Review: Sketchbook Express for Android

A college of mine told me about this app and being relatively new to the world of apps and smart phones (only got one this year) I was extremely excited to test it out.

Sketchbook Express for Android (also available for apple) is an app created by Autodesk which enables users to doodle illustrations on their tablet or smart phone.  For those avid users of Photoshop and wacom tablets I’ll just say this first, don’t expect the same results.  However if you’re looking at sketching out some roughs or you just feel like banging out a sketch or two without having the hassle of carrying around a thick and heavy sketch pad then this is an app you definitely need to consider.

User face with tool options

User face with shortcut options

The free version of this app offers a number a features such as your basic colour selection, layers (YES layers!  But only up to 3 on the free version), several different brush sets which consist of pencil strokes, one artistic brush, and some pen strokes with a fill tool and eraser function as well.  There are also text options, shape creation (square, circle and line) and a nifty tool which simulates a mirror image or your illustration, so no more asymmetrical faces here!

Colouring is quite basic, but if you have the patience it can be mastered.  User interface wise it is a little cumbersome especially if you’re used to using Sai or Photoshop as processes that take minutes in these programs can take a while on the  app.  But hey, what do you expect it’s for a tablet and not a computer and performs pretty darn well for what it is.  Pressure sensitivity is present, but only to a point but works well enough for what you need.  Brush sizes and opacity are adjustable and the app also allows you to undo and redo mistakes as well.

Black and white sketch illustrated with stylus and Sketchbook Express app

Overall I found this app incredibly awesome, I use a samsung tablet 10.1 and so far it has worked wonders for me.  I would recommend this app for tablet use only as I think illustrating on the phone is not really ideal, so if you have a tablet why not give this nifty app a go and get your creative juices flowing.  Also I tried illustrating with just my finger alone but found it wasn’t precise, that or my digits are too big, so I would recommend purchasing a stylus off ebay as they are quite cheap.  I’ll leave you with the final sketch done with the app, hope this review has been helpful to you so good luck and good night 🙂

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