Adobe launches Fresco painting app on iPad with Today at Apple and The Big Draw collaboration

Adobe’s new painting and drawing app, Fresco, launches today on iPad. The next-generation tool promises an illustration experience with an unprecedented level of fidelity to traditional oil and watercolor paints. Alongside Fresco’s launch, Adobe is teaming up with Apple and The Big Draw for an entire month of Today at Apple sessions at every Apple Store in the world.

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We last checked in on Adobe Fresco in August, testing the app while in beta and bringing you a detailed hands-on look. Now, Adobe is ready to release Fresco to the world.

Fresco’s spotlight feature is Live Brushes powered by Adobe Sensei. These sophisticated tools push beyond traditional pixel or vector-based brushes, simulating the physics and chemical interactions of real paints. The app borrows interface elements and interaction models from Photoshop on iPad, Adobe’s other upcoming iPad app.

Adobe says Fresco is designed for professional-quality work, but easy enough for anyone to use. To show that everyone has the ability to make something great, Apple and Adobe are partnering with The Big Draw for the month of October. 

The Big Draw is a visual literacy charity based in the UK. Every year, The Big Draw Festival celebrates drawing around the world. From October 1-31, every Apple Store will offer free art sessions that allow you to get hands-on with an iPad, Apple Pencil, and Fresco. Last year, just eight stores offered special sessions.

Adaptations of three of Apple’s existing Art & Design sessions will be offered. Previous Today at Apple sessions used the app Procreate to teach illustration, but Apple is giving Fresco a chance in the spotlight. Look for these events on your local store’s calendar:

Collect the colors you observe on your walk to capture your own color palette. Using the Adobe Fresco app on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, you’ll combine them to create an abstract painting to take home. Devices will be provided. Recommended for all skill levels.

Transform the way you observe and sketch the world around you. We’ll show you how being mindful of people, objects, or places in your surroundings will help you add interesting details to your drawings using the Adobe Fresco app on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. Devices will be provided. Recommended for all skill levels.

Kids will learn fun ways to create their own emoji. We’ll show them how to draw colorful faces and objects. They’ll get hands-on using the Adobe Fresco app on iPad with Apple Pencil to draw an emoji to take home. Devices will be provided.

In addition to these sessions, several high-profile stores across the world will offer exclusive artist-led events in celebration of The Big Draw Festival. Participating locations include:

Adobe Fresco will be available to download and use today for no extra charge with a Creative Cloud subscription, or as a separate purchase without a subscription. A six-month trial is available. Adobe is also offering a free version of Fresco with a lighter set of tools. Fresco requires iOS 12.2 or above and an iPad Pro, iPad Air 3, iPad mini 5, or fifth, sixth, and seventh-generation iPad. An Apple Pencil is not required, but highly recommended.

If you attend a great Today at Apple session, we’d love to see and share your photos.

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Avatar for Michael Steeber Michael Steeber

I’m a Creative Editor passionate about Apple Retail and design. My stories highlight the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Twitter: @MichaelSteeber