What is Adobe Fresco? Beginner’s guide to the drawing app

In early 2022, Adobe bid farewell to Sketch and Illustrator, as the two drawing apps were combined with Adobe Fresco to create a platform to draw, paint, and create.

Released in 2019, Adobe Fresco isn’t a brand new app, but with the demise of Sketch and Illustrator, Adobe Fresco has become a bigger app for artists to bring their ideas to life.

What is Adobe Fresco and who can use it?

Let’s first look at Fresco and its availability for those unfamiliar with the software.

What is Adobe Fresco?

Adobe Fresco is a digital drawing, painting, and graphics editing application developed by Adobe Inc. It uses both vector and raster technology, as well as live brushes that mimic real-life reactions to pressure, exchange of colors and support.

Who has access to Adobe Fresco?

Adobe originally designed the app for Apple’s iPad, but Fresco is now also available on iPhone, Microsoft Surface Pro devices, and Creative Cloud Desktop for Windows. Unfortunately, the app is not compatible with Android, and at the time of writing, no implementation is planned.

Is Adobe Fresco available for free?

Adobe Fresco offers different plans for users. The free version gives you access to most features, so you can still use the app to the fullest if you can’t or don’t want to pay for a plan.

However, if you decide to upgrade, you will have access to the premium offering of Adobe Fresco by subscribing to the Adobe Design Mobile Plan, Adobe Fresco Single App Plan, Adobe Photoshop Single App Plan, or Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps. Plan.


How is Adobe Fresco laid out?

When you open the app for the first time, you will be redirected to the home page and you will notice that Start a new document feature in the middle of the screen that headers a number of different sized screen options that you can choose from before starting a project. If this is your very first time opening the app, or if you’ve never clicked on the feature before, you might also notice How do you create: a feature that allows you to live stream and share your work.

However, the most important features for beginners will be the sidebar on the left side of the screen where you will see Residence, To learnand Discoveras well as three other options under the heading Files. You will also see Create a newand Import and open at the bottom, and these sidebar features are the ones you want to focus on initially. Since the homepage has already been discussed, let’s dive into the other features and what you can expect.

To learn

Learning is the best way to get started with Adobe Fresco, as it will help you understand the different components and what the application can do. You can take a quick tour of the app, which will show you an overview of it, like how to use the brush tools and how to layer, and it will teach you some shortcuts you can use for your convenience.

However, if you want to learn about something specific and in more detail, you can head to different sections that will show you the basics of each feature. Here are some examples of what you can expect to find in Learn: “Introduction to Brushes”, “How to Use Snap Shapes in Fresco”, and “How to Use Motion in Fresco”.

In Learn you will also find practical video tutorials on a number of subjects such as “Painting with realistic oils” and “Making a watercolor painting”. Learn is an extremely handy tool if you’re just starting out, so be sure to use the lessons; this way, you’ll be sure to get the most out of Adobe Fresco.


Discover is a fantastic way for you to see what other artists are doing. You can watch them work live and learn some tips and tricks first-hand in “Watch artists live in Adobe Fresco”, or you can simply get inspired by browsing “The latest projects created in Adobe Fresco”, where users share their creations. Clicking on a project you like will allow you to see more information about the project, like the project, or follow the artist who created it.


The files are divided into three sections, namely Your fileswhere the projects you have created are stored, shared with youwhere can access content shared by another person or by you, and Deletedwhere you will find all your deleted works in case you decide to try an abandoned project again.

What else can Fresco do?

Now that you know the basics, what other features does Fresco hide?

Paint or draw with a variety of brushes

Adobe offers a wide range of brushes that can be modified to get the exact jitter, size, taper, and other specific elements you need. These brushes use different technologies like vector, raster (also called pixel) and live. You can change brush settings, change color and opacity, add shapes to make drawing easier, and much more. Fresco also lets you import your own brushes.

Add layers, images and text

Layering is effective when you want to separate various elements in your artwork. This feature allows you to work on a component of your artwork without altering the original image or other layers. You can also add already existing illustrations or other images to your project, and if you use them in a layer as a guideline for your drawing, you can then easily delete the layer when finished. Lastly, the app lets you add text to your drawing, so you don’t need to upload the design to another app first.

creative cloud

Adobe’s Creative Cloud is basically a membership that gives you access to all of Adobe’s software and applications, such as Photoshop, In Design, and After Effects, as well as immediate access to their latest updates and features; Adobe offers monthly and annual subscription payments.

Creative Cloud also lets you sync your files and other assets with your other devices, so all synced files can be viewed in Adobe without the need for the Creative Cloud app. If you want to learn more about Creative Cloud and what it includes, we’ve got you covered.

Share, save and publish

With Fresco, you can save your artwork in different formats such as PNG, JPG, PDF and PSD, to suit all your needs. You can also publish your creations with global users on Behance if you want to showcase your work or open the work directly in another third-party application.

Additionally, Fresco offers a unique feature where the app automatically saves all your brush strokes, so if you want to share your creative process, you’ll have access to a time-lapse video.

Explore endless possibilities with Adobe Fresco

Getting started with Adobe Fresco is really quite easy, and newcomers can expect to master the basics in no time, but there really is a lot this user-friendly app can do.

Adobe Fresco logo on a blue background with iPad and Apple Pencil in the background.

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