It’s easy to dismiss Sketch Club as a gimmicky art app for amateurs, but don’t be too quick to tap away from this $2.99 universal package. The app is, in fact, a serious blend of standard and procedural drawing tools suitable for neophytes and professional digital artists alike.
Sketch Club’s clean UI stays out of the way. Upon launch, users are presented with a blank canvas with nothing but a small menu bar at the top. This is where all the tools, including the major update to the brush tool in recently released version 1.12, are hiding.
The app has vector drawing, a text option for typography, pixel art for those who like drawing old-school dot matrix style and some neat options like Fur, Grass and Sketchy. There is now also a fill tool, along with the pre-existing nuanced smudge and smoothing capabilities and 44 pre-set brushes.
Once the medium is selected, the slider icon allows you to adjust size, opacity, angle, spacing, jitter and more. The update added advanced brush previewing options, as well. The squiggle icon is where you set shape and mirroring, and next to that are standard color pickers.
You can work with up to eight layers, and Sketch Club provides some backgrounds, coloring and tracing pages, even templates to work with. Add that to JPG, PNG and PSD output, 100 levels of undo-redo, AirPrint and pinch-to-zoom and rotate and you have a rather complete sketching package for any skill level.
What makes Sketch Club unique are two features that add social components and allow for feedback. There is an active user community accessible in-app where you can submit art and invite critique or just browse and comment — that’s the Club part of the equation. There is also video integration. You can record yourself working, and upload to YouTube. It’s a good way to build an online portfolio or to share your techniques and pick up new ones.
Just added, you can now import any image from the camera roll to create a custom brush, or grab one from the community. I would like to see more organic drawing tools, and a way to pin the canvas, but the dollar-to-feature ratio makes this an excellent addition to the creative iOS device owner’s toolkit.