I’m not an artist by any stretch, so when I started poking around Adobe’s Fresco, the drawing and painting app for the iPad and iPhone, I approached the app with trepidation. I shouldn’t have.
Fresco is undeniably a ‘pro’ iPad app. The app has a deep set of sophisticated features and integrations with Adobe’s other Creative Cloud apps and services. However, the app is also designed to scale with its users, meeting them where they start and growing with them, whether they are absolute beginners or seasoned pros.
Adobe accomplishes this in a couple of ways. The first is with Fresco’s business model. I’m sure many people who see an app of Fresco’s caliber assume it must be part of an expensive subscription, but it’s not. The app is free, and although there are benefits that only come with a Creative Cloud subscription, their absence from the free version of the app doesn’t detract from its core experience. You can go a long way with the free version, which makes it excellent for beginners and a good way for Adobe to attract new users.
Free is powerful, but it only goes so far. The second reason Fresco works for a broad spectrum of users is the app’s design. From the spot in the app to which every user is taken when they open their first canvas to the many ways to learn and draw inspiration from experienced users, Fresco’s thoughtful design provides a focused approach to drawing and painting that works for users at all levels.
Ultimately, it’s Fresco’s design that convinced me that this was a review I should write. I’m as guilty as the next person of assuming apps like Fresco are only for pro users. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that that’s not true for Fresco. So let’s dive into what makes Fresco such a good place to start if you want to try drawing and painting with your iPad and iPhone.