The Best Free Android Drawing Apps

If you're looking to get started drawing on your Android device, you can't go wrong with any of the free apps below. Each one comes with unique tools and features to help you bring your visual ideas to life. Although these apps are free, they all offer a basic level of quality—high resolution and smooth lines—making them perfect for all but the most professional illustration projects.

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Autodesk SketchBook

Sketch of girl in pencil and marker pen
Cool Sketch of Girl.

Lebra von Schoonen/Getty Images

Autodesk is a familiar name to any graphic artist. SketchBook seems to be a truly free app: the permissions are not onerous, and it doesn't seem to install any malware, beyond the usual anonymous usage data, which is clearly noted.
When you first start the application, you'll be presented with a series of instructional screens explaining each icon, how to pan and zoom, and how to resize the brush and opacity. It's a good idea to take your time to really look at these, as they aren't always intuitive and occasionally confusing (the main "draw style'" icon is the same as the "preserve transparency" icon in the Layers drop-down). The free version of the app has many features and options disabled but still has good basic functionality.

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Water Color Pencil Lite

Water Color Pencil Lite is a favorite among digital artists because the pencil texture is quite natural and grainy. It might seem like a simple matter, but achieving a realistic pencil texture must be difficult, as few drawing applications seem to manage it. The interface works well with a "pencil box" theme and palette, with a simple toggle option in one corner to maximize drawing space. The app is user-friendly and well worth checking out.

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Infinite Painter

Infinite Painter by Sean Brakefield is a powerful drawing application reminiscent of ArtRage, with quite an intuitive interface, along with an easily accessible color and brush palette, redo and undo functions, and a toggled menu that includes layer support and reference image pinning. Intuitive finger gestures zoom and rotate the image. The resolution is high, with an excellent selection of brushes that includes traditional pen and brush as well as some nice textures. Note: The free version of the app is a trial version that lasts for seven days. After that, the layers and other premium features disappear.

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Adobe Illustrator Draw

The Adobe Illustrator Draw app is free with no outside ads, though it does require extensive permissions, including your contacts. The app serves as a promo for Adobe's cloud services, where you can purchase additional tools. You can export to Adobe Illustrator on your computer and have the advantage of having several brush and pen tools, layers, and undo/redo buttons.

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Kaleidoscope Doodle Pad

Kaleidoscope Doodle Pad is a fun kaleidoscope program—each mark you make is mirrored. Click on the kaleidoscope to choose a variety of mirror styles. Each press of the blank canvas cycles through a different color background; click the paintbrush to choose a paint style: neon glow, flat paint, chalk, among others. This app is a toy rather than a program for serious drawing—a kind of freehand Spirograph but a lot of fun. There's some pressure sensitivity, though it's not very precise, plus a fun playback function. The app is cute and addictive, and it requires no special permissions.