Adobe Photoshop Sketch vs Adobe Fresco: Which One is Best For Drawing?

Written By TheTechTop10

Every article is rigorously researched & written by a Tech Expert and reviewed by Two Editors.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch and Adobe Fresco both are great apps for illustration on the iPad. But, both of these apps have their own unique features with make them perfect for artists with different needs.

Just like Procreate, Adobe Sketch, and Adobe Fresco both are highly used by people who are into drawing, sketching, and other illustration stuff.

Again, both these apps are best for different tasks. But, here we are going to cover the points only about drawing. So, at the end of this article, you will have a good idea of which one is best to choose for drawing.

Hey! I have posted another article where I have done a brief comparison of Adobe Fresco and Procreate. So, check that out too.

Now, let’s get into the matter.

Is Adobe Sketch Good For Drawing?

Yes, Adobe Sketch is good for basic drawing works and illustrations. You will get all the required tools which are useful for traditional artists.

If you are into digital drawing, it gives you great tools for illustrations. You can create layers, basic shapes, color palettes, invisible/visible layers, do layer merging, and a lot more.

Its ability to do background color management is just impressive. You will get a realistic feel while drawing as you do with the real sketchbook.

Another great thing about Adobe Sketch is its paint, pencils, and brush tools. The oil color, watercolor, effect brushes are capable of giving you impressive outputs. The pen tools works just like the real pens which makes your drawing experience much more impressive.

Adobe Sketch is compatible with Adobe Creative cloud. So, you can open it directly into Photoshop or any other Adobe app.

Drawbacks of Adobe Sketch for Drawing

You can’t add texts, change saturations, and various other things that Procreate and other popular drawing tools can do.

No smudge tool is available in Adobe Sketch.

Also, you can customize the sensitivity of brushes but some limited features are there for you.

You can’t export your photos directly to Adobe Sketch and start drawing on the go. For that, you will have to start with a new document and then you can add an image to it.

Is Adobe Fresco Good For Drawing?

Adobe Fresco is a new app in the field of drawing on the iPad. But, in simple words, it can do everything you can do in Adobe Sketch. However, Adobe has added some additional features such as light brushes, vector brushes, and ordinary brushes in Fresco.

This app is deeply integrated with the creative cloud platform. Meaning, it is much more easier to open a creative cloud document in the app or even on top of your drawing.

In my opinion, Adobe Fresco is more of a middle ground in between Procreate and Adobe Sketch.

A new feature called Live Brush is available in Adobe Fresco. I personally found it impressive because it mimics the actual painting experience as you get in physical painting. Color mix, flow, strokes are highly refined and they look really like an actual canvas.

If you use Photoshop or Illustrator more often, you will find its interface familiar to you. Multi-touch gestures and Apple Pencil’s double tap features can be utilized perfectly as per our needs.

Drawbacks of Adobe Fresco For Drawing

First, it is not so much intuitive as compared to Adobe Sketch. So, in order to start with this app, you may have to watch tutorial videos. Also, they have added some extra tools which are not easily understandable when you are a beginner.

There is no serious drawbacks to Adobe Fresco if you are ready to learn all its complex features.


Its expensive pricing tag i.e. monthly subscription plan will frustrate you if you do not have a Creative Cloud subscription.

Key Features of Fresco and Sketch you should know about

  1. Brushes

Adobe Fresco has more than 50 brushes including vector and pixel brushes as we discussed earlier. However, you can’t customize them in the way Sketch will allow you to do.

On the other hand, with Adobe Sketch, you get 24 built-in brushes with lots of customization features for opacity, intensity, size, and blending options.

Fortunately, both these apps will allow you to export brushes as per your requirements. But, Fresco will allow you to do it only with its Premium plan.

  1. Layering Options

Both these apps are great when we talk about the layering features. You can easily create numerous layers as per the size of your canvas. However, personally, I found Fresco’s layer management features much more advanced than Sketch. Layer grouping, merging, and hiding is pretty easy with both of these tools but you are surely going to get some additional features with Adobe Fresco.

  1. Price

Both these apps comes along with free packages. But, in order to access Fresco’s premium features, you will have to pay an amount of 9.99 US$ every month. This is one of the major things you should consider before picking the right iPad drawing app for you.

  1. Learning Curve and User-Interface

As a beginner, in my opinion, you should go for Adobe Sketch because it is an old app in the field and have refined so much with the time. In simple terms, becoming familiar with Adobe Sketch is much more easier than Adobe Fresco.

This is because Adobe Fresco’s user-interface is pretty complex and the tools are not easy to find. Also, you may face several problems whenever you try to make changes to brushes because everything is cluttered inside its main UI.

But, with Adobe Sketch, you have freedom to effectively customize your UI and place the tools, sliders, and other elements in the way you want.

  1. Apple Pencil Performance

Impressively, both these apps are perfect when it comes to Apple Pencil. You can use your stylus to draw images and use paintbrushes. However, when it comes to performance, Adobe Fresco may lack sometimes when you are very fast with your sketching work.

But, in the terms of usability and double tapping feature, Apple Pencil is ready to give you great experience in both these apps.

When it comes to pressure sensitivity, I found Fresco a little bit better than the Sketch. It understands the inputs properly and gives the desired results in an effective manner.

  1. Exporting

In Adobe Fresco, if you are a free user, you can export your artwork only at iPad screen resolution. This is a major drawback of Fresco. However, with Adobe Photoshop Sketch, you are free to export any sort of file in your desired formats up to 8K printable resolution.

Which one should you use? Adobe Fresco or Adobe Sketch?

As per my experience, I found both these apps great for drawing works. But, I would like to give you a better idea of which one will be good for you.

So, if you are a beginner and want an app that can help you to learn things more quickly, you should definitely choose Adobe Photoshop Sketch. But, if you are looking for advanced drawing features inside a great sketching app, Fresco might be the best choice for you.

Along with that, keep the budgets in your mind.

Being a new app in the industry, Fresco is a great offering for the people who are fascinated by Adobe’s products.

However, between both of them, I would suggest you to use Adobe Photoshop Sketch because it has pretty similar features but a free app.

Also Read: Is Adobe Photoshop good for Drawing?

Also Read: 15 Interesting Fact and Stats About Adobe Photoshop

The Tech Top 10