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Have you tried Sktchy?

December 12, 2016


Billed as the social media app for artists and muses, Sktchy, (available free from the app store) offers an unlimited supply of portrait subjects right in your pocket.

The concept is simple: People upload photos of themselves, you sketch and post, and everyone enjoys the feedback. It’s kind of a self perpetuating feel-good loop – and there’s nothing wrong with that :) Anything that motivates you to paint right?

You get a steady supply of people to draw, they get a kick out of being drawn, and eventually you have a little collection of your favorite selfie photographers and the sketchers who sketch them.


The app seems a little light on the social networking. People can (and do) leave comments on your drawings, and you’ll get feedback right away in the form of Likes (they call Wows). But that’s it really. No replies, or chat history. Also, artists can’t message models, which is probably a good idea.

There’s a noticeable self-selection-bias towards women and girls offering themselves up as muses. You’ll have to scroll for a while to find a dude. You’ll probably find a cat first. But isn’t that the same in any art gallery?


Persist for a while though, and you’ll find any type of model you can imagine.

So – if you feel like sketching someone, and don’t want to be running out to life drawing or the local cafe – download Sktchy to your iOS device.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2016 10:41 AM

    Looks very interesting. I was thinking just yesterday I’d go hunting for more 1800s public domain photos to practice people from, but this could be useful. :)

  2. December 12, 2016 12:00 PM

    Sadly no android app that I could find :(

  3. Darryl Yee permalink
    December 12, 2016 12:01 PM

    Sadly, it doesn’t appear that this app is available to us Android users. Looks like fun though. Love your posts Marc. Happy holidays.

  4. December 12, 2016 1:09 PM

    I’be been on Sktchy for a while now. I use it to practice caricatures, got tired of practicing with celebrities. Will look you up!

  5. December 12, 2016 4:05 PM

    Thanks for the tip. I’ve recognized that practicing drawing from photos might help me practice drawing a wider variety of faces than my imagination conjures up but I’m obviously concerned about infringing copyright so this could be a useful tool.

  6. December 12, 2016 6:31 PM

    Thanks for the comment that most muses are women. I suppose it is self selection by those who post their pictures however it could also be that men don’t post because we are conditioned to expect he men to be the artists and the women to be the muses. And what can I say about all the artists who post paintings of clothed men with naked women? I douby they really understand how misogynistic this is.

    • December 12, 2016 6:36 PM

      Absolutley – it’s very much social programing – that girls should pose prettily and wait to be drawn, while men should paint them and sell in galleries. I think this changing – but you do sense it in the poses people choose for the ap. Most girls are coquettish, most men are stern.

  7. December 13, 2016 7:35 AM

    Marc, I’m always impressed with the on-line applications and tutorials you dig up.

    If you didn’t look so stern I’d use your headshot for a portrait ;)

  8. December 14, 2016 8:50 PM

    This is great! Already downloaded it :)

  9. December 15, 2016 7:47 AM

    Yes, I’ve tried Sktchy although I’m a relative newcomer there. I couldn’t access it from my old Samsung tab but now I’m an iPad girl. I love your portraits, I’m following you on Sktchyapp now 😊

  10. Robyn Jorde permalink
    December 27, 2016 7:55 AM

    Another artist told me about Sktchy recently. It is very selfie-driven, but you are right that there are some interesting references if you keep scrolling. I’m following you there, now!

  11. Sid permalink
    December 29, 2016 12:05 AM

    I was a little turned off by some of the privacy clauses. Basically, your art could be used in any way to promote their services. . . I dunno, something gave me pause about it. I’d love to try to paint someone, but I don’t want someone who just looks coquettish. I’d also be thrilled to be painted and not look coquettish but just like me. :)

    • December 29, 2016 10:32 AM

      Well I think honestly they have to have that usage clause to be allowed to distribute the art internationally. Just allowing us to put it into the app is a kind of distribution deal. But yes, nothing stopping them doing a book or video with the ‘best of sktchy’ and using our drawings :)

      I hear you re: the coquettish aspect! I blame Instagram :)

  12. Elayne Greaves permalink
    February 4, 2018 3:24 AM

    Why won’t it let me download the app? Sob!

    • February 4, 2018 9:13 AM

      Oops! Well, if you have a strong connection (like, videos will play) then it’s them not you. Maybe just try again in a few hours – might just be App Store server maintenance.


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