Autodesk Sketchbook

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Autodesk Sketchbook App Poster Image
Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to create digital art using this professional-grade app. With some instruction and exploration, tweens and teens will learn through experience and develop their unique artist's style as they experiment with the different tools, colors, brushes, and strokes. The Sketchbook.com site, accessible via the app, includes tips and tutorials to extend learning. Sketchbook Pro gives kids easy access to professional tools for creating digital art.

Ease of Play

Kids familiar with the desktop version of Sketchbook Pro will pick up the tablet version with no problems. Others will need direct instruction or careful review of the tutorial instructions to fully utilize all of the tools Sketchbook Pro offers.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sketchbook Pro is a professional-level digital sketching tool for serious digital artists. Parents may want to start tweens and teens with Sketchbook Express, the free version of the app, to get a feel for some of the features, then upgrade to the pro version for more layers, brushes, and canvas sizes. The free version will suffice for many, but for teens who are serious about art, it's worth the upgrade. Tweens will need instruction to fully utilize the app. It's possible that some younger kids will enjoy the app, but there are many choices that are more targeted at their age and skill level. Teens can share their creations over email or social media. For kids using phones instead of tablets, there's a version of the app called Sketchbook Mobile.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byFrightenedByPenguins February 21, 2016

Sketchbook Pro is by far the best app currently available for digital drawing/painting.

Its a professional tool and therefore can feel a bit too much when your first getting used to the UI but if you persist you will reap the benefits and be produc... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old July 25, 2013

Beautiful App

It really is a beautiful app. So wonderful: many, many brushes to use, and making art is fun. User-friendly, and overall easy to use. It produces really nice dr... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byjayyflyy78 February 22, 2020

great drawing program!

I've been using Autodesk Sketchbook for 2+ years now and it is one of the best programs for drawing. It is easy to learn and the interface is very user fri... Continue reading

What's it about?

SKETCHBOOK PRO is a fully featured app with an arsenal of tools for creating digital art. Kids can choose brushes and colors, draw using mirror image, move and rotate and arrange objects, and work with layers. They can choose the resolution size to save creations. Teens can store works-in-progress and complete them later as well export their works (including PSD export) or share them over email or social media. There are some differences in features across platforms; for example, the iOS version of the app has a smudge tool while the Android version does not at the time of the review.

Is it any good?

Sketchbook Pro is a serious digital art tool not to be mistaken for the many simple drawing apps available. It is an excellent, professional-caliber tool designed by Autodesk, developers with a history of well-regarded apps for designers, engineers, and architects. The app offers tools available in the desktop version with the ease of a sketchbook on the tablet. 

Teens familiar with the desktop version of Sketchbook Pro will pick up the tablet version with no problems, but others will require some instruction and exploration to get comfortable. The controls are exhaustive and intuitive, and maneuvering with both fingers and a stylus offers some ease in creation. The app does offer an option for pen only, which lets artists use the stylus without hand pressure registering on the screen, so teens can draw with precision. The options for tools, pens, and stamps are outstanding. Teens can pin their most-used tools to their canvas and reset them easily in the settings, making pinning tools for specific projects easy. It would be nice to see a few improvements (such as a select tool, and for the Android version, a smudge tool), but all in all, it's an excellent tool. Sketchbook Pro includes more tools than Procreate, another professional-level creation app, though not as many options for canvas-size and resolution.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Start younger kids on more basic drawing apps like BordNick Jr Draw & Play, or Drawing Pad.

  • Encourage tweens and teens to look at and appreciate a variety of art styles.

  • Allow teens to view Sketchbook Pro tutorials on YouTube.

App details

  • Devices: iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows app
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations
  • Price: Free trial; full version $4.99
  • Pricing structure: Free to try
  • Release date: March 11, 2013
  • Category: Productivity
  • Topics: Arts and Dance
  • Size: 12.00 MB
  • Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
  • Version: 2.6
  • Minimum software requirements: Android 2.0 and up; iOS 5.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 17, 2019

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For kids who love to create

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