Fancy Yourself To Be The Next Van Gogh Or Jack Kirby? Here Are The Best Drawing Apps To Help!

    So you’re stuck at home with nothing to do and all those full-of-hope New Years’ resolutions are almost taunting you. If you’ve got free time, motivation, and a bit of skill, the lockdown is a perfect time to either start a new hobby, pick up skills, or revisit your love for art. Art is known to be therapeutic, and channeling your inner Picasso shouldn’t require the gear from the 19th century. There’s a whole range of art and drawing apps available online, here’s our pick of the best drawing apps for the PC as well as your phones to download. 

    MS Paint

    Never forget your roots we say. Anyone with a PC or a laptop has this Microsoft (sadly only Microsoft) app available. Now upgraded to be the cool ‘Paint 3D’ (the one you know and love is still available with more brush options, don’t worry), you can create your own masterpiece. Choose the tool (brush, nib, marker pen, pencil, spray paint, crayon among others), finish (matte, glossy, metallic, and the like), thickness, colour, and transparency of the stroke. Add 3D shapes and add an extra layer to your PC art. Get started with this tutorial.

    Krita

    A free, open source software made by artists for artists (budding or otherwise), Krita is ideal for people using a graphics tablet. Keeping the user in mind, tools and artists’ dashboard are customizable. Meant for digital painting and 2D animation, apart from various brush and drawing tool options, find the option to create layers, masks, and filters. We hear it’s perfect for those who want to do concept art, or create web comics. Get started with this manual.  Krita is available for download on Windows, iOS, and Linux here

    Pigment

    For those of you who want to get your hands on an adult colouring book but can’t, Pigment is the next best thing. Find over 4000 designs and illustrations including florals, mandalas, animals, and even Disney characters (many by their original illustrators!). Adjust the brush/pen thickness, colour, opacity, and all of that for adding depth. Sketched something on paper that you want to fill in? You can do that here. There are also options similar to ‘colour by number’. Available for free on iOS and Android. Download here 

    Ibis Paint X

    One of the most popular paint apps at the moment, download the drawing app on Play Store, App Store, and on Windows PCs and Macs. It’s great for creating Manga Art, but is an excellent option for creating concept art, or regular illustrations too. With over 300 brush styles, 800 fonts, 60 filters, and more, the free app is an ideal st-art-er app. What’s cool is that you can record your process, something that many other artists have made into tutorials and references to help newbies. Here’s where you can find tutorials.

    Sketch Club

    Sketch Club is an app available exclusively for iOS users on the App Store and combines art creation with the social element of being in an art club. So imagine an Instagram with just art where you can comment on your favs, curate your feed, and discuss your work. One of the coolest parts of this club is that there are daily themed challenges, so inspiration will never be a problem, and you can push your creativity while having fun! Download here.

    Zen Brush 2

    A really simple and beautiful art app, Zen Brush 2 allows you to make ink-on-paper art on your screen. iPhone and iPad users, the free version of this app gives you access to 2 (black and red) colours, a few background templates (with the texture of washi paper), and a few free brush styles (dry, moderate, and wet) to create zen ink-creations. For an elevated experience, they also have a DIY brush stylus tutorial. There’s also a buyable version available for PCs (Windows and iOS) at INR 500 from the Microsoft store, and a really basic free version for Android devices called Zen Brush.

    Comic Draw

    Fancy yourself to be a storyteller with your art? Comic Draw (only on iPad App Store) allows you to create visual stories, panel by panel, and eventually put them together to be a full tale! So you can entertain yourself and entertain million others soon. If you have the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, you’ll have the best experience of the app, but you can try their PC friendly Comic Life free for 30 days or buy it for around INR 2,300.

    Infinite Painter

    We hear that Infinite Painter combines the ease of Sketchbook, the versatility of Procreate, and the familiarity of Photoshop. Not only do they have over a 100 types of brushes, you can also create textures that you like. From doing simple tricks like making photos into paintings and illustrations, and regular illustration functions, to creating cityscapes and skylines in 3D, there’s a lot this app can do. Seasoned experts, you can import Photoshop layers and use it here too. It’s available on the Play Store and App Store too. 

    Autodesk Sketchbook

    Available on all platforms (Android, iOS, Desktop), Autdodesk Sketchbook works best on a tablet if you like creating sketches on the go. With many brush textures, layers, and blending tools, the world is literally your canvas. Among many cool features are the symmetry tools (especially if faces never turn out the way you want), the fill tools that can help achieve gradients and ombres in your image, and the fact that you can create short video clips, flip-animation style! Find an intro tutorial here.

    Adobe Creative Cloud

    This list wouldn’t be complete without including all the wonderful applications that Adobe offers. Adobe Creative Cloud includes softwares like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro (video editing), Lightroom (photo editing) and over 20 more options for pretty much any type of creativity. The best option for professional creators, Adobe Creative Cloud leaves little to be desired. Most of them can be tried for free for 30 days, but for the full experience, it’ll cost around INR 4,000 per month. Find out more here.