I find that coloring books are essential in activity kits for toddlers. But when you’re out and about, picking up spilled crayons and cleaning up ripped paper should be the least of your worry. This is where coloring book apps come in handy. Here’s one we think you’d like: Painting Gallery.
Created by new indie mobile studio Joyful Works, the unique app allows you to make drawings from scratch, color in a template, and even make your own coloring pages. You also get to display all of your artwork in the in-app gallery.
Opening the app, you will see neatly arranged frames on the wall. Some of these frames contain pre-made, ready-to-color drawings while the others contain blank canvases. Choose any one that you like, and you will be taken to your workspace.
The app offers a variety of drawing tools, including pencils, markers, and crayons, as well as 30 colors to paint with. In addition, you will have access to over 100 stickers and backgrounds. Use your fingers to rotate, resize, and place the stickers on the canvas.
If you are working with templates, you should know that you can fill within the lines instantly using the painter’s brush. You can also opt to color in manually using your fingers, but note that it’s likely to color outside the lines if you are not careful.
Once you are happy with your creation, you can go back to the gallery to see it displayed. You can choose different frames for your canvas and move it around. You can also revisit your work any time (your paintings are automatically saved).
Parents Need to Know
An interesting feature in Painting Gallery is the ability to record your own voiceovers for the color names. When your child selects the color while painting, the voiceover will be used instead of the default one. This allows your child to learn the names of the colors from a familiar voice, in any language you like.
Designed for ages 5 and under, Painting Gallery doesn’t require any reading skills to use. The app has all the safety features you’d want in a children’s app: no ads, no in-app purchases, and all external links locked away in the parents’ section. It also works great without Internet connection as all artwork are saved locally.
Make Your Own Printable Coloring Pages
Painting Gallery includes a variety of drawing tools and stickers to create paintings in diverse styles. I especially like the black and white stickers as they can be used to create your own coloring pages, which you can print out and give to your kids for real-world coloring sessions.
To create your own printable coloring page:
- Open the app and select an empty frame
- Tap on the stickers on the bottom of the screen
- Select any black and white stickers you like, and arrange them on the canvas. You can also draw outlines manually using the black marker.
- Save your coloring page to Camera Roll by tapping the Camera button on the left
- Find your coloring page in the Camera Roll and print it! Alternatively, if you don’t have a printer that supports AirPrint, you can email the file to your desktop computer and print from there.
Things I Like
The moment you open the app, you will see all the artwork neatly displayed in colorful frames — just like a real gallery. This is a great design decision, as it invokes in kids a sense of pride over their work, and encourage them to keep creating new paintings to fill up the empty frames. At the same time, it’s also a great way for parents to quickly see all the drawings their child has created.
Unlike generic coloring book apps, Painting Gallery introduces mascot characters Niru and her four friends. You can learn about these cute characters in the stickers section and in the parents’ zone. Although they do not yet have a narrative, they make the app more appealing for kids.
In the next update, I would like to see an option to turn off the music as it gets tiring after a while. An undo button would come in handy, and support for multiple user profiles would increase the app’s value for me.
Every child is an artist in this fun drawing app. With lots of tools and stickers to choose from, kids can draw from scratch or build upon existing templates. They’ll also be able to show off their work in the customizable in-app gallery.
App was provided for our honest review.