iLuv Drawing Animals is a fun and educational app for iPad, allowing players to learn how to draw 40 animals, section by section, as they are broken down into elements which are traced over simple templates with the aid of spoken instructions. Finished pictures can be saved to the included drawing book or camera roll and one can also share drawings via Facebook, email, including to these devlopers allowing them to see one's creations.
Selecting an animal to draw is an intuitive experience as one scrolls through pages of possible selections, tapping on the animal of choice. From here, kids will be instructed to trace a series of templates that have broken down the animal subject into a series of easy to understand shapes that when combined, create the creature in question.
iLuv Drawing Animals is a nice choice for kids who are interested in learning the very basics of drawing cartoony animals that are cute and relatively easy to draw. I like how these illustrations are broken down into smaller shapes that kids will easily understand and have had experience with, and the narration is pleasant and easy to follow.
Beyond drawing the simple lines of these drawings, children are also give a variety of tools to personalize their creation, found at the bottom of the screen. A nice feature typically not seen in other drawing apps is a fun selection of colorful backgrounds one can choose before or after the animal has been completed, as well as an eraser, paintbrush and a crayon or marker icon representing color choices and a pencil for drawing. More than twenty color options are given, and I like that the erase option contains both a "go back" and "forward" button, as well as a chance to erase the entire page with a tap, protected from an accidental touch as one must confirm this choice.
By far my favorite feature of this app is the inclusion of a "paint bucket" choice in the paintbrush mode, allowing one to fill in sections of these drawings with a simple tap instead of drawing with a finger as a paintbrush. It is rare to find this "paint bucket" feature among apps where one draws his own creations, and I am happy to find this here among this app as my son still is mastering his fine motor skills and prefers this method of coloring, as do I. Do be sure to close off the sections one draws before the use of the paint bucket because if these areas are not sealed, the paint bucket will fill more of an area than intended.
It is also nice that the paintbrush and eraser feature different size points that one can use, changing the size of line painted or erased, but I wish the same could be said of the pencil tool as well. Here, the size line drawn is too large and cumbersome for the details to be drawn, creating some frustration for me as I traced these animal figures, as the line provided is larger than the line one is tracing and is as refined as drawing with a chubby crayon, making the including of smaller details such as facial features or detail work on the paws of these creatures nearly impossible.
I do wish the erase feature to had a smaller point as well, as erasing with the provided tip available is less than accurate - an issue I did have with this tool as one often takes off too much for the area surrounding the line that one is actually trying to remove.
I was able to have some success with drawing these animals as one of the included paintbrushes does have a point fine enough to trace the templates in some detail - something parents will want to point out to their child.
It was also sometimes difficult to understanding what reference lines to remove in some of these drawings, although tracing with the smaller paint brush does help with this. I wish the series of mini-lessons could also move a step back if one wanted to, an option I wish was possible when trying to figure out what areas of my drawing to erase that were left over from using basic shapes being combined to create for my animal. Kids would also benefit from being able to see the completed animal as they draw as an added reference.
As an adult, I really enjoyed the blank horizontal and vertical pages included as I have spent some time filling these areas with abstract shapes, filling them in with the "paint bucket" to create a stained glass effect. Parents will also enjoy helping their children work on these animals, even if one needs to draw the animals oneself for the children to simply color in depending on the ability of the child.
There were some unresponsive moments within this app while I was trying to draw, and it would be nice for the final drawings to be saved full size within this app as well as being able to edit or finish drawings at a later time, but all in all, my experience with this app was a positive one.
I do recommend this app to those looking for a nice drawing application for their young children, even with its limitations, as the animals are cute and numerous, and the included "paint bucket" feature opening this app up to creativity not seen in other drawing applications.