Favorite Sketching Apps?

What are your favorite apps (if any) for tablet-based or mobile sketching? What functionalities or tools do you like the most about the app? We’re working on a fun editorial piece for 2015 focused on sketching apps and will definitely incorporate suggestions and ideas from this thread. Will check back in on the thread after the holidays and follow-up with responses. Thanks in advance!

Here are two sketching app roundups for reference:

linyee (core77 editor!)

I still prefer sketchbook pro. I just got the Wacom pressure sensitive stylus as well. Haven’t messed with it yet. A few of my doodles from sketchbook.

I have been using Sketchbook on my iPad, but am not able to get line quality any where near what you are posting. How are you doing it? Is this on an iPad? You also mention you are using sketchbook Pro, but I haven’t found that available on the app store for iPads. I have sketchbook and sketchbook express. I bought the pro tools for the former, but the fine line detail and control are still severely lacking. I can make some images with them, but nothing with any real accuracy (see example below). I’m using a basic stylus, maybe that is part of my problem?

I’m hoping that I’m missing something easy to remedy.

Right, it is just called sketchbook on the iPad. It takes a lot of practice. I usually do a few rough underlay layers getting the perspective, form, and proportion worked out and then do a clean linework layer on top. It can take 10-20 undo’s for each line. Take patience. Especially as I do a lot of these on airplanes. I do rougher ones as well sometimes.

Just got a Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus for my iPad. Wow, I love this thing! A quick step by step on my first sketch with the new stylus. A Nissan Maxima cab forward concept.

That looks great. I can’t tell, but are you using ellipse guides for the wheels? That is one thing that I wish Sketchbook had is more control with guides. Not being able to draw ovals and tilt them is limiting. And if it had the french curve option like Adobe Draw or Sketch I would love it because I like the tools so much more. The level of control in Adobe Draw is so much better, but the lack of brushes makes it feel extremely limited. If it only had an airbrush I think I might prefer it. I’m still searching for the perfect app too. I think Sketchbook is as close as it gets…

There is an eclipse tool in sketbook. I draw them in a new layer and then rotate them into place.

Curves would be nice but you just need control. The Wacom stylus has an undo button on it which is awesome.

Michael, I’ve used sketchbook pro for my iPad mini and I’ve found it cumbersome when I’ve used it for digital painting. It seems like it gets bogged down when you add layers and drains the battery after prolonged use. Is it made for more quick and easy sketching? Also, is there a better stylus for the iPad?

I will post pics of the digital paintings later!

I think I’ve tried every sketching app out there on the various platforms… Following is a list of my go to SKETCHING apps and is not an indication of all sketching apps available on each platform. These are apps I use regularly or have used regularly in the past with the primary goal of using it as my digital sketch tablet. Sketch = quick sketches, ideation, concept generation NOT full illustrations, paintings, and/or renderings.

I currently own an iPhone 6, Windows 8 computer with pen display tablet, iMac with bamboo graphite tablet, and an Android Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet. Of these, I do most of my regular sketching on my Window 8 computer, Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet, and with traditional pen and paper.

My criteria for a good sketching app:

  1. Easy to understand UI
  2. Quick jump in and out UX
  3. Quick access to common drawing tools like: pen size, brush opacity, eraser
    The app should not slow me down or get in the way of my sketching
  4. Real or simulated pressure sensitivity
  5. Some organization of completed sketches

Currently use
Recommended, but no longer use

Android (Galaxy Note Series)
- Sketchbook
- Bamboo Paper

  • Artflow


  • Procreate Pocket (Just released)
  • Paper
  • Sketchbook
  • Tayasui Sketches

- Photoshop CC

  • Sketchbook
  • Manga Studio 5

Mac OSx
- Photoshop CC

  • Sketchbook

Additionally, here are some recommended stylus/tablets.
Android: Bamboo Stylus Feel
iOS: Wacom Bamboo Fineline, Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus
Windows/MacOSx: Yiynova or Wacom Cintiq

Heres the iPad sketch. I think the result is good, but I don’t think the program is designed for this style of painting.

Anybody here have any experience with Adobe’s ink and slide? If so, how does it feels like compared to other pressure sensitive stylus on iPad?

Pixlr is a nice android application to use with sketch.

sketchbook pro is my favorite but to be honest anything will work even windows paint is good for thin lines although the quality isnt good on stream if your a streamer you want a good app like sketchbookpro or photoshop