Skillshare is promoting these days some classes on the newly released Adobe Fresco, so I thought I should give Fresco a try.

Skillshare classes

For those not knowing, Fresco is a new app released by Adobe for iPads that have an Apple Pencil. Adobe has a couple of other free drawing apps for iPad, but they are rather limited and have a toy app feeling.

Fresco is supposed to be a real app instead.

The Skillshare Fresco campaign is promoting a couple of classes. Doing a project for any of those classes and posting it gives you a chance to win 1 free year on Skillshare. This lured me in and I've started watching two of the classes from this campaign:

The classes were rather long and I didn't like very much their homework. Each of them presented a couple of interesting ideas, but nothing looked to really need Fresco. You could do the same with any of the existing drawing apps already available for iPad, like Procreate, ArtStudio Pro or Infinite Painter.

Looking for other info on Fresco, I've stumbled upon this class:

At least this was short and to the point. It also showed a couple of things about using Fresco the other longer courses didn't mention. To top it, it also compared it to Procreate in an unbiased manner. So I would recommend this one if you want to get a quick Fresco overview.

Using Fresco

After watching three courses I decided I'm ready to give Fresco a run for it's money.

As I was not in the mood for something very complicated, I've decided to just try to color one of my drawings I've done for the Art & Science of Drawing class.

I've ended using these brushes:

  • Live Brushes > Watercolor > Watercolor Wash Soft
  • Pixel Brushes > Ink > Sumi

My iPad Pro is the first generation version and drawing on a 8K (8192x8192) canvas using a basic pixel brushes was rather laggy.

When I wanted to start using the watercolor brush, Fresco told me that I have to reduce the size of the canvas to a maximum of 4K. After changing my resolution to 4K (4096x4096), the app became a bit more snappy and I was able to use the watercolor brushes, too.

While almost finished drawing, the app started to complain that it needs over 4GB of space to store my image. Not sure what the problem was, as I had over 10GB free before starting to use the app. The image had around 10 layers at the time. Combining layers didn't solved the problem and, in the end, the app also crashed. The drawing was not lost, though.

Trying to save a timelapse didn't work (nothing happened when I clicked on the export button). It would have been interesting to see how that feature works.

My impression

As I've already have a couple of drawing apps (Procreate, ArtStudio Pro, Tayasui Sketches and Infinite Painter to name a few), I see no reason to use Fresco as my main drawing app or pay a subscription. I might use it in the future for the watercolor brushes, but not sure if it's worth the trouble - the more I think about it, the more I find it just a gimmick. And just for toying around, the free Fresco is good enough.

Overpaint using watercolor and sumi brushes from Fresco
Overpaint using watercolor and sumi brushes from Fresco
Original drawing
Original drawing