Review: Sketch Club

Drawing apps are a dime a dozen, but what really sets a great art app apart is when it makes creating beautiful, sophisticated drawings significantly easier. Sketch Club is just such an app, and it’s probably my favorite piece of drawing software for iOS.

On the surface, Sketch Club might fool you into thinking there’s not much to it. But try it out and you’ll find a robust system that you can use to create complex pieces of art without needing to know how to wield Photoshop like a pro. When you start up the game, it presents you with a blank, white canvas and just four buttons. Those buttons hold the keys to switching between all of the tools you need to create your masterpiece.

The number of available tools will surprise you. There’s a brush for painting, a pen, a pixelation tool, a vector tool, an eraser tool, and more. One of the app’s finest features is the pencil sketcher, which automatically inserts shadings at edges and corners and intersections. It’s a — dare I say it — “magical” brush, and once you see it in action, you’ll be unable to resist trying it for yourself. Most of the drawing tools will greatly benefit from the use of a stylus if you have one, though your finger works just fine too.

Each brush comes with various settings to use, and the app responds nicely to how light or heavy your touch is. Pinch-to-zoom functionality is built in, along with AirPrint. A great strength of Sketch Club is how often it’s updated with new features; when it first launched about six months ago, it had very little to offer in the way of layers; now it’s got five. There are examples of constant enhancements and improvements all over the place, and they come so frequently that you’ll almost feel as though every time you fire up this app there’s something new to try out.

Another major feature that sets Sketch Club apart (and the source of the “Club” in the title) is its online component. This little app has its own online community at sketchclub.com where you can view and rate the work of others and show off your own art. The website is built right into the app, so you can easily switch between browsing the community’s art and going back to your own work. The community boasts artwork that numbers in the thousands, and some of the stuff that’s there will really blow your mind. There are even regular contests to take part in, where you can win cool prizes.

It’s not hyperbole to say that if you only own one sketching app for iPad (or iPhone), it should be Sketch Club. For the artistically inclined, it’s the best $2 you’ll ever spend.

About Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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