A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn to express themselves creatively using digital technology. Tweens and teens will learn through experience and develop their unique artist's style as they experiment with the different colors and brushes. The movie feature allows them to replay the strokes they used to create a piece, which can help artists refine their technique. Sketch Guru - Handy Sketch Pad can be a good way for young artists to express their creativity -- if they can ignore the distracting ads.
Ease of Play
The controls are easy to access, and the commands are intuitive for those familiar with art palettes. It's too easy, however, to accidentally click on ads.
Products & Purchases
The free app includes ads across the top of every screen as well as links to other apps by the developer and the occasional pop-up ad. The ads are especially distracting in the Android version of the app.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sketch Guru - Handy Sketch Pad is free to use, but the app is full of advertising; it's especially distracting in the Android version. There's no option to pay to remove ads, which would be worthwhile for artistic kids. The brushes include many options -- watercolor, single stroke, fur, long fur, circle, square, and more -- and kids can adjust brush width and opacity.
Is It Any Good?
Sketch Guru - Handy Sketch Pad has the quality sketch tools you'd pay to use, so it's too bad there's no option to remove the ads. The black and neon art screen looks more like an '80s video game than a serious sketching app. But the multiple brushes include interesting artistic options such as watercolor, single stroke, fur, long fur, circle, and square. Kids can adjust brush width and opacity. They also can save, play back, and share their creations. This is a good sketching app that could be greatly improved with fewer ads or via a paid, ad-free version. If kids can tune out the ads, they can have some fun creating and sharing some impressive sketches.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Apps for Making Art
Journal Apps, Online Diaries, and Digital Scrapbooks
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.See how we rate