Do you want to use your Android phone or tablet for digital painting?
The following painting apps for Android are aimed at professionals and amateurs alike. While you don’t need a stylus, it’s recommended if you want to take full advantage of these apps.
Once you’ve done that, check out the best drawing apps for Android.
Before you begin: Get ready to paint and draw digitally on Android
Drawing on a tablet is not like working with pen and paper and is quite different from using a brush. Unsurprisingly, using a mouse is also completely different.
Before choosing a digital painting app for Android, you should check the following:
- Does the phone or table support multiple touch points?
- Can it detect when your palm is resting on the display?
While most Android painting apps allow you to use your fingers, a stylus is a smart option. Some Android tablets come with a stylus. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, for example, has an S-Pen, a larger version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s stylus.
A good all-round option is the KEKOW Active Stylus Pen, which is compatible with all Android phones and tablets.
If your budget is smaller, consider the MEKO Universal Stylus. This uses a disc stylus tip for improved accuracy. Although it doesn’t look as impressive as other stylus pens, it’s a great option for beginners.
Once you’re ready to draw, check out these best Android drawing apps.
1. The best drawing and painting app for Android: ibis Paint X
If you’re looking for an application on an Android phone that lets you create digital paintings, ibis Paint X is the place to start.
With stroke stabilization, rulers, and clipping masks, this is a great tool for artists interested in illustration.
Ibis Paint X offers over 300 brushes and unlimited layers, each with individual parameters. When you are done, you can share your creations from this Android painting app with other users online.
There are two premium options available: remove ads and a Prime membership. Membership adds advanced features like new fonts and filters, so it’s worth considering. You should also visit the ibis Paint X YouTube channel for tutorial videos.
Downloads: ibis Paint X (free, in-app purchases available)
2. Draw Adobe Illustrator
Well-known creative productivity software developer Adobe offers a free sketching app called Adobe Illustrator Draw. This portable version of the popular vector graphics application offers a simple user interface, intuitive gesture mechanics and a comprehensive feature list.
With easy-to-use brush tools for vector-based illustrations, the resulting images are crisp and clear. For flexible productivity, you can seamlessly transfer sketches or finished products into the main Adobe Illustrator program to continue working. From layering to sketching to painting, this Android drawing app has it all.
Downloads: Adobe Illustrator Draw (Free)
With everything ArtFlow has to offer, you won’t believe it’s free. With multiple brushes and in-app features available at your fingertips, Artflow is one of the best Android sketching apps. Use it to just play around or create serious art.
The free option only allows you to save art as either JPEG or PNG. However, the Pro version allows exports in PSD format, so you can continue working on your desktop.
Downloads: ArtFlow (free, premium version available)
4. MediBang color
Would you like to learn how to create digital art on your phone? MediBang Paint is one of the best drawing apps for Android, with an interface that feels familiar thanks to its similarity to the Adobe suite.
Because this app is both free and feature-rich, you’ll find plenty of online resources to help you get started.
Downloads: MediBang Paint (Free, in-app purchase available)
5. Infinite Painter
Infinite Painter is an instant fan favorite. It’s that simple: all you see by default is a handful of tools (Brush, Smudge, Brush Size, Color, and Brush Opacity).
All the additional tools are just a button away, and Infinite Painter makes great use of that single button. It’s minimal, but offers enough features in its free version to do really impressive, professional work.
This is why Infinite Painter is one of the best drawing apps for Android.
Downloads: Infinite Painter (Free premium version available)
SketchBook is developed by design software giant Autodesk (creators of AutoCAD, among others). This painting app for Android offers you useful tools and functions to design anything according to your imagination.
One point, Sketchbook was a premium app, but in recent years Autodesk has made the app free. This includes both the desktop and mobile versions of Sketchbook, so you can work with any medium that suits your expertise.
Downloads: sketchbook (free)
7. Paper color
If you want to create digital art on your phone, PaperColor has everything you need to get started. Instead of a minimal interface, this app lays out the pens and brushes in front of you. It’s as close to an easel and a canvas as you can get from an Android painting app.
PaperColor also features a fantastic portfolio viewer and one of the largest and most intuitive brush selections of any drawing app. Buy the VIP version and you’ll have access to all the amazing tools PaperColor has to offer.
Downloads: PaperColor (free, premium version available)
8. Pixel Studio
Do you want a painting app for Android that is less high-resolution? Maybe you’re interested in pixel art, and that’s where Pixel Studio comes in. This is an Android art app that allows you to create 8-bit and 16-bit style pixel art, from individual elements to characters and backgrounds.
Pixel Studio also lives up to its name. It’s not just for creating static art. Pixel Studio offers animation tools and even the option to add music or sound effects in loops. Animations can be output as GIFs, while static graphics can be saved in standard formats and exported to other graphics packages.
Downloads: Pixel Studio (free, premium version available)
One of the biggest names in open source creative software, Krita is free to use and currently in beta for Android. The first version of Krita was developed for Linux, but has since been released for Windows, macOS, and Chrome, with Android next on the list.
An app for anyone looking to develop their digital painting skills, the Android version of Krita is essentially identical to the desktop version. The same menus and tools are available in the same places. This means Krita is more suited to a pen or mouse than a finger.
However, Krita can be used to create outstanding digital art.
Downloads: Krita (free)
10. Da Vinci Eye: AR art projector
If your artistic skills aren’t as good as you’d like, this is the app you need. Da Vinci Eye: AR Art Projector helps you “track” images on your phone onto an underlying surface using Augmented Reality (AR) technology.
Simply position the phone over your paper, launch the app, select the image and start drawing while looking at the display. Da Vinci Eye: AR Art Projector helps you draw while looking “through” the source image.
For some, this is seen as a bit of a scam. Despite this, it remains an impressive app that intelligently uses AR for creative purposes.
Downloads: Da Vinci Eye: AR Art Projector (PAID)
11. Bamboo Paper
For an easier approach to drawing and painting on Android, try Bamboo Paper. Developed by Wacom (who know a thing or two about digital art), Bamboo Paper is a lightweight app that’s great for both written notes and digital art.
You can use the app for all kinds of design work, and it also supports stylus pens. With a selection of pens, palettes, and textures available (and more via in-app purchase), Bamboo Paper could be your introduction to digital art on a phone or tablet because it’s so easy to use.
With a Wacom ID, you can also unlock the Inkspace sync feature and make sure your sketches and notes are available on any device.
Downloads: Bamboo Paper (Free In-App Purchases)
A wide range of free and paid painting apps for Android
If you have enjoyed drawing or sketching in the past, now you have no excuse. You can seriously develop your drawing skills anywhere with these best painting apps for Android.
In summary, the painting and drawing apps for Android that you should check out are:
- Ibis Paint X
- Adobe IllustratorDraw
- MediBang color
- Infinite Painter
- paper color
- Pixel Studio
- Da Vinci Eye: AR Art Projector
- bamboo paper
These all work on Android phones and tablets, although for best results you should use an Android-compatible stylus. And if you find that an Android tablet isn’t right for your artistic needs, consider a dedicated drawing tablet.
We hope you enjoy the items we have recommended and reviewed! MUO has affiliated and sponsored partnerships, so we receive a portion of the revenue from some of your purchases. This does not affect the price and helps us to offer the best product recommendations.
The 7 best drawing tablets for digital artists
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