Drawing is the favorite pastime almost everywhere. Many people from many cultures around the world have done this since before recorded history. This art has evolved a lot since ancient times. Instead of cave walls, we now have phones, tablets, and computers to tap into.
You just got a new Android tablet and you’re wondering what to do with it. How about we draw? While you might not be an artist (yet), a tablet with a drawing app might be just what you need to start learning the skills you’re looking for.
With the increased capabilities of tablets, drawing and visual art applications have followed the same trend. This means you can have a complete drawing studio in your hands.
The following drawing apps for Android are intended to help professionals and amateurs alike. Although you don’t need a stylus, it’s recommended if you want to use these apps to their full potential.
Before you start: get ready to draw on Android
Drawing with a tablet is not the same as working with pen and paper, and is very different from using a brush. Unsurprisingly, using a mouse is also quite different.
Whichever digital art app you choose, make sure your Android tablet has multiple touch points. Even better, it should be able to detect the position of your palm on the screen.
While most Android drawing apps allow you to use your fingers, using a stylus is a smart option. Some Android tablets come with an included stylus. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 has the S-Pen, which is a larger version of the stylus for the Samsung Galaxy Note.
A good all-round option is the Adonit Dash Capacitive Pen, which is compatible with all Android phones and tablets.
Adonit Dash Capacitive Stylus
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If your budget is lower, consider the MEKO universal stylus. This stylus uses a disc stylus tip to improve accuracy. Although it doesn’t look as impressive as the others in terms of style, it’s a great option for beginners.
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MEKO universal stylus
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You can also check out the best Apple Pencil alternatives.
Once you’re ready to draw, check out the best drawing apps for Android.
1. Draw Adobe Illustrator
Adobe offers a free drawing application called Adobe Illustrator Draw. It features a simple interface, intuitive gesture mechanisms, and a comprehensive list of features.
Adobe Illustrator Draw lets you create and save radial graphics to your phone or tablet. Not only does it come with sleek and easy-to-use brush tools, this app is packed with features and is surprisingly smooth.
Since this application creates radial graphics, the images are clear and elegant. And as an official Adobe app, you can seamlessly transfer finished graphics or radials to Adobe Illustrator to continue working. From layers to compositing, this app has everything you could possibly need.
Download: Adobe Illustrator Draw (Free)
2. Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Where Adobe Draw excels in radial graphics, Adobe Sketch excels in raster graphics (like Adobe Photoshop). Filled with all kinds of brushes, Sketch lets you create anything you have the skills to draw.
Sketch’s tools overlap those of Adobe Draw, allowing you to switch between applications. After all, Adobe doesn’t just create great apps, it also creates multi-device creative environments.
Download: Adobe Photoshop Sketch (free)
With everything ArtFlow has to offer, you won’t believe it’s free. Packed with tons of multiple brushes and built-in features available at the tap of an icon, Artflow is one of the best drawing apps for Android. Just use it to showcase your skills or create some serious art.
The free option only allows you to save your art in JPEG or PNG format. However, the Pro version allows exporting in PSD format so you can continue working on your desktop.
Download: ArtFlow (free version, Pro available)
4. MediBang Paint
MediBang Paint is just that: a standard application for painting. It does everything you want. The user interface is similar to the Adobe suite, which will be familiar to graphic designers.
Since this app is free and feature-rich, you’ll find plenty of resources online to help you get started.
Download: MediBang Paint (Free, in-app purchases available)
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5. Infinite Painter
Infinite Painter is my favorite instant art app. It’s very simple: all you see by default is a set of tools (brush, smudge, brush size, brush color and transparency).
That’s all you get in the UI because that’s all you need. All additional tools are one button away and Infinite Painter takes advantage of this single button. It’s a minimalist app, but features enough features in its free version to create truly impressive professional work in moments.
Download: Infinite Painter (free version, Pro available)
6. Autodesk Sketchbook
As a desktop iteration, Autodesk SketchBook offers useful tools and features to design anything your imagination creates. It’s more than just an application: Autodesk has also developed it with great ethics. This text is taken from the Sketchbook website:
At Autodesk, we believe creativity starts with an idea. From quick concept sketches to full works of art, drawing is at the heart of the creative process. . . . That’s why we’re excited to announce that the fully premium version of SketchBook is now free for everyone! “
It’s always nice to see a great paid app available for free. This includes both desktop and mobile versions of Sketchbook, so you can work with any medium that suits your expertise.
Download: Sketchbook (Free)
7. Paper color
While most apps try to give you a modern and minimal user interface, PaperColor puts pens and brushes in front of you. It tries to provide an experience that is as close to the actual support and fabric as you can get from the Android app.
PaperColor also has an array of great tools and one of them is the widest and most intuitive selection of brushes it offers compared to any drawing app. Buy the VIP version and you will have great options that PaperColor offers you.
Download: PaperColor (free and pro version available)
Pixel art is your favorite? DotPict is a simple yet amazing 8-bit drawing application. In addition, this application can also be considered partly as a game.
Move a small hand with your finger or stylus, then tap your color to create an 8-bit shape. There are a variety of canvas sizes, so you can create anything from a small portrait to an entire landscape.
Select a color, point the cursor, then press. You can infinitely customize the color palette to complete an entire 8-bit project. It’s easy to use. If you want, you can take a look at our other pixel art tools to create your own unique retro art.
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Download: DotPict (Free, in-app purchases available)
9. ibis X painting
IbisPaint X is a drawing application that you can use to create tons of detailed drawings and illustrations. Many of its features remind you of tools you can find in essential design apps like Adobe Illustrator, but IbisPaint X includes all of that in the app. It also has a video tool to record your progress.
Ibis Paint X offers over 300 brushes as well as an unlimited number of layers, each with individual settings. When you are done, you can share your line drawing app creations with other users.
Two premium options are available: Remove Ads and Prime Subscription. Membership adds advanced features like new fonts and filters, so it’s worth checking out. You should also check the ibis Paint X YouTube channel for tutorial videos.
IbisPaint X is an excellent drawing application that will satisfy both amateur and professional artists. It has so many options, it’s one of the best and easiest apps of its kind.
Download: ibis Paint X (free in-app purchases available)
10. Corel Mobile Painter
Finally, it’s worth considering an offering from another developer experienced in desktop art tools packages: Corel. Painter Mobile targets all levels of artists, with options to paint, continue or start over.
You’ll find the usual painting tools, blending capability, multiple brushes and a paint bucket, and support for 15 layers. There’s also integration with Samsung’s PENUP social art network.
Download: Corel Painter Mobile (free in-app purchases available)
Large collection of free and paid drawing apps for Android
If you have dealt with painting or the visual arts in the past, you have no more excuses. Seriously develop your drawing skills wherever you go with these best Android drawing apps.
In short, the Android drawing apps you should check out are:
- Adobe Illustrator Draw
- Adobe Photoshop Sketch
- Painting Médibang
- infinite painter
- Paper color
- Painting Ibis X
- Corel Mobile Painter
They will all work on Android phones and tablets, but for best results you should use an Android compatible stylus. If you find that an Android tablet isn’t for your artistic purposes, consider a graphics tablet.