Colors Live – ITNetwork

Colors Live is a software for drawing a sonar with a pressure sensor developed and published by Collecting Smiles for the Nintendo Switch console. Colors Live turns the Switch into a portable drawing tablet, with artists drawing directly on the console screen. Although the software comes with many features used by digital artists, the variety of drawing tools, the overall screen size and the frustrating pen cable create a tedious drawing experience, especially for artists familiar with other digital drawing products such as Wacom tablets.

Artists can choose between two mods when setting up their canvas. The first is the Colors Quest mode, which offers daily drawing instructions that must be completed in order to move along the search bar. Colors Live also offers a freehand drawing mode with three preset canvas sizes. These canvases do not have the option to change the DPI, which creates an image with pixels and low resolution that can be frustrating for artists accustomed to software such as Procreate. Using bumpers and directional paddles for guidance, players can go through brush settings, layer options, colors, and zoom effects as they work on their drawing.


While Colors Live works without a pen, Colors SonarPen offers artists a pressure-sensitive option while drawing. The pen is black plastic, with an adjustable cable that plugs into the headphone jack on the console. The console must have the maximum volume for best drawing results on the screen. Instead of a traditional digital drawing pen, the SonarPen has a flat, plastic disc on top that must be pressed flat against the screen to leave a mark. Despite being designed for intuitive drawing, the pen cable is short and thick, it regularly attaches to the Switch of analog joysticks or it gets tangled and twisted. The disc on the pen gets dirty easily, collecting dust and dirt on the Switch screen. It also impairs the ability to see the lines below the disk, making detailed lines frustrating and messy.

Colors Live includes several basic features of many drawing applications, including the ability to add layers. The layer interface is simple in Colors Live, lacking masks or filters to create specific effects on specific layers. There are also several different brushes with adjustments that can be adjusted to achieve the desired pigment density, line weight and brush size. However, Colors Live would benefit either from the ability to upload brush packs, as seen in Procreate, or from updates to greatly increase the currently available options. While basic brushes work well for sketching, the lack of watercolor brushes, effects brushes and good lines is limiting. However, the lack of options could be beneficial for new digital artists, creating a less irresistible interface in the beginning.

Colors 1Because it’s a canvas Colors Live limited to the Nintendo Switch screen, the biggest problem for the software is space. While many may be tempted to try out the software on the larger glass screen of the new Nintendo Switch OLED, Colors Live will first have to release a patch for SonorPen, as it is not currently working on the new screen. When updated, players can find an extra inch of drawing space, a better headphone jack position and a colorful screen as a true blend for Colors Live, creating a more enjoyable drawing experience.

One of the best features included in Colors Live is the online art gallery. When the artists finish their work, it can be uploaded to the gallery, where other artists can view, comment on and like each piece. The software also uses a playback function, which displays the video creation process. This gives young artists a safe location to share their work as they connect with others. Colors Live is a great choice for new digital artists, offering a taste of the features present in larger applications, but at a reasonable price. While SonarPen would benefit from several design improvements such as the Bluetooth option or a longer, thinner cable, the pressure-sensitive pen is a great addition to a non-traditional drawing surface. However, for those accustomed to drawing on an iPad or Wacom tablet, the lack of options might feel limiting, making it a less useful and enjoyable addition to a portable digital studio.

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