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Best Android apps for freehand drawing or doodling

June 14, 2012

If you’re like most people (and I bet you are), you instantly turn to your smartphone or tablet when you’re (1) bored while waiting for the bus, (2) trying to look busy to avoid small talk, or (3) pretending to be looking for something on your phone to avoid an awkward situation.

Whipping out your device and scribbling doodles on a sketchbook app may prove to be a great escape. Or, maybe you just really want to practice some brushstrokes and painting styles, intent on making a masterpiece that will give Michaelangelo a run for his money.

Whether it’s just curbing your boredom or actually trying to refine your artistic skills, you’ll find these doodling and freehand drawing apps worth checking out.

Have you ever finished a masterpiece and wanted to relive how your precious work of art came to be? Then you’re going to love Paint Joy – Movie Your Drawing. The app’s main selling point is the gallery record feature, which records every step of your drawing process so you can retrace your steps later and see your masterpiece unfold right before your eyes. It’s perfect for when you want to show off or demonstrate to friends or to refine your drawing techniques by taking a closer look at your methods.

Paint Joy also lets you paint on photos you’ve taken. This is helpful when you’d like to add annotations and comments or to draw attention to a specific part of the photo, such as adding a label or pointy arrows. The app’s intuitive brush and color selector has won fans. Another perk the app offers is easy uploading to Facebook or Twitter for sharing with your friends.

Finally, a drawing app that’s perfect for your little one’s hands. Kids Paint Free is your ally in bringing out your child’s artistic side. Gather round the table and have some fun! Kids and parents alike are going to love the app’s simple, interesting, and interactive interface.

The controls are child-friendly. A shake or tap on the call button easily clears the screen. Pressing the back button undoes your last step, while the search button can be used to import photos for editing or tracing. The trackball can be used to toggle between different gradient background colors to go with your mood or artistic style.

The Kids Paint Free app can be downloaded for free on the Google Play Store. You can also upgrade to the full version at a minimal cost so you can get rid of those ads. Upgrading will also afford you a bigger drawing canvass, multitouch support, tablet support, and picture sharing.

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to draw but just never got around to it, you’ll find that the How to Draw – Easy Art Lessons app is the answer out of your drawing rut. What could be easier than an app showing you each step of an intricate drawing for you to replicate on your own? Don’t let anything stop you–not even the lack of pen and paper–with the How to Draw app.

Choose from a selection of 70 images that will fit a wide variety of artist preferences–whether you’re a child who’s just beginning to learn or an adult who’s quite seasoned. The drawings are organized under 4 broad categories for convenience: Animals, Fairy Tale Characters, Cartoon Characters, Cars, and many more.

The drawing guides are laid out on a graph paper-looking screen, making it easy to check drawing proportions and proving to be really handy for tracing. You can start off with easier drawings, such as a starfish, and then progress to more complicated designs.

If you’re looking for something a little different from the usual method of drawing figures and then filling them with color, the Scratch Draw Art Game app is a must-try.

You start off with a black background, all with varying thickness and different colors. Then you work your way through your artwork by scratching lines, shapes, forms, and figures onto the background—pretty much similar to etching words in stone or on a tree bark.

Kids are sure to love the vibrant colored backgrounds and the ease of use of this app. You can choose from different brush sizes to suit your palette. What makes this app even more enjoyable is that it lets users share their art via email, text, Twitter, and Facebook, among other sharing and networking services. That’s two times the fun!

Let your imagination run wild with the Scratch Draw Art Game app. The free ad-supported version is available.

Kids will gobble up just about anything that will capture their attention or pique their interest. But, it’s another thing to hold that attention and keep your child interested in an activity long enough for him or her to accomplish something. If you’ve got a hyperactive kid on the loose, you will find rescue in the Color & Draw for kids phone ed app. It’s actually 3 apps for the price of one: a drawing and sketching app, a coloring book app, and a photo decorator app.

The drawing app is perfect for helping your child unleash his inner artist, allowing him to doodle as he pleases. The coloring book app allows your child to practice those brushstrokes and develop those fine motor skills, as the drawings as colored the same way you would an old-school coloring book.

The photo decorator feature affords children the ability to draw over existing images in your gallery or camera app. Another unique feature is the app’s voice prompt, which offers instructions to kids on how to add to the artwork.

Ever wanted to test out a specific brush or eraser size before you use it on your canvass? Picasso – Draw, Paint, Doodle! is the only Android painting app that lets you do that and more.

A simple tap on the preview panel in the middle lets you test out your brush or eraser before you select it for use. In addition, if you’re a nitpicky artist and just want to get everything right, Picasso allows you up to 5 undos so you can quickly redo your work if you’re not happy with your last stroke. The app also allows you to paint on any photo you have stored on your device.

Changing the background will clear your current drawings but a simple undo will restore it. So, you can have fun with the various background choices available for your use.

Picasso also features nifty Super Fun Random Mode and Glow Mode for when you’re in the mood to experiment. Use these with a black background for best results.

If you’re my age, you’ve probably reveled in the simple joys of kaleidoscopes back when you were a kid. Now that the years have come and gone, the Kaleidoscope Drawing Pad app provides you with an avenue to get all nostalgic and relive those fun moments and allows younger kids to share in those joys, as well.

Boasting more than 10 brushes to help let your imagination run wild, the app comes with 6 types of kaleidoscope canvass for more variety. Sketch your favorite patterns or discover new ones with this neat app. Save your paintings to your SD card or share via Facebook, Message, Picasa, and other networking services.

What is undoubtedly the app’s best feature is that it has a built-in gallery that records the steps you took in drawing your kaleidoscope pattern. A “Movie” mode lets you replay those steps and watch as your kaleidoscope pattern unfolds like a movie right in front of your eyes.

Here’s a procedural drawing tool that’s sure to please your inner artist. The Sketcher Lite app features 11 choice brushes and 1 eraser for a cool drawing experience, helping you come up with a masterpiece through using various brush strokes of different thicknesses and styles.

The color picker lets you select the hue of your choice, making sure you have just the color you need on your palette. You can then easily share your artwork for the world to see through channels such as email, multimedia messaging, and social networking sites. Right now the app does not support importing images for editing and brush sizes are not easily modifiable.

The app developer has made user satisfaction a priority by including a report tool which sends crash reports so that software fixes may be performed. The Sketch Lite app is also available in the pro version which is ads-free and has more features.

So, you’ve got a funny story. Or a killer joke. And, you’d love it if you could draw characters that would go with it. Problem is you’re no artist. Or you just don’t want to waste the time crafting the characters when it’s all about the story. Well then, the Create a Comic app will give you some easy solutions.

Select from a collection of different pre-drawn characters or create a custom character based on your preferences. Assemble a character by choosing a body type, hair color, facial features, and outfit, among others. Whether you’d like a wacky character or a more formal-looking one, this app has it. Figures come with actions, poses, and gestures which should all go well with whatever storyline you have in mind.

Once you’ve decided on your characters, select a background for your comic and position your elements and objects (props for your characters, if you may). Tap on the speech balloon to input text for quotes and narratives. And when you’re ready, move between strips of your comic to view the finished output and save it or share your creations with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

A tiny app that packs a lot in its punch–that’s what the Draw! app is all about. Don’t let the app’s simplicity fool you–many users find themselves going back to this app even after they’ve tried more elaborate drawing apps.

Utility is what makes this app memorable. With the Draw! app, users can draw and flash on the go. Camera draw, which means drawing while you walk, is also supported. Other modes available include Full Screen Mode and Flip n Shake.

Insert text with ease and pick specific colors accurately using this app. It’s perfect for when you want to write quick notes or flash handmade signs. Gallery storage is enabled and image importing is an option users will certainly enjoy.

The duo pens is a feature users just love! Who wouldn’t when you can switch between two pens for added drawing flexibility? Get more options with customizing your art with the Draw! app.

Artists of all ages and skills levels will surely find something for themselves with the variety of drawing apps that the Google Play Store has to offer. Which app suits your needs? Tell us.