When the Wii U was initially announced back in 2011, one of the many things that Nintendo showed was that you could use the Wii U Gamepad to draw on. However, when the Wii UI released, the only art that Wii U owners could use was the drawing app in Miiverse. If any of you have used this app, then you would know that it was hard to work with and that it lacked any colors to choose from. However, that didn’t stop artists from bearing with it, and as such some wonderful art was released with this tool.
Nintendo, seeing all of the truly impressive art that Miiverse could create, have finally released a drawing app. That app is named Art Academy: SketchPad.
Just like any other art app, Art Academy: Sketchpad allows you to draw whatever it is you can think of. Unlike most digital art however, Art Academy supplies traditional artist tools such as pastels, colored pencils, and charcoal for art creation instead of the computer tools that most programs use.
The artist is able to select from three forms of surface for their art. These surfaces, smooth, cartridge, and pastel, allow you a greater control on how your work will come out. After a pastel is selected, you are able to choose from a variety of colors that the surface will appear as.
Art Academy also has an excellent blending system in place. Just like with the real materials, any color that you choose can be blended together to create a whole new array of colors. With this system in place, you can have virtually any color that the app doesn’t supply itself.
There is one problem however; the use of charcoal is slightly lackluster. Without giving you control over the pressure you wish to use, you are forced to continually go over a spot until the layer upon layer of charcoal gets to the darkness you want. This in itself doesn’t affect the quality of the art at all, but it does significantly increases the time it takes to make good art.
Art Academy: SketchPad has a beautiful soundtrack consisting of orchestral instruments. The music blends extremely well and is perfect for getting your mind ready to paint a masterpiece, however when you start to draw the music cuts out. There is no way to choose whether you want this music to end when painting. This could either be a positive or negative depending on if you would like to listen to it whilst drawing. For me, I found that I prefer the music cutting out as it allows me to properly sit down and work on my project at hand.
This game looks extremely attractive. The various areas around the studio in the main menu appear to be painted. This gives it a certain charm that, when coupled with the music, is relaxing and nice to look at. This game certainly uses the Wii U’s HD capabilities to output some wonderful sights.
When in the set up process, the artist can choose to use one of various reference images that they could draw. These samples are all high quality pictures of various natural things such as leaves, flowers, and clouds to manmade items like a horn, a lamp, or even a candlestick.
In conclusion, this game is very capable of allowing potential artists to properly create whatever it is that there mind wishes to explore, all within a comfortable and easy to use app. Art Academy: SketchPad is currently available for $3.99 in North America and is definitely worth the purchase.
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