This week I tried another web-based software AutoDraw and did some artwork. AutoDraw belongs to Google and is known for integrating artificial intelligence into digital drawings. It can guess users’ sketches and pair users’ drafts with prepared images drawn by artists. Some people may worry about the copyright issue: Is it legal to edit, download, and share others’ works? It is legal to do these because artists have already signed agreements with Google before uploading work to AutoDraw. Read the comments under Eric’s review AutoDraw for Sketchnotes, Infographics, Drawing, and More for further identification about the copyright issue.
As one who lacks systematic art training, I often find it hard to express my creativity. For example, I suddenly want to draw a furry brown dog on paper. Due to my poor skills in expressing creativity, I can’t even draw the outline of a dog. Will I stop drawing because of this challenge? No, because I have AutoDraw. Now, please spend a few minutes watching my exploration of AutoDraw. In the video, I tried to draw the scene at the North Pole.
Reflections on AutoDraw
I will list the pros and cons of AutoDraw below.
- It’s web-based. Same as Sumo, it does not take up any storage space.
- It’s free.
- Its layout is simple. It communicates with users through concise texts and easy-distinguished pictures. Even people who do not know English can adapt to it quickly.
- It works on various devices such as mobiles, tablets, desktops, and personal computers.
- It translates users’ sketches and drafts into beautiful images which can be further edited.
- Users do not need to register. Yes, you can create and download your work without signing up for any account. Do not need to worry about the disclosure of your email accounts.
- It lacks advanced functions. For example, users can’t create different layers, which is a basic function in Photoshop.
- The colors and brushes are limited. Users can only choose colors from the fixed swatches. There is only one brush; users can only change the diameter. These can make drawings digital and move them away from being vivid.
- Artificial intelligence always makes the wrong guess. I wanted to arctic hare but Google failed to identify my intention. I think it will be better if Google could add a search box in AutoDraw. In this way, users can find images like they do in browsers.
- The shortcuts are hidden in the sidebar. I am not sure if I am the only one who cannot find the eraser and redo functions. You may notice that I used selection to delete things. Besides, I am not good at remembering shortcuts. Google, please put an eraser in the panel next time.
How to use AutoDraw in the classroom?
After reading my blog, do you want to include AutoDraw in your classroom? It will be a good idea to use AutoDraw as learning resource. It makes drawing accessible for everyone regardless of their prior knowledge, language backgrounds, and mental or physical disabilities. AutoDraw perfectly fits with inclusive education, which aims for all students’ achievements. If you are unsure about inclusive education, I invite you to watch this short video, which is a narration of an exceptional student’s family about their experience in inclusive education:
Hi Yiquan!! I love your thorough post. Just wondering, as an artist, how do you feel of AI generated art? Do think it is more beneficial or harmful to artist trying to make a living from commissions and such? There are more advanced AI drawing websites that can produce even greater artworks. I would love to hear your opinion on this matter. ^_^
Ohhh, it is a tricky question, and we need to think critically. My friends tell me nowadays AI art is becoming popular. For artists it can threat their careers, but I think AI generated art cannot go beyond mankind because their creators are humans. Thank you for your divergent question！
Hi Yiquan! I really enjoyed reading your post – I appreciate your attention to detail on all aspects. Thanks for sharing this resource with us and making the connection to inclusive education. Awesome read! – Alli
Thank you for your encouragement, Alli!