Daily iPad App: Tayasui Sketches is a basic, but beautiful sketching app

Casual artists looking to expand their sketching skills to the iPad should take a close look at Tayasui Sketches. The app landed in the iOS App Store earlier this month and rivals Paper as one of the best easy-to-use sketchbook apps.

Sketches reminds me of an artist's workbench with a canvas in the middle and a handful of tools neatly arranged on the side. Sketches includes six drawing tools, one fill tool and one eraser to get you started. You can use a US$1.99 in-app purchase to buy the complete set of 12 tools and their interchangeable tips. Besides the new tools, the pro version also gives you the ability to change the size and opacity of your tool tip.

Sketches may look simple on the surface, but there are a few key features that make the app a useful tool for serious sketchers and not just child's play. First and foremost is the ability to zoom in on the canvas and add small details to a drawing. It's great for adding a wrinkle to a forehead or the veins on a leaf. You can also draw a shape and fill it in with a pattern in one or two taps. You can even tweak the colors using a level tool that'll let you get the right hue, saturation and brightness. About the only thing missing from the app is support for notebooks. It would be wonderful to be able to group your individual sketches into a notebook to organize them.

Tayasui Sketches is available for free from the iOS App Store.