Developer: Mahalo
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 3.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

After spending plenty of times attempting to sketch beautifully within Paper By FiftyThree, I think it’s the ideal time to retreat to an app that promises to teach users how to draw. One such app is How to Draw! from knowledge sharing portal Mahalo.com. It’s as enthusiastic as the exclamation mark suggests, even if it is a little too wordy for kids to be attracted to.

The app is a series of videos, bundled alongside a few minor features such as the ability to track progress and mark certain sequences as favorites for easy, later consultation. Kenny O’Brien, storyboard artist for a number of SpongeBob Wii games is the host for these videos. He’s keen, very keen and likes to be called the more informal Kenny O. A lot of the videos comprise of him talking in-depth about what he plans to do. Take out the informed but pointless waffle and the relevant parts of the videos weigh in at around half the length.

Get past the happy yet timewasting rambles of Kenny O and there are some useful facts to learn from How to Draw!. It teaches basic techniques such as focusing on the shapes of each character, rather than dealing with the object on the whole, making it easier to figure out how to draw something as impressive as SpongeBob Squarepants.

The content is geared towards kids well in terms of teaching how to draw many SpongeBob characters as well as the stars of The Lion King. I’ve got a feeling that some kids will get a little bored with watching all the videos, though, as Kenny O explains every tiny little thing. Persevere and put the time in (the app recommends spending a couple of hours a day practicing), and they will see results, but it might be restricted to the more stubborn and older child than all kids.

How to Draw! isn’t a quick fix solution to drawing, but that does mean it teaches some valuable artistic skills beneath the excessive amount of filler.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Reference, iPhone Apps and Games, Reference, Reviews

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