Autodesk is the leading software developer company who specializes in drawing applications. Even though its flagship application is AutoCAD, which sets the standard in CAD and highly technical drawing, there are also some nice (and free) applications used to produce hand drawings. One of those is SketchBook Express, available in the Mac App Store, free of charge.
This is currently one of the most popular drawing applications in the Mac App Store and it’s really surprising that Autodesk published such a competitive software for free. Still, there’s also a more advanced version of this application, called SketchBook Pro which costs $60 and it’s created mainly for professionals. SketchBook Express can be used to produce drawings by using your mouse or even better yet, a drawing tablet. Most of the talented and dedicated users will use one of the drawing tablets, which is an essential tool if you’re really serious in making the most of out of this application. Today there is a really wide range of drawing tablets, so you can easily purchase one for a low price.
When you start SketchBook Express, you’ll be presented with a blank canvas. You’ll also get a set of basic tools. There’s a pencil tool, airbrush, marker, chisel, felt tip pen tool, ballpoint pen, paintbrush, and several more. You can fine-tune settings for each of the previously mentioned drawing tools, so the possibilities are actually endless. It all depends on your talent and creativity.
Besides having numerous drawing tools, you’ll also get some additional controls which are located in the floating toolbar on the top of the Sketchbook’s window. This is where you can find undo and redo tools as well as some advanced selection tools. You can use selection tools within the Sketchbook to select a portion of your drawing to move, scale or rotate it. This could result in some very nice effects, which will come in handy once you become friendly with them. Besides undo, redo and selection tools, this is where you can find Layers window. Layers work the same way in Photoshop, for example. This means your drawing can be consisted of several layers, so you can have multiple combinations by pairing up different layers. This will come in handy to graphic designers during the early stages of a drawing project.
It’s important to mention that the drawing tools are pretty much intuitive and easy to fine-tune, but in case you’ve never used this type of software before, you would might want to go through some tutorials you can find online. Overall, SketchBook Express is a very useful and powerful drawing application. In case you’ve got some experience with this kind of software, you’ll become very familiar in just a few minutes. There are a lot of drawing tools and tons of fine-tuning, so you’ll surely get the chance to express your creativity.