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Do you want to understand your camera and take great photos today?

Yes Please

Sometimes, you’ll want to create something a little more interesting with your smartphone photography. Like turn photos into sketches, cartoons, paintings or drawings.

This article is for you, showcasing 11 of the best apps for adding an extra wow factor to your shots.

A close up of a person taking a food photography shot with a smartphone

11. Clip2Comic

  • Create cartoon-style drawings and caricatures
  • Easy to use interface
  • Editing tools for cropping, color and brightness
  • Live preview cartoon camera option
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases ($0.99 to $1.99)

Clip2c0mic is a great app for making those caricatures of your favourite people. This app has a very simple user interface, making you more likely to use it on your portrait shots.

On opening the app you are presented with your photo library. Tap on an image to open it and quickly transform it into a comic book style drawing.

For turning your photo into a cartoon, this drawing app is one of the best iPhone and Android apps out there.

The CLip2comic app homepage - great app to convert photo to line drawing

Android | Apple

10. Painnt

This drawing iPhone app holds more than 2000 filters for turning your portraits and landscapes into wonderful masterpieces. Well over 90 of these filters are sketch styles, giving your images that sought-after hand-drawn look.

Using the free version of the app gives you a limited yet wide range of filters. For the entire collection, you will need to purchase a weekly, monthly or yearly subscription.

Load your image, scroll through the styles and tap on the one you want – it’s that easy.

The only drawback with this Android and iPhone app is that you need an internet connection. All images are sent to the company’s servers for processing.

  • Over 2000 artistic filters
  • Over 90 sketch filters to create a hand-drawn finish
  • A Wide range of editing tools for filter effects
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Premium subscription: $0.99 a week, $1.99 a month, $9.99 a year

A screenshot of Painnt drawing app homepage - great app to turn photo into sketch or turn photo into cartoon

Android | Apple

9. Imaengine Vector

The Imaengine Vector isn’t your usual drawing app. It doesn’t turn your photo into a sketch or convert your picture into a drawing.

It creates a vector or geometric shapes from your photograph.

If you want that computer-generated, unnatural look, this is the Android or iPhone app for you.

Filters are applied to your uploaded image. They include plastic, two-tone pencils and pop art.

The good thing about this drawing app is that the filter can be further edited to adjust the colour, detail and stroke length. Get it today.

  • 30 filter options to choose from
  • Paint on top of your photos by using your finger
  • “Rough up” your images for that hand-drawn look
  • Save high-resolution images in various formats
  • Import your images into other programs – such as Adobe Creative Cloud or Dropbox

A screenshot of Imaengine Vector drawing app to turn photo into sketch

Android | Apple

8. Waterlogue

If you love watercolours, then you will love this drawing app. It was amongst one of the best apps in 2014 and still continues to impress photographers far and wide.

Most of the Android and iPhone apps in our list edit your images. With Waterlogue, the image is recreated.

The filter is so good that you can’t tell it’s coming from a photograph at all.

Furthermore, the app is very user-friendly. This means you are more likely to use it, and keep coming back.

It’s a great way to create some really cool gift ideas for those who prefer paint over digital photography.

  • Specific watercolour drawing app
  • Great tweakability of the resulting image
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Tinrocket (company) provides a few different editing apps
  • Cheaper for OS users (just sayin’)

A screenshot of Waterlogue drawing app to turn photos into sketches

Android | Apple

7. Brushstroke

Brushstroke as a drawing app gives you a wide variety of painting styles, colour palettes and choice of canvas surfaces.

What we like is you can order a Canvas print directly from within the app.

This iPhone app doesn’t create sketches nor drawing outlines. Rather, it converts your photo to a drawing and then paints the image in.

A pencil outline sits on top of the lines from the photograph, making it seem hand-drawn.

  • User-friendly interface
  • Paint styles inspired by famous painters
  • Seven style groups
  • A wide-range of sub-styles
  • Sign your prints for authenticity

A screenshot of Brushstoke drawing apps to turn photo into sketch


6. Becasso

Becasso is a drawing app that is only available as an iPhone app. It uses clever algorithms to transform your pictures into beautiful works of art.

On top of this, there are a wide range of awesome effects that make your images pop.

There are three main areas to this iPhone drawing application. It transforms images either as a watercolour, cartoon or oil painting.

These can all be experimented with easily, allowing you to tinker with contour depth and sharpness.

If that wasn’t enough, a dedicated paintbrush tool allows precise, real-time changes.

  • Three different styles
  • Dedicated paintbrush creating precise editing
  • User-friendly interface
  • Sophisticated yet controllable
  • High-resolution images are savable

A screenshot of Becasso Photo editor drawing app to turn photos into drawings


5. Enlight Photofox

  • 16 preset sketch tools w
  • Mask your image to apply specific and local effects
  • Combine photo and text to create graphics
  • Allows you to create double exposures
  • Save images at high resolution for the highest quality possible

This drawing app is perfect for those who want simple photographic edits. It also attracts those who want to turn their images into amazing pieces of art.

The features include drawing effects, image correction, painterly effects and photographic filters. If you wanted to turn your image into a painting, head to the artistic part of the app and choose Sketch.

The great thing about this Android and iPhone app is you can further tweak any of your filter settings, making it fully customisable.

A screenshot of Enlight Photofox editing app -convert picture to drawing

Android | Apple

4. Prisma

Prisma is a great drawing app that recreates famous painting styles from some of the best artists the world has ever seen. From Picasso right down to Van Gogh. These filters also give you options with interesting patterns.

Open your image and choose from the various filters and you’re good to go. Some of the best sketch effects are on this iPhone app have the most creative names, such as Curly Hair and Heisenberg.

Use your finger to adjust the intensity of the applied filter. The only downfall with Prisma is that you can’t save images in full resolution. This is a problem for those who want to print large sizes.

  • 30 different artistic filters to choose from
  • Download new styles from the Store
  • A User-friendly app similar to Instagram
  • Online Prisma community
  • Works with videos and photographs

A screenshot of the Prisma photo editor iphone apps to convert picture to drawing

Android | Apple

3. Photolab

Photolab is a great Android and iPhone app. It is ideal for turning your photo or picture into a sketch, painting or even a watercolour image.

On top of these painterly filters, you have the options of borders, frames and montages.

From opening the app and choosing your image, you are free to choose the effects category you want. Each will have several options to browse through, giving you full control over your image.

On top of the creative drawing app features, you can use its basic editing functions. Things like colour adjustment, crop, rotate and touch-up are also possible.

  • Choose an image from your Camera Roll or take one through the app
  • Over 800 possible effects
  • E-card templates allow you to create greeting cards for the holidays
  • Additional photo filters include digital rain and jigsaw puzzle
  • Save your artwork or share it on social media from within the drawing app

A screenshot of Photo Lab filters for pictures, turn photo into sketch app

Android | Apple

2. Artomaton

  • Five possible art tools
  • 11 possible canvas materials t
  • Filter options include colour pencil, charcoal, marker, oil and sketch
  • A scale allows you to distort your image
  • Save your image in high resolution for the high-quality images

Artomaton opens your image, letting you choose your drawing resolution and image size, where 4096 pixels is the maximum.

This is great for keeping the resolution high for social media sharing.

Once the filter is applied, you can tweak your image by using the density, line thickness and stroke settings. Margins and vignettes are possible if you’re into that sort of thing.

What we like is that you can even change the angle at which the light hits your digital canvas. A great iPhone app for converting your photo to a drawing.

A screenshot of Artomaton homepage to turn photos into sketches app


1. iColorama S

iColorama S is our pick of the day. It not only sounds professional, it acts like it too. Once your imported image hits the screen, you’ll be able to choose a resolution size. You keep your high-resolution for better quality.

A simple tap on the Menu brings up all the categories. For the Sketch tool, head on over to the Style section.

Once you have chosen your preferred sketch style, you can adjust the strength by using the opacity slider on the bottom.

The Set icon allows you to change the edging and shadow level. One thing to be aware of, the exported image will be the same as the imported one, so use big images.

  • Several painterly styles – including a sketch style for a drawing filter
  • 14 Sketch options to choose from
  • More than 300 effects
  • Import and use brushes from Photoshop
  • Huge iColorama-S Facebook community

A screenshot of iColorama app for turning photos into drawings or sketches

Android | Apple

There we are! 11 of the best drawing apps for Android and OS systems, taking your images to the next level.

You’d be hard pushed to find better apps that allow such creativity. Just use the ones above to turn photos into sketches, cartoons, paintings or drawings.

A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:

Thank you for reading...

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Craig Hull

Craig is a photographer currently based in Budapest. His favourite photographic areas are street and documentary photography. Show him a darkroom and he'll be happy there for days. As long as there are music and snacks. Find him at and Instagram/craighullphoto

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