Drawing on the iPad, a Brushes & Sketchbook Pro Walkthrough

Brushes and Sketchbook Pro on the iPadAfter getting an iPad, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Brushes and Sketchbook Pro. Both of these apps are really nice on the iPod and iPhone, but I had not taken to them like I had hoped. I found that the screen size was crippling for me and this was too great a hurdle for me to overcome. The iPad is a much better tool for drawing since the size is closer to the size of a sketch book. The iPad also has more room to include app menus and options.

I am a little torn as to which app I like better. I feel like the menus for Brushes are a little more intuitive and easier to use. I also like the workflow better in some instances – color sampling, adding a photo and the play back feature is really cool. I also forgot to show the awesome layer blend modes in the Brushes video.  Sketchbook Pro on the other hand, has some more detailed options and offers more control of the brush. I really like this brush control, the deep zoom, and the option to save files as a layered Photoshop document. I feel like you can’t go wrong with either app. They are both really amazing and great drawing tools.

I am also going to pick up a pogo stylus for drawing.  While I already love the feel of drawing on this device, I think this will give me the feel of “real” drawing.

So, we are almost two weeks out from the release of the iPad and already we have some amazing drawing applications.  The future for art on the iPad is bright and I can’t wait to see where it goes.  Hopefully, Brushes and Sketchbook Pro on the iPad will get me sketching more often.  I have already sketched more in 2010 than I did in 2009, which sadly isn’t saying much. Please share any other drawing apps that rival these.


I apologize in advance for the lame factor in the video.  I will either get better, or get someone else to do these in the future.


  • High-quality brushes (with an erase mode)
  • Up to 6 Layers (768×1024): reorder, merge, and adjust transparency
  • Layer Blend Modes: Normal, Multiply, Screen, Overlay, and Color
  • Desktop-class color picker (including swatches)
  • Extremely responsive zooming from 50% to 3200%
  • Eyedropper tool
  • Generous level of undo and redo
  • In-app replay of your paintings
  • High resolution export with Brushes Viewer on Mac OS X (http://brushesapp.com/viewer)
  • Import photos to your canvas
  • Upload your paintings directly to Flickr

Price: $9.99Buy on iTunes

Sketchbook Pro

I apologize in advance for the lame factor in the video.  I will either get better, or get someone else to do these in the future.


  • Canvas size: 1024 x 768
  • Two finger pan & zoom navigation with 2500% zoom
  • Three finger tap for controls
  • Three finger swipe gestures for quick access
  • 75 preset brushes, including pencils, pens, markers, natural media and photo brushes
  • Flood fill and smear tool
  • Completely customizable brush settings for each brush
  • Draw styles for creating straight lines, rectangles, and circles
  • Synthetic pressure sensitivity (brush fade-off)
  • 10 levels of undo and redo (Quick Access: three finger swipe left and right)
  • 6 Layers allowing ease of editing and control
  • Import layers from Photo Library
  • Export to Photo Library
  • E-mail images
  • Export as a layered PSD file
  • Eye-dropper color selection
  • Erase color chip to convert any brush into custom eraser

Price: $7.99Buy on iTunes

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to receive monthly tips & updates!

Get Art in Your Inbox

A monthly digest of the top posts, tips, freebies and more!
Share on: