How To Draw Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on August 11th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

How To Draw is a creative and fun application that explains, step by step, the elements used to draw simple pictures how and to re-create these drawings themselves. Although universal, this app best performs on the iPad when one is following along, drawing within this app, but this app also included is a very nice section which allows the viewer to just watch these images progress as well - something that can be enjoyed on either iPad or iPhone.

My son is not yet ready to try learning to draw from this application, as his fine motor skills are still being developed, but I have really enjoyed using this app myself. My skill level is severely lacking when it comes to representational drawings, so I have been a good judge of these drawings apps geared towards children, as my abilities lie somewhere in the kindergarten to early grade school level, much to my chagrin, as well as my son’s who is old enough to recognize my poor drawing ability.

How To Draw contains seven “How To...” episodes where a friendly child explains step by step how to draw a cat, dog, space shuttle, princess, and dragon, as well as the Statue of Liberty and a skeleton - the hardest episode to master.

There are many apps like this that teach children to draw but this stands out from the pack as one follows along, with the ability to trace directly over the demonstrations offered while watching the episode, or simply to learn from the instructions in a more general way without copying the specific drawings line by line. One can also follow along with a sheet of paper freehand if one chooses. I like that visual directions are include involving arrows and general shapes as well as a solid line that can be copied exactly - whatever works for the user.

The ability to trace keeps the scale correct - an issue I have with my drawings after following along with other drawing applications, and it is a nice choice to have. It is also nice that a "I am Watching" mode is also included, where the user simply watches these drawings come to life on their own without participation, a nice touch.

I think that this is a very nice choice for kids, preschool age or whenever they are ready to start drawing past scribbles. I like that the end product still looks as if a child drew it, as many of these images are very simple indeed - something I appreciate for a drawing app for this age range.

It is also a lot of fun that one can color in these drawings with many color choices, and that an eraser is offered as well the ability to change the brush size that one is drawing. I appreciate that one can zoom in or out to focus on details, a must for apps such as this.

A three fingered tap will bring up an extra menu with more advanced options, nicely tucked away as to not over-whelm the drawing process for young children, but includes good options for more advanced artists to have to. Both saving and emailing of finished artwork are offered, but I did not like that these episodes open up with the completed previous drawing intact. This would be a nice option to have, but as of now, one must erase the past work instead of opening up to a blank page as the episode starts, which can lead to a lot of confusion.

The best part of this app for me is the children’s narration included for these episodes; it is conversational while being educational in terms of basic drawing concepts for the very young as well as some nice details about the subject being drawn. How to Draw a Cat contains specific instructions for children that are even more simplistic and charming, with some a nice moment of counting added that I really like. This application is a very nice introduction to this application and to drawing the simplest of animals that is never condescending.

Really nice music is included that adults will enjoy listening to as well as children; there is a lovely use of wood xylophone sounds that are relaxing and fun.

I can see how some older children may not be overly impressed with this app as some students who excel in art can certainly draw better that the lessons offered here, but all kids start from the beginning at some point, and this is a very nice app to engage them at this point in their artistic journey. I also think that this would be a great app for special needs children who may benefit from working on their fine motor skills or listening abilities.

I have really enjoyed listening to these episodes narrated. This element alone makes this app stand out from the rest of drawing apps for kids. If interested, additional episodes are offered via in-app purchases as well.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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