Can You Improve Your Drawing Skills With Your Android Device?

9/8/2012 9:31:18 AM

Anyone can be an artist, but can your Android turn you into Picasso?

When it comes to art, you’ve either got the skills to create some fantastic sketches, or you’ll be struggling to draw a decent circle without looking stupid.

Description: Can You Improve Your Drawing Skills With Your Android Device?

Can You Improve Your Drawing Skills With Your Android Device?

We fall in to the latter category. However, there’s help out there, and the Google Play store has a great selection of tutorial-based apps to help you learn the tools and tricks needed to become handy with a pencil and a rubber. For this challenge we’ll be exploring some of these tutorial-based apps, as well as some of the best sketch apps available for download to see if you can improve your drawing skills with your Android device.

Using tutorials

Due to our limited drawing skills, we first searched around the Google Play store for tutorial-based apps which would teach us the basics of drawing. The app that we discovered was How to Draw. This app included a range of tutorials for different aspects of the drawing process. Whether you wanted to learn about drawing moving figures, or sunsets, the app covers a wide range of subjects. Each tutorial was done step-by-step, meaning they’re easy to follow and can be repeated if need be. Where the app is a problem for budding artists is that all tutorials are shown on a grid, and although that's helpful at first, 90 per cent of all your future drawings won’t have a grid for you to use. After following several tutorials, and creating some resemblance to the on-screen images we were ready to start putting what we had learned in to effect by looking at some basic sketching apps.

Description: How to Draw App

How to Draw App

You can go back to previous steps within How to Draw. This feature is particularly useful if you are starting from scratch, or want to compare your effort to what the tutorial is showing you.

There are plenty of other tutorial-based drawing apps available for download from the Google Play store. One app you should also check out is Drawing Tutorial Videos, which does exactly as the name suggests.

Try not to use a grid on your paper when you follow one of the tutorials as more often than not you’ll be using blank paper anyway. The tutorials work in the same way though, but the grids make it a lot easier to judge lengths of lines and angles.

Practice makes perfect

We took two distinctive approaches to putting what we had learned in to practice. We first downloaded the Sketch Free app to put our newly acquired techniques in to practice. The app included a good variety of brushes and pencils to sketch with, while also enabling us to save any of our creations, or share them with our contacts.

Description: Learn the basics and then get drawing!
Learn the basics and then get drawing!

“When you first open Sketch Free, make sure to just use the basic tools that are available to you, before trying to incorporate some of the more advanced and complicated items.”

Sketching on a phone is a definite mix bag, and using a stylus to pinpoint your strokes is a lot better, and easier as it turns out. We also had problems creating a decent drawing on any device under four inches, but this probably was down to our ability! We also joined the Draw Something craze and had a whole lot of fun.

Description: Sketch Free app

Sketch Free app

“You can create as many games of Draw Something as you want. By connecting to a new player you’ll be drawing often and be able to work on your drawing skills regularly. If the small ranges of colors that come free with Draw Something don’t completely tickle your fancy, then you can invest in a wider palette to make your drawings look even more realistic.”

Advanced techniques

After we had got our head around the basics of drawing, as well as put some of what we had learned into practice, we wanted to look at some of the art studios available from the Google Play store. We first took a look at Magic Doodle, which had a great selection of pencils, brushes and colors to perfect your drawings. Once again we had the same issue of trying to use our finger to create a masterpiece, and the app is definitely best used with a stylus. There are some unique effects within Magic Doodle, and we especially liked being able to blend different colors together to alter our creations. The other studio we took a look at was Paint Joy which offered a smaller selection of brushes and pencils compared to Magic Doodle, but did include a Gallery mode that recorded the drawings we made step-by-step.

“Most of the advanced art studios on the Google Play store do require you to pay for them before use. In this case, take advantage of the 15-minute refund policy.”

Success rating

Verdict: Complete 70%

Well we aren’t going to be the next Picasso anytime soon, but there are certainly a good variety of tutorials to help you learn the basics of drawing. The selection of different art studios is also great, but some are a lot more basic than we would have liked. Also, don’t rely on your finger to create a decent drawing, and invest in a proper stylus instead.

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