Adobe’s new illustration app, Fresco, is a really fun way to paint, draw and create on your iPad – even if you don’t know a line brush from a vector brush.
Conceived for and designed by artists, the app offers all the cool digital tools you’ve come to expect: layers, masking, the ability to undo and seamless integration with Apple Pencil.
But it’s also packed with innovative features, like a massive brush collection created in collaboration with star illustrator (and Adobe evangelist) Kyle Webster.
The big draw here is the new live brushes, exclusive to Fresco, that simulate the rich, three-dimensional texture of oil paint and the way watercolours bloom on paper.
You also get customisable pixel brushes based on the ones in Photoshop, and vector brushes for precise freehand drawing that can be infinitely scaled.
Fresco’s streamlined interface will feel instantly familiar to Adobe fans: Simply tap a canvas under Start a New Document and select a brush at the top left to open a menu of options. Layers are on the right; tap the plus sign to add a new one, and make it visible or invisible by tapping the eye icon.
For a bit more guidance, check out Fresco’s hands-on tutorials. (From the home screen, tap Learn in the top left corner.) The “quick tour” is a good place to start. Or dive deeper with tutorials on brushes, layers, selections and customising your workspace.
There are tons of bells and whistles too: Livestream your creative process to your Adobe Behance channel, or browse a gallery of other Fresco artists’ work.
You can also customise your workspace to your liking and, with a Creative Cloud subscription, sync your work across all your devices.
Fresco for iPad is available if you’re running iOS 12.4 or later. After you sign in, most of the app’s features are free. A subscription unlocks the complete set of built-in brushes, the option to import your own, and the ability to export in hi-res. (Adobe throws in 100 GB of Creative Cloud storage too.)
To access Fresco’s premium features, all you need is an Adobe subscription for a single app such as Photoshop. If you’re on the fence, sign up for a single-app subscription to Fresco – it comes with a six-month free trial. After that, it’s all up to you – and your creativity.