Featured Android App Review: Artflow – Sketch, Paint, Draw [Media & Video]


Artflow Studio just released Artflow – Sketch, Paint, Draw for Android tablets, which will bring out your creative side. Of course if you’re already a creative person, you will love it too. Artflow is easy enough for the novice, but offers features for the pro as well. It has all the standard stuff like 50 different brushes/tools and color selections, but it also offers layers and advanced controls like smudging and brush flow. It even supports pressure sensitive pens like Samsung’s S Pen on the Galaxy Note 10.1 or the Galaxy Note 8.0.

What I like most about Artflow is that the Holo-inspired layout and controls are very simple. Drawing and sketching apps can be a little intimidating for the casual user, but not with Artflow. Upon opening the app, you are given a completely white slate for your next sketch. You will find two menus, one at the right edge and the other at the left edge. Just tap on the “less than sign” at the middle right edge or the “greater than sign” at the middle left edge to open the respective menus.


The right menu includes 50+ brushes and tools that you can fine tune to your hearts desire. For example, the simple brush tool allows for adjusting the size, flow, opacity, softness, and spacing. You will also find a number of ways to change the color. You can simply tap on any of the 14 predefined colors from the palette, slide the RGB percentages, tap on the color dial, or use the ink dropper. You can even change any of the predefined colors in the palette to whatever you want. The undo and redo options are also found here, and depending on the storage of your device, you will get unlimited undos. Finally you can get access to your previous projects as well as exporting your project as a PSD to email, Dropbox, etc.

The left menu gives you options for layers, importing images from the gallery or other cloud services like Dropbox, and adding filters such as Sepia, Grayscale, and Solarize. Depending on your device you can have anywhere between 7 and 16 layers. I used the importing images feature for tracing. Just import the image and add a blank layer on top of it. You can trace over the image  and when you’re done, just remove the layer with the picture by swiping it away. If you still need to make changes, you can just hit the undo option to bring it right back.

I am far from an artist, but Artflow did bring out whatever creative side is in me. Sometimes it’s just fun to sit around and sketch something even if it isn’t magnificent. I am using it on a Galaxy Note 10.1, and I found the S Pen implementation to be perfect. I gave it to my 9-year old niece over the weekend and she had a blast. In a couple of weeks, we are going to be on a long road trip, and my son will probably come up with some interesting masterpieces. Like I said, it’s the perfect sketching app for the novice or the pro.

Now good quality sketching apps aren’t usually free. The good news is that Artflow is free to try, which will give you all the basics to find out what it’s all about. If you like what you see and feel like you want to get into more creativity, you can buy the Pro license for an in-app purchase of $4.99. I listed the differences between the Pro and free versions below. Also, check out my hands on video, Artflow Studio’s trailer video, and download links below. As always, let me know what you think.

**If you are one of the first 10 people to comment below, you will receive a code enabling you to get the Pro license for FREE. Tell us what tablet you are using or anything else you want to say. Just make sure you are using a real email address so we can contact you.**

Features (with pro license):

  • 50+ brushes and tools (including smudge tool)
  • Color adjustment (HSV, brightness & saturation and more)
  • Infinite undo and redo based on device storage
  • 7–16 layers (depending on device) with 10 different blending modes and global opacity
  • Separate flow and opacity control for brushes
  • Holo inspired, fast, fluid and intuitive user interface
  • Export to layered PSDPNG (with transparency) or JPEG
  • Pressure sensitive pen support (tested with SPen and ThinkPad pen)
  • Brush flow and size fade
  • Pressure simulation for touches
  • Create layers from imported images and photos

Unlicensed version limitation:

  • 10 basic tools
  • 2 layers
  • Undo limited to 6 steps
  • No PSD export
  • Single banner advertisement in Gallery


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About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • Bob Hollett

    I have a LePan II that I’ve come to rely on for a lot of my casual device usage — reading, games, browsing, email, and so on. A drawing app would definitely be a nice tool to add.

  • Jim Blankenship

    Awesome should work great on my Note 10.1!

  • munstaar

    Been looking for a decent drawing app for a while. Have a note 2. Will check out.

    • Bart Janusz

      Sorry it’s tablet only app for now, we are working on phone ready UI

      • geomcs

        So when should we expect the code?

  • geomcs

    I’ll try it on my Note 2!

    • geomcs

      I have a Galaxy Tab 2 also…

  • Andy Balcombe

    Definitely like to try this

  • chris d

    I have the samsung note 2 and I’ve tried other drawing apps that are too advanced for me. I’ll give this a try

  • Davey Bates

    I’d love a copy

  • araneta

    Looking forward to trying this on Nexus 7

  • DannyShane

    Well it looks as though thanks to Disqus not letting me sign in and instead making me completely create an entirely new account so that I can leave comments,I am now not going to be able to be one of the first 10 people to leave a comment about Artflow, even though I am an avid user off this app, I’m now going to have to pay for the darn pro license key! I must say though that I do love Artflow, it is the first app that I’ve used on my tablet that has actually let me draw to my heart’s content and not have the drawings look like total garbage lol! it sure would’ve been nice to have won the free pro license key though.

  • Valerie Beeby

    I like to compare drawing and painting apps on my blog, and as there are so few good drawing and painting apps for Android I was excited to find Artflow. I was surprised and disappointed to find it will not install on my Galaxy Note 8. I also have a Galaxy Note 2, but Artflow will only install on my Nexus 7.

    • Masandi

      I hope you’ve solved your problem, coz I installed it flawlessly on my new galaxy note 8, and had purchased the pro version happily.

  • Kira J.

    Where can I buy the pro license? Could not find it in the google play store neither in the samsung app store… Want to use it on my galaxy note 8.0 soon :) What about other (drawing) apps supporting the S Pen? Thanks for the great review!!

  • Lester Riquelme

    Hi! is posible get Pro License? I use Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and love ArtFlow!!


  • Deena Pham

    In the unlicensed version, when I zoomed in my lines became blurry. Is this the same for the licensed version? I’d be willing to purchase the license for the app if this does not happen with the licensed version.

  • sudzmonn

    I’ve just bought the Galaxy note 8 , 4 days ago and am just so impressed with this little work horse ! I d/l this program ( artflow) last night and am having a blast . Hate to say it but these little machines can make it so we don’t use our computers as much and depend on the tables more , and I have a IMAC !!!

  • mara

    How much for pro version I can’t find the price!!!

  • Bronwen

    This is a superb painting app, with the most beautiful, well-designed UI. I much prefer it to Sketchbook Pro. The upgrade to the paid version is in-app, and in a currency that was unknown to me. I paid anyway, it was worth it. Buy it, do not hesitate if you want a very pleasant, hassle-free experience.

  • Fever

    I cannot get any of the toolbars to open, except the layers toolsbar. No brushes, no colors, etc. Can anyone help me?

  • Faz Tudo Games

    Oi quero o art flow pro

  • Pat

    I know its slim but could i get a code ill be getting a 10.1 sat and it would be great if not i get it

  • Dan

    Has anybody tried this on a Galaxy Tab A? Thinking of buying one for my gf who loves drawing, but I’m concerned about processing power. Can anybody with a Tab A comment on how it runs?

    • jules

      yes. it’s perfect.

  • Tyson Killion

    I am very interested in trying the pro license. I am operating 5.0 lollipop Android, nextbook Ares 8.

    My email address is killion45@gmail.com