7 Great Painting and Drawing Apps

May 16, 2014
Ellen Holderman
Common Sense Education


For this week's Top Picks List Friday, we're featuring painting and drawing apps. More and more artists, from amateurs to pros, are recognizing the value in using tablets and phones to sketch, draw, and paint. These art apps -- our current favorites -- give students the freedom of gesture and touch-based interaction while preserving the myriad options of desktop illustration software.

To see the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top Picks List, Painting and Drawing Apps.


Draw and Tell - by Duck Duck Moose!
Draw and Tell - by Duck Duck Moose is a unique drawing and coloring app designed for young kids. It encourages visual and verbal storytelling by including an option for kids to record their own voices in conjunction with the drawing or coloring pages. Read full review.

Sketch Guru - by Handy Sketch Pad
Create original sketches starting from a blank canvas or alter photos or existing works accessed through the gallery on Sketch Guru - Handy Sketch Pad. Kids or teachers can save their sketches and share them via email or social media, and use the movie function to play back their drawing process, step by step. Read full review.

Brushes 3
Brushes 3 is a digital drawing and painting app with many features that offer students an outlet for creative expression. Kids can learn about artistic composition, the color wheel, characteristics of the lines and shapes different brushes can create, vocabulary such as density and intensity, and more. Read full review.

Sumopaint operates much like Photoshop. Kids can crop, color, or otherwise edit preexisting photos or draw a new picture with the imaging application. Sumopaint can be a cost-effective way to encourage students to be creative while honing their tech skills. Read full review.

Sketchbook Pro
Sketchbook Pro is a full-featured app with an arsenal of tools for creating digital art, offering tools available in the desktop version with the ease of a sketchbook on an iPad or other tablet. Teens can choose brushes and colors, draw using mirror image, move and rotate and arrange objects, and work with layers. Read full review.

Procreate is a professional-level medium for digital artists. Its 48 brushes include sets of pencils, inks, paintbrushes, and digital tools. Kids can also create their own custom brushes or buy additional brushes. They can work in layers as well as choose the canvas size and shape. Read full review.

ArtStudio - draw, paint and edit photo is an art-creating app that includes 150 brushes (more with in-app purchase), flexible canvas sizes, tons of colors and blending options, excellent step-by-step drawing lessons, and the option to include photos and layers. Read full review.


What websites and apps do you use to encourage your students to be creative? Sign in to comment below.