Thursday, October 30, 2014

ArtRage for Android Tablets

Ambient Design has finally released ArtRage for android tablets. It has been available in the Samsung App Store for several months and is now available in the Google Play Store. It has all the basic drawing tools that the desktop version has including oil/acrylic brushes, pens, pencils, watercolor brushes, gloop pen, pencils, erasers, paint roller, glitter pen, paint bucket, color picker, palette knife, markers, paint tube, airbrush, and pastels. Here is the interface for smaller tablets on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Here is the UI for bigger tablets like my Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

Here is an example of the different types of paint on the android version.

ArtRage for android has brush settings that can be changed and saved to make your own brushes. It also has different paper textures, several brush presets for each drawing tool category, 23 layer blending modes, a reference window, a tracing function, and a saved colors palette. You can make canvas sizes up to 2048x2048 pixels. It has several gesture functions including brush resize, zoom , move, undo/redo, toggle toolbar, and fit to screen. It also has pressure sensitivity. 

The tablet version doesn't have stickers, stencils, guides or any tools other than the ones I have mentioned. It is mainly a scaled down version of the desktop version. ArtRage for android is excellent for painting, but if you want more editing capabilities you need to transfer your painting to the desktop version or use another app. It doesn't have all the cute styluses or tool icons like in the desktop version (see my other blog at, but that's okay, I am just glad the android tablet version is out now. It's a great app for taking your tablet on plein air painting trips outside. Here is a demo painting that I did for an arts and crafts show on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


The Colors! app by the developers Collecting Smiles is a very good learning tool for digital painting. It is a clean simple drawing app with 3 brushes and an eraser tool. It was originally developed for the Nintendo DS and 3DS. It was then developed for the iphone and ipad and finally android devices. Colors! seems like a limited app, but the paintings that I have seen people create are amazing. The brush styles are hard flat brush, soft airbrush, and bristle brush. Each one can be adjusted for size and opacity. There is no blending tool, but you can use the opacity settings to blend in a watercolor glaze-like style. In fact, painting with this app is a lot like a watercolor or gouache painting. The app also has layers, eyedropper, a colorpicker, a flip horizontal or vertical tool, eraser, an import photo function, undo/redo buttons, and a playback feature. You can export your painting as an MP4 video file or in canvas sizes up to 5120x3200 pixels.There is a limited free version and a paid full version. The full version opens all the tools and gives you access to the Colors! gallery where you can upload your paintings, view and playback other people's paintings, and follow other artists. For me, the gallery playback feature is well worth the price of admission. I learned a lot about digital painting watching the playback of some truly great artists who are on this app.

"Saguaro Sunset"

Here is the UI with brushes, colorpicker, and size and opacity settings.

Here are the layers and their functions.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

LayerPaint HD

LayerPaint HD is a very customizable program with large file features. You can actually have a picture that is 10,000 by 10,000 pixels if your device will support it. However, 6,000 by 6,000 pixels seems to be the limit for most of my tablets, after that it gets unstable. It has 17 customizable brushes: 2 watercolor (soft and hard), a finger blender, 2 pens, a pencil, 3 watercolor scatter brushes, 4 scatter brushes, an airbrush, 2 bitmap brushes, and a droid brush (makes little android icons). All the watercolor brushes can be set to mix their colors. The scatter brushes are particle brushes and have some pattern designs.The bitmap brushes have crosshatch textures. You can change the settings on the brushes and save them as new brushes. Another great thing about this app is the ability to customize the UI.You can toggle the color picker, the brushes, and the layers on and off and move the undo/redo bar and the line smoothing function bar. LayerPaint HD has layers, filters, pen pressure, canvas rotation, paint bucket, and gradient function. Overall it is a very nice app.There is another simpler app with less features called LayerPaint and is suited more for phones. Both of the LayerPaint apps are paid apps, but the developer has a free desktop PC program called Fire Alpaca which is almost the same as LayerPaint HD. I really like the new addition of the finger blending brush and in my opinion that was the most needed function for this app. Now it is a very complete solid drawing and painting app.

Here is the LayerPaint HD user interface and samples of the brushes.

"Waterfall Lesson"
This digital painting was created for a lesson at
It was created using the android app LayerPaint HD. Prints of this painting are available at

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Corel Painter Mobile

Corel Painter has released an android painting app along with its new PC program Corel Painter 2015. It has 70 plus brushes including oil brushes, pencils, pens and markers, calligraphy, watercolor, texture brushes, blending brushes, airbrushes, and chalks and charcoal. It has some simple tools like crop, transform, paint bucket, eraser, layers, and symmetry tools. The canvas size goes up to 2048 by 2048 pixels. Corel Painter has several paper textures too. You can also export your project into Painter 2015 to finish it in the big program. As of this writing the Corel Painter app still needs some stability fixes. It blends paint wonderfully and the charcoal brushes are just like real. The blending tools are also very nice. The watercolor brushes are nice, but need a little more work. I would also like to see the ink pens made smoother like the ones in the Sketchbook apps and in Zen Brush. Also, sometimes when you save a project, it loses whole layers even after you've merged all of them. The best way to beat this is to first export your painting into your tablet's gallery, then try to save it. If it loses your layers, you will still have a copy in your tablet gallery. There have been several updates and each time it gets more stable after each one. I am sure they are working to get all the bugs out of the new app.
Here is a painting made using the Thick Oil brush. Unfortunately the background layer I painted was lost.

You can see in the thumbnail what the background looks like, but I can't get it back.

There has just been a new update and the program is more stable. I also have not lost any layers on my current painting since the new update.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

SketchBook Ink

SketchBook Ink is made by Autodesk, the same developer that makes SketchBook Pro. This is a really fun program that mimics different types of ink. It has seven different ink brushes and two erasers. It supports layers and you can import and export images. The ink pens are really smooth and mimic sumi brushes, dip pens, fountain pens, and ballpoint pens. I like to use this app to make pen and ink drawings. I've also seen several people use this app for drawing comics. You can export high resolution images, 12,800 pixels by 8,000 pixels, from this app and PSD files up to 101.5 MBs. Here is an example of a tatoo design I drew from the android app How to Draw Art Lessons. I also like to use it with Auryn Ink, a watercolor painting app.

Here is the UI for SketchBook Ink.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


ArtFlow is a very nice app with all the features added on two vanishing sidebars. It has over 70 brushes including a smudge brush. The brushes are pencils, airbrushes, pens, paintbrush, watercolor, special shapes, texture brush, and smudge brush. Each brush category has several variations and you can also adjust each variation. I don't think you can save customized brushes in this app, but it will remember your last settings. This app supports layers and layer functions such as multiply, overlay, glow, lighten, darken, and several others. You can also import photos and add effects such as sepia, vignette, and adjust the brightness and saturation. The canvas size goes up to 4096 by 4096 pixels. ArtFlow also has a paint bucket tool, a symmetry tool, guides, and geometrical line shapes. It also has a custom color palette that will float on the screen. This app is especially designed for tablets and runs in landscape mode. I really like this app because it has a very nice user interface. I did notice a little bit of lag when using the smudge brush. The UI vanishes when you draw and you can bring it up by tapping on the arrows on the sides.

ArtFlow UI with side panels closed.

ArtFlow UI with both side panels and brushes menu open and floating palette.

"Snow Lesson"
I did this painting in ArtFlow as a lesson on how to paint snow at

Friday, July 4, 2014

SketchBook Pro

Probably the most widely known digital painting app is SketchBook Pro.This app is available on android and ios. There is also SketchBook Pro 6 for Desktop PCs (I have that too). It has 165 brushes, probably half of them are stickers and the other half are regular brushes such as pencil, pen, paintbrushes, texture brushes, and airbrush.It does have a smudge brush, but no blending brushes. It has several tools including symmetry tools, guides, transform tools, line drawing styles, fill tool, and text. You can adjust the brushes, use layers, and select Copic colors. It has a nice UI that vanishes when you tap on the circle at the bottom of the screen.You can have paintings up to 2560 x 2560 pixels. I really like the smoothness of this app and there is no lag on my Note Tablets. I would like to see blending brushes like the PC program SketchBook Pro 6 has in it. Hopefully that will be added in future updates.

SketchBook Pro Interface

'Riotous Color'
Made in SketchBook Pro. Prints of this painting are available and

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Clover Paint

Clover Paint is probably the most advanced painting app for android tablets. It has 30 brushes that you can customize and save the variations as new brushes. There are 3 versions of this app. The lite version which is free, the paid regular version, and the advanced UI which you can access from the paid version. You have to pay around $20 more for the advanced UI. So is it worth it? Yes, if you are serious about using this program. Cause here's the thing, the UI is not that user friendly and the advanced UI is much better. The advanced UI has floating windows for functions like the brushes bar, the color picker, and the navigator. These windows can be arranged however you want them, just like in PC painting programs such as Painter X3.
You can also add shortcut buttons to your screen for the brushes that you use for a particular project, the undo and redo buttons and several other functions.These are called clovers and you can move them around on your screen. This app has layers with several blending modes, post stroke editing, lasso tool function, landscape and portrait mode, transform mode, support for cintiq tablets, importing and exporting png files, and a lot more functions that are usually only on desktop programs.
Basically the best way to learn this app is to start playing around with all the settings and see what they do. I don't understand half of all the settings for the brushes, but I can see what the adjustments do to a stroke in the brush window and go from there. The user manual is in Japanese so if you don't read that language then you need the Google Translate app. You will also need the Chrome browser. Google Translate will translate a web page for you using the Chrome browser.
Here is a link to a really good Clover Paint artist, Gavin Ball.
Gavin Ball Youtube Channel

This is the regular UI.

This is the advanced UI.

This is an unfinished version of 'New Mexico Night' which will be appearing in my self-published e-book on Kindle. The reason I didn't finish it in Clover Paint is because the app was updated and started having problems with the UI. Those problems are fixed now. However, I went ahead and finished this picture in SketchBook Pro.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Infinite Design

This is sort of a companion app to Infinite Painter.  Infinite Design is made by Sean Brakefield also.  This app is mainly for creating  symmetrical designs with the advanced symmetry functions.  The symmetry functions are: horizontal,  vertical, angular, radial, and kaleidoscope. It has 5 pen tips.  The pens have special effects such as blur, emboss, and shadow.  It also has layers, import, and export functions.  You can also export directly to Infinite Painter.  It also has stroke editing, guides, and polygon shapes.  I really like the symmetry functions for making quick intricate designs. Right now there are some stability problems (Save often!), but I suspect they will be addressed in the next big update.  Here is the UI and a design I created with this app.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Infinite Painter

I am going to give my reviews on several android painting apps and I want to start with my favorite, Infinite Painter. This app is made by Sean Brakefield and is one of the top android painting apps. It has 130 brushes split into 8 categories. The categories are Default, Pencils, Calligraphy, Textures, Shapes, Harmony, Deco, and 8-Bit. The Default brushes are the oil, acrylic, watercolor, airbrush, toothbrush and more. Pencils and Calligraphy are several different kinds of pencils and pens. Textures are rough or sketchy looking. Shapes are hearts, circles, etc. Harmony is the brushes from the open source harmony project. Deco brushes are art deco designs and 8-Bit is pixelated style brushes.The canvas size can go up to 2048 x 2048 pixels.
I like this painting app the best because it mimics natural brushes.The Galaxy Note version of this app can be set to make the s pen for painting and your finger for smudging and blending the paint. This feature is just like traditional painting where you smudge paint or pastel into the canvas with your finger. Infinite Painter has layers, a reference window, a tracing function, guides, line shapes, and brush adjustments. The brushes can be adjusted for size, jitter, blending, and pressure. The following screenshots show the current UI for Infinite Painter. It has been redesigned several times and just keeps getting better and better. I have also included to paintings that I did in Infinite Painter. They are called"Ghost of the Past" and "Fall Shower". Prints of these are available at

I've just downloaded a beta version of this app and the new interface is fabulous! If you want to be a beta tester go to

Welcome to my Blog.

Hello and welcome to my blog.  Here is where I will discuss traditional painting techniques, digital painting, computer tablets, android art apps, and desktop PC painting programs.  I come from a traditional painting background and have just gotten into digital painting in the last two years. I feel as though I have discovered a magic box with an entire studio in it.  I have an Asus TF 300T tablet, a 2012 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet that I use for digital painting. I mainly use the Samsung Galaxy Note tablets for my digital paintings.  You can view my gallery on Google+  at EllieTaylorArtist