add text and free stickers to photos and pictures. You can also draw with a finger or stylus, and a whole host of other features is available, though some require the use of an in-app purchase.
9. ART DRAWING IDEAS
So sometimes you sit down, and you’re ready to start drawing but can’t think of what to draw! That’s where this app is useful as it provides a multitude of ideas that will inspire, motivate you, and teach you to develop your skills. It includes basic drawing skills as well as work from famous drawing artists, with some fantastic images to encourage you to get creative using a choice of media such as pen and ink, graphic pencils, charcoals, chalks, silverpoint, and more.
10. IBIS PAINT X
The ibisPaint X illustration app will appeal to a wide spectrum of artists, and the fact that it has been downloaded more than 9 million times is a testament to its popularity. This art and design app is built on the idea of social drawing and features GPU accelerated realistic brushes with 142 types of brushes available.
IbisPaint also has an official YouTube channel with useful videos, and you can upload videos of your artistic endeavors as the app features the ability to record yourself working. It includes a Frame Divider Tool, area selection functions with 256 grades of selection for every pixel, a color palette with up to 30 colors saved, ruler tool, and much more.
11. SKETCH MASTER
Sketch Master is a simple application but very powerful application to create drawings, painting or inserting text on a photograph. It offers some very useful functions, including up to 3000% zoom. You can share your creations with different social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or save them in the gallery of your device.
12. HOW TO DRAW
How to Draw is a very useful app for armature artist. It will teach you the basics of drawing as if you had a tutor in your device. This app includes drawings of famous people that have to recreate step and suggested techniques to get the best results and make you an artist, starting with sketches and simple lines ending with a full-color image.
13. WACOM BAMBOO PAPER
The natural touch of the drawing with the touch of your fingers may become one of the best experiences on Android. Wacom Bamboo Paper is a perfect app made for this purpose. It is a kind of notebook but has a great virtue for drawing. It does not have all the expected features of a drawing tool but has all the basic tools to make great pictures with a little creativity of the user. If you want to make some quick sketches it is the perfect app for you.
Whether you’ve always wondered if you have any artistic talent, or are already an accomplished artist, at least one or two of these apps will have something to offer you. Painting and drawing is an activity that’s enjoyed by millions of people across the world, and now that creating art can be enjoyed on an Android smartphone or tablet, it’s even more accessible. If you have a favorite among our selection of the best painting and drawing apps for artists on Android, let us know which one you prefer. We’d also welcome your comments if using one of these apps has inspired you to take up painting and drawing for the first time.