SketchBook Pro for iPad full review

Why lug paper, canvas and paint around when Sketchbook Pro can turn your iPad into a mobile art studio? Its advanced features make it one of the best painting apps around.

Sketchbook Pro includes one of the widest ranges of painting and adjustment tools we’ve ever seen in an iPad app. The 60 brushes can be customised using opacity, feathering, spacing and feathering adjustment. The built-in smudge tool enables you to smear strokes, and you get an eraser brush, paint bucket, line, square and circle tools plus undo and redo buttons.

Something you’ll be hard pressed to find in any other app is Sketchbook Pro’s symmetry tool, which mirrors every stroke you make on the other side of the screen – handy for drawing things like faces. There’s a colour selector with several swatches and a colour wheel with a saturation diamond in the middle for choosing virtually any shade imaginable. An eyedropper tool also lets you pick colours off the screen.

You can create up to six different layers, each of which can be resized and repositioned independently with opacity controls and blend modes like Multiply and Screen.

Sketchbook Pro’s interface has a slight learning curve, but it quickly becomes easy to find your way around. The app makes good use of the iPad’s touchscreen: tapping the circle at the bottom of the screen brings up a large circle at the centre, which you can tap and drag left or right to quickly adjust the brush size or drag up and down to adjust the opacity. A three-finger tap anywhere displays or hides the toolbar, while swiping three fingers right or left will undo or redo the last action.

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