Although you don’t need a pen, it’s recommended if you want to get the most out of these apps. After doing this, check out the best drawing and painting apps for Android.

Before you start: Get ready for digital painting and drawing on Android

Drawing on a phone or tablet is not like working with a pen and paper, and it is very different from using a brush. Unsurprisingly, using the mouse is also quite different. Before choosing a digital paint app for Android, you should check:

  • Does the phone or table support multi-touch?
  • Can it detect that your palm is on the screen?

While most Android drawing apps let you use your fingers, the stylus is a smart option. Some Android tablets come with a stylus. For example,  the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series  has the S-Pen, which is a larger version of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

A good all-around option  is the KEKOW Active Pen  , which is compatible with all Android phones and tablets.  If your budget is tight, consider the CALOETHNEY fountain pen instead  . While it doesn’t look as impressive as other styles, it’s a great entry-level option.

When you’re ready to draw, check out these best drawing and painting apps for Android .

1. The best drawing and painting program for Android: ibis Paint X

The best Android design apps

If you’re looking for an app on your Android phone that lets you create digital paintings, ibis Paint X is the place to start. Featuring stroke stabilizer, rulers and clipping masks, this tool is perfect for artists who are interested in illustration.

ibis Paint X has more than 300 brushes along with unlimited layers, each with individual parameters. When you’re done, you can   share your digital art directly from this Android painting app.

Two premium options are available: ad removal and Prime membership. Membership adds advanced features like new fonts and filters, so it’s worth checking out. You should also   check out the ibisPaint X YouTube channel for tutorial videos.

Download:   ibis Paint X  (free in-app purchases available)

2. Adobe Illustrator Draw

The best Android design apps

Famous creative productivity software developer Adobe offers a free drawing program called Adobe Illustrator Draw. This portable version of the popular vector graphics program offers a simple interface, intuitive gesture mechanics, and a comprehensive feature list.

Using brush tools for vector art-based illustration, the resulting images are crisp and clear. For flexible productivity, you can seamlessly transfer designs or finished products to the original Adobe Illustrator to continue working. From layering to drawing and painting, this Android design app has it all.

Download: Adobe Illustrator Draw  (free)

3. ArtFlow

The best Android design apps

With everything ArtFlow has to offer, you won’t believe it’s free. ArtFlow, another one of the best drawing and painting apps for Android, packs several brushes and in-app features that are available at the click of an icon  . Use it only for gaming or creating serious art.

The free option only lets you save art as JPEG or PNG. However, the Pro version allows PSD format export, so you can continue working on your desktop.

Download: ArtFlow (free, premium version available)

4. MediBang Paint

The best Android design apps

Want to learn how to make digital art on your phone? MediBang Paint is one of the best drawing and painting apps for Android, with a user interface that feels familiar thanks to its similarity to the Adobe suite.

Since it’s both free and full of features, you’ll find plenty of online resources to help you get started.

Download:   MediBang Paint  (free, in-app purchases available)

5. Infinite Painter

The best Android design apps

Infinite Painter, which is the next best drawing and painting application for Android,  is loved by fans. It’s very simple: all you see by default are a handful of tools (Brush, Smudge, Brush Size, Color and Brush Opacity).

All the extra tools are a button away, and Infinite Painter makes great use of that button. It’s minimal but has enough features in its free version to create really impressive and professional work. That’s why Infinite Painter is one of the best drawing apps for Android.

Download:  Infinite Painter  (free, premium version available)

6. Sketchbook

The best Android design apps

Sketchbook is developed by design software giant Autodesk (maker of AutoCAD, among others). This Android drawing app provides you with useful tools and features to draw whatever your imagination creates.

At one point, Sketchbook was a premium program, but in recent years Autodesk has made it free. It includes both desktop and mobile versions of Sketchbook, so you can work using whatever medium suits your expertise.

Download:  Sketchbook (free in-app purchases available)

7. PaperColor

PaperColor APK for Android Download

If you want to make digital art on your phone, PaperColor has everything you need to get started. Instead of a minimal user interface, this app puts pens and pencils in front of you. It’s as close to easel and canvas as you can get from an Android paint app.

PaperColor also has a portfolio display and one of the most extensive and intuitive brush selections of any design program. By purchasing the VIP version, you will have access to all the fantastic tools that PaperColor has to offer.

Download:  PaperColor (free, premium version available)

8. Pixel Studio

The best Android design apps

Want a drawing app on Android that’s lower resolution? You might be interested in pixel art, which is where Pixel Studio comes in. It’s an Android art app that lets you create 8-bit and 16-bit style pixel art, from individual items to characters and backgrounds.

Pixel Studio also lives up to its name. It’s not just about creating static art. Pixel Studio has animation tools, and even an option to add music or sound FX to the loop. Animations can be output as GIFs, while static art can be saved in standard formats and exported to other art packages.

Download:  Pixel Studio  (free, premium version available)

9. Krita

Queen Elizabeth II, in Crete

One of the biggest names in open source creativity software, Krita is free to use and currently in beta on Android. The first version of Krita was developed for Linux, but it has since been released on Windows, macOS, and Chrome, with Android next on the list.

An app for anyone who wants to develop their digital painting skills, the Android version of Krita is basically the same as the desktop version. All menus are the same tools, available in the same places. This means that Krita is more suitable for a pen or mouse than a finger.

However, Krita can be used to create outstanding digital art.

Download:   Krita (free in-app purchases available)

10. Da Vinci Eye: AR Art Projector

The best Android design apps

If your art skills aren’t as good as you’d like, this is the app you need. Da Vinci’s Eye: AR art projector helps you to  “trace” the images on your phone on the surface using augmented reality (AR) technology.

Simply place the phone on top of your paper, launch the app, select the image, and start drawing, watching the screen as you go. The da Vinci eye helps you design as you look through the source image.

For some, this is considered cheating. Nevertheless, it’s a stunning app that cleverly uses AR for creative purposes. Although very expensive.

Download: Da Vinci Eye  ($13.99)

11. Bamboo Paper

The best Android design apps

For a more basic approach to drawing and painting on Android, try Bamboo Paper . Developed by Wacom (which knows a thing or two about digital art), Bamboo Paper is a lightweight app that’s as good for written note-taking as it is for digital art.

You can use this app for all your design work, and fonts are also supported. With a selection of available fonts, palettes, and textures (and more via in-app purchases), Bamboo Paper is a great resource for  learning how to create digital art  on your phone or tablet because it’s so easy to use.

With a Wacom ID you can also unlock Inkspace’s sync feature and make sure your sketches and notes are available on any device.

Download: Bamboo Paper   (free in-app purchases available)

Should you use AI art generators as an artist?

As an artist, there’s a very good chance you’re not only aware of, but   also have strong opinions about, the recent explosion of AI-based image generators . These programs allow anyone, regardless of artistic ability and skill level, to create stunning works of art that are increasingly difficult to distinguish from real human-made artwork.

While some  artists  see AI art as deeply unethical and a form of plagiarism, others see its potential in helping artists create original works of art more quickly. In other words, instead of using AI to create finished works of art, perhaps a better way is to integrate useful AI features into design programs to allow artists to more easily bring their inspirations to life.

Try the best free and paid drawing apps for Android

If you had a passion for design or drawing in the past, now you have no excuse. With the best drawing and painting apps for Android, you can develop your drawing skills wherever you go.

All of these drawing apps work on Android phones and tablets, though for best results, you’ll need to use an Android-compatible stylus. And if you find that an Android tablet isn’t suitable for your artistic purposes, consider a dedicated design tablet.