The best drawing app for Android means you no longer need an iPad or a dedicated drawing tablet to produce amazing digital art. Instead, you can sketch, draw and paint directly on the screen of your Android phone, Android tablet or Chromebook using a stylus. But while there are lots of options in the Google Play Store, most of them aren't actually very good. So in this article, we've pulled together the 10 best drawing apps for Android available today.
Whether you are a professional artist or a beginner looking to draw on screen for the first time, you're sure to find what you're looking for amongst these Android drawing app recommendations. My list features apps that are paid-for, freemium and the best free drawing apps for Android, and I've included options for niche purposes such as art collaboration, cartoon art and making quick notebook-style sketches.
Meanwhile, if you have an iPad you should also check out our roundup of the best drawing apps for iPad. And if you want to create art on the desktop too, then don't miss our guide to the best digital art software. Finally, if you are drawing using an Android phone or Chromebook consider one of the best drawing tablets, as these can now be connected using USB-C.
Best drawing app for Android available now
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Even the best free Android drawing app will usually come with one drawback. There's no guarantee it'll stay free forever, and even if it does, you'll still probably have to pay for extra features. Krita, however, is the exception because it's free and open source. That means a team of developers are constantly working on it as volunteers. And so not only will it remain free, they're constantly adding new features, at no extra cost.
As we found in our Krita 5.0 review, this drawing app is ideal for hobbyists and art enthusiasts who want a comprehensive toolbox without the price tag. It's easy to use, and boasts a huge brush catalogue. The full version has recently been made available for Android tablets, with highlights including S Pen gesture support, unlimited undo, support for keyboard shortcuts, animation tools and support for most file types, including PSDs.
There's really everything you could want from a drawing app in Krita and, on Android, it's getting close to being one of the best Procreate alternatives around. With layer management, drawing assists, transform tools and even a suite of animation features, Krita really is a complete digital art package.
Looking for an Android alternative to Procreate, the popular iOS app? Then I recommend Infinite Painter, a cross-platform painting, sketching, and drawing app that's available for tablets, phones, and Chromebooks. The interface is clean, organised, and highly customisable, and it feels very natural to make marks, providing a superb experience for artists.
There are nearly 200 brushes to choose from, ranging from pencils to charcoals, and you can create your own too. You can also record your own drawing as a timelapse, and other features include a lasso fill tool, touch gestures and support for PSDs. The app costs $9.99 and while there's no free version, there is a seven-day free trial.
Overall, for the fee, this is a high-end and feature-laden drawing app for Android that manages to feel as close to the Procreate experience as you could wish for on a non-Apple device. While Krita (above) just pips it for value and new tools, Infinite Painter has a simpler UI and is approachable, just like Procreate.
If you're a pro or semi-pro artist, Sketchbook is the best free drawing app for Android we can recommend. This cross-platform sketching, painting, and drawing app was originally developed by Autodesk, which also produces some of the best 3D software, and has since been hived off as a separate company.
Sketchbook supports the Samsung S-Pen, and offers a variety of guides, rulers and stroke tools for precise artwork. You also get a full complement of pencils, pens, markers, and brushes, which are highly customisable and sharable. The interface is clean and unobtrusive, though, so you can focus on drawing without being distracted by hundreds of menu options.
That means Sketchbook is suitable for beginners as well as pros, especially as the basic app is free. There's also a Premium Bundle to download for a one-off fee, which unlocks advanced features for brush creation, colour management, layer management and more.
If you're looking for the best drawing app for Android phones, we recommend Artflow. It has a simple, speedy interface that makes it much less fiddly to use on a small screen than other drawing apps. But at the same time, it's packed with sophisticated features.
These include smudge, fill and an eraser tool, layers, colour adjustment, infinite undo and redo, customisable brushes, and support for pressure sensitive pens. You can export your projects as a layered PSD or PNG, make timelapse recordings, and use multiple layers, layer blend modes, and keyboard shortcuts. My only slight issue is when creating complex drawings it occasionally lagged.
As well as Artflow phones, Artflow is available for Artflow tablets and Chromebooks. The basic version is free but the more advanced tools require a one-off, in-app purchase.
Want to remotely work on an artwork with others? Then check out Magma. Launched at Lightbox Expo in 2020, it's free and works on the browser, so you can use it with any Android device you have connected to the web.
Magma basically gives you a canvas that everyone invited to the party can scribble and draw on digitally, in real time. It's popular amongst everyone from professional artists collaborating on a piece to non-artists using it to brainstorm ideas. Collaboration apps are growing in popularity and considered the future of digital art and design workflows.
Up to 30 people can collaborate at one time, and there are built-in touch gestures as well as a chat window. As it's a cloud-based platform, there's nothing to download; you can just sign up and get started for free, while subscription plans get you access to more advanced tools such as textured brushes, lasso fill tools and cloud storage.
Ibis Paint X is a free drawing app that's geared towards cartoonists. It works on both Android phones and tablets, and boasts more than 15,000 customisable brushes, over 1,000 fonts, 80 filters, 46 screen tones and 27 blending modes. It really is a robust and complex app, which picks from the same toolset as the full desktop Ibis Paint software.
Features include touch gestures, stroke stabilisation, a lasso tool, a liquify tool, clipping masks, and a range of ruler features such as radial line rulers or symmetry rulers. The in-app ads can get on your nerves, but you can remove them for $10 Prime subscription. Otherwise the app is free, with subscription plans giving you extra tools and cloud storage.
If you do pay the Prime subscription then you also get access to more features, including 20GB of cloud storage, extra canvas papers, fonts and materials. Professional artists will find the $10 price tag more than worthwhile.
Want to create pixel art? Then you'll be pleased to know there's an Android app for doing just that. DotPict – which is also available for iOS – gives you a grid to work on, making it super-simple to add and remove pixels, change colours, and build up fantastic pixel art drawings.
You can zoom in and out, and there's also auto-saving, redo and undo. You can also view images made by other users, and download custom colour palettes. Beyond that, there aren't a ton of features because there don't really need to be... and that makes the interface nice and easy to use.
One aspect of DotPict that is excellent is its connection to the app's own social space for posting art and connecting with other pixel pushers. You can even visit and host pixel art events via the app. The only real downside is that DotPict is limited to just pixel art creation, so it's more a companion to other apps on my list than a complete Android drawing package.
Here's another cross-platform drawing app that fulfils a niche role quite brilliantly. Animatic allows you to make flip-book drawings on your Android device, and is a whole heap of fun.
Like a physical flip-book, we are talking very simple animations here, but that's what makes it easy for anyone to do. And the interface is very straightforward to follow, making the whole process a dream. You can specify the on-screen duration of each frame individually and projects can exported at up to 24fps. You can share your projects with other Animatic users to check or work on, and once you're done you can save them as animated GIFs or MP4 videos.
The brush tools are very basic and don't stretch past pencil, pen, marker and crayon types (there is an eraser). But its the simple layered cel-animation UI that is Animatic's most impressive feature, as it means you can doodle with ease and create simple animations in minutes.
MediaBang is a cross-platform drawing and painting app that's popular among comic and manga artists. It comes with pre-made comic panels and layout tools, and a timelapse feature. There's also a large asset library for artists, including tutorials for beginners to follow, and templates to help you build your drawings.
As well as being available for iOS and Android, there are also versions for PC and Mac. The Android app is free to download, plus you can hide the ads, get access to over 200 unlimited brushes and enjoy advanced features like custom exports with a premium subscription.
This is an excellent app for creating manga style art, it's accessible and simple too. But, as it's a free Android drawing app you will need to put up with ad pop-ups, which can get a little annoying, particularly if you're using a smartphone. Still, it's worth sampling as MediaBang overall is a worthwhile art app.
If you're not interested in 'proper' drawing, but just want to scribble, doodle and sketch out ideas on your Android tablet instead, then Bamboo Paper should be your app of choice. This cross-platform app is made by Wacom, creator of the industry leading Wacom tablets, and named after its own Bamboo styluses, but you can use them with other tablets and styluses, too.
Bamboo Paper essentially turns your Android tablet into the equivalent of a paper notebook, and makes it simple for you to sketch out ideas and concepts, quickly and without fuss. It's better than a real paper pad, though, because you can then digitally share these scribbles with others. This free Android drawing app comes in-app purchases for advanced features. Note, though, that it doesn't work with Android phones.
What is a good free Android drawing app?
There are many great free drawing apps for Android, including Sketchbook Pro, Infinite Painter and Artflow. Indeed, all but one of the apps in our list above have a free version.
Be warned, though: most free versions of apps have intrusive ads and you have to upgrade to a paid version if you want to unlock the full feature set. The exception is Krita, number 5 on our list, which is open source. That means there are no ads, and because it's developed by volunteers, you don't have to pay for any of the features.
Is Procreate app for Android a real thing?
Unfortunately, the popular iOS digital painting app Procreate is not available for Android, and there are no signs that it will be in future. The best Procreate alternative to Android is currently Infinite Painter: a powerful drawing app that offers a wide variety of brushes, layers, and effects. You'll find it at number 3 on our list above.
How can I draw on my Android phone?
To draw on your Android phone, you first need to download a drawing app. There are many free Android drawing apps to try, but for small phone screens we recommend Artflow, number 2 on our list above. You can use an app like this to draw with either your finger or a stylus. If you want to buy the latter, check out our guide to The best stylus for Android tablets. Make sure, though, that the drawing app you want to use is compatible with the stylus you buy.
Can I use a stylus with an Android drawing app?
Yes, you can use a stylus with most Android drawing apps. And we'd recommend doing so, because it allows you to be make more precise and accurate strokes than using your fingers. The best styluses are specifically designed for drawing and offer features such as pressure sensitivity, to make your strokes more realistic and similar to those you'd make on paper. However, before buying a stylus, make sure that it's compatible with both your Android device and your drawing app.
What is the best drawing app for Android?
Choosing the best drawing app for Android will depend on what type of drawing you want to do, what your level of skill and experience is, and how much you want to spend.
The best drawing app for Android overall is Sketchbook (number one on our list above), because it's easy for beginners to use but also has advanced features that semi-pro and professional artists will appreciate. Other apps on our list, however, may be more suitable for specific types of drawing. For example, DotPict is specialised for creating pixel art, while Animatic allows to draw digital flip-books.