A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that How to Draw - Easy Lessons gives kids drawing demonstrations that can be traced over plus a blank canvas for creating from scratch. The Android versions of the app come with about 60 drawings; the iOS app comes with around 70, and more can be purchased. The images include a gun, a tank, and a short-skirted lady alongside a rabbit, Manga characters, Justin Bieber, and more, without much ethnic diversity and few female or kid images.
What's it about?
The main menu offers a vertical list of drawings displaying the number of steps (and difficulty for some in the Android versions). Each drawing has a menu for selecting colors, brush size, erase mode, a clear function (that doesn't always work well), and a save button that overwrites a single file for each drawing that's saved in device files. In the Android app, three work modes give flexibility: A+B=steps and drawing, A=blank canvas for drawing, B=steps only. The iOS app has similar modes that are executed more intuitively.
Is it any good?
In HOW TO DRAW - EASY LESSONS, kids can see sketching, inking, and coloring steps, and, in one mode, kids can trace right over the top of each step and color in at the end. This ability would be great if the lines were a bit smoother, or control was a bit finer (using a stylus may help). On the Android app, kids can't see the steps or images in A mode (really a blank canvas) so they have to recreate them from memory. The iOS app handles this better; you can pop out a window with the steps while you draw on the blank canvas.
The people in the Android version don't reflect any ethnic diversity; the iOS version includes Barack Obama in an upgrade pack, but no obvious diversity beyond that. Neither version is particularly kind to females: There aren't many, and the ones that are there tend to be fairies, princesses, or sexy images (the "lady's face" drawings excepted). And the "Famous People" pack for iOS includes no women at all. There also aren't many images of kids. Though How to Draw - Easy Lessons is a decent attempt, it's not very polished, and after a bit of struggling, your kids might just happily revert to pencil and paper.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Arts: drawing
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, initiative
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, part-whole relationships
Creativity: combining knowledge, producing new content
Health & Fitness: fine motor skills
Communication: multiple forms of expression
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: December 2, 2012
- Category: Education
- Size: 12.00 MB
- Version: Android 3.3; iOS 4.1
- Minimum software requirements: Android 1.6 and up; iOS 5.0 or later
For kids who love to create
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.