1SketchBook – draw and paint
Whether you’re a seasoned graphic design virtuoso with a digital portfolio as varied as Pablo Picasso’s oeuvre or just someone who likes to draw doodles for fun, you’ll find Autodesk’s Sketchbook equally useful and awesome. The first thing you’ll notice about SketchBook is the sleek, clean design of its interface and the full screen workspace, which certainly enhance the user experience, especially the latter, but the app’s real highlights lie in its actual painting and drawing features. These features include more than 10 preset brushes – customizable pencils, pens, and markers – ensuring a natural drawing experience, synthetic pressure-sensitivity, a Layer Editor module with 16 blending modes, and symmetry and proportional transform tools. In case you’re on the pro side of graphic design and you’re in need of additional features, there are heaps at your disposal for only $4.99: an immense brush library containing over 100 pencils, pens, brushes, and markers, additional layers and full layer controls with 18 blending modes, advanced selection tools, the full Copic Color Library, and many more.
2Logo Maker Plus
Designing a logo is harder than it seems, as there’s more to each logo than meets the eye regarding the amount of work that goes into it. You need something that looks good, something simple that is capable of conveying a complex brand message and brand feel, and something that people will remember and will associate with not only the brand itself, but also a certain lifestyle. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for designing logos, Logo Maker Plus should be your go-to choice. This easy-to-use app comes equipped with thousands of graphic elements and comprehensive editing options for each element, while also giving you the tools to create completely unique logos in case you’d rather ditch design templates. Moreover, Logo Maker Plus works perfectly as a cover maker, banner designer, photo editor, and poster maker, so this is an app that definitely deserves the “versatile” epithet.
3MediBang Paint – Make Art!
Before delving into the specifics of MediBang Paint’s features galore, let’s address the elephant in the room: no offense, but MediBang sounds like a medication aimed at increasing sexual appetite. But hey, at least it grabs your attention! Foolishness aside, grabbing your attention even more are the plethora of creative tools that MediBang packs, all of which were tailor-made for illustrators and comic book artists of all levels. This immense selection of creative tools includes more than 100 free brushes, 850 tones, textures, backgrounds, and word balloons, premade backgrounds, comic book fonts, snap guides facilitating easier drawing in perspective, pen correction for smoother lines, and hassle-free comic panel management. Mastering MediBang Paint is as easy as finding an ingenious Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, which, coupled with a clean user interface and a smooth user experience, ensures that even if you’ve never gotten your feet wet in this particular genre, you can become a comic strip sensei in a matter of hours.
4ibis Paint X
We know how utterly disappointing it is to face this painful truth, but despite the iconic “X”, ibis Paint X neither possesses nor gives you mutant superpowers – though, truth be told, the drawing and image fine-tuning tools that this versatile Android drawing app packs could rightfully be denoted as superpowers. Ibis Paint X’s impressive feature line-up includes 142 types of brushes with adjustable parameters, rich layer modes with an unlimited number of applicable layers (to be more exact, there’s a limit, but it’s only set by your device’s memory and the canvas size at hand), a dedicated Manga feature, a ruler tool and delicate area selection tools for maximum precision, 29 distinctively different filter presets, a staggering 880 textures and tones, drawing support tools, undo/redo for more than 100 steps, and many more. To top it off, ibis Paint X has a strong social feature, allowing you to share your artwork and how-it-was-made screen recorded videos with the X community and browse and download the creations of fellow digital maestros in case you’re hungry for a dose of inspiration.
5Adobe Illustrator Draw
Adobe Illustrator Draw is the Android edition of desktop classic Adobe Illustrator CC, which is undoubtedly one of the most popular software products in its category, used by tens of millions of illustrators, graphic designers, interior designers, and other artists worldwide. Adobe Illustrator Draw does not lag far behind its desktop iteration in terms of capabilities, as evidenced by a pair of prestigious awards (Tabby Award for Creation, Design and Editing and the Google Play Store’s Editor’s Choice Award) it took home. Now that we’ve sung its praises, let’s take a closer look at what the app brings to the graphic designing table. With Adobe Illustrator Draw, you can create vector artwork using five different pen tips with adjustable opacity, size, and color, work with multiple image and drawing layers, and insert shape stencils and vector shapes from Adobe Capture CC (more on that later). Adobe Illustrator Draw might seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create beautiful artwork pretty easily.
6PaperOne: Paint Draw Sketchbook
PaperOne specializes in copy-pasting the unique feel and vibe of painting into a digital context, placing an authentic painting experience right at your fingertips. Although PaperOne is perfect for creating mesmerizingly minimalist sketches with very few lines, the app’s highlights are undoubtedly its set of painting tools and the accuracy with which it recreates the real-life painting experience via a variety of paintbrush types and a vast color library. Taking everything into account and looking at some of the drawing apps we’ve already introduced, we’re leaning towards recommending PaperOne for recreational purposes and for beginners, since – despite the app’s pro features which, by the way, are not really worth purchasing – there are better options out there for artists serious about their craft.
7Adobe Capture CC
Adobe Capture CC is a jack-of-all-trades kind of app that pulls of the feat of being the master of many at the same time. What we meant to say with that somewhat confusing sentence is that Adobe Capture CC is the ultimate supplementary app for a wide range of Adobe apps including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, Brush CC, Color CC, and Shape CC. With Capture CC, you can capture, edit, and share unique design assets – such as patterns, colors, brushes, filters, and shapes, to name just a few – you’ll use in one of the apps mentioned above. Turn shapes into vector graphics, extract color themes from photos, create patterns and brushes from photos or graphics – you name it, Capture CC does it.
8ArtFlow: Paint Draw Sketchbook
The word triplet “Paint Draw Sketchbook” is peculiarly popular when it comes to naming Android drawing apps, but we’ll let this one slide and instead focus on ArtFlow’s features. ArtFlow turns your Android device into a digital sketchbook and an artist’s paradise via a high performance paint engine, more than 80 brushes and a handful of brush tools with which you can spice up your painting game, a rich layers feature with 11 different blending modes, color adjustment options, pressure-sensitive pen support, refined palm rejection to avoid unwanted mishaps, separate flow and opacity control for brushes, infinite undo and redo, and many more. We could go on until the Sun runs out of fuel, but it’s better to just download ArtFlow and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.
9Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Rounding out both our drawing app compilation and the set of Adobe apps introduced in this artistic article is Adobe Photoshop Sketch, which we recommend using with Capture CC, Photoshop CC, and Illustrator CC. Once these apps join forces, they truly make for a potent and powerful combo for any artist. Back to Photoshop Sketch: with this not-at-all-sketchy app, you can draw with 11 tools (e.g. pencil, pen, marker, thick acrylic, ink brush, soft pastel and watercolor paint brushes, each packing adjustable settings), work with multiple image and drawing layers, and import your sketches to Photoshop or Illustrator so that they can blossom into full-fledged digital art masterpieces. Since sharing it with others is one of the main purposes of art, it is only natural that Adobe Photoshop Sketch has a social feature with which you can publish your artwork on Behance without having to leave the app.