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sketchbook express for macPeople have always adapted technology 5 Bits Of Tech I'm Looking Forward To In 2013 5 Bits Of Tech I'm Looking Forward To In 2013 Technology progresses at such an astounding rate that sometimes, I really can't believe what we're capable of. I love technology, and I'm not afraid to admit it. It's a curse really, because I'm constantly looking... Read More to their creativity, and computers are no different. What originally started out as a gigantic calculator became a device for communication, office filing, and now, artwork.

With Sketchbook Express for Mac, you can draw all kinds of pictures with the aid of a pen and stylus. Furthermore, it’s free, and although there’s a price for its older brother – Sketchbook Pro – you can use Sketchbook Express for more basic image creation or as a trial version to see if you want to upgrade.

The app is a relatively simple one. Clearing all distractions from the screen, it provides a desktop haven for pure and uninhibited doodling. Based on the artwork I’ve seen, it’s also full to the brim with capabilities! With lots of pens, brushes, and colors to choose from, there’s a little something in it for everybody.

Sketchbook Express for Mac – The Interface

Sketchbook Express thrives to emulate the pen and paper in a digital format Dump Paper And Use Your Tablet As a Trip Planner Instead [Android] Dump Paper And Use Your Tablet As a Trip Planner Instead [Android] This year for the holidays, we decided to do something a little different. Instead of staying at home or visiting family for Christmas, we planned to take a family vacation to Boston throughout the entire... Read More , and it does so in a relatively successful manner. Your first view of the app will be a single blank canvas, free from distracting toolbars or windows. This isn’t to say there aren’t any toolbars at all, for there are. However, they are very aesthetically pleasing and are designed to simply not get in the way, purposefully placed to the sides. Personally, I thought this was a nice feature.

Compared to Photoshop, Sketchbook Express focuses on one word – minimalism. The menus and toolbars are designed to work with as little interference as possible. As a note, these menus are also designed for a tablet (such as the Wacom Bamboo The Best Graphic Tablets & Programs To Use If You Want To Break Into Digital Cartoon Design The Best Graphic Tablets & Programs To Use If You Want To Break Into Digital Cartoon Design For years the personal computer has become an essential tool in making comics. While some traditional artists use computers mostly for coloring, more and more artists are switching to a completely digital comic creation process.... Read More pen tablet), and although they work with your mouse or trackpad, you’re better off otherwise.

sketchbook express for mac


Menus operate with a unique circular click-and-drag function. For instance, if I select an icon, a series of other icons appear around my cursor that I can then choose from. This is where having a tablet and stylus comes handy, for the menus are definitely designed for this kind of tool. Admittedly, at first it is a bit awkward, but after a while, it becomes second nature.

sketchbook express mac

With that said, the contextual menu for your stylus also offers several options using this selection feature, allowing for less menus on the main screen. Furthermore, all resizing and other goodies are handled using the stylus in a manner akin to the click-and-drag.

For example, the move/resize tool places a circular menu on the screen with options that you click from. After clicking, you can move the stylus around to change the position or increase and decrease the size percentage.

sketchbook express mac

How It Functions

Sketchbook Express is a drawing app and nothing more. You won’t find yourself wanting to manipulate photos or creating crazy image compositions at all. With that in mind, it is not a replacement for Photoshop. However,  I do see Sketchbook Express as a type of competitor in that many artists have adapted the Adobe product for their drawn artwork. Even still, it was originally created as a photo manipulator Crop, Retouch, Fill, And Create New Images With These 4 Online Photo Editors Crop, Retouch, Fill, And Create New Images With These 4 Online Photo Editors While there is simply no comparing robust photo editors like Photoshop or Gimp to online alternatives, sometimes a simple online tool is all you need to get the job done. We've put together a list... Read More , so it won’t be hurting for business.

With several brushes to choose from, your artwork can be created to the fullest of its potential. There is really nothing to hold you back at all in this realm. Colors are chosen from the spectrum, so you can basically use whatever you want. Furthermore, with the brush puck, you can use that same click-and-drag function to increase or decrease the size of your brush.

Drawing with a tablet is easy and seamless, and the app offers an amazing pressure sensitivity function. 

sketchbook express mac

Also, Sketchbook Express does support layering, but it’s a little hard to find at first since you have to open it from the contextual menu. Unfortunately, the app currently only allows for six layers, but the upgrade to Sketchbook Pro will allow for more.

sketchbook express for mac


Sketchbook Express for Mac is a solid introductory app for those wanting to get into the realm of digital art. It has its limits (being exclusively for drawing and occasionally painting), but it is great for putting out a few simple sketches. Sometimes, if you put your mind to it, it can be great for even more complicated ones.

What are your thoughts on Sketchbook Express for Mac? Have you ever drawn a picture using Sketchbook Express?

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  1. Mac Witty
    January 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Best app to Wacom tablet! Easy and intuitive to use

  2. Scott Macmillan
    January 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    This has also available for a while with other Operating systems as well.It seems Apple is falling behind the curve.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      February 12, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Hey Scott. I thought I responded to you in the past.

      Sketchbook Express has actually been out for a while for Apple. Besides, it's a product by Autodesk – not Apple.

  3. Nevzat Akkaya
    January 30, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Hmm, I found the answer using Google :)

    SketchBook Pro website :

    SketchBook Express for Windows 8 @ Windows Store

  4. Nevzat Akkaya
    January 30, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I enjoy this program on my Android phone and tablet. I surprised that it also exists for Mac's. Do you know if it exist for Windows?