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I've been spending a lot of time looking into the iPad drawing and sketching apps in the app store. It is mind-boggling just how many there are and what each is purported to do differently than the other.

Some apps are totally amazing in how they've incorporated present technology and ran with it to produce a great user experience. Others are still on the drawing board when it comes to robust features, but may do what little they do very well.

There have been a few times when I have really been anxious to try an app after reading or hearing about it. Recently, one such app was "Learn to Draw Digital Sketchbook by Walter Foster."

It was the name Walter Foster (Art Instruction), that made me anxious to try this app.

Many years ago I won the software "Dabbler" in a user group raffle. (Can you guess which user group?) And I was totally in love with it from the moment I launched the program. Dabbler was produced by Fractal Design, whose stable of original products included Painter, Poser, Sketcher and Detailer. Dabbler cost around $40, but produced the punch of software costing much, much more.

Dabbler, a learn to draw program which contained drawing lessons from Walter Foster, was extraordinary and amazing for it's features, ability and timing. I actually think that Dabbler was ahead of its time. And, the tutorials were some of the best I'd come across for it's time and even for today.

But all of that, like many other softwares have vaporized or moved on through acquisitions. Though, "Walter Foster" is still here going strong.

So, when I saw a new drawing app from Walter Foster in the app store, I was anxious to see what was in store. Or better, in-app.

"Learn to Draw" has easy-to-follow interactive sample tutorials to get you started. You can even download more drawing lessons from within the app.

Or you can bypass the lessons and just start drawing. Drawings you create through lessons or on your own, are saved in a library, where you can retreive them. 

What endeared me to this app was simplicity and feel. Sketching should not be something that is labor intensive or disruptive when it comes to selecting the tools you use and how you use them. This app reminded me of the simplicity of drawing on pad an paper with pencils and erasers laid out beside me. Pick one pencil up, draw, put it down, pick up the other…

The interface lays the tools out in plain sight. Most importantly, the right tools. Sketch pencil, Shading pencil, Detail pencil, and Eraser. Select the desired tool, adjust the settings, draw. With no hidden tool screens to have to jump back and forth to.

This program affords you to only draw in portrait mode and there is no color palette available. While I was sketching, I didn't seem to miss either. Not to say that those wouldn't be welcome features, they would. Though, I could change the texture of my pages. 

This app works great with my Dagi Stylus.

I really look forward to seeing the development of this app. Not suprising that a company like Walter Foster developed an app with an actual real-life pencil drawing feel; much welcomed.

Learn to Draw Digital Sketchbook by Walter Foster, from Medl Mobile, is a free app from the iTunes app store.

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  • jean-paul

    Thanks for the review, and hope to read more. Though… “proported”? What the heck is that?!

  • Patrick

    “ahead of it’s time” should be:
    “ahead of its time”.

  • It’s just a typo, get over it.