Creating Digital Art on Your Phone: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Many people want to start creating art but don’t have access to a laptop, MacBook, drawing tablet, or any device specifically for creating digital art.

While you can use a pencil, sketchbook, and paper to create art, digital art offers benefits compared to traditional art. If you are eager to create digital art, you can use your smartphone to begin. 

Whether you’re commuting, sitting in a café, or relaxing at home, your phone can serve as a canvas, a sketchbook, or even an entire art workshop.

Getting started with digital art on your phone is straightforward, with numerous apps available for both Android and iOS platforms.

Creating Art on Your Smartphone: Is It Possible? 

Yes, creating art on your smartphone is possible.

There are two methods for creating digital art on a smartphone:

  • The first method involves connecting your smartphone to a drawing tablet. You draw on the tablet while using your smartphone as the display.

The first method is similar to the usual digital art creation. Your smartphone will replace your laptop/PC; you still need a drawing tablet to draw digital art.

  • The second method is using your fingers to create digital art directly on your smartphone. 

Yep, I’m not joking. By using your fingers, you can create digital art on your smartphone.

There are a number of artists who can draw digital art using their fingers. You can easily find their work on social media by searching for #fingerart or similar hashtags.

I recommend following the first method. Anyway, when you have a laptop, MacBook or PC to create digital art, you still need a drawing tablet anyway. 

Check out: 

Ranking the Best Drawing Tablet Brand

Recommended Drawing Tablet Under $200

Choosing the Right Tools and Software

iPhone or Android Smartphone?

A drawing app is not heavy software. You can use both iPhone and Android smartphones to create digital art.

Keep in mind that the latest iPhones and premium Android smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S series, are less likely to experience lag than older iPhones or budget Android smartphones.

Just use what you already have, and you can invest in a dedicated digital art device, like a MacBook or Windows laptop, when your skills have progressed.

What Drawing App Should You Choose?

There are many drawing apps available for both Android and iOS. My recommendation is to stick with one app. Don’t install similar apps. They are usually identical in both UI and features, and it’s a waste of time to learn multiple apps.

My recommendations for good drawing apps are:

ibisPaint iPhone

– Medibang

– ibisPaint X

– Sketchbook

All of them are available on both Android and iOS. There are premium versions of these apps that don’t display ads.

Infinite Painter and ArtFlow are Android-specific applications known for their high-quality brushes and intuitive interfaces, favored by artists who prefer Android devices.

If you want a premium drawing app, then download Clip Studio Paint. It’s a premium app available on Windows, Mac, iPad, Android and iPhone. It’s one of my preferred drawing apps, followed by Procreate.

You can also consider using Adobe Fresco, which is only available on iOS. Adobe Fresco has been optimized for touch controls, allowing you to draw with your fingers effectively.

Optimizing Your Phone Settings

After installing your preferred app, adjust the display settings to suit your working environment.

Ensure the screen brightness is comfortable to reduce eye strain and enhance color visibility. On devices that support it, enable any color-accurate modes to make your artwork look its best. 

After connecting your drawing tablet to your smartphone, calibrate pen sensitivity to ensure your pen tablet or stylus interacts more accurately with the screen, capturing every stroke as intended.

Mastering Drawing on Your Smartphone

To start drawing on your smartphone, open the drawing app you have installed.

Tap all kinds of icons to learn more about the tools available in the app. Experiment with everything. After trying all the tools, you can select the brush tool and begin drawing.

You can draw anything on your smartphone. Try drawing a realistic eye, as it’s a good exercise. You can also draw anime-style art.

You can watch YouTube videos related to the drawing app to learn more about how to use it for drawing. This is why I recommend popular apps like Medibang, ibisPaint, and Sketchbook. 

Because these apps have a large user base, many users will upload guides on YouTube.

Upgrading Your Experience

Relax if you feel awkward when you first try to draw on your smartphone. It’s normal. It’s a learning process, especially if you have been drawing traditionally on paper.

However, if the awkward feeling doesn’t disappear after a long time, I recommend three options.

First, consider installing a better drawing app, like Clip Studio Paint.

Second, try connecting your phone to a monitor. This can make drawing easier because you have a larger screen to look at when you’re drawing with a drawing tablet.

Third, if you’re still not comfortable, consider switching to an iPad or laptop. Drawing on a laptop or iPad often provides a better experience than drawing on your phone.

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Kenny HD
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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