Doorway. Sketchbook painting on Galaxy Note 4.

Which Version of Sketchbook?

Which Sketchbook is best?

Autodesk Sketchbook comes in 57 varieties. Well, not quite up to Heinz, but Autodesk admit to at least 14 versions of Sketchbook. It’s difficult to know the differences when you can only try one at a time. What are they and which version of Sketchbook is best?

For a start there are 3 levels of Sketchbook:

Starter. Free. Only about 8 brushes, but does include taster versions of many of the tools.

Essentials. Unlocked when you sign up for a free Sketchbook account. Brings you more brushes, a couple of Copic markers, simple layers, a blending brush, rulers.

Pro. The paid for version of Sketchbook. The full tool box.  Yet more brushes you can fine tune to your liking. Unlimited layers. Full Copic colour library. Magic wand selection, perspective guides, symmetry tools and more.

Not so long ago Sketchbook Pro was revised and hugely improved. It now seems to be listed as simply Autodesk Sketchbook. The app is much the same on an iPad Air 2, an iPhone 6+ and an (Android) Galaxy Note 4.

Two pigeons, one black, one white. Sketchbook painting.

Pigeon and Antipigeon

Painted in Sketchbook on (Android) Galaxy Note 3

You may sometimes encounter different versions of Sketchbook for Apple and Android devices.

sketchbook Note3


Painted in Sketchbook on (Android) Galaxy Note 3

… In addition there are different versions of Sketchbook for phones and tablets.

For instance there is – or was – plain Sketchbook Express, Sketchbook Express for iPad, and Sketchbook Express for Android. There is – or was – a Sketchbook Mobile, and even a Sketchbook Mobile Express.

You could certainly call Sketchbook versatile. Why not simply see what version of Sketchbook is available in your own App Store or Play Store? Sketchbook is certainly one of the best painting apps for tablet, phablet or phone, Apple or Android, novice or pro.





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Valerie Beeby

We used to say 'Seeing is believing'. Now it's more like 'Believing is seeing'. We see what we expect to see. Look again and who knows. Does it really match what's actually there? ...I've always been fascinated by how our minds work. As a writer and artist, I'm particularly interested in new research into how we perceive this extraordinary world we live in, where things are not always what they seem.

5 thoughts on “Which Version of Sketchbook?”

  1. I would like to say the new Sketchbook for the iPad but so far I haven’t been able to get a decent flow. The main issue for me is the blending brush. My workflow entirely depends on it just as my oils did. I love the smooth transition of color with no brushstrokes. But I also like “pulling” out strands for electric hair, tiny details in prints, eyelashes, fur, veins in leaves. Using the blend brush at each maximum was like having 20/0 brushes again. The new ones pull under layers in. So I have to switch between the two to get the desired effect. This seems counterintuitive because the older program is no longer sold or upgraded. Sooner or later it won’t work. I’ve been working with Art Studio and it has some beautiful features too, more so than Procreate. I just want my old SketchbookPro updated, simple. The extra features in all the paint programs like gradients, and shifting parts of layers are overwhelming me.

    1. Overwhelming is the word Deborah. Heaven is raining an avalanche of tools! I keep cutting down the number of apps I use and the brushes I use in the apps I do use, but Autodesk and co keep adding more. Also, as you say, changing the old ones too. Some changes I do find useful but it’s hard to stay simple. Art Rage for iPhone is refreshing as it has just 4 brushes with 4 variations and that’s it.

      I did try one of the new blend brushes in Sketchbook on my iPhone 6+ though Deborah. It only pulled colour on the active layer, and did not touch the layer below. Was that the action you said your version of Sketchbook has lost? I did manage to get some pretty fine hairlike effects.

      1. The four smudge brushes on Sketchbook for iPad are now (or were, I can not find if they “fixed” them) Invisible Brushes and not true smudges. I wonder if the iPhone version is different. I should look at the Mobile version and see. They tend to be Simple, too!

        1. I don’t think the simpler versions of Sketchbook have a smudge brush at all. Later one was added in higher versions, but hidden so nobody could find it. I don’t know if the iPhone version of Sketchbook-Superior-Quality is different from the iPad version. Not sure I quite follow what you mean by the difference between an invisible brush and a true Smudge brush though. I interpret ‘blender’ as being a brush with no paint on, that only moves paint on the canvas.

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