How to Draw - Easy Lessons

Common Sense Media says

Step-by-step help simple to follow, but app lacks polish.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is relatively easy to navigate with quick transitions and clear design, except for "A+B" modes in the Android versions of the app.

Violence

Drawing subjects include a gun and tank.

Sex

The Lady in a Black Dress drawing features a woman in a short, short dress posing somewhat suggestively.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The app is free and is ad-supported. You'll see banner ads, and in some versions, full-page ads for the developer's other apps. The Android versions come with about 60 drawings. The iOS version has around 70 free drawings; in-app purchases ($.99 to $5.99) unlock additional drawings. If you have the iOS app you also have the option to get 10 additional free images by exporting a drawing to Facebook.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

In some versions, "news" pop-up questions link to the developer website but can be disabled in settings. The iOS version of the app allows users to send drawings via email or post to Facebook. The app doesn't require users to enter any personal information, but there's no privacy policy in the app or on the developer's website, so it's not clear what, if any, information is collected automatically and how it would be used.

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships
  • applying information

Creativity

  • producing new content
  • combining knowledge

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • academic development

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The sketching is high-quality, and overall the design is simple and clean. Some of the images -- like Justin Bieber, Rapunzel, and Spider-Man -- should appeal to kids.

Learning Approach

Terminology and concept definitions are lacking. Kids learn about sketching versus inking, but they can't practice with this app.

Support

In the Android version, there's no help to explain the confusing mode names, and the "clear" function doesn't work. However, the iOS version performs better in these areas.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships
  • applying information

Creativity

  • producing new content
  • combining knowledge

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • academic development

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn three steps for creating images: sketching general shapes and lines, inking final lines, and filling in color from a color wheel. Depending on the mode, kids can re-create the steps and final image from memory (though fine art techniques generally discourage working from memory). Kids will not learn arts terminology or a greater understanding of the steps presented. How to Draw – Easy Lessons falls a bit short in teaching digital sketching of basic images.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

 

Families can talk about...

  • Provide your kids an easily accessible variety of art materials plus a place to work.

  • Check out "how to draw" books from the library.

  • Together, view some of the excellent drawing tutorials on YouTube.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
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

This review of How to Draw - Easy Lessons was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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