New Garage project Sketch Pal offers advanced, intelligent inking features – Microsoft Garage


It’s that time of year again! And no, we’re not talking about the leaves changing color, pumpkin picking, or deciding on the best pop culture reference to inspire your Halloween costume (The Scoops Ahoy crew from Stranger Things, obviously) for those of us residing in the Pacific Northwest. We’re talking about Inktober, the annual artist community challenge to create a new sketch a day in the month of October. We’re excited to announce a modern tool that will help digital inking enthusiasts everywhere sketch their best work. Sketch Pal, a Microsoft Garage project, is a UWP app that enables artists and designers to sketch in new, seamless ways with the Surface Pen. The project is available for download in the Microsoft Store worldwide.


Showcasing inking on Windows 10 and Surface

Arcadio Garcia Salvadores, the creator of Sketch Pal, first began working on the project at the 2018 Hackathon. By day, Arcadio is a Software Engineer on the Windows 10 team, was originally inspired to make a unique experience that highlighted Windows Ink. Arcadio insists that he isn’t an artist, but you would never know it as he sketches Ninja Cat, unofficial mascot of Windows, for me; with Sketch Pal, he uses a reference mode to sketch Ninja Cat astride a dragon using a reference picture underneath his creation, cleaning up lines, and adding sophisticated colors swiftly like a pro.

Mike Pell, Lead Designer at the Microsoft Garage also loves the tool. “From our first discussions about Sketch Pal, it was a fascinating showcase of the advanced features of digital inking that people don’t usually see or even know exists.” Powered by Windows Ink and designed for the Surface Pen, Sketch Pal offers unique features that optimize a digital sketching and drawing experience while leveraging the strengths of the Surface hardware. The project provides a modern inking experience, combining classic features like layers and custom brushes with new tools like coloring assist, stroke cleanup tools, and a reference mode.

Key Features

Sketch Pal includes a number of modern inking features to open up a world of opportunities with sketching.

  • Advanced inking features Brush creation, layers, line clean-up with joining, trimming and straightening strokes, and faster coloring with vector boundary detection, bring new capabilities to your drawing
  • Reference Mode Add a reference picture alongside or underneath to help with your sketch
  • Cross-device connection Use a second device as a remote palette, continue drawing on anther device or tool, and export .psd files
  • Powered by Windows Ink Built on top of the fast and fluid Windows Ink experience for must-have features like low latency and crisp vector ink rendering
  • Designed for Surface Pen Sketch and draw naturally as you would with pen and paper with pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition, and Surface Dial support

By the way, today’s Inktober Challenge? Patterns. Download Sketch Pal today and give it your best shot. We’ll be retweeting our favorite Sketch Pal sketches tagged with #Inktober and @MSFTGarage all month.

Try it out

Sketch Pal is available for download in the Microsoft Store worldwide. Share your feedback on our new Garage Communities page. We’re looking forward to seeing your sketches on Twitter!

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