Developer: LUCKY CLAN
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 3.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Looking to pick up a solid and user-friendly art app for your iPad? Then you might just want to take a look at Art Studio for iPad.

Art Studio for iPad is a very fully featured app. It casts a wide net in terms of functionality, trying to replicate all the different things a major program like Photoshop can do. Thus, it has a bevvy of brushes, filters, and other options for artists to use, a fuller collection of Photoshop-esque elements than any other art program I’ve encountered. For example, it’s the first art program I’ve downloaded that allows for variable canvas sizes — I’m generally a SketchBook Pro user, but sometimes get annoyed that every drawing has to be 1024×768. Art Studio for iPad also has more layer blending modes than any other program I’ve used.

For artists just learning, the app also offers more than a dozen tutorials. These tend to be very basic, with the majority dedicated to cutesy animals, though there are also some good examples of drawing the human face. While a neat idea in theory, the tutorials have no audio or text component — it’s more like watching a demo than learning to draw.

That said, this generalist approach means that Art Studio does not do any one thing better than other art apps. In terms of drawing, for example, Art Studio isn’t as good as SketchBook Pro, which has an unmatched level of brush and line control. There’s also a notable lag between your touch stroke and the appearance of the line. This isn’t terribly significant when using a simple pencil tool, but when using, for example, the wet brush tool, it’s both significant and annoying.

I’m also not the biggest fan of Art Studio’s interface, which I find to be ugly and clunky. It has large, squarish buttons that fill both the bottom and side of the screen when active, taking up more of the screen, more of the time, than does the interface of the other major art apps I’ve used. Despite the size, I also found them to be more unresponsive than in other apps, sometimes requiring two or three taps to activate.

Art Studio for iPad is a nice generalist art program that will probably have the most appeal for younger artists or those just learning the craft. As it also comes less expensive than either Brushes or SketchBook Pro, it’s the right choice for amateur artists everywhere.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Productivity, Reviews

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