Free your creativity

Unleash your artist self by using Sketchbook Express, a free application that's easy to use.

While MS Paint was part of Windows, Apple somehow missed the opportunity to target casual doodlers with a well-designed native app. This is where Autodesk Sketchbook Express, a free application, comes into the picture. It will likely become a favorite of casual artists for creating quick sketches and drawings.

Sketchbook Express feels like a native Apple app in that it's simple and easy to use. Its well-conceived interface will pleasantly surprise you at first launch, giving you the feeling of a sketchbook. The toolbar is simple and powerful above the fresh, white canvas, and a variety of pens, pencils, brushes, and erasers will appear as you click on them. We also liked the horizontal placement of the toolbar, as it feels more natural for drawing than if it was placed vertically. We liked how everything resembles the look and feel of a sketchbook and the physical accessories that an artists uses while drawing. There is also a crescent in the bottom left for different controls. The artist can just close the vertical toolbar and enjoy how the fresh canvas expands.

Casual users will enjoy using the app with their MacBook's trackpad and touch button. Advanced users will want a Wacom tablet, but using the application is as easy as can be. The app does have drawbacks, though. The biggest one is that Sketchbook Express won't let users create more than six layers. Secondly, the layers cannot be saved individually. This means the image must be flattened before saving, unless you choose the PSD format (by default the application saves your work in TIF format).

Despite its limitations, Sketchbook Express excels at what it is aiming to do. It creates a platform where artists can create their sketches in no time without any bothersome ads or pushes for the Pro version, which allows unlimited layers.

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