Google Tips and Tricks Web 2.0 Tool

Google Lets Me Finally Be an Artist!

Auto Draw
Written by Lori Gracey

My days as an failing artist are over at last. Google has introduced Auto Draw, a tool that lets someone like me draw like a Rembrandt.

As I’ve discussed in other blog posts, I was not gifted with an artist’s abilities (to say the least!), and I have always been very sad about that. I have no eye for color and couldn’t draw a recognizable figure if my life depended on it. And yet, I am very cognizant of what art and graphics can add to our lives and work. I am drawn by the beauty and magic of a simple drawing or a magnificent painting. But I can’t partake in that world, or at least, I couldn’t. Now, however, Google has once again come to my rescue with their new program Auto Draw.

How Does Auto Draw Work?

Auto Draw does exactly what its name says. Start any drawing free hand and the artificial intelligence (AI) in the program will figure out what it is supposed to be and complete the drawing for you, making sure it looks good. And because it’s a web app, Auto Draw works on any device with internet access.

Here’s my first drawing. Can you tell what it’s supposed to be? (My feelings won’t be hurt if you can’t. I really am that bad!)Auto Draw

After I was done drawing, Auto Draw tried to guess what I was attempting to depict. It struggled between a snowflake (good guess, but not quite) and the Sun Auto Draw(correct). Its choices for me to select from were presented across the top of the screen. I simply clicked on the sun icon and here is what I was given as Google corrected my poor work into something more recognizable.

So What?

The tool will let you completely free hand draw, if you wish. And it has the standard selection of fill colors, draw colors, shapes, and text boxes that you would find in any other drawing or paint program. It saves the drawing as a PNG file, and it includes a very simple tutorial (not that you really need one for this).

I guess what I like best about it is that I am no longer limited by my lack of artistic ability. Instead of always having to search for and use someone else’s graphic in my work, I can now draw my own (with a little help from the AI). And that is incredibly empowering, and not just for adults. What might your students be able to draw? How fast can they illustrate a story using Auto Draw and their writing? What will sketching teach them about including just the main points of a design? How proud will they feel that they wrote and illustrated their latest work?

Give Auto Draw a spin and tell me what you think about it. And be sure to let your students try it, too!


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About the author

Lori Gracey

Lori Gracey has 28 years of experience in education, with 22 years as a curriculum and technology director. She currently serves as the executive director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and is responsible for training technology directors, administrators, curriculum supervisors, and teachers across the country. During her nine years in this position, she has led TCEA in membership and revenue growth, helped to pay off their building and purchase a new, larger building, and implemented new conferences, partnerships with other associations, and professional development opportunities for members and non-members. She serves more than 17,000 members and oversees a staff of 21. Lori is also on the board of the Texas Society of Association Executives and SXSWedu and recently served as the Regional Program Chair for the ISTE 2017 Convention in San Antonio.

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