Finding the Best Drawing and Painting Apps
for tablet, phablet or phone
Painted in Sketchbook and Photoshop Touch on Samsung Galaxy Note 8
It’s easy to be in the dark when it comes to fishing for drawing apps for an iPad or other tablet. Neither Android nor Apple makes it easy to track down the best apps for artists. Neither app store has a category for graphics apps.
- ‘Photography’ gives you photo editing tools, useful for adding effects to a finished image, but not much good for drawing or painting.
- ‘Entertainment’ comes up mainly with colouring books for kids.
- ‘Productivity’ yields kit for scribbling notes or making diagrams.
Remarkable new apps for designers, illustrators, art students and image makers of all kinds are lurking down there somewhere. How do you find them? I’ve had to plod through many a long list of search results to track down the few artists’ gems for Android machines. The Apple choice of good apps is the opposite. It’s overwhelming. Most of the best drawing and painting apps I’ve used on iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch have come through recommendation.
Android Apps for Artists
On Android machines it’s not a question of too much choice but a starvation diet of pro-level apps. I’d pick only two.
Smaller apps like Canvas, Fresco or Magic Doodle are good, but for serious drawing and painting on an Android machine, Adobe Photoshop Touch and Autodesk Sketchbook are the only apps to rival the richer pickings in the Apple orchard. Major graphics software firms like Autodesk and Adobe are probably better able to cope with the wider variety of Android screens and machines. Not that Adobe always gets it right! Don’t confuse Photoshop Touch with Photoshop Express, also by Adobe, also for mobiles but lame in comparison.
ENCOURAGING UPDATE. Take a look at my post in June 2014 and you’ll find there are now a few more good painting and drawing apps for Android artists.
Apple Apps for Artists
In contrast, there are now so many drawing and painting apps in the Apple Store that I’ve been suffering from App Overload. These are my own current flavours of the month.
iPad Drawing and Painting Apps
iPhone Drawing and Painting Apps
Was it really only a few months before writing this that I co-presented twenty of the most useful minor painting apps for iPad and iPhone? This was at the first meeting of IAMDA, (the International Association of Mobile Digital Artists).
Since that exciting time in New York, most of the Apple apps we raved or raged about have been replaced by yet brighter and better. I’ve had to revise my list of best apps so many times that I have now converted it from a web page to a blog post. This way you can see in just what month the list you’re looking at became the Chosen Few.