Sketchbook Pro




Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art.

What parents need to know

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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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Privacy & safety

Personal and non-personal information is shared with the developer, but parents or kids can opt out of that in the settings. The privacy policy is very clear and easy to read and recommends that parents monitor usage for kids ages 13 to 17 and forbids kids under 13 from sharing or submitting information to Autodesk websites, products, or services.

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.

What kids can learn



  • drawing
  • painting



  • making new creations
  • imagination

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support


The tools are fun to play around with, but serious artists will be drawn to their versatility and quality when it comes to making digital art.

Learning Approach

Teens can learn through exploration in this user-driven experience. The vast array of tools allows artists to delve deep into digital creation.


A basic written tutorial introduces teens to the tools available. The site includes a great blog with news and tips about the app, as well as topics like storyboarding and drawing tutorials.

What kids can learn



  • drawing
  • painting



  • making new creations
  • imagination

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation

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 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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

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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.

Families can talk about...

  • Start younger kids on more basic drawing apps like Bord, Nick 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
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:March 11, 2013
Topics:Arts and dance
Size:12.00 MB
Publisher:Autodesk Inc.
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.0 and up; iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Sketchbook Pro was written by

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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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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 drawings, and you can save your drawings too. All in all a great app for all the artists and aspiring artists out there.
Kid, 12 years old April 5, 2013

Nerdy but not artisticly talented person like myself, creativity, and retina display playing it like no other, its Phebe.

Okay so I am a TOTAL nerd when it comes to apps and specs. But, I am definitely not an artist. And that right there makes this app so amazingly perfect, that you don't have to be an artist to create something. Also with stunning display on retina iPad (this coming from a die-hard androider). This is a perfect fit for anyone who attracts to a bright screen. Peace, Phebe.


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