One of the best ways to draw on the go is just to take out your android phone or device and use your favorite drawing app.
But what is the best drawing app for android for you? As with everything, there are a whole lot of options and that depends on your budget and how complex/complete you want the software to be. But in general, I recommend getting Clip Studio Paint if you’re looking for a paid app or Ibis Paint X if you’re looking for a free drawing app for android.
With that said, I curated a small list of what I think are the best drawing apps for android, both paid and free.
Along with all the features and specifications you want to know.
You might also be interested in checking the Best Free Drawing Software For PC and Mac here!
Without further ado, here they are!
Table Of Contents
Paid Drawing Apps For Android
Let’s start with something simple.
Simple Draw Pro: Sketchbook is exactly what it’s name says. Simple and easy to use, this is the perfect app for some doodling or sketching!
It is very intuitive and it’s not a heavy app. This means that even if you don’t own a super powerful phone, it will probably run this app well.
Another nice thing about this app is that even though it’s paid, it’s actually not an expensive app!
For just 0.89$ you have a simple sketching app ready to use.
Be aware though, Simple Draw Pro: Sketchbook is not made with detailed artworks in mind.
There are not a whole lot of brushes to choose from nor layers or masks for example.
This is really meant to be used to create simple and fun doodles or to start getting used to a drawing software on mobile.
It’s a really good entry drawing app for that reason as well and definitely worth exploring!
Even if you’re a veteran artist, I think this could be a nice app to sketch on the go, so that you can later work on it.
If you don’t want to carry a sketchbook with your or prefer to doodle digitally, it is a nice solution.
Ease of Use: 5/5 ⭐
Features: 2/5 ⭐
App Size: 5/5 ⭐ (6.8 MBs)
Who’s it for: This app is perfect for beginners or even kids since it’s so easy to navigate. It’s also a very good drawing app if you’re looking for something to just do some sketches or studies. Simply open the app and get drawing!
Clip Studio Paint is one of my favorite drawing software and the one I use the most. Although I mostly use it on pc, I’ve heard only good things about their app (both for mobile and tablets)!
It is a very complete drawing software that allows you to create not only beautiful illustrations but also comics, webtoons, and even animations.
When you open Clip Studio Paint’s page on the Google Play store, it will immediately let you download the app without making any payment. However, what you’re downloading is mostly a trial version.
You can open it up, explore and give it a try, but you’ll meet quite a few limitations, such as you won’t be able to export your work.
So, to truly be able to use Clip Studio Paint to its full potential, you need to pay a monthly or yearly subscription! For more detailed information on their plans, you can go right here.
The app itself will guide you throughout this whole process as well as give you all the information you need!
Personally, I prefer a one-time buy when it comes to drawing software.
But unfortunately, lots of companies are adopting the subscription model when it comes to mobile apps.
Even though I consider this its biggest con, I still think it’s worth having into account that you’ll have access to a very complete drawing software.
With it, you can do any kind of artwork.
You have lots of brushes to choose from as well as other features, and you can even download more (most of them for free!) through their Material/Asset store.
Having into account its complexity, Clip Studio Paint even though simple to navigate, needs some time to get used to.
There’s a lot to see and learn, so just like with any other more professional drawing software, it has a bigger learning curve. However, it has a very intuitive interface, making it beginner-friendly as well!
If you need some help with specific issues, I do have a few tutorial articles so don’t forget to check them out!
Ease of Use: 3/5 ⭐
Features: 5/5 ⭐
App Size: 4/5 ⭐ (563 MBs)
Who’s it for: Clip Studio Paint is great for both beginners and veteran artists. It’s a very complete drawing app that lets you create any kind of artwork. Illustrations, comics, animations, it has it all!
Artflow is probably the most in-depth drawing software for mobile.
You can create very big canvasses here, and it will let you create up to 50 layers in a file.
Not only that, but you have over 100 brushes to try out and explore!
It is a very complete drawing software, but this can be a disadvantage as well.
Due to its specs and how much it can do, you’ll also need a good phone to handle Artflow as it should.
But fret not, because even though this is mostly a paid app, you can actually download a free version first and later on upgrade it to a complete version.
This way you can see if your phone can handle it or if you like the app itself.
One thing to have into account is that the free version of ArtFlow comes with some limitations such as:
- 20 basic tools
- 3 layers
- Undo limited to 6 steps
- No PSD export
So, as you can see, this version is purely a trial version.
Give it a spin and if it’s satisfying enough, you can then check their paid plans and see what is the best fit for you!
Depending on what you want, be prepared to pay something between $2.99 to $4.99, which, given its complexity and number of features is quite a good value for Artflow.
Again, this is a bit more of a complex drawing app, with lots of options, so I’d say it might be a bit too much for a beginner artist.
But, since there’s a free option, I highly recommend trying it out and seeing for yourself!
Ease of Use: 2/5 ⭐
Features: 4/5 ⭐
App Size: ?/5 ⭐ (According to their page, it depends on the device you’re using, so it’s unclear how big the file is!)
Who’s it for: ArtFlow is perfect for artists that draw very detailed pieces but prefer to do it on mobile. It has lots of options and features to choose from, so it’s perfect for someone who’s already familiar with digital art.
Free Drawing Apps For Android
For a free drawing software, ibis Paint is a very versatile app. It offers tons of brushes, materials, fonts, screen tones, blending modes, and many others.
While there’s a lot to choose from, ibis Paint is very intuitive and user-friendly, so you won’t have much trouble navigating through this app.
A lot of free drawing software, for mobile, will have some limitations.
However, ibis Paint has none of that!
You can have as many layers as you want and use all its features by just downloading it to your phone.
For that reason, the only con of this app is that it contains ads.
This might be a con for some people.
That’s why ibis Paint also offers a paid version, where no ads will be displayed in the app.
Other than that, you can also get the Premium Membership, which is a monthly/yearly plan, where you get access to even more features!
This membership also has a 30-day trial, so you can try it out and see if it’s for you.
Overall I think it’s a very complete app, worth checking, and that it will do its job without spending any money on it!
Ease of Use: 4/5 ⭐
Features: 4/5 ⭐
App Size: 4/5 ⭐ (25Mb)
Who’s it for: ibis Paint is a good app for both beginner and more advanced artists. Even though it offers a lot of features, this is not a very heavy app and won’t take a lot of space on your phone, so it will work well even if you have a less powerful smartphone.
Sketchbook is a very simple app to use, but can produce wonderful works! Although it doesn’t offer as many features, I think it’s a perfect app if you have a more clean and minimalistic style.
It will still let you create very detailed drawings, offering you different kinds of customizable brushes and blending modes.
Sketchbook is a very straightforward app and intuitive. It has a very clean look but it’s easy to find every tool and understand how they work.
Just like its name suggests, it’s made more with sketching in mind.
Meaning it’s a lightweight app that will work very well on any mobile device!
Even if you have a more detailed style and there are not enough features for you in this app, it’s still worth it as a sketchbook app.
Doodle and thumbnail your drawings on your phone and work on them later on your computer.
It’s also excellent for a quick warm-up, some gesture drawing (here’s a complete guide), or even mindless doodling on the go!
Ease of Use: 5/5 ⭐
Features: 3/5 ⭐
App Size: 3/5 ⭐ (98Mb)
Who’s it for: Sketchbook is the perfect app for artists that have a very minimalist style that doesn’t require a whole lot of features and effects. While still giving quite a lot of options, this is a very simple and easy app to use, making it perfect for beginners and for sketching.
Medibang Paint is a free and very lightweight drawing app, that still offers quite a lot of features!
It is available not only on android but on Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS (all of them free).
This can be really useful if you plan to work on your drawings on different devices!
This way, you can have it installed in different places and transfer your work from one device to the other.
It offers over 100 brushes to explore as well as a big number of resources such as tones, backgrounds, and textures to bring new life into your drawings.
This app is very comic-oriented, so you can not only create illustrations but your own comics as well.
You can create and customize your own panels and have several comic fonts to choose from.
Although it contains ads, the free version is very complete and totally worth your time.
And of course, if you like it enough, you also have a paid membership that will eliminate ads from your app as well as offer new features to your drawing experience.
Nevertheless, for a free app, Medibang Paint is a very complete drawing software and worth checking out, especially if you’re interested in creating your own comics.
It might take some time to explore and understand each tool and how to customize it, but it’s still very easy to use and start drawing!
Ease of Use: 3/5 ⭐
Features: 4/5 ⭐
App Size: 5/5 ⭐ (33Mb)
Who’s it for: Medibang Paint is a very complete app for any artist on any level. Given it offers a lot of comic-specific features, I feel it’s a perfect app for someone who wants to create their own comics on the go, on their mobile!
What is the best paid drawing app for android?
I might be a bit biased here since I like it so much, but I truly believe Clip Studio Paint is one of the best paid drawing apps around.
Even though I personally never used it on mobile, I’ve only heard good things about it and so far had a very good experience with the computer version.
Another reason I recommend Clip Studio Paint some of its subscription plans allow you to install it on several devices.
This means you can have Clip Studio installed on your phone, tablet, and computer and easily transfer your work from one device to the other.
Personally, a phone can be too small for certain works, so even though it’s enough to start an illustration, sometimes it can be easier to continue it on a bigger screen.
For that reason, I think that having the flexibility of being able to use the same software on different devices can be very useful!
Not only that, but even though it takes some time to get used to it, it’s a very user-friendly software. Just explore it slowly as you discover each and every single tool.
How do you draw on an android phone?
Due to its touch feature, you can use your finger to draw on any smartphone.
As long as you have a drawing app, you’ll be able to use your fingers for that.
Some phones will have better recognition than others however or, if you’re like me, your fingers sometimes are just too trembly for the task.
But fret not, for there are other options!
A lot of smartphones and apps are compatible with stylus pens, so that’s one solution and only requires you to carry a small device with you.
Alternatively, you can use a drawing tablet! Lots of drawing tablets are nowadays compatible with smartphones, you just need to connect it to your phone and start drawing.
Most of the time you don’t even need to install any driver, just plug and play.
An advantage of using a drawing tablet to draw on your phone is that you can have a bigger canvas to draw on.
Personally, I think the phone screen can be too small and limiting when drawing, so using a bigger drawing tablet is a nice solution.
Recently I got to review the XP-Pen Deco Pro MW (check it out here), which works very well on android, so check that out if it’s something you’re considering.
For more comfort and portability there are also smaller and much more affordable tablets that are made with mobile or tablets in mind. In short, they are perfect to connect to smaller devices.
I also have a list of the 4 best drawing tablets under 50$, which is worth taking a look at if it’s something you’re considering.
Even though it takes some of the portability away, I think using a drawing tablet can be very helpful, but it’s all a matter of taste and experimenting!
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Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!
Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!