Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Doodledroid is developed by Little Sun Software is a fairly simple painting app for Android that is nice for quick paintings. It has seven painting tools: a paintbrush with four different settings, a pencil, pen, roller brush with 9 different settings, a smudge brush, an eraser with the same settings as the paintbrush tool, and a paint bucket tool with different shade settings. You can adjust the size and opacity of these tools and save new brushes. There is also a customizable color palette. Also you can choose colors two different ways: an HSV slider or a square, and there is an eyedropper color picker tool. You can also save your favorite colors in a palette. Doodledroid has undo and redo buttons and you can import photos. This app doesn't have layers.This app was also called Paint Rush for a short time, but went back to the name Doodledroid. When it was first created this app cost 99 cents, but now it is entirely free.

Here is the Doodledroid UI. Everything is on a small toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

Using the main menu, you can import files into Doodledroid.

Here are all the drawing and painting tools in Doodledroid.

When you tap on the button next to the painting tools, it brings up the brush variants and the size and opacity settings.

When you click on the plus sign to add new brushes, these settings come up and you can make lots of adjustments to create new brushes.

You can choose colors on this palette and it also adds recently used colors at the top.
Here is the square color picker with the intensity scale at the bottom.

You can also use the HSV sliders to choose your color.
The paint roller tool has lots of brush options and can be used as a broad area paintbrush.

Doodledroid can also save your favorite colors or tools so that you can easily use them.

'Desert  Air'
by Ellie Taylor
Prints of this painting are available at https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-ellie-taylor.html 
This is an example of a painting that I created in Doodledroid. You can get a nice painterly look using this app. The brush creation tool helps you make all different kinds of brushes and you can experiment with different painterly looks. Since I don't use a lot of layers anyway, their absence doesn't bother me. Doodledroid is a simple app with not a lot of tools, but it's just right for quick outdoor sketching or painting. And hey, it's free so why not check it out? It's available at the Google Play Store or the Amazon App Store.

Monday, March 27, 2017

ArtBoard or PicsArt Color?

ArtBoard is a fairly new painting app for Android. It has 30 adjustable brushes in two categories, Basic and Artistic. Most of the brushes don't blend until you click on the blend mode. There is a blend mode for each brush setting. There are also 19 textures that you can add for each brush and you can adjust the jitter, taper, smoothness, spacing, and opacity. The paint bucket tool acts as a regular paint bucket or it can add patterns and gradients. There is also a text stamp brush where you can type in your word using 7 different fonts and use it like a stamp. ArtBoard also has a symmetry tool with four settings and can have up to 15 layers with 25 layer blend modes and functions. This app also has an eraser tool, color picker, color mixer, and imports photos. You can also set the background color or add one of six background textures. An interesting feature of this app is that it records your drawing and you can export it as a video clip in 1080p or 720p or as a gif file. In one of the latest updates, I was directed to another version of this app called PicsArt Color which appears to have all the same functions with minor changes to the UI. Both apps are still getting updates. The developer for ArtBoard is listed as Photo and Video apps and the developer for PicsArt Color is listed as PicsArt. These apps are free with no in app purchases. 

Here is the project file screen. This screen comes up first when you open the app. You can work on an existing project or start a new one.
You can select your canvas size up to 2048x1536

Here is the UI for ArtBoard. The tool panel is on the left side and the symmetry tools, layers, and import/export menu are in the upper right hand corner. Save is triggered by hitting the back button.

Here is the project file screen for PicsArt Color. It seems to be just a different color than the ArtBoard UI.

Here is the UI in the Picsart Color app. The menus are arranged a little bit differently and the icons are different, but all the brushes and tools are the same.

The color picker has two modes HSB or RGB color. You can use the wheel or the sliders to pick your color.
There is also a color mixer. You use the color wheel to mix two colors together.
The brushes are in two different categories: Basic or Artistic. They don't have any names, but they seem to be bristle brushes, pastel or pencil, airbrushes, and texture brushes.

You can make a lot of adjustments to the brushes by changing jitter, opacity, spacing, size, taper, and add a texture to the brush.
When you click on the eraser mode, you can pick brush textures for it.
Most of the brushes don't automatically blend so you have to click on blend mode for each different brush.
The text tool acts like a stamp brush and you can pick different fonts.
The paint bucket tool includes gradients and patterns.
The symmetry tools include vertical and horizontal symmetry and 4 and 6 axis symmetry. 
This app can have up to 15 layers and it has several different blend modes. There is also a background function that can add color and texture.

This app automatically records your painting strokes and you can export the recording as a video or a gif file. You can even choose the frame rate and screen resolution.

'Fresh Ingredients'
by Ellie Taylor

I like this app quite a bit. I used it to create a still life painting of tomatoes and a pitcher of olive oil.The brushes blend nicely and you can get a good painterly look with them.  The brushes can be customized a lot and you can get a wide variety of brushstrokes. I did have a few problems trying to export the recording of the painting, but that could be because of all the new updates.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Zen Brush

Zen Brush for Android is a simple but elegant app for simulating sumi ink brush painting. It has three brushes with different opacities ranging from dark to light. There is a size control for your brush and a soft and hard eraser. You are limited to one undo or redo. There are 62 different backgrounds that you can choose from. Some of the backgrounds have different ink colors such as brown, orange, green, purple, pink, blue, or yellow, but certain ink colors only go with certain backgrounds. You can't pick different colors of inks. 
There is a very limited free version of this app where you can try it out and see if you like it. The full version is $2.99 and unlocks all the functions and backgrounds. This app is developed by PSOFT Mobile and is also available on IOS.

Here is the UI. The Zen Brush app only has portrait mode. It is fairly simple with a brush size slider, three brush opacities, soft and hard erasers, undo button, menu, and delete button. 

When you select the menu you can choose different backgrounds through the 'Select Template' options.
There are 62 background selections and they are based on different types of papers and surfaces. For example, in this group you can choose Japanese paper or bright colored papers. The font color for the paper name will be the color of the ink.
In this group there are some patterned backgrounds and you can see by the font color for Spring 4 that the ink will be a light purple.
There are a bunch of different textured backgrounds such as wood and metal. 
They even have blackboard or cartoon backgrounds.
Here are the 3 different opacities for the ink. 

'Old Tree Stump '
For this drawing I used the Coffee Filter background.  The ink that goes with it is brown. This app is nice for making monotone type drawings and you can use the different opacities for shading. It is sort of like working in charcoal for me since I can't use different colors. Overall this is a fun little app and you can use it to get a nice sumi ink look. It would be nice to have a few more colors for the inks. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tayasui Sketches

An app that has recently been introduced to Android is Tayasui Sketches. This app has been available for IOS for some time now, but not for Android until recently.  The Android version has ten tools: a mechanical pencil, a pen, a marker, a brush pen, a watercolor brush, a paint brush, an airbush, a crayon, a pattern brush, and an eraser. This app has three layers with merge and multiply functions. You can pinch to zoom in or undo, redo, or pan with two fingers. You can even start a new picture by sliding to the left with three fingers. The brushes have different tips and you can set the size and opacity. When you double tap the eraser, it erases the whole canvas. You can download a free version of this app, but to unlock all the features requires an in app purchase of around $2.15 per item. Overall, this is a very good inking app and you can make some nice pen and ink style drawings with it. I think the IOS version has a recording function, more brushes, and a few more functions than the Android version has.  

Here is the UI.

You can choose the size and shape of the brush tips. Here is an example of the watercolor brushes.

When you double tap a brush you can select the  color picker or use the color bar on the bottom right hand side of your screen.

The pattern pen has lots of different ink-like effects. 
"Apple Blossom Sketch"
Ellie Taylor 

This is a quick sketch that I did of an apple blossom. I like the look of the watercolor and airbrush. I did have some problems with stability on this app. It crashed and froze up on me a few times on my Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2,  so it needs a few more bug fixes. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Artecture (A Digital Painting App by Samsung)

Samsung has a digital painting app called Artecture. This app has around 86 brushes in several different categories including pencils, pens, paintbrushes, airbrushes, stamp brushes, and erasers. The pencil category has several different kinds that mimic different types of pencils, the pens have calligraphy styles etc., the paintbrushes have blending oil brushes, the airbrushes have hard and soft edges, and the stamp brushes have patterns or symbols. This app has quite a few tools including a paint bucket, symmetry tools, shape tools such as circles and squares, a selection tool, a color picker, layers, and blending tools. There is also a trace and import photos function. In the layers function you can pick one of 9 background textures, pick a color, or import a photo. A unique feature of this app is a floating brush tool puck. You can add 4 different brush shortcuts on the puck and adjust the size and opacity with sliders. The color picker is in the center of this puck and you can pick the color using the hue and saturation sliders. If you don't want the floating brush puck, you can close it out. Right now this app is completely free with no in app purchases.

This is the UI for Artecture. The brushes   
are on the bottom tool bar and your current selection is shown in the lower left hand corner. Tap on the current selection to bring up the brush settings menu. You can adjust your settings and save them as a new brush.

There are two color pickers. The main one pops out by tapping on the paint bucket. The shortcut color picker is in the middle of the floating puck and is triggered by tapping on it. This changes the puck into the color picker. 

The backgrounds can be changed through the layers function.

The tool menu contains functions for symmetry, shapes, trace, etc. 

I created this painting with the Artecture app on my Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet. This app has a lot of nice brushes and they give several textured looks. This makes a good natural media look. I think that I would like a little bit better blending function. I struggled with making a smooth blend for the background and decided to leave it with a textured look. Overall, this is a pretty good app with lots of brushes and features.  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ibis Paint X

Ibis Paint X is a digital painting app that is available on both Android and IOS. It is developed by Ibis Inc. It has several different preset canvas sizes or you can customize your canvas size up to 4096 X 4096 pixels depending on your device's capabilities.  This app has 121 brushes in 13 categories. These categories are: dip pen, felt tip pen, digital pen, airbrush, pencil, water brush, oil, oriental, round brush, flat brush, charcoal/pastel, crosshatch style pens, and stamps. There is also a smudge brush that uses each brush setting and a blur tool so the colors can be mixed in a natural media style. The brushes can be adjusted by size and opacity. This app has a lot of tools including a lasso tool, select tool, magic wand, gradients, filters, layers, layer blend modes, clipping masks, eraser, paint bucket, eyedropper, and text tool. Ibis Paint X also has a smooth stroke function and several guides including circles, straight lines, and action lines.  You can also download different backgrounds including patterns or buildings. The color picker has a circle selection or sliders and you can set up a custom palette. Every stroke is recorded in this app and you can convert your painting into an MP4 file and upload it to YoutTube. Ibis Paint X also has a gallery where you can upload your painting or MP4 file for everyone to see. This app has some free featues, but the complete brush set can be purchased for $3.88 as an IAP.

Here is the opening menu where you can go to your gallery or check out the latest uploads in the Ibis Paint X gallery.

Here is the user gallery for your projects. You can edit your current projects or create a new one. You can also select a project and watch the playback of it.

In the canvas size menu, you can choose a preset or make a custom canvas up to 4096x4096 pixels.

This is the main UI. 

Here is the brush menu. There are several variants on each brush and you can also adjust them using the sliders.

This is thd side tool bar with the lasso tool, paint bucket, smudge tool etc.

This is the color picker and custom palette.

Here are the layers and all the layer functions.

The line smoothing options are in the upper right corner tool bar.

The guides are also in the upper right corner tool bar.

In the images menu, you can select patterns or actual realistic backgrounds.

If you want a cleaner UI, you can select the arrow button and it will make all the icons transparent. 

"Purple Tennis Shoes"
Here is a painting that I did to try out this app. I really do like this app. The blending tools in this app are sort of like ArtFlow and the old Sketchbook Pro. The brushes are very versatile and you can get a painterly look using the round and flat brushes.