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Unleash your creativity with these artistic Android apps

by Kristen Nicole

Everyone's got a little artistry to them, and it's nice to take that experience mobile. While Android hasn't received the same attention as the iPhone, or more notably the iPad, there is still a range of apps an artist of any kind can appreciate. From drawing to palette inspiration, here are some Android apps with an artistic touch.


Adobe Photoshop Express lets you do high-level editing to images, adding artistic touches or making drastic statements. Free, this Android app has a wide range of tools: adding effects, cropping, modifying colors and more. Sync with your Photoshop account, and share your masterpieces with friends.

Whether you're doodling something or jotting notes, the Paint app for Android has a wide range of options. Brushes, backgrounds and drawing effects are the basics you'll get. Import a photo, save your images to your phone, and share them from there. Free, Paint is one of the smoother drawing applications in the Android market.

Sketchbook starts like a coloring book, but has a feature for blending your colors to transform it into something more artistic. If you have a bit of patience and touchscreen determination, Sketchbook can be fun for kids and artists alike. A color wheel, brush effects and other tools help you customize each image. Sketchbook for Android is free.


Color Pal is a mobile browser for palettes from COLORlovers, an online community of user-generated schemes. You can swipe through palettes based on color searches and key words, with related schemes and color details. As with the COLORlovers site, palette categories also include design themes for a bit of inspiration. This Android app is free.

Painting Findings is kind of like those Highlights puzzles, where you scan similar images to find the minute differences. The free Android app is a library of collectors painting puzzles, giving you an opportunity to learn the inner workings of famous pieces. Makers Oluss Studio calls it "edutainment."

Tangram Moment is a series of puzzles to work out, arranging the shapes available into the designated design. Some levels are trickier than others, but when it comes to tangrams, that's really a matter of spatial awareness and creativity. Develop both skills for your artistic endeavors with a few rounds of this free Android app.


TripAdvisor may be a travel app, but it’s a great resource for finding local museums and attractions. Spend an afternoon with other artists' works for a bit of inspiration. With this free Android app you can read and write reviews for local venues, sharing first-hand experiences as part of your search. Navigation is included in the app.

YouTube has a surprising number of artists willing to give free tutorials, making it a great visual aid for crash courses in various art techniques. Search for artist videos, create playlists, and receive updates when a channel you subscribe to has new content. YouTube for Android is free.

As your mobile library and bookstore, Kindle is an amazing resource. Do a shop search for "how to draw," and you'll find a list of matching titles. Books from this Amazon retailer can be accessed from any supporting device running WhisperSync, so you'll have technique instructions, artist biographies and more, always ready at your fingertips.