Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

SketchBook Mobile Android app helps you get the picture

by Caitlin M. Foyt

The developers of drawing application SketchBook Mobile boast that their app is of "professional grade." And from the moment you launch the program, you'll see that this app is very sophisticated, indeed. Unfortunately, the fact that SketchBook Mobile is so involved makes it a bit inaccessible to the everyday drawing enthusiast.

As you open the app, the program gives you the option of taking a "quick tour" to learn where everything is, and how it all works. After you are given the walk-through, the only way you can access the menu is if you click on a small circle at the bottom of the screen. When you click it, you can make all of the drawing palettes appear. Double tapping at the corners will bring up even more options.

This app is kind of similar to Adobe Illustrator, allowing artists to be very specific in choosing brush styles, brush thickness, brush-stroke style and different colors. Each brush can be further customized by adjusting its radius, opacity, feathering and spacing.

You can also create layers, and even merge these layers. The app has a symmetry tool in which every line you draw is mirrored onto the other side of the screen. With this particular tool, drawing symmetrical shapes and objects (faces, perhaps?) has probably never been easier. You can smudge and blend, fill the entire canvas with color, and easily erase any mistakes. There are a lot of different options to sift through and figure out.

Once you're finished painting, you can save your work in the app's gallery, where you can export or email as you see fit.

I had one key issue with this app, however. While it is nice to have such a fancy application at your disposal, it's difficult to make practical use of such a thing when it's on your phone. The screen is so tiny, and there is no option to zoom in and get a closer look at what you're doing. I think this program would be much better-suited for use on some kind of computer tablet.

This app was most certainly designed for professional artists or graphic designers who are used to creating work on a computer. Even with the helpful tutorial, it took some time and practice before I felt a little more comfortable navigating my way through the app and figuring out how things worked. To be honest, I'm still not 100 percent on the ins and outs of everything. But, if you're really into drawing and don't mind the learning curve, this is easily the highest-quality drawing app available in the marketplace.