Getting into drawing used to be quite hard. Buying supplies, paint and what not is always a chore for beginners. Especially if you are new and just experimenting. Spending a small fortune on something you are not sure you like is a hard choice. Thankfully we live in a digital world, and drawing apps can easily remedy the dilemma you may face.
Writer’s recommendation: These apps work great on almost any smartphone or tablet. But we recommend using tablets for more precise control and a larger canvas to work with. While fingers are good when drawing casually, a stylus is a better choice. A stylus can give you much-needed precision and control which a finger simply cannot replicate.
Note: The 10 best drawing app for android were tested on Samsung Galaxy S3 running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. A second round of testing was done on Samsung Galaxy Note tablet using the S-Pen. Both devices ran the apps great and without any problems.
1. Paperless-Draw, sketch, tablet – $1.99
No paper no problem
Paperless Draw is a great app if you are into casual drawings. While there are advanced tools in the load out, the interface is much suited for casual doodles. While the app has “tablet” in the game, it ran great on smartphone as well. There are 6 drawing tools at your disposal which make the drawing that much easier. Drawing, painting, sketching and writing, all are quite possible with Paperless. Paperless truly makes art paperless.
- Smooth and easy interface.
- Zooming in and out is intuitive.
- Size, opacity, smoothing and thickness factors can be adjusted.
Paperless gives you control of 3 separate layers which can be used to make compelling pieces of art. This feature is not featured in many of the casual drawing apps.
2. Smart Paint – Free
Smart Paint is one of the best drawing apps available on android. While the interface is a little blocky, the app itself works remarkably. The main interface may put new comers off with its jam packed-ness, but once you get to play a little the app is quite accessible. Pen, pencil, line, airbrush, texture, gradation, bucket and many more tools are available in this handy yet free app.
- Simple yet robust with features.
- Resizing is very easy and intuitive.
- Changing colors is seamless.
A built-in file manager makes it easier to identify files. A small thumbnail is shown along the file name so that you can continue working on your project easily.
3. Infinite Painter – Free
To infinity and beyond
Infinite Painter is an app specifically made for devices with styluses. The app has some great features which utilize the stylus like S-Pen featured in smartphone and tablets like Galaxy Note series. The app brings fresh and innovate features which are only available on the best drawing app for android for Galaxy Note devices. There are numerous brushes available in different categories. Blending and mixing colors is always a blast.
- Trace and rub images.
- Liquefy mode is fun.
- Import images from camera, gallery, or web.
- Five types of symmetry including, horizontal, vertical, angular, radial, and kaleidoscopic.
Infinite Painter has pressure sensitivity which means the harder your press the fatter will be the brush. This actually replicates the brush strokes of a real brush. It is a nice touch which is useful and immersive.
4. Water Color Pencil – Free
Go with the flow
It might be an odd name for a drawing app, but the app itself is quite user-friendly. To be honest this is the only app which can really click with young artists. The interface is simply brilliant, especially the color selection. The app presents you will color pencils which are color aligned. Water color can easily be replicated by the fluid simulation featured in the app. The app also have tip and pressure controls, making it ideal for water based art digitally.
- Great user interface.
- Color selection is very fancy.
- Fluid simulation really adds to the art.
Notable Feature: The water flow effect is a nice touch which mixes and melts the color.
5. Infinite Design – $4.99
A vector victory
If you require a vector based drawing app, then Infinite Design is the best app for you. The professional vector graphics app allows you to create complex and beautiful design effortlessly on your device of choice. The canvas controls are great and the inclusion of layers makes the environment all the more professional. A tool menu which allows you to speed paint is also available in this great app. Suffice to say, this is not an app for beginners, it is professionally focused software.
- Export images as large as 100 MP, that’s a lot.
- Saving path data to SVG for easy editing on work PC.
- NIVIDIA DirectStylus support is included.
Infinite design is the best drawing app for android is you are looking for a vector based designing app. The app has almost every tool you may require for on the go vector designing.
6. Kids Doodle – Free
Finally an app which has neon colors, Kids Doodle will capture the imagination of young kids. The bright colors and easy to use interface becomes an instant hit among your artists who just want to draw stuff. Doodling is fun when done right and this app caters to that basic need. So install this best drawing app for android for kids and don’t worry about the new paint on the walls. The kids will be too busy having fun with this app to even think about smearing your lipstick on the fridge.
- Multiple brushes with great effects.
- The neon colors are great for kids.
- 24 brushes including glow, neon, rainbow and crayon.
The movie features plays how the drawing was made. This feature comes in handy when teaching kids how to draw simple objects.
7. Fresco Paint Pro – Free and $2.99
Paint like a pro
7a. Free Version
The free version of Fresco Paint comes with ads and limited features. In all honesty, this is a stripped down version only intended to be regarded as a demo. We wouldn’t have recommended this app if it didn’t have a paid version. The free version has some great brushes and layers which is a lot for a free app. But when you compare it to the paid version, it feels the “lite” end of the bargain. Multi touch zooming and panning, configurable texture sizes and opacity of brushes make it a remarkable app.
- Fast, responsive and easy to use.
- Color palette eye dropper tool and HSV color pickers.
- A robust undo system.
Fresco Paint can save files in PSD format. This is the format which is professionally used on Photoshop. So you can simply make a file in the app and export it to Photoshop for further editing.
7b. Paid Version
The paid version of this app comes with 4 layers, 21 filters and 12 brushes. Brush spacing setting is also available. Most of all there are absolutely no ads in the app.
8. SketchBook – Free
The choice of professionals
Made by the same guys who made Autocad, SketchBook Pro is a professional grade drawing app. The app provides you with a full screen work space with support for any screen orientation. So doing portraits or drawing lavish landscapes, both will be easy to make. Large canvases, dynamic symmetry and a cool color library are some of the features of SketchBook Pro. The app also has comprehensive brush library with over 100 customizable brushes. The app has customizable user interface which ensures nothing gets in the way of work.
- Full multi-touch support.
- Manageable multiple layers.
- Pen only mode for Stylus devices.
SketchBook Pro is the best drawing app for android if you are seeking a professional grade drawing app. It has almost every feature a pro would desire and works flawlessly, even on old hardware. We stress tested the app and there are minimal lag.
9. Sketcher – Free
Pick and draw
Sketcher is simply the best drawing app for android and there are multiple reasons for it. It is not aimed at professionals yet features some really advanced tools. The user interface while not robust is easily accessible for all of the users. There is tablet support and adjustable canvas size. All in all Sketcher is a well-rounded app suitable for medium to expert artists. The simple nature of the app keeps it relatively easy to use when compared to other apps on the list all the while providing enough tools to express creativity.
- Multiple undo and redo.
- Panning and zooming on adjustable canvas size.
- 12 brushes keeps think simple.
Sketcher is the best drawing app for android if you are in search for a stable and free app. The app is light, easy to use and has enough tools to make compelling art.
The best drawing apps for android can never be a single app. This depends on the level and need of the user. If you are a newcomer, then Sketcher is a great way to test your skills. If you are a professional designer then SketchBook Pro or Infinite Design are great choices. Drawing apps are also great when paired with screenshot and camera apps. Write on your photos and send them to friends. The best drawing app for android is dependent on you, and only you can decide which one is best for you. This list explains almost all levels of drawing apps, from kids to experts, and we hope you find the best creative outlet for your inner Da Vinci.