August 17, 2010 | by Lars Aronsson
A category of mobile software that really needs a (capacitive) touchscreen is painting apps. To be able to draw with your fingers directly on a screen opens up a lot of possibilities, and some renowned artists have actually made cool art this way. Even though there are quite a few painting apps on the Android Market, there is one problem for me personally: since I’m still just as bad at drawing as I was when I was little, my sketches will always look bad, regardless of whether or not I use a good app.
Another example is that it doesn’t matter if you have a guitar for $50 or $2000 if you can’t play the instrument, while a truly skilled guitarist basically can make any guitar sound great. The painting application Sketcher, however, is almost an exception to the rule, because what the app puts on the screen doesn’t directly correspond to what you’re actually drawing.
This is somewhat difficult to describe, but instead of merely drawing a single line when you swipe your finger across the screen, the app draws something resembling the beginning of an artist’s pencil sketch. Depending on which brush you use, you may also draw circles, squares, complex patterns and lots more. Speaking of brushes, there are 11 of them at the time of writing, including Sketchy, Shaded, Chrome, Fur, Web and Ribbon.
Sketcher’s interface is very basic, but clean. When you press the Menu key, you get the following five options: Save, Share, Clear, Color, Brushes, and that’s it. There are no additional settings. The app will luckily restore your most recently saved sketch upon launch, since you cannot open a specific image.
Sketcher is a painting app that is fun to play around with, and due to its unusual brushes even complete novices can get pretty interesting results. And those who know how to draw could probably have a blast with it. Even though Sketcher definitely has room for improvement, it’s a good application that only can get better. Since Sketcher is a port of a web app, you can check out http://mrdoob.com/projects/harmony/ on your computer to roughly see what you’ll get on your Android.
- Unusual brushes
- Allows you to make cool sketches with no prior drawing experience
- Hardly any settings
- Basic set of features
- If you temporarily switch to another app, your drawing will be gone when you return to Sketcher unless you have saved it first