Art Academy: Sketchpad is an app for the Wii U, released a couple of weeks ago. The app is a follow up to the 3DS title: Art Academy: Lessons For Everyone. This time around, it’s on a bigger screen with more options.
With a plethora of tools at your disposal, this app will prove to be very useful for the basic artist. It has everything from pencil to pastel. First, you have your graphite pencils used for sketching, drawing, etc. Secondly, you have a wide variety of colored pencils. Last, but not least, you have oil pastels. The application does a very good job at translating what the tools actually do to digital form. Oil pastels smudge well with the blending stick, pencil lines darken as you draw over them more than once, etc. The GamePad also does a well enough job drawing where you press on it; it has yet to draw a random line or make a random mark where I press.
While Art Academy: SketchPad is a good enough app, there are some things missing. The app is not yet in its completed form. For instance, there is a “Lessons” section that you can’t click, but it’s there. Nintendo will update the app with more features when they are completed. The only problems with the app itself is that there is no option for layers, nor is there an undo button. If you’re used to making digital art, you’ll find yourself often reaching for that Ctrl + Z to undo only to be disappointed. For now, you’ll just have to stick with the two erasers provided. Nintendo could always add these features in the future. There is also no option to turn the buttons off. So if you’re used to resting your hand while drawing, be in for a few random happenings when you accidentally hit a button. While drawing, aside from your drawing tools, you’re provided some other tools to help you along the way. You can activate and deactivate a grid to help you keep track of things, and there is a zoom option in case you need to add some finer details to your drawing.
Overall, Art Academy: SketchPad is a good app to have if you’re a basic artist who just likes to mess around, or if you’re an art major in digital art. It’s not quite as good as some other tools out there for drawing digitally, but nonetheless, it’s still an app for everybody. For just $4.99 USD, I would suggest buying this app if you’re looking for some fun or even if you’d like to get serious with drawing.