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Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile Tutorials: Overview of the Basic Tools and Features

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A technician and a DIY enthusiast, he makes his projects with thorough and indepth study for a high success rate.

Autodesk Sketchbook: Things You Need to Know

Sketchbook Pro or simply Sketchbook, is a free software from Autodesk for creative minds and even for bored hands. I can say that from zero ability or talent, you can practice and learn different styles and techniques for a post-worthy digital art just with your fingertips. As I have said, it is free, which means it’s free of any charge for premium or full version. While some apps would require you to upgrade to use the best features on their store, in Sketchbook, you don’t need to buy it or any feature of the app. I would recommend Sketchbook for beginners like me and even for kids that prefer to doodle around with phones and tablets.

Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook is not just any 2D drawing image creator, it has many features just like any other photo editing apps. But I could say that every app has it's own signature feature, that will set it apart from others. Sketchbook , as the name implies, is where you can draw what's in your mind and bring it to life with different styles, from adding definite strokes to changing color hues, weight and much more!

What's in Store for Us?

As amateur and first time users, it is best to know what's under the hood. I mean literally what's in it for us. As an artist, or a wannabe artist, we need a medium where we showcase our idea. In Sketchbook, we have here the canvass, the place where we can express our emotions and anything that comes into mind. We also have here our brushes which we will feature some of them (and their uses that suits most of beginners' style of art) as we go on from this article.


The Canvass

The canvass is where you place or do your creativity to showcase your imagination, give life on what’s on your mind. It is where your audience sees your feelings and hear what you want to express through your artwork. In Sketchbook, you can choose the size of the canvass you will work with. The height and weight of the sheet is always in pixels, so technically speaking, if your working with a small canvass (256x256, the smallest attainable size in the app), it will become small once printed or uploaded, and maybe even pixelated if cropped or stretched in some photo editing apps.

The Canvass of Sketchbook

The Canvass of Sketchbook

It also has the layers where you can work with different elements in your art. Just like working in the layers of Adobe Photoshop. You can choose what’s above the other in a canvass. You can also make changes in a specific layer without changing other layers in the entire canvass. Please keep in mind that the larger the canvass, the lesser the layer you can have.

I would recommend to use a larger size canvass like 780x1280 but not maxing up to 4590x4590 so you can have at least 10 available layers and a clear and precise output.

This is the layer icon/button.

This is the layer icon/button.

These are the layers in your canvass.

These are the layers in your canvass.

You can make adjustments in your layer here if you click the layer you want to adjust.

You can make adjustments in your layer here if you click the layer you want to adjust.

The Pens and Brushes

Even in a real paper, you can’t make a sketch without anything that leaves a mark. In Sketchbook, you can have a variety of choices like basic pencil textures to a refined tip pen and traditional pens. It also caters different types of brushes from fine to broad, pastels and specific texture. All you have to do is choose the right pen or brush to do the thing.

Here are some examples of pens and brushes for you to try out and start with:

Primary pencil - often used for first layer sketches which will then be overwritten or erased once the work is done.

Primary pencil - often used for first layer sketches which will then be overwritten or erased once the work is done.

Technical pen - for fine markings and lines.

Technical pen - for fine markings and lines.

Ballpoint pen

Ballpoint pen

Soft round brush

Soft round brush

Round bristle brush

Round bristle brush

Heavy flat brush

Heavy flat brush

Adjusting the Size, Color and Thickness of the Brush

There were two ways to change the size and color of the brush you are using.

Method 1:

  1. Click the pencil tip like icon at the top most part of the canvass. The brushes library will pop up.
  2. Choose Settings and you will see the size and opacity slide.
  3. Click the color wheel just beside the pencil tip icon.
  4. Choose the color you want for your brush. In the adjustment wheel, the outer circle corresponds to the color while the inner most part is the shade. Once you have chosen the color, pick the shade by sliding inside, white in the top to black at the bottom.
Pencil tip like icon.

Pencil tip like icon.

Adjust the slide for the desired size and opacity.

Adjust the slide for the desired size and opacity.

The color wheel.

The color wheel.

Note: Color Adjustments - outer ring for the color while the inside part is for the color's shade.

Note: Color Adjustments - outer ring for the color while the inside part is for the color's shade.

Method 2

  1. Toggle the round button at the bottom of the canvass. It is the translucent circle in the mid-bottom of the screen. Then the properties will pop up. You can see the current brush and color you are using.
  2. Swipe slowly left or right to get your desired size.
  3. Swipe slowly up or down for the opacity of the brush.
  4. To change the color , just click the circle with the current color and the wheel will show up on your screen. Just remember, the outer ring is the color while the inner part is for its shade.
Round Button at the bottom of the canvass.

Round Button at the bottom of the canvass.

The current brush and color you are using.

The current brush and color you are using.

Slide left or right to get your desired size of the brush.

Slide left or right to get your desired size of the brush.

Slide up or down for the opacity.

Slide up or down for the opacity.

There are so many options to choose from! Before you decide to make your masterpiece, it's better to explore the library before working ahead. Familiarize yourself with the textures and styles of different brushes in your library.


Sketchbook has lots of feature and its up to you to discover them. The above points were just mere starter kit for you to start doodling in the app. Practice more and you might be an expert in that field. Don't keep your piece inside and show it to your family and friends, and soon, to the world!

© 2020 Klarenz V