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Best drawing programs and apps for digital painting

1.Pixelmator

Paid: $29.99

Pixelmator is a tool wherein you can touch up photos or create your digital artworks from scratch using its wide range of tools, brushes, and effects. This is a great iPad alternative to Photoshop.

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  • Jason Stephens

    by Jason Stephens

    I'm a photo editor and digital painter from way back and wanted to find an app I could use on my iPad. Pixelmator has turned out to be a pretty goo

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  • Daniel Dean

    by Daniel Dean

    I need a software to temporarily work in an old Mac which I borrowed after my previous laptop brokedown. I must say Pixelmator is among the very few d More

  • Jose Douglas

    by Jose Douglas

    This is a very good concept, but lacks certain features. I really enjoyed touching up my pictures; however, when I went to add a text box to my pictur More

  • Steven Bell

    by Steven Bell

    If you are looking for an app to draw with this seems like a great option. Or at the very least it is worth checking out.

  • Scott Richards

    by Scott Richards

    Drawing on the computer is hard for me - I use a mouse, and I don't have a tablet or anything of that sort. Pixelmator happened to be a perfect soluti More

2.CorelDRAW

Paid: $669 Free trial available

CorelDRAW is an illustration tool compatible to both Windows and Mac computers that helps users in designing either for print or web. The software also enables users to edit photos, layout multi-page designs, and more.

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  • Kathleen Reed

    by Kathleen Reed

     Well, I am never into paid applications or software, however for tools that involve my passion and my work (I am a vector illustrator in an advert

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  • by Melissa Cook

    I'm really into drawing animes so after trying out several digital art programs out there, I settled to Corel draw for my drawings and cartooning. It' More

  • Austin Guerrero

    by Austin Guerrero

    Most people just think that the only company selling creative programs is Adobe but those of us that have been around for long enough remember Corel,  More

  • Benjamín Barragán

    by Benjamín Barragán

    Corel Draw has helped me make a new start into the world of digital painting. As a novice, its easy to use and I'm not feeling overwhelmed by everythi More

  • Amanda Hart

    by Amanda Hart

    I don't really think of this as a digital painting app. It's more just for drawing and sketches. There are much more feature rich apps out there for p More

3.Procreate

Paid: $9.99 with in-app purchases

Procreate is a professional drawing app designed for mobile devices. Its wide range of brushes and tools, advanced layering system and finishing effects ensures a natural and fluid painting experience. 

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  • Teresa Murray

    by Teresa Murray

    Whoa there, I must say this one is a good steal for every professional digital artist. I swear, the resolution is very high definition that you cou

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  • Rachel Crawford

    by Rachel Crawford

    I just love the versatility of this app when it comes to making my digital drawings. Being an app, this made my work a lot mroe portable and quick.

  • Jessica Sandoval

    by Jessica Sandoval

    Great digital drawing app. Easy to use and the graphics turn out beautifully.

  • Yu Qiao

    by Yu Qiao

    I really like using this app. It's very easy to choose what brush strokes you want to use, and the color swatches are easy to choose from as well. The More

  • Randy Hanson

    by Randy Hanson

    Procreate has changed the way I work with digital media, and made it a lot simpler than what I'm used to with photoshop. It still has everything I lov More

4.Inkscape

Free download

Inkscape is an illustration tool for users who needs to draw or create vectorial images. With its drawing tools and file format compatibilities, it can give help to users to create texts and bezier and spiro curves.


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  • by Jason Martinez

    While I agree with the other comment that it doesn't provide much tool for animation, I like the freehand feature and the calligraphy tool that com

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  • Sai Chavan

    by Sai Chavan

    Inkscape for me is the best free drawing software. I'm a marketing student and I use this all the time to create my deck themes. It's so easy to use I More

  • Frank May

    by Frank May

    Free and open source, so always updating and improving. Inkscape can do illustrations, vector graphics, charts, logos, paintings and more. Free and ru More

  • Dylan Nichols

    by Dylan Nichols

    If you need a digital app to help you draw this is an option that you should look into. At the very least it looks decent enough to work for most peop More

  • Wayne Nichols

    by Wayne Nichols

    I sometimes have a need to use basic vector graphics for flyers and website illustrations, and Inkscape fits the bill. While it does not directly do a More

5.Painter

Paid: $429

Painter is a complete solution for professional graphics designers and artists looking for realistic results. This software offers a wide range of progressive drawing tools, natural brushes, making it a great complement to Adobe Photoshop.

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  • Philip Walters

    by Philip Walters

    I've always wanted to get into digital art, but honestly had no way of being able to do it. All the programs I had used were hard to figure out and yo More

  • Kyle Murray

    by Kyle Murray

    I have a convertible laptop which I use more as a tablet than a laptop. No wonder, because I draw my digital painting designs on the go. Painter makes More

  • Marilyn Rivera

    by Marilyn Rivera

    They have the latest version of tthe software on their website. This app is not free (that is the sad part) however I got what I paid for. I aam sl

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  • Shaurya Verma

    by Shaurya Verma

    If you are looking for an app that has a wide range of capabilities, it looks like this would fit your needs. The things people are doing with Painter More

  • by Joseph Richardson

    This looks like a great product for amazing digital art however its very expensive, anyone I know would not be able to afford such a expensive product More

  • by Samuel Washington

    Painter 2017 is just amazing! The possibilities are endless! Painting on a computer? I never imagined this was even possible, awesome!

6.MyPaint

Free download
MyPaint is a free and easy-to-use app that artists can use on their Wacom-style graphic tablets. Users can create sketches very quickly or more complex digital creations from scratch.

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  • Thomas Hughes

    by Thomas Hughes

    This is a great piece of software if you are a digital artist or just interested in the topic as a hobby. Not only is it free and open source, but it  More

  • Joyce Andrews

    by Joyce Andrews

    MyPaint is a pretty decent free drawing software for my sketches which I transfer later on to PS.

  • William Bishop

    by William Bishop

    Fun app and program to play around with. I like the features it has for drawing and painting.

  • Russell Ruiz

    by Russell Ruiz

    easy to use software and it is also very useful for artists

  • Raymond Olson

    by Raymond Olson

    I am a wacom tablet user and I think this works well for me. The interface is very minimalist when you are on full screen mode because you will be

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7.SketchBook

Free download

Sketchbook, also known as Autodesk SketchBook is a drawing and sketching mobile app offering numerous useful tools for a realistic drawing experience.  Its full set of features have been made available for free with the last update.

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  • Alexander Peters

    by Alexander Peters

    As an architecture student in a university, this Autodesk Sketchbook made creating on-the-go visual art on my tablet easier than ever. It was fille

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  • Jack Wells

    by Jack Wells

    A friend wanted to start getting into digital painting and I did some research and found Autodesk Sketchbook. After I suggested this to him, he said i More

  • Wayne Richards

    by Wayne Richards

    Works great for my needs, it's got a good selection of brushes and tools. Being able to use it on my phone is also useful sometimes.

  • Esteban Contreras

    by Esteban Contreras

    What an amazing program. This transformed my paper doodles into digital drawings in the time it takes to snap a finger!

  • Larry Harrison

    by Larry Harrison

    Turns all my sketches into digital copies almost instantly! Sketching has never been so easy.

8.Krita

Free download
Krita is a free and open source painting software for artists and illustrators. Is a great alternative to Photoshop, built and designed by artists who needed a fast and free tool to create original digital art or enhance print artworks.

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  • by Amit Patel

    Krita is free and open source, so it is constantly being updated and improved by members of the community. I must say it has a genuinely unbelievab

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  • John Bates

    by John Bates

    Krita is a good application for basic digital editing or painting, but it is not intended to be a replacement for photoshop. Most photoshop programs w More

  • Paul Harrison

    by Paul Harrison

    I was happily surprised to find a full-featured program that is focused on creating art, rather than editing photos. The new addition of frame-by-fram More

9.Clip Studio Paint

with in-app purchases
Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga studio) is a great alternative to Photoshop, and one of the most popular programs for comic and manga artists. This tool allows artists to enhance their paper illustrations or create digital artworks from scratch.

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  • by José Angel Herrera

    Decent program at $90 but if you don't get it at that nice sale price then its definitely not worth $300. There are a ton of free programs and less le More

  • Ye Wu

    by Ye Wu

    Clip Studio Paint was very engaging and helped me to draw.

  • Chirag Mehra

    by Chirag Mehra

    I wasn't particularly impressed with the features here. I don't really see much improvement over the tools I was already using. Looks sleek, though.

10.Animation Desk

with in-app purchases
Animation Desk is an animation app designed by Kdan Mobile Software Company. It's a great drawing application that helps us flesh out every creative idea into animated figures, animated movies and e-cards.

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Art & Design

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  • Chiao Shan Lo null

    by Chiao Shan Lo null

    Animation Desk is my first choice. I like its high-quality brushes and colored onion skinning features. They are very helpful for my painting.

11.Leonardo

Paid: $79

Leonardo is a useful tool specially designed for those who love to paint! It's an easy-to-use application that lets you paint lines, shapes, and much more!

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  • Henning Tegen

    by Henning Tegen

    Leonardo is a new drawing program for Windows that works exceptionally well on the Surface and similar PC tablets. It has an infinite canvas, it's sup More

  • Carl Hasselskog

    by Carl Hasselskog

    Leonardo works amazing on my Surface! It's so fast and I love the infinite canvas! I like that it also has some tutorials readily available on the

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12.Artweaver

Paid: $39.17 Varies by plan
Artweaver is a graphics editor illustration program developed by Boris Eyrich for amateur painters and illustrators. This program was developed for Microsoft Windows OS.

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  • Jeffrey Hamilton

    by Jeffrey Hamilton

    I got bored with MS Paint and I Wanted something thats a bit more in depth. I did and I researched Artweaver. Using your own creativity and imagina

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  • Marilyn Collins

    by Marilyn Collins

    This program is very enjoyable. I am not the best painter, however, this program makes me feel like I can paint beautiful pictures.

  • Linda Robinson

    by Linda Robinson

    Artweaver is an okay digital program, but it lacks a lot of options that other apps do have.

  • Scott Kim

    by Scott Kim

    Oh this looks really cool! I'm going to download this and try it. Even has realistic brushes to paint with.

  • by Kelly Diaz

    I tried out Artweaver to draw and it doesn't work well. The controls are super janky.

13.Gimp

Free download

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is an illustrative digital freeware which serves as a photo-retouching program, image compositor, and image authoring. This program was created in 1996.

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  • Mildred Cole

    by Mildred Cole

    I've tried quite a few different programs for my digital painting and drawing. All of the free programs I have tried are missing key elements and the  More

  • Olivia Little

    by Olivia Little

    I have been using GIMP for years and I love it. It can be hard to navigate at first but it's easy to get used to. I love items that are free but let y More

  • Albert Munoz

    by Albert Munoz

    A great alternative to Photoshop, Gimp is easy to use and fun to explore. Takes a little while to get use to, but once you do the possibilities are en More

  • Justin Hopkins

    by Justin Hopkins

    GIMP has a lot of the same functionalities of Photoshop. It's a great free program for digital drawing and painting. It is simple to download and use, More

14.Photoshop CS6

Paid: $29.99 Varies by plan

Photoshop CS6, added new creative design tools and provided a redesigned interface with a focus on enhanced performance. This program is compatible with a computer, laptop, smartphone, and tablet devices.

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  • by William McDonald

    Photoshop is expensive, but it's one of the best program out there, well, at least for photo manipulation and post-processing and adding textures a

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  • Chan Jiang

    by Chan Jiang

    this is a great software to have and it is also easy to use

  • Henry Duncan

    by Henry Duncan

    Photoshop is a great program for drawing. You can transfer different things on your pictures and even erase things off. Very fun program.

15.Pixia

Free download

Pixia is the English version of a famous Japanese free painting and retouch software for full-color graphic, with masks and layer functions. This program also allows users to customize their own brush tips for desired effects.

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  • Will Gu

    by Will Gu

    This program is pretty good for free software, but there is a lot that it isn't capable of. I reminds me of drawing on the computer in the late 90'

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  • Louis Patterson

    by Louis Patterson

    Pretty good program with plenty of features. Its not the best out there but it does the job well.

  • Craig Wilson

    by Craig Wilson

    This is a very interesting choice and not what I thought it would be but still overall good choice. Better than expected.

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that drawing a horse digitally is no different than drawing a horse traditionally? By traditional, it means using a pen and a paper. People think drawing digitally is way easier than doing it the traditional way. Well, it's not, but one thing is certain--they both have pros and cons. Perhaps, one of the most frustrating moments is when you have to crumple your paper because you messed up a line. Using the pen and paper is never fun for perfectionist artists. That's where the beauty of digital art comes in. A graphics tablet allows you to revise your layers without tearing or smudging a paper. To be fair, traditional artwork is one of a kind. For instance, even if an artist tries to go through the same process of creating a copy of an artwork, he will never produce the same. This is the reason why an artwork possesses a certain value. This is especially true for paintings made by the legendary artists. Unlike a digital painting, once traditional artwork is destroyed, it is destroyed--forever!

Indeed, technology has taken over almost all the realms of life. And in the field of art, digital drawing and digital painting are only two of the emerging trends. Looking back, drawing pads and graphics tablets used to be an expensive luxury. In fact, even the emerging artists back then could hardly afford one. It has only become more accessible to all because of the decreasing price of graphics tools. In fact, aside from graphic designers and artists, architects and engineers now use it. Thanks to some free digital drawing software, anybody could now become an aspiring digital artist!

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