Using Your Phone as a Drawing Tablet: Is It Possible?

Can I use my phone as a drawing tablet?

As technology continues to advance, artists are finding new and innovative ways to create art. One such method is using your phone as a drawing tablet. With the advancement of smartphone technology, many devices now have advanced touch screens and powerful processors that make them perfect for digital artwork. In this guide, we will explore how you can use your phone as a drawing tablet and create stunning digital art on the go.

Using your phone as a drawing tablet offers a multitude of benefits. First and foremost, it allows you to work on your art wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. Gone are the days of needing to carry around a bulky drawing tablet and laptop. With your phone, you can create art on the train, in a coffee shop, or even while waiting in line at the grocery store.

Another advantage of using your phone as a drawing tablet is the ability to take advantage of various digital art apps that are available. There are a plethora of apps specifically designed for digital drawing and painting, with features that rival those of professional drawing tablets. These apps often include layers, brushes, and blending modes, allowing you to create intricate and detailed artwork.

Furthermore, using your phone as a drawing tablet can be a more affordable option for aspiring digital artists. While professional drawing tablets can be quite expensive, most people already have a smartphone, making it a cost-effective alternative. Additionally, using your phone as a drawing tablet eliminates the need for additional accessories or cables, streamlining your artistic process.

So, whether you’re a professional artist looking to have a portable drawing setup or a beginner wanting to try digital art, using your phone as a drawing tablet could be the perfect solution. In this guide, we will cover everything from downloading and setting up digital art apps to exploring different drawing techniques. Get ready to unleash your creativity wherever you are!

Benefits of Using Your Phone as a Drawing Tablet

  • Portability: One of the biggest advantages of using your phone as a drawing tablet is its portability. Your phone is small and can easily fit into your pocket or bag, allowing you to draw or sketch wherever you go.
  • Cost-effective: Using your phone as a drawing tablet eliminates the need to invest in an expensive standalone tablet. Most people already own a smartphone, so you can save money by utilizing the device you already have.
  • Familiarity: Since you use your phone every day for various tasks, you are already familiar with its interface and functionality. This familiarity can make it easier to navigate drawing apps and utilize the features they offer.
  • Accessibility: With your phone at hand, you have easy access to your drawings and can work on them whenever inspiration strikes. This eliminates the need to carry around a sketchbook or laptop, providing you with greater flexibility and convenience.
  • Wide range of drawing apps: The app market is flooded with numerous drawing apps that are compatible with smartphones. These apps offer a variety of tools and features, allowing you to create stunning digital artwork on your phone.
  • Pressure sensitivity: Some smartphones, especially those designed for digital art, offer pressure-sensitive screens. This means that you can apply varying degrees of pressure to create different line thicknesses and shading effects, similar to a traditional drawing tablet.
  • Integration with other devices: Many drawing apps on your phone offer cloud storage and synchronization options, allowing you to seamlessly transfer your work to other devices such as tablets or computers. This makes it easy to continue working on your art projects across different devices.

Choosing a Drawing App

When it comes to using your phone as a drawing tablet, choosing the right drawing app is crucial. There are many different apps available for both Android and iOS devices, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a drawing app:

Compatibility: Make sure that the drawing app you choose is compatible with your specific device and operating system. Check the app’s description or website to ensure that it works with your phone.

Features: Consider the features that are important to you. Do you need layers, brushes, or advanced brush settings? Are you looking for specific tools like a smudge tool or an eraser? Take a look at the app’s feature list to determine if it has everything you need.

User interface: The user interface of the drawing app should be easy to navigate and intuitive. Look for an app that has a clean design and provides easy access to tools and settings.

Stability: It’s frustrating to use a drawing app that crashes frequently or has other stability issues. Check user reviews and ratings to see if the app is known for stability or if users have reported frequent crashes.

Compatibility with other software: If you plan to use your phone as a drawing tablet in conjunction with other software or hardware, make sure that the app is compatible. Some apps may offer features like exporting files to popular formats or integrating with external styli.

Cost: Many drawing apps are available for free or offer a free version with limited features. However, some apps may require a one-time purchase or a subscription for access to all features. Consider your budget and the value you expect to get from the app.

By considering these factors, you can choose a drawing app that suits your needs and helps you create digital art on the go with your phone as a drawing tablet.

Connecting Your Phone to Your Computer

Connecting your phone to your computer is a crucial step in using it as a drawing tablet for digital art. By doing so, you can make use of your phone’s touchscreen and sensors to draw directly on your computer screen. Here are a few methods to connect your phone to your computer:

  1. USB Cable: The most common way to connect your phone to your computer is by using a USB cable. Simply plug one end of the cable into your phone’s charging port and the other end into a USB port on your computer. Make sure your phone is set to transfer files when connected to a computer.
  2. Wireless Connection: Another option is to connect your phone to your computer wirelessly. This can be done using various apps and software available for both Android and iOS devices. Make sure both your phone and computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, then follow the instructions provided by the app or software you choose.

Once your phone is connected to your computer, you may need to install additional software or drivers to ensure compatibility and functionality. Many drawing software programs have specific companion apps or plugins that need to be installed on your phone to establish a connection.

Before using your phone as a drawing tablet, it’s essential to test the connection and make sure everything is working correctly. Open your drawing software on your computer and, if necessary, select the option to use your phone as a drawing tablet. If everything is set up correctly, you should see your phone’s screen mirrored on your computer, allowing you to draw and create digital art seamlessly.

Using a Stylus or Your Finger

If you want to have more control and precision while drawing on your phone, using a stylus can be a great option. A stylus is a pen-like tool that allows for more accurate input on touchscreen devices. There are various types of styluses available on the market, ranging from basic rubber-tipped styluses to more advanced ones with pressure sensitivity.

Using a stylus can make your digital drawing experience more comfortable and natural. It allows for better control of lines and strokes, making it easier to create detailed artwork. Additionally, some styluses have features like palm rejection, which prevents accidental touches from interfering with your drawing.

However, if you don’t have a stylus or prefer not to use one, you can still create digital art on your phone using your finger. Many drawing apps are designed to work well with fingertip input and offer various brush sizes and settings to accommodate different drawing styles.

When using your finger, keep in mind that it may not provide the same level of precision as a stylus. However, with practice, you can develop techniques to overcome this limitation. For example, using the zoom feature can help you work on finer details more easily.

Whether you choose to use a stylus or your finger, it’s important to experiment with different drawing apps to find the one that suits your needs best. Some popular drawing apps for phone include Adobe Photoshop Sketch, Procreate Pocket, and Autodesk SketchBook. These apps offer a wide range of tools and features that can enhance your digital drawing experience.

Overall, using a stylus or your finger to create digital art on your phone provides a convenient and portable way to unleash your creativity wherever you go. With the right tools and apps, you can turn your phone into a powerful drawing tablet and bring your artistic ideas to life.

Adjusting Brushes and Colors

Adjusting Brushes and Colors

When working with digital art on your phone, it’s important to have control over your brushes and colors to create the desired effects. Here are some tips on adjusting brushes and colors:


  1. Size and Opacity: Most digital art apps allow you to adjust the size and opacity of your brushes. Use a larger size for broad strokes and a smaller size for details. Adjust the opacity to control the transparency of your brush strokes.
  2. Brush Shape: Experiment with different brush shapes to achieve various textures and effects. Some common brush shapes include round, square, and tapered.
  3. Brush Settings: Many apps offer additional brush settings like hardness, scattering, and flow. These settings can add more dynamics and variation to your brush strokes.


  1. Color Picker: Use the color picker tool to select a specific color from the color palette or the canvas itself. This allows you to match colors accurately or sample colors from a reference image.
  2. Color Wheel: Most apps provide a color wheel that allows you to easily choose colors. You can rotate the wheel to find different hues and adjust the saturation and brightness sliders to fine-tune the colors.
  3. Color Palettes: Create custom color palettes or use pre-made palettes to save and access your favorite colors. Having a well-organized palette can speed up your workflow and maintain color consistency.

By adjusting your brushes and colors effectively, you’ll have greater control over your digital art creations on your phone. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the settings that work best for your artistic style!

Sharing and Exporting Your Artwork

Once you have created your artwork using your phone as a drawing tablet, you may want to share it with others or export it for further editing. Here are some ways to share and export your artwork:

  1. Social Media Platforms: One of the easiest ways to share your artwork is through social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can simply upload your artwork directly from your phone’s gallery or use art-focused sharing platforms like DeviantArt or Behance.
  2. Email or Messaging Apps: Another option is to share your artwork directly with friends or clients through email or messaging apps. You can attach the artwork file or send a link to the file stored in a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
  3. Exporting as Image Files: Most drawing apps allow you to export your artwork as image files such as JPEG or PNG. These image files can then be easily shared or uploaded to various online platforms or printed out.
  4. Exporting as PSD or SVG Files: If you want to further edit your artwork in a professional design software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, you can export your artwork as PSD (Photoshop) or SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files. These file formats preserve the layers and allow for more flexibility in editing.
  5. Printing Your Artwork: If you want to showcase your artwork offline, you can print it out and frame it. There are various online printing services or local print shops that can help you turn your digital artwork into high-quality prints.

Before sharing or exporting your artwork, make sure to check the resolution and quality settings in your drawing app to ensure that your artwork looks its best in various formats. Additionally, consider watermarking your artwork or adding a signature to protect your work from unauthorized use.

Experiment with different sharing and exporting methods to find the one that suits your needs and allows you to showcase your digital artwork to the world!

Tips and Tricks for Digital Art on the Go

Creating digital art on your phone can be a convenient and portable way to express your creativity. Whether you’re on the train, waiting at a cafe, or simply want a break from your computer setup, here are some tips and tricks for making the most of your digital art experience on the go:

1. Choose the Right App

There are plenty of drawing apps available for both iOS and Android devices. Take some time to research and find an app that suits your needs and preferences. Look for features such as layer support, brush customization, and compatibility with different file formats.

2. Use a Stylus or a Stylus Pen

While you can certainly create digital art using just your finger, a stylus or a stylus pen can greatly improve your precision and control. There are many affordable and high-quality options available on the market that work well with both Android and iOS devices.

3. Master the Gesture Controls

Most drawing apps have gesture controls that can make navigating and using the app more efficient. Spend some time learning these gestures to save time and improve your workflow. For example, pinch-to-zoom allows you to quickly zoom in and out of your canvas, and swiping with two fingers can undo or redo actions.

4. Experiment with Brushes and Tools

Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment with different brushes and tools. Many drawing apps offer a wide variety of brushes that simulate traditional art mediums, such as pencil, pen, and watercolor. Try out different brushes to find the ones that suit your style and desired effects.

5. Take Advantage of Layer Support

Layers can be incredibly useful when creating digital art on the go. They allow you to separate different elements of your artwork, making it easier to edit and make changes without affecting the entire image. Experiment with layer blending modes and opacity settings to add depth and dimension to your artwork.

6. Backup Your Work

It’s always a good idea to regularly backup your digital artwork, especially when you’re on the go. Use cloud storage services or transfer your files to your computer regularly to avoid losing your hard work in case of device loss or damage.

7. Engage with Online Communities

There are many online communities and social media platforms dedicated to digital art. Engaging with these communities can provide you with inspiration, feedback, and the opportunity to connect with fellow artists. Share your work, participate in challenges, and learn from others to enhance your digital art skills.

8. Use Reference Images

If you’re struggling with proportions or certain details, don’t hesitate to use reference images. Take photos or find references online to help you accurately depict objects, people, or landscapes in your artwork. Using references can greatly improve the realism and accuracy of your digital art.

9. Practice Regularly

As with any form of art, regular practice is essential to improve your skills. Set aside dedicated time to create digital art on your phone, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Experiment with different techniques, subject matters, and styles to grow as an artist.

By following these tips and tricks, you can make the most of your digital art experience on the go. Embrace the convenience of creating art on your phone and use it as a tool to express your creativity wherever you are.


What are the advantages of using your phone as a drawing tablet?

There are several advantages to using your phone as a drawing tablet. First, it offers portability and convenience, allowing you to create digital art on the go. Additionally, smartphones have high-quality screens and advanced touch sensitivity, making them suitable for digital drawing. Lastly, using your phone as a drawing tablet can save you money compared to purchasing a separate drawing tablet.

What are the limitations of using your phone as a drawing tablet?

While using your phone as a drawing tablet has its advantages, there are also some limitations to consider. Firstly, the screen size of a phone is generally smaller compared to dedicated drawing tablets, which may limit the amount of detail you can create. Additionally, the phone’s battery life may be a concern if you plan to use it for extended drawing sessions. Lastly, using your phone as a drawing tablet may not provide the same level of pressure sensitivity and precision as a dedicated tablet.

What apps can I use to turn my phone into a drawing tablet?

There are several apps available that can turn your phone into a drawing tablet. Some popular options include Adobe Illustrator Draw, Procreate Pocket, Autodesk Sketchbook, and ibis Paint X. These apps offer various features such as pressure sensitivity, layer support, and a wide range of drawing tools to enhance your digital art creation experience.

What should I consider when choosing a stylus for digital art on my phone?

When choosing a stylus for digital art on your phone, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, check if your phone is compatible with stylus input. Some phones only support specific stylus models. Secondly, consider the type of stylus tip you prefer – some styluses have rubber tips for a more traditional pen-like feel, while others have disc tips for better precision. Lastly, think about the features you need, such as pressure sensitivity or additional programmable buttons, and choose a stylus that fits your requirements.

Can I connect my phone to a computer and use it as a drawing tablet?

Yes, it is possible to connect your phone to a computer and use it as a drawing tablet. There are several apps and software available that allow you to do this, such as EasyCanvas and Duet Display. These tools allow you to mirror your phone’s screen onto the computer and use it as an input device for drawing and creating digital art.

Are there any tips for optimizing digital art creation on a phone?

Yes, there are a few tips to optimize your digital art creation on a phone. Firstly, make sure to clean your phone’s screen regularly to remove any smudges that may interfere with drawing precision. Secondly, consider using a screen protector to reduce friction and improve stylus performance. Additionally, it can be helpful to use a phone stand or tripod to hold your phone at a comfortable angle while drawing. Lastly, explore the settings and options within your chosen drawing app to customize the drawing experience to your preference.

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