Create Your Masterpiece With These 5 Best Drawing Apps

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If you’re looking for a new creative hobby to pass the time on a long commute or want to improve your fine sketching skills, there is an array of digital art apps for you to try. Some drawing apps are so advanced and realistic that many artists prefer them over a traditional sketchbook and pencil. These art apps not only make professional creators’ lives easier, but also facilitate the ability for children and complete beginners to create stunning pieces of work with relative ease. But, like sketchbooks and artistic mediums, there are countless drawing apps out there. Here we will discuss the big players like Photoshop, which is now used as a verb, and the emerging apps, taking the digital creative space by storm. Here are Optimum’s choices of the best drawing apps:

1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is one of the best-known art apps and a favorite for graphic designers and other creative professionals. At its simplest, Adobe Photoshop has the ability to create, edit and enhance images. However, Photoshop has a vast array of brushes and selection tools to help you curate your showpiece. If that isn’t enough, there are hundreds of additional free and paid plugins that you can play around with, such as exploring symmetrical designs or organizing your paintbrushes. It is the wealth of options and advanced software that makes Photoshop one of the best art apps. One important thing to note is that like all Adobe creative apps, Photoshop is subscription-based. Although not the cheapest drawing app around, the creative offerings are endless.

Price: 7-day free trial. Photoshop: $20.99 a month. All Creative Cloud Apps: $54.99 a month.

Platforms: Available on iOS. Photoshop Express is free and available for Android.


2. Adobe Fresco

Adobe Fresco is a drawing, painting, and sketching app, designed to create a natural drawing experience. Fresco is a relatively new player in the drawing apps world, but it is making a name for itself with its advanced digital drawing techniques. Features include both basic photo editing and the world’s largest digital brush collection. You can also combine several different mediums in the same picture, without the real-life hassle of waiting for paint to dry. Fresco and Photoshop are compatible, meaning you can retouch, combine or add text to images to your masterpiece in both apps. If you want to continue your work whilst on the move, it can be saved on the cloud and accessed from different devices. Adobe Fresco is free for 30 days followed by a monthly subscription cost.

Price: 30-day free trial and then $9.99 a month.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Windows Desktop.


3. Procreate

Ease of use and creative opportunity make Procreate a TikToker’s dream. It is an illustration and animation app that allows you to create digital drawings with relative simplicity on an iPad or iPhone. Procreate works with both touch and the Apple Pencil and is perfect for on-the-go sketching. Procreate is one of the best digital art apps as it includes a ton of professional-grade features including layers, filters, and brushes. What’s more, you can create your own brushes and sell them to others. Procreate is a favorite for beginners as it contains a selection of handy demo videos and easy animation tools. This sketching app is also a more affordable option with just one initial payment of $9.99. As a finishing touch, we love that you can add your signature to your masterpiece.

Price: $9.99 one-time payment

Platforms: Available on iOS only.


4. Sketchbook

If you're looking for an advanced drawing app without a large price tag, then Sketchbook is the app for you. Sketchbook is a free painting, sketching, and drawing app intended for both technical designs and simple doodles. The realistic experience of using traditional brushes, pencils, and marker pens is created using pressure sensitivity on both phones and tablets. One of the best features of Sketchbook is that you can take photos of your real-life paper sketches and continue working on them in the app. The interface is complex and can take some getting used to, but there is a wide community of digital artists and tutorial videos available for support.

Price: free.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Android


5. How to Draw Animals

How to Draw Animals is something a little different. It is a free drawing app that contains step-by-step tutorials to entertain and teach all artistic abilities. From monkeys to dolphins this sketching app has hundreds of animal cartoons for you to explore and draw. What’s more, the app is super easy to use and teacher-approved, meaning it is suitable for little ones. It also has different difficulty levels, for those after a challenge. Developed by Sweetfit Studios, there is also a range of other free ‘How to’ apps to try such as How to Draw Flowers and How to Draw Cars.

Price: free

Platforms: Available on Android only.

A drawing app isn’t the only app worth having on your phone. If you’re looking for more apps to keep you entertained, check out Optimum’s guides to the best multiplayer mobile games, podcast streaming, and travel apps.

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