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Using Your Android Tablet to Create High Resolution Digital Paintings.

Updated on August 10, 2017

Types of Android Tablets

Android tablets can sometimes be the cheaper alternative to ipads. There are many different kinds and sizes of android tablets. Common sizes range from 7 inch to 10.1 inch. There are tons of different brands such as Google Nexus, Samsung, Asus, Acer, Coby Kyros, and more. Some tablets are budget tablets while others are viable alternatives to the ipad. Budget tablets are nice for surfing the web, checking your email, and playing some games but they don't have much storage. High end android tablets can be used for all sorts of things such as office work, digital painting, playing big games, watching movies, video conferencing, and pretty much most things a PC can do. These tablets also have more storage, usually 16 or 32 GBs. The main high end tablets are Samsung, Google Nexus, Asus, Sony, and NVIDIA Shield. I own an Asus TF300, a 2012 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and a Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. They are my high end tablets and I do most of my work on them, especially the Note Pro 12.2. The other tablets, I use for taking with me for sketches and quick color studies. The Note 8 is really nice for that.


Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 inches Tablet (Exynos 5 Octa processo, 3GB RAM, Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS), Black
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 inches Tablet (Exynos 5 Octa processo, 3GB RAM, Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS), Black

This is my main workhorse tablet now. I really like the bigger screen because it is easier to draw and paint on it. Also it works great with the Splashtop Remote Desktop HD and doesn't crowd the PC desktop icons together because it has a bigger screen.

 

My Favorite Tablets

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S Pen is great for a small portable sketchbook or for working on big projects. The screen is big enough to do some nice work and if I want a bigger screen I switch to my Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is out now if you want the latest version of a Samsung tablet with a stylus.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-P580NZKAXAR 10.1-Inch 16 GB, Tablet with S Pen (Black)
Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-P580NZKAXAR 10.1-Inch 16 GB, Tablet with S Pen (Black)

This is the latest model of a Samsung Galaxy Tab A. It is more portable than the Note Pro 12.2, but still has a fairly large screen. Make sure you get the version with the S Pen.

 

A Word About Styluses

Now that I've discussed different types of android tablets, I'd like to talk about styluses. My first tablet was a resistive touchscreen and I found a stylus for it with a pointed hard plastic tip which was perfect for drawing. However, when I got a capacitive touchscreen tablet (which most tablets have now) I was very disappointed when I tried to draw with the big rubber tipped styluses. I couldn't draw accurately at all with them. So I went on a web search mission to find a better stylus. I stumbled across a video for a stylus used for writing called a Dagi stylus. These styluses were developed for writing in asian languages using Chinese and Korean characters. However, many artists started using them to draw on their computer tablets. The stylus has a metal spring on the end with a plastic disk attached to it. The stylus glides across the touchscreen and draws an accurate line. They worked great for drawing! I was thrilled to find them. Now I've found out there are some more styluses that work the same way called Adonit Jot and another called Musemee Notier. I haven't tried these, but I've read good reviews about them.


Dagi Stylus

Dagi P701 Stylus Touch Pen for iPad Air/2/3/4, iPhone 4/5/6/6 Plus, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge/S5/S4/S3, Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire, Nexus (Black/Grey)
Dagi P701 Stylus Touch Pen for iPad Air/2/3/4, iPhone 4/5/6/6 Plus, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge/S5/S4/S3, Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire, Nexus (Black/Grey)

This is a nice stylus to draw with on tablets that don't have custom made styluses such as the Asus or Nexus brands.

 

The S Pen

For a while I used my Dagi styluses on my Asus TF300 tablet for digital drawing and painting. I could also use them on my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. However, the Galaxy Note has an accessory called an S pen. This stylus only works on a Samsung tablet or phone and is designed for writing or drawing. To me it feels like drawing with a ballpoint pen. The S pen is even more accurate than the Dagi styluses and I really like it. The screen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 works just as well as a resistive touchscreen, but with all the perks of a capacitive touchscreen as well. Wacom makes a stylus for Samsung Galaxy Note products that is just like the S pen and it works great too. Now for my digital drawing and painting, I use the S pen on my Note tablets.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus

Wacom Bamboo Stylus feel CS300UK Black for Samsung Galaxy Note & Pen-Enabled Tablets
Wacom Bamboo Stylus feel CS300UK Black for Samsung Galaxy Note & Pen-Enabled Tablets

This Wacom stylus works on Note tablets and is great for anyone that wants a stylus with a more pen-like feeling too it.

 

Making High Resolution Digital Paintings.

There are tons of digital painting apps for android. There are a few that can get up to 4,000 X 4,000 pixels but not much bigger than that. LayerPaint HD can theoretically have a painting 10,000 by 10,000 pixels, but it usually gets unstable after 6,000 by 6,000. I think ipad is still a little bit ahead of android in this area, but android is slowly catching up. Some of the high end digital painting apps for android are Sketchbook Pro, Infinite Painter, Infinite Design, LayerPaint HD, ArtFlow, Clover Paint, and ArtRage. If you are interested in the android apps check out the link below to my blog and see more about my app reviews.

So the question is: what if you want to print your digital paintings and you need at least a resolution of 300 ppi to print? Enter the Spashtop Remote Desktop HD app. This app enables you to hook up to your big PC and use your tablet to control it. You have to download the Splashtop app on your PC (that one is free) and purchase and download the Splashtop HD app on your android tablet. With this app you can use programs installed on your PC; programs such as Microsoft Office, email, Windows browsers, and digital painting programs.

Splashtop Remote HD enables me to make digital paintings with Corel Painter 2015, ArtRage 4, SketchBook Pro 7, Twisted Brush, and Serif DrawPlus X6. It also works with Poser 10 when you need a model for your paintings. The Dagi styluses and the S pen make accurate lines and best of all, you can draw directly on your painting instead of looking up at the screen which you have to do with most PC drawing tablets. Wacom has neat new tablets with an LCD screen, but they are a little pricey for me. They have some mobile tablets that are very nice like the Cintiq Companion or the Cintiq Hybrid, but they are way out of my price range. However, if you are a professional digital artist, the price might be worth it. The one thing you can't have with the Splashtop Desktop Remote HD app is pressure. For me, that's not a big deal. I just adjust the thickness of the lines manually. For those that like pressure enabled tablets take hope, Splashtop has said they are working on trying to incorporate that into their app. I suspect they will get it figured out someday soon.


ArtFlow

ArtFlow - Sketch, Paint, Draw
ArtFlow - Sketch, Paint, Draw

This is a very nice painting app for android and has lots of different brushes. Some features are free, but to get the whole app you must purchase the advanced features.

 

SketchBook Pro for Tablets

SketchBook - free drawing app
SketchBook - free drawing app

This is the new Sketchbook Pro android app. You get some basic features for free, but you have to purchase the more advanced features. This version is more like the desktop version and even has blending brushes now.

 

Painter 2018

Corel Painter 2018 - PC/Mac
Corel Painter 2018 - PC/Mac

This is the most advanced digital program that mimics natural media. It is more expensive than the others I have listed, but it has every kind of painting medium you can think of including watercolors, ink pens, oil and acrylic paint etc.

 

Painter Essential 5

Corel Painter Essentials 5
Corel Painter Essentials 5

This is a scaled down version of Painter 2015 and doesn't have as many brushes. It is great for people on a budget or beginners who want to learn the basics of Corel Painter.

 

Future Hubs

I hope this hub has given you some information to help in your digital painting. I'm not an android programmer or a big expert on digital painting, but I'm learning new things everyday that I can share with you. This hub was an overview of the tools that I use for digital painting. I plan to present more hubs with digital painting lessons in the future. Thanks for reading.

Nighttime Sentinel

This painting was created in ArtRage 4 using my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Asus tf300 hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app.
This painting was created in ArtRage 4 using my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Asus tf300 hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app. | Source

Old Weathered Tree

This painting was created in the digital painting program,  Twisted Brush, using my Asus tf300 tablet hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app.
This painting was created in the digital painting program, Twisted Brush, using my Asus tf300 tablet hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app. | Source

Moonrise Over the Organ Mountains

This digital painting was created in Painter 12 on my Asus tf300 tablet hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app.
This digital painting was created in Painter 12 on my Asus tf300 tablet hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app. | Source

Southwest Windmill

This painting was created in SketchBook Pro 6 on my Asus tf300 tablet hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app.
This painting was created in SketchBook Pro 6 on my Asus tf300 tablet hooked up to my big PC via the Splashtop Remote HD app. | Source

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    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 23 months ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Thanks so much for the nice compliments! Unfortunately the S Pen only works on Samsung Galaxy Note tablets, but you can use the Dagi styluses on any Samsung tablet or any other android tablet. Also, there are some Adonit Jot Pro styluses that work on all tablets and the Musemee Notier stylus. If you don't mind having batteries in your stylus, the Dot Pen and ReGear Pro also work on all tablets. You can find all of these at Amazon.com.

    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 23 months ago

      They're all very good - that Windmill is simply exquisite! Not many people could do that even by hand. I was wondering; does the stylus pen work with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S..http://pinstor.us/articles/samsung-galaxy-tab-fits...

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 2 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Thanks so much!

    • Mariapesma profile image

      Mariapesma 2 years ago from Greece

      Interesting also your drawings are beautful

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 2 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Thanks so much!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Ellie, this was beautiful. I love the drawings. They're so vivid and visual for a tablet or Android--that I wish I have. Voted up for beautiful!

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 2 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Unfortunately I can't find any art instruction books for Galaxy Note tablets. You can download magazines from Zinio that cover Samsung Galaxy Note devices including tablets and phones, but they are not specifically about digital painting. Here is that link. http://www.zinio.com/magazine/Ultimate%20Guide%20t... However, there are tons of videos on YouTube of people using there Galaxy Note tablets. If you do a search on YouTube you will find lots of tutorials. Here is one very good painter that I follow.

      http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbhp1Hwrc79zZrhofK...

    • profile image

      kath jones 2 years ago

      I want to buy an actual instruction book to show me how to paint using a Galaxy Note tablet. Not an app.

      Can you advise me please?

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      There is a Photoshop app for android called Photoshop Touch which is a nice photo editing app that has layers and some limited drawing functions. However, if you want to use the PC Adobe Photoshop programs, you can do this by using your android tablet hooked up to your desktop PC with the Splashtop Remote Desktop HD app. You also have to download the windows Splashtop program on your PC so the android tablet app can connect to your PC. Once that is all set up you can open your Adobe programs and use them on your tablet.

    • profile image

      ca 3 years ago

      It can work photoshop?

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Thanks for the kind words! Yes, it is hard to draw on your phone because it is so small. Tablets are much better for serious digital painting work.

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 3 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Great Hub about how to create art from Tablets! I keep trying to draw on my phone but its very difficult even with an app like sketchbook. The best I can do is a general design then complete it on a PC.

      ~thranax~

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      The move paper function for Clover Paint is under the tools menu, the move function in Magic Doodle is under the transform layers function, in LayerPaint HD, the move icon is on the left side of your screen, Doodledroid shows a zoom window in the corner of your screen and you can move the picture in that window, and I can't seem to find anything but a flip picture option for Ravioli Paint. Some of the other apps like SketchBook Pro have a move picture function, but no manual zoom. I hope that helps.

    • profile image

      hello 3 years ago

      thank you it is very helpful.

      and if you want to move horizontally or vertically the paper when you are in a zoomed windows, can you do it also with the stylus?

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      That is an excellent question! I had that problem with my resistive tablet. I have found some apps that have manual zoom on their interface. They are: Clover Paint (zoom is found under the view option), Doodledroid (you can set manual zoom in the preferences), Magic Doodle (zoom is in the menu options), LayerPaint HD (zoom is found under view option), and Ravioli Paint (zoom is found under view option). There may be some more apps out there with manual zoom, but these seem to be the main ones.

    • profile image

      hello 3 years ago

      hello,

      resistive tablets are perfect to draw because you can put your hand on the screen without creating unwanted points.

      with the capacitive tablets there are risks to create these unwanted points so we have to only let the stylus on the screen which is not natural to draw.

      but the problem is that all apps for drawing i know, use the "finger pinch" method for zooming or move the paper, which is impossible to do with a resistive tablet.

      so my question is, do you know an drawing app that allow the zoom or move paper with the interface but not with the fingers?

      thanks

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Yes, the UI is confusing. I went ahead and paid the high price for the improved UI. It's better because you can use floating windows for the color picker, brushes etc. However, I'll try to explain what I've learned. All the brushes are on the side in the green clovers (buttons). Select a brush by tapping on one of these. The settings for the brush can be brought up by long pressing on the clear button that says pen. This will bring up all the settings. You can adjust the brush by playing around with the settings. I don't know what most of the settings mean, but if you change something you can see how the stroke will look. I just go by that. When you long press the tools button it brings up the settings for line type, image (that's your background), bucket tool etc. The view button brings up the menu for zoom, flipping the image, etc. The Gallery button brings up your gallery, new file, and exit button. The sliders are for brush width and opacity. You can set up a custom color palette and you can add custom brushes to the menu. I have noticed there is a lag on the brushes when you work with a big file size like 4,000 by 4,000, but you can offset that by using smaller brush sizes. I hope that helps a little.

    • profile image

      kh chee 3 years ago

      Clover Paint is works smoothly in my note 10.1 2014 edition. Interface is confusing, and im now try to understand it.

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      One of the things I try when an app isn't working is to uninstall and reinstall the app. If nothing works, e-mail the developers. The Infinite Painter developer is very responsive and trys to help fix your problems. The Clover Paint developer also trys to help his customers. You can find their e-mail addresses in the Google Play Store in the app information.

    • profile image

      Stefania Mason 3 years ago

      I ve most the best android drawing apps, but Clover and infinite painting are most completed but not working on my tablets, the annoying part is that I paid for them,

      anybody tried clover on samsung note 2014? Not working

    • Stela Thompson profile image

      Stela Thompson 3 years ago from Allen, Texas

      These sites are really helpful for the Android Photoshop learner.This app seems enjoyable to user.

      http://www.fotoclipping.com/services/creative-desi...

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Paint Joy is a very nice android painting app too. I would also mention ArtFlow and LayerPaint HD for some new android apps to try.

    • profile image

      Sydney D'cruz 3 years ago

      Try paint joy pro. I use a Micromax phtab and a cap stylus and finger. Post on Google+

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Windows tablets are becoming increasingly popular and one of the advantages of a Windows tablet is that you can download Windows software on them like Painter 13. The prices of Windows tablets are becoming more affordable as brands such as Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and HP are coming out with their tablets.

      The S pen is what I like about the Samsung Note tablets and I don't have any trouble drawing with it using Splashtop, but I don't come from a huge digital tablet background. Perhaps it takes some adjustment to get used to working this way if you are used to a traditional digital tablet. One of the things I have to do for detail work is zooming in on an area and add the details that way.

      But if this way is not for you, there are now some Windows tablets with styluses. (A stylus is a must for me.) Asus just came out with its new Vivotab Note 8 with a stylus which is supposed to be like the Galaxy Note 8. Lenovo and Dell also have tablets with styluses. Of course, if you want to a make a big monetary investment get the Wacom Cintiqs. They are the best for this kind of work. My solution is for people who are on a budget and can't afford to spend a lot of money.

      I have also found some print on demand stores that don't need such a high resolution to make prints. Fine Art America can take lower resolution pictures and make prints. Twenty20. com takes your pictures from your Instagram account and can blow them up to 20 x 20 inches. Here is my gallery at Twenty20 http://twenty20.com/ellietaylorartist

      You have to have an Instagram account to have a gallery there, but they are considering lifting that restriction.

      The resolution on new android tablets is also getting higher, too and that helps raise the resolution with the android painting apps. There are more and more ways to paint digitally that are coming out and I say the more the better!

    • profile image

      Aldo 3 years ago

      I just tried it and its cute to see your desktop miniaturized in your tablet. However the cursor on the pc flickers a lot and the S pen is too fast for accurate work. A better solution is to install and use Painter on Windows 8 which allows use of your fingers or any pens. You have the feeling of painting on a large canvas and can print in the native resolution.

    • profile image

      Jacqueline Schreiber 3 years ago

      Many thanks, your answer is a big help. Now I can finally work :-) I do love Android, but I like I would use other software to paint ... Greetings

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Splashtop Remote has two modes called trackpad and touchscreen mode. If you touch the screen with two fingers it enables trackpad mode which is what you are seeing now. Touch the screen with three fingers until the mouse buttons disappear and it brings up a menu of icons at the bottom of your screen. Touch the icon with the finger touching the square and that will convert it to touchscreen and you can use the s pen then. Sometimes if you rest your hand on the screen it will trigger the double touch and throw you into the trackpad mode. Try to rest your hand on the edge of your tablet and not the screen. You may have to do the 3 finger touch more than once to bring up the menu. Splashtop is really nice once you figure out all its functions, but it takes some practice.

    • profile image

      Jacqueline Schreiber 3 years ago

      Hello :-)

      Great site!

      I have installed Splashtop Remote. Unfortunately I can not always work with the pen. Again and again the left and right mouse can be seen below. How can I disable that, so that you can only work with the pen?

      Jacqueline Schreiber

    • Freedomvoice profile image

      Freedomvoice 3 years ago

      Thank you, I've been looking for one for quit some time. I sent your link to my neice.

    • EllieTaylorArtist profile image
      Author

      Ellie Taylor 3 years ago from Pinon, NM USA

      Yes, MyPaint and Krita are programs that you can download for free on your desktop computer. ArtRage 4 is also fairly inexpensive and SketchBook Pro 6.

    • Freedomvoice profile image

      Freedomvoice 3 years ago

      Is there any drawing aps for desk tops that are inexpensive?