Sketch Club app supplies social art for iOS

Feb 13, 2012
Tech

It’s easy to dismiss Sketch Club as a gimmicky art app for amateurs, but don’t be too quick to tap away from this $2.99 universal package. The app is, in fact, a serious blend of standard and procedural drawing tools suitable for neophytes and professional digital artists alike. Sketch Club’s clean UI stays out of […]

It’s easy to dismiss Sketch Club as a gimmicky art app for amateurs, but don’t be too quick to tap away from this $2.99 universal package. The app is, in fact, a serious blend of standard and procedural drawing tools suitable for neophytes and professional digital artists alike.

Sketch Club’s clean UI stays out of the way. Upon launch, users are presented with a blank canvas with nothing but a small menu bar at the top. This is where all the tools, including the major update to the brush tool in recently released version 1.12, are hiding.

The app has vector drawing, a text option for typography, pixel art for those who like drawing old-school dot matrix style and some neat options like Fur, Grass and Sketchy. There is now also a fill tool, along with the pre-existing nuanced smudge and smoothing capabilities and 44 pre-set brushes.

Once the medium is selected, the slider icon allows you to adjust size, opacity, angle, spacing, jitter and more. The update added advanced brush previewing options, as well. The squiggle icon is where you set shape and mirroring, and next to that are standard color pickers.

You can work with up to eight layers, and Sketch Club provides some backgrounds, coloring and tracing pages, even templates to work with. Add that to JPG, PNG and PSD output, 100 levels of undo-redo, AirPrint and pinch-to-zoom and rotate and you have a rather complete sketching package for any skill level.

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What makes Sketch Club unique are two features that add social components and allow for feedback. There is an active user community accessible in-app where you can submit art and invite critique or just browse and comment — that’s the Club part of the equation. There is also video integration. You can record yourself working, and upload to YouTube. It’s a good way to build an online portfolio or to share your techniques and pick up new ones.

Just added, you can now import any image from the camera roll to create a custom brush, or grab one from the community. I would like to see more organic drawing tools, and a way to pin the canvas, but the dollar-to-feature ratio makes this an excellent addition to the creative iOS device owner’s toolkit.

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Lisa Caplan

Lisa Caplan writes app lists and guides as well as reviewing iOS apps and games on various tech sites, most recently on her fledgling iPhone and iPad giveaway blog, AppTudes. She is thrilled to be joining the stellar reviewing team at Appolicious.

Located in a balmy Montreal suburb, Lisa has an advanced degree in Creative Writing, and has had an Apple computer by her side since 1979! She is a talentless art nut, bibliophile and accessory junkie. Lisa looks forward to sharing her gaming addiction and love for all tech that promotes culture, communication, social awareness and education at every level.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter @AppTudes for iOS news or @LisaTheAppChick for random nonsense.

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