Drawing is a nearly ubiquitous pastime. People from cultures all over the world have been doing it since before recorded history. We’ve evolved a lot since the old days. Instead of cave walls, we now have phones, tablets, and computers to draw on. The artist bug can hit anybody and we want to help. Here are the best drawing apps for Android! You can also check out the best drawing apps on iPhone and iPad on our sister site, DGiT.
Celsys Clip Studio Paint
Price: From $0.99 per month / Free version available
Clip Studio Paint is a dream drawing app for hobbyists and pros alike. It started out as desktop software before making its way to iOS, but the new Android version packs all of the same in-depth options. Clip Studio Paint includes nearly everything you might need to bring your comics to life. You can tap into a free trial for up to three months, or try the free version for an hour per day on smartphones (tablets do require a subscription after the three-month trial period). It combines the natural feeling of drawing and painting with advanced brushes and 3D models for the best of both worlds. You can keep your work in the cloud for universal access, and Clip Studio Paint can record timelapse videos to let you share your artistic process.
Adobe Illustrator Draw
Price: Free / Up to $53.99 per month
Adobe Illustrator Draw and Photoshop Sketch are two drawing apps from Adobe. Illustrator Draw features a variety of drawing features, including layers, five different pen tips with various customization features each, and you can even zoom in up to x64 to apply finer details to your work. When you’re done, you can export it to your device for sharing or you can export it to your desktop for use on other Adobe products. Photoshop Sketch has a variety of features of its own. Both apps can also work together so you can import and export projects back and forth between the two. They’re free downloads and you can get an optional Creative Cloud subscription to unlock more features.
Price: Free / $2.99-$4.99
ArtFlow is one of the more in-depth drawing apps. Its main claim to fame is the ridiculous number of brushes it provides. You can use one of the 70 brush, smudge, and other tools to make your artwork shine. It also features layers and includes layer blending. You can export to JPEG, PNG, or even PSD so you can import it into Photoshop later. To top things off, you’ll have access to Nvidia’s DirectStylus support if you’re rocking an Nvidia device. It’s a solid all-around option for both kids and adults. You can download it for free to try it out. ArtFlow is also free to use if you use Google Play Pass.
Price: Free / $4.49
dotpict is one of the more unique drawing apps. This one lets you do pixel art. It offers up a grid and you can zoom in and move around to create little scenes or people simply by filling in the pixel boxes. You can then zoom out to see your whole creation. The app also includes auto-saving, undo and redo, and you can export your work when you’re done. Other than that, it’s not too feature heavy and it stays out of your way while you draw. It’s an excellent app for those who enjoy creating pixel art.
Price: Free / $4.99
Ibis Paint is a painting app with a lot of fun features. The app has over 140 different brushes, including dip pens, felt tip pens, actual paint brushes, and other fun stuff. In addition, you can record yourself drawing so you have a video of how you got there. It does have layer support and you can use as many layers as your device can handle. It even has features for specific types of drawing, such as manga. You can check out the free version with the paid version going for $4.99 as an in-app purchase. It’s definitely one of the more serious, in-depth drawing apps.
InspirARTion is a less popular drawing app but some people seem to really enjoy it. This one also has a web version version if you want it on multiple platforms. The app has a bunch of features, including various brushes and drawing implements. Additionally, there is a symmetry mode, the ability to import existing images, and you can even pick the color by using colors already on the image. It’s not the deepest drawing app on the list. However, it’s entirely free and it’s definitely good enough for hobby use or getting a quick idea down.
LayerPaint HD is one of the more comprehensive drawing apps on the list. It has a bucket ton of features, including pen pressure support, PSD (Photoshop) support, and a layer mode. The layer mode also lets you add a variety of effects to your drawings. It even supports keyboard shortcuts if you have one of those attached to your device. We really only recommend this one for people with larger devices. The various controls and options can take up a sizable portion of the usable space on smaller devices. The main app runs for $6.99. You can buy the older LayerPaint for $2.99. However, based on its last update date, we think that version is abandoned so we don’t recommend it.
MediBang Paint is one of the better free drawing apps. Its claim to fame is its cross-platform support. You can download the app on mobile, Mac, and Windows. All three have a cloud saving feature that lets you start your work in one spot and move it to another platform. That’s kind of awesome. Additionally, there is a decent number of brushes, tools for both free drawing and comics, and a variety of other fun little tools and add-ons. It’s a shockingly good app for what it costs (nothing).
Price: Free / $4.99
PaperColor (formerly PaperDraw) is one of those drawing apps that tries to emulate real life as closely as it can. It carries the basics, such as different brush types so you can draw how you want. What makes it different is its tracing feature. You can import a photo and set it to translucent mode. From there, you can trace the original photograph. That makes it a good way to draw and also a decent way to learn. It’s a lot of fun to use, especially if you’re an amateur. It’s free to download and you can unlock additional features with in-app purchases.
RoughAnimator is a drawing app that lets you create animations. Instead of creating a still image that you can export and share, RoughAnimator lets you create full on animations. You can draw it frame by frame and then string it together at the end to create little cartoons. It includes features to control frame rate and resolution along with some simple drawing tools as well. Finished projects can be exported as GIFs, a QuickTime video, or as an image sequence. It’s $4.99 up front so we recommend you test it out before the refund period is over to see if you like it.
Sketchbook by Autodesk
Sketchbook by Autodesk has been around for a long time. It’s been a long time favorite for artists looking for good drawing apps. Thankfully, it also comes with a decent set of features. You’ll have ten brushes. Each brush can be customized to suit your needs. It also includes up to three layers, six blending modes, a 2500% zoom, and simulated pressure sensitivity. Those who go pro will get all of that along with over 100 more brush types, more layers, more blending options, and other tools. It’s a fairly powerful app and it was also designed for serious artists. Recent updates actually removed the price tag so everyone gets everything from the pro version for free. You do need an Autodesk account after a 7-day trial, though.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
If we missed any great drawing apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!