Make high-res sketches from your images

My Sketch makes your photos into hand-sketched artistic drawings in only a few easy steps. Upon launch you get the option to take a new photo or choose one from your iPhone photo library. Once selected, My Sketch immediately has you crop the image to your liking, either in portrait or landscape layouts. The next step is to choose a style, and My Sketch offers 20 different types of sketch styles, from long-line sketches to pastel styles. It takes a couple of moments, but once the high-res sketch is finished, you have a chance to apply some finishing touches with … Read more

From photos to drawings on iOS

Even on the first day the iTunes App Store launched there were photo apps that let you manipulate and edit images on iPhone. The App Store has come a long way since then and, with new iPhones with faster processors and better cameras, the apps have gotten significantly better as well.… Read more

Drawing and doodling for kids

Doodle Buddy is a free, no-frills, ad-supported drawing and doodling app with playful stamps and backgrounds that will appeal to kids.

Doodle Buddy's "finger-painting" interface lets you draw with swipes and taps. A row of tappable icons on the bottom of the screen lets you undo your last action (multiple times), erase your current drawing (you can also shake your device to erase), and choose from several different tools: a drawing tool (brush, chalk, glitter, smudge, or eraser, all with adjustable sizes), a stamp (with dozens of built-in stamps, from animals to smileys to speech balloons, each … Read more

iPad as sketchbook: Hands-on with the Wacom Bamboo Stylus

Can the iPad be a valid artist's tool? Wacom, maker of professional digitizer tablets and computer peripherals for artists, has gone ahead and put its vote in the affirmative, with the upcoming release of the Wacom Bamboo Stylus for the iPad. Available in May for $29.99, the roughly pen-sized aluminum stylus works via a conductive barrel with the iPad's capacitive display. We were sent an advance unit from Wacom and gave the Bamboo a spin with our iPad 2 and some popular sketch programs.

The iPad has had styli available since its launch last year, and they'… Read more

Sketch-A-Search with Yahoo to find good eats

Back in April, Yahoo Mobile announced a unique approach to searching for nearby restaurants with the Sketch-A-Search app for iOS. The concept of the app couldn't be more simple: pull up a map of the area that you're currently in, and then sketch a circle (or any approximation of a shape) around the neighborhoods or blocks of streets where you'd like to eat. Sketch-A-Search then drops in pins to indicate the restaurants that fall within the designated space. Clicking the pins pulls up information on each establishment, including the phone number, operation hours, and Yahoo user reviews.… Read more

Kitschy-fun case turns iPad into Etch A Sketch

From the "why didn't I think of this?" file comes the Etch A Sketch iPad case from Headcase. The iPad (like the iPhone) already has a shake-to-undo function, so it seems like a natural. It even has the little knobs found on the iconic toy, which, sadly, don't do anything here.

But it sure looks awesome. It's officially licensed, so it even has the same raised gold logo at the top and is made from red plastic that looks a lot like the original, which is celebrating its 50th year.

It's set up so … Read more

Physics based puzzler--with bombs!

You can't turn around in the App Store without tripping over physics-based puzzlers and games with a hand-sketched, graph-paper aesthetic--but Doodle Bomb still manages to be a fun, above-average entry into these two crowded subgenres.

Your goal in Doodle Bomb is to throw bombs--as few as possible--to escape each level. From your torn-out-paper perch, you're trying to blow up a green control panel to open a door and end each level. Along the way you have to blow up blue control panels to activate parts of the environment (such as hinges or wheels) and either avoid or exploit … Read more

Quick sketches on the iPad

Adobe Ideas is a free basic sketching program for iOS from the developers behind the hugely popular and standard-setting Adobe Creative Suite.

This simple drawing application lets you sketch, save, and share (via e-mailed PDF) "ideas," drawings that you create with the app's adjustable brush tool on a blank canvas that lets you pan and zoom in and out. The app's hideable touch toolbar gives you a brush, eraser, hand tool (for panning), undo (up to 50 times), and settings to change the size, color, and opacity of the brush. You can also import photos, which … Read more

Design 3D buildings and landscapes

This program moves beyond napkin sketching to communicating ideas in 3D. SketchUp takes what may traditionally be seen as a complicated task and adds an intuitiveness many design programs fail to achieve. On first impression, this sketch-based 3D-modeling program may look as if it has sacrificed function for simplicity, but that's not the case. Despite the extremely user-friendly interface, SketchUp offers a suite of powerful 3D drawing tools that lets you experiment and play with new designs.

All actions are carried out using two button bars, one that runs down the left side and another that sits along the … Read more

Fun free photo fancifier

Most graphics software can transform photos into artistic "sketches" if you know how or have time to learn. Photo to Sketch Standard (P2S) 4.0 by Thinker Software does that, too, but it's fun, free, and easy to use, something few graphics packages can claim. It hardly breaks new ground, but we found it simple to learn and a lot of fun to play around with, too.

P2S has two parts: a main interface for applying sketch effects to images and a basic but decent image editor/paint program. Sliders control the intensity of pen, pencil, and … Read more