Sketch Guru - Handy Sketch Pad

Common Sense Media says

Decent sketch tool has distracting, unavoidable ads.






What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable
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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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids can share drawings via email or social media. There is no privacy policy explaining what, if any, information is collected.

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.

What kids can learn



  • drawing
  • painting



  • making new creations

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support


Kids are empowered to express themselves creatively. The tools are fun to explore and easy to use to create sketches.

Learning Approach

Reviewing the movie of their strokes, step by step, can help kids reflect on how they created a sketch, but there's no instruction here.


There's no help or tutorial available. Kids can save their work and retrieve photos from their device's gallery.

What kids can learn



  • drawing
  • painting



  • making new creations

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

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. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Kids create original sketches starting from a blank canvas or alter photos or existing works from the gallery on SKETCH GURU - HANDY SKETCH PAD. They can save their sketches and share them via email or social media. They also can use the movie function to play back their drawing process like a movie. Kids can choose from 17 or more brushes, depending on the platform; a full color spectrum; and a color picker. They can work in layers and undo/redo strokes as well.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage kids to view a variety of art to appreciate it and develop their own style.

  • Teens serious about art may learn and grow more in technique with apps like Sketchbook Pro.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:February 19, 2013
Size:3.20 MB
Publisher:Bejoy Mobile
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.2 and up; iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Sketch Guru - Handy Sketch Pad was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old August 14, 2014

Good, just a few things

Sketcher guru is an amazing app for drawing, with a large variety of brushes. But, if you are professional you might be disappointed with the lack of features. It has the usual color wheel, color pick, choice of background, etc. But to delete anything, you have to use back or use a rubber to dodge around you lineart and delete the sketch. It could use an option to create and select layers you can delete with ease, as it is disappointing seeing your once perfect lineart half rubbed out, with small sketch lines you couldn't get rid of while rubbing out the draft hanging in the corners like cobwebs. A very basic thing it lacks that is needed by professional and beginners artists is a color fill. Not bad, but a pro would better off paying so that they would actually get the things they do need, not an app for kids with all the enhanced stuff that they don't need or understand the use of.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use


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