THE BEST ANDROID ART AND DESIGN APPS
SKETCHBOOK: BEST ANDROID SKETCHING APP
Should you require a general purpose app for digital scribbling, it’s hard to go wrong with SketchBook. The natural media stuff (as in, virtual paint) isn’t all that, but the app’s pens and airbrushes really hit the spot.
An intuitive interface provides quick access to specialists tools, such as the app’s three layers, and image import (for tracing). There’s also a symmetry menu, for those days when only fashioning a trippy kaleidoscope will do.
Splash out on the IAP and SketchBook transforms into a more pro-oriented app, with a slew of extra brushes, more layers, advanced selection controls, and smudging. Because real artists can never get enough of smudging.
INFINITE PAINTER: BEST ANDROID PAINTING APP
There are loads of painting apps for Android, but Infinite Painter’s the winner because of how it feels. On applying finger to glass, it’s the closest thing on the platform to slapping paint on to a canvas.
You get loads of brushes – everything from subtle watercolours to chunky slabs of oil; and although the virtual paint doesn’t interact in an entirely realistic fashion, with care and judicious use of the smudge tool you can create art you’d happily hang on a wall.
Feeling hemmed in by the basics? Splash out on the single IAP to unlock layers, perspective grids, selection tools, PSD export, and some decidedly weird filters. Modern art, eh?
PIXLY: BEST ANDROID PIXEL ART EDITOR
If your idea of art involves graphics so chunky you could conceivably cut yourself on the corners of every shape, Pixly will be your idea of heaven.
Forget every other pixel art editor on Android, because this is the real deal. It’s not just a canvas, colour selector, pencil and eraser – although it has all those things. Instead, it’s a basic Photoshop as filtered through early 1980s graphics, with brushes, pattern stamps, gradient fills, select and line tools, layers, and an isometric shape creator.
You can export work to sprite sheets and animated GIFs, and in a final, beautiful, meta nod to old-school computer visuals, even the interface is all pixel art icons and palettes. Superb.
RoughAnimator: best Android animation app
For some creative types, static images just aren’t enough – they want their masterpieces to move. RoughAnimator is designed to make such hand-drawn scribbles come to life.
The interface is packed full of sliders and buttons, but largely revolves around drawing on the canvas and using the timeline to manipulate your image. The app includes onion-skinning, multiple layers, and the ability to import video and audio for rotoscoping and lip-sync.
The app’s scribbly nature makes it akin to a sketchpad – you’re more likely to create the next Roobarb and Custard than something to rival Disney; still, Adobe Animate and After Effects export means you can always tidy up and expand your handiwork back on the desktop.