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12 Best Drawing Software of 2021 Reviewed [With Free Options]


Discover the best drawing software and painting tools used by millions of creative artists, web designers, video game makers, and book illustrators.

Best Drawing Software Reviewed [With Free Options]

The art and drawing industry is growing fast, and every artist, illustrator, and designer needs the right toolset. Getting used to new digital drawing software will result in developing a new approach to learning new techniques and redefining your personal style.

When choosing a drawing software, you should consider if the tool satisfies your work requirements and limits your drawing app to what you can do. Various software and apps are available depending on what device you use. 

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, there’s a drawing software that suits you.

Adobe Photoshop

Best Overall Drawing Software

Try Adobe Photoshop

CorelDraw

Best for Digital 2D Graphics Design

Try CorelDraw

Adobe Illustrator

Best for Professional Graphic Designers and Artists

Try Adobe Illustrator

Vectr

Best for Professional  Vector Graphics Design

Try Vectr

Adobe Spark

Best for Simple Graphics Design

Try Adobe Spark

Clip Studio Paint

Best for 3D Functions

Try Clip Studio

Inkscape

Best for Scalable Vector Graphics Format

Try Inkscape

Krita

Best for Professional and Amateur Artists

Try Krita

GIMP

Best for Image Editing

Try GIMP

PaintTool SAI

Best for High Quality Painting

Try PaintTool SAI

ArtRage

Best for Anyone

Try ArtRage

MyPaint

Best for Digital Painters

Try MyPaint

Best Drawing Software and Apps for Creatives

1. Adobe Photoshop

The Top Drawing Program for Professionals

Adobe Photoshop is the The Top Drawing Program for Professionals

Adobe Photoshop is a design editing software built for professional designers, illustrators, and artists. This drawing software allows users to create paintings, illustrations, and 3D paintings. Its brush features enable users to make more precise lines and smooth brush strokes.

Through the aid of its pulled string mode, users can easily change the direction of their strokes. Neural Filter is a workspace inside photoshop that allows you to explore a range of creative ideas. You can use the power of artificial intelligence with Neural Filters to make unique edits in photoshoots.  

The sky replacement feature enables you to replace the sky in a photo. This drawing tool can create designs for an entire website, game app, etc.  

Pricing

Adobe Photoshop offers three pricing plans. You get a 30-day free trial period on all its plans to try out its features before committing. The All Apps plan costs $52.99 per month and offers you creative desktop and mobile apps. You get a 40% discount on this plan. With the Photoshop plan, you can create beautiful graphics and art on desktop and iPad. It costs $20.99 per month.

Adobe Photoshop Pricing Plan

To create precise designs and illustrations on desktop and iPad, the Illustrator plan is ideal. It costs $20.99 per month.

2. CorelDraw

An Ultimate Digital 2D Graphic Designing Solution

CorelDraw is an Ultimate Digital 2D Graphic Designing Solution

CorelDraw is graphic design software that allows users to create and store artwork in the cloud via the web app. In addition, users can upload images directly to their WordPress website. It supports various file formats, including AI, PDF, JPG, PNG, and many more. 

The interface is simple and easy to learn. With the On-screen Interactive Controls, users can adjust various properties directly on the graphic. This easy-to-use feature reduces the learning curve. Using its intuitive LiveSketch tool that features a pen-enabled device, you can easily capture your original idea. 

Major tools used with this drawing tool for designing are node shaping and mesh fill. It is classified in the vector graphic program group, where images are produced in a bitmap shape. You can quickly identify the right font for the projects with its search and filter feature.

Pricing

CorelDraw offers a 15-day free trial period to see how the graphic solution fits into your business and also a 30-day money-back guarantee. An affordable plan that will help bring your ideas to life is the New CorelDraw Essentials 2021, which costs $155. The New CorelDraw Standard 2021 plan is ideal for enthusiasts and home businesses. It costs $419. 

CorelDraw Product Pricing

The New CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2021 costs $399 per year and $33.25 per month. This is a low-cost option to stay current. Finally, the CorelDraw Technical Suite 2020 costs $1259.

3. Adobe Illustrator

A Graphic Software for Professional Graphic Designers and Artists

Adobe Illustrator is a Graphic Software for Professional Graphic Designers and Artists

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphic software that can be used to create graphic designs for websites, video games, brand logos, and print media. It has the capability to produce pixel-perfect accurate artworks. You can use it to draw illustrations, cartoons, logos, and diagrams. 

Users have access to more than 90 million graphics, videos, images, and other creative assets. You can choose from its wide variety of fonts to create the perfect drawing. Adobe Illustrator allows you to draw, move, and rotate objects in real-time. It works on single to multiple objects and runs with complex objects. 

Its ready-made preset allows graphic designers to start their designs on a clean slate. The presets can also be customized. You can seamlessly integrate Adobe Illustrators with other Adobe design software. It is best suited for professional designers who want to have more control over vector illustrations. 

Pricing

Adobe Illustrator offers a 7 day free trial period. It provides two pricing plans. The first plan for photographers costs $9.19 per month. You get a discount of 20% on your first purchase and also 20 GB of cloud storage space. The creative cloud plan costs $34.49 per month. This plan gives you a 40% discount on your first purchase and also 100 GB of cloud storage

Adobe Illustrator Pricing Plan

You can use all the creative cloud apps with this plan.

4. Vectr

A Free Professional Vector Graphics Editor 

Vectr is a Free Professional Vector Graphics Editor

Vectr is a simple but powerful vector graphics software that is used to create vector graphics intuitively. It is used by bloggers, software engineers, and project managers in generating vector graphics. In addition, users with photo editing and illustration knowledge will find it pretty easy to use this tool. 

You can access your file from any device because all the projects created in Vectr are saved online by default. This drawing tool allows you to import SVGs and bitmaps to be used as a background. With Vectr, you can collaborate and synchronize in real-time, as it is available online and on your desktop across multiple platforms. 

It is a well-designed platform with a shallow learning curve. Available essential tools are shape tools, pen tools, pathfinders, align elements, and gradients. 

Pricing

Vectr is free to use. 

5. Adobe Spark

A Drawing Tool for Simple Graphic Design and Content Creation

Adobe Spark is a Drawing Tool for Simple Graphic Design and Content Creation

Adobe Spark is a cloud-based design platform suitable for small businesses, freelance professionals, bloggers, and design enthusiasts. It allows you to turn your texts and photos into professional-looking graphics. Users can create web pages, custom graphics, and videos on their computers and mobile devices. 

You can customize your content with a range of different website layouts. It is a mobile-friendly solution suitable for graphic design and content creation. You can search and add images to your projects directly in the app as it integrates stock image libraries. 

Users can work from anywhere conveniently due to the automatic sync of projects across the web and mobile apps. Designs can be automatically resized for different channels, allowing users to create YouTube thumbnails, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and many more without the need to resize images manually. 

With the ability to choose from a wide range of photos on the internet, you can insert photos into your design. 

Pricing

Adobe Spark offers a free plan plus two paid plans. The free plan, which is the Starter plan, allows you to use its templates for free. The Individual plan offers a 30-day free trial when you can try out its features before committing. You can personalize your designs with custom and premium ingredients for just $9.99 per month after your free trial period. 

Adobe Spark Pricing Plan

For Organization and getting multiple users under one account, you can purchase the Team plan for $19.99 per month.

6. Clip Studio Paint

A Unique Drawing Software with 3D Functions for Easy Drawing of Difficult Angles and Poses 

Clip Studio Paint is a Unique Drawing

Clip Studio Paint is a drawing tool that allows for stress-free drawing. With stabilization and post-correction functions, you can reduce the blurring and disarray of lines. In addition, a user can pose a 3D drawing figure and use it as the ground layer of their work. They can also pose from previously prepared pose files. 

This graphics software offers a wide range of filters to create a wide range of effects for your image. You can also create animations and illustrations by drawing continuous still pictures and setting the display order and speed in the timeline. 

With its basic text input function, you can create a font list that allows you to group fonts that you often use for easy access later. In addition, importing and exporting files in Photoshop format will allow you to work on your project in multiple programs.  

Customer service support is excellent. Clip Studio Paint has handy features like a vector eraser that allows you to edit up to intersecting lines. Professionals use this design software to edit, import, and save their work in PSD or PSB format. 

Pricing

For Windows and macOS users, Clip Studio Paint is available for a one-time payment. Clip Studio Paint offers two paid plans. The Clip Studio Paint Pro plan is suitable for character art, concept art, and illustration. It provides a free trial period to try out its features before purchasing. This plan’s one-time purchase costs $49.99, and the monthly plan costs $0.99. 

Clip Studio Paint Pricing Plan

The Clip Studio Paint Ex is ideal for manga and comics, and animation. This plan also offers a free trial period, after which you can purchase it for a one-time payment of $219. The monthly payment is $2.49.

7. Inkscape

A Free Vector Graphics Tool that Uses SVG at the Native Format

Inkscape is a Free Vector Graphics Tool that Uses SVG at the Native Format

Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics tool that uses scalable vector graphics (SVG) as the native format. This SVG format allows designers to create graphics that can scale to any size without losing their original quality. It is cross-platform as it can run on MAC OS X, Windows, and Linux operating systems. 

The node editing functionality of Inkscape is for moving nodes into segments, deleting nodes, joining or breaking the paths of selected nodes, adding new segments, making selected segment lines, and many more. 

Object creation features highlight pencil tools, text tools, shape tools, calligraphy tools, and drawing tools. You can use the pencil tool for freehand drawing. For works that involve an application of freehand drawing by using filled paths representing calligraphic strokes, the calligraphy tool is ideal. 

You can use the text tool for canvas editing and multi-line texts. Artists can improve their creativity with all these features. The interface is consistent and stable, and it is available in a wide range of languages. The 3D boxes tool is used for creating a 3D box that can be adjusted in the XYZ plane. Both small and medium-sized businesses use this tool. 

Inkscape is ideal for illustrations, designers, web designers, and anyone who wants to create vector imagery. 

Pricing

Inkscape offers a free plan. It is an open-source program and does not offer any pricing plans for businesses.

8. Krita

A Free Painting Software Ideal for Professionals and Amateur Artists

Krita is a Free Painting Software Ideal for Professionals and Amateur Artists

Krita provides a wide range of brushes that users can pick from. These brushes are designed to perform various unique functions. Basic brushes used in Krita are Ink Ballpen, Fill Brush Circle, and Fill Brush Block. The Ink Ballpen is recommended for sketching and scribbling while Fill Brush Circle and Fill Brush Block are designed for silhouettes and have a hundred percent opacity.

Basic Mix Soft Brush can be used in blurring out edges because it has the ability to pick just a small amount of color. It is supported by a wide range of devices, including Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, Web-based, and iPhone. 

This painting software has multiple tools for color mixing, mirroring, smoothing, layering, rendering, and blending. Services they offer are image creation, image manipulation, painting, illustration, concept art, and other creative works. 

Krita supports a wide variety of file formats. One unique feature is that it has brush engine plugins used in pixel tools to stroke your painting. This open-source drawing application gives you access to color wheel format to allow faster color selection. 

You can create an instance of a layer that will be updated in real-time if the source layer is modified. With Krita, there is a way to stabilize mouse movement while drawing. Its cage tool preserves the original quality of your image. 

Pricing

Krita offers a free plan, and its paid plan starts from $19.99.

Krita Paid Plan

Available payments are monthly, annual, and quote-based.

9. GIMP

A Free and Open-source Image Editing Software

GIMP is a Free and Open source Image Editing Software

GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is distributed for tasks such as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. It provides tools ideal for photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers. With its montage feature, users can easily finetune images/photos and create artwork from scratch. 

This image editing software is easily extensible and integrates with third-party plugins. It is available for devices, including Windows, Android, and Linux. Small and medium-sized businesses use this editing software. GIMP uses programming languages, such as Python, Scheme, and C++, to edit and manipulate the scripted image. 

Designers can use various file formats such as GIF, PGF, JPEG, SVG, and BMP. They can also load files from remote locations using FTP, HTTP, SMB, and SFTP protocols. This editing software is used for producing icons, graphical design elements, and art for user interface components and mockups. 

The interface is highly customizable. You can save disk space with formats such as ZIP, GZ, or BZ2, and GIMP will transparently compress the file. With GIMP, you can draw on a picture or start a new design using brushes and pencils.  

Old Blend Tool is replaced with a new Gradient Tool that allows you to create and edit gradients directly on the canvas. All of your changes updates in real-time. 

Pricing 

GIMP offers a free plan.

10. PaintTool SAI

A High-Quality Painting Software that can Convert Brushes into Erasers

PaintTool SAI is a High Quality Painting Software that can Convert Brushes into Erasers

PaintTool SAI is a painting software for creating digital artworks such as cartoons and anime. It has an easy-to-use interface and a user-friendly tool. You can access this high-quality painting software through desktops, mobile devices, laptops, and also online as a web-based application. 

This painting software has a wide range of colors to choose from, ranging from primary colors to secondary colors. With its coloring tools, you can toggle between color appearances. Users can view the spectrum of light and also the versions of the dark color. 

You can perfectly erase specific functions of a drawing without worrying about other portions being erased. Users can easily lock in two layers of drawings and move them together. You can move parts of drawings with the layer tool, including parts not close to each other.

One unique feature of this painting software is that it allows you to transform the brush tool into an eraser for a simpler correction of errors. This transformation enables erasers to erase errors from the drawing with a nice gradient. 

Pricing

PaintTool SAI offers a 31-day free trial period to try out its features before committing. It provides a single paid plan, which is the Enterprise plan. It costs a one-time payment of $50.81 and offers this to you in the form of licenses through digital certificates. 

11. ArtRage

The Perfect Creative Tool for Anyone- Kids, Adults, Amateurs, and Professionals

ArtRage is the Perfect Creative Tool for Anyone Kids, Adults, Amateurs, and Professionals

ArtRage is a digital artist’s studio and painting program that offers a range of realistic tools based on real-world traditional media. Each tool comes with settings that let you adjust paint thickness, brush shape, and other similar properties. The interface is intuitive. 

This painting application understands the thickness of the paint, which allows it to work as a real tool more than a digital tool. Hobbyist painters, concept artists, art teachers, and professional illustrators use this painting software. It comes in both mobile and desktop versions. The demo version of ArtRage will not allow you to save files. 

With script recording, you can record the entire painting process and play it back later. This will help you study your painting process and recreate smaller mobile paintings at a much larger size. It offers flexibility and convenience to artists. 

The Palette knife enables users to produce sharp-edged strokes, a variety of sharp blending patterns, warp, and smear paints. Artists can use the cloner tool to copy a design together with its properties. It is used by small businesses, medium businesses, and enterprises.  

Pricing

ArtRage offers two pricing plans. ArtRage 6 costs $79 while ArtRage Lite costs $29.90. The current desktop editions for Windows and Mac OSX costs $4.99.

12. MyPaint

An Easy Open-source Painting Application for Digital Painters

MyPaint is an Easy Open source Painting Application for Digital Painters

MyPaint Portable is the latest version of MyPaint and is an easy painting tool for digital painters. It is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. However, the new version is available for only Linux. Beginners would love to use this painting tool. This painting software supports saving images to PNG and JPEG and uses Open Raster as its default format.   

This fast painting program focuses on the art rather than the program and comes with a brush collection including charcoal and ink to emulate real media. The brush engine allows you to experiment with your brushes. In addition, it has extensive brush creation and collaboration options. MyPaint’s brush library is available as a Krita plugin.

The online documentation provides users with a comprehensive manual, as well as a quick-start tutorial. It is recommended for anyone looking for a high-quality, free painting program. 

Pricing

MyPaint is a free platform that you can download and use on desktops and tablets. 

What is Drawing Software?

Drawing software is a graphics program that helps in creating illustrations using vectors in two or three-dimension. It is a critical element in the design and assembly processes for engineering and manufacturing companies. Illustrations are represented as charts, diagrams, graphs, and images. 

Each type of drawing software is designed to suit particular kinds of functions. To be able to create with drawing software efficiently, you have to know its different types. The basic type of drawing software is a bitmap, vector, and computer-aided design (CAD). Each of them is designed to fulfill a different set of requirements. 

Another name for bitmap is raster. It handles images as a grid of pixels. A user can create an image by changing the color of bits in the map. Vector drawing software handles shapes and lines. It creates smoother curves in images and is best suited to graphic design, 

CAD software is for the production of technical drawings, plans, and similar designs. It is used to produce objects, vehicle designs, and buildings in real-world and computer modeling.

What Features Should I Look for in Drawing Software?

There are certain features to look out for when choosing drawing software. 

Editing Features

Every drawing software should have powerful editing features that allow it to carry out many mind-bending works. This feature should restore old photos, remove or add objects realistically, and transform images. Creating the perfect design you want becomes a breeze with this feature. 

Ease of Use

Drawing software should have easy-to-use features to allow users to navigate through the platform with ease. This will enable you to be able to customize its interface for a more comfortable workspace. Some drawing software comes with professionally-designed templates for various uses which makes your work pretty easy.

Integrations

Your drawing software should be able to integrate with third-party applications without a performance drop so that it does not consume too many resources from your computer. Tools that your drawing tools can integrate with are design tools, photo editing applications, MS Word, and MS PowerPoint. 

With some applications, you can integrate external devices such as electronic sketch pads which translate images onto the screen.

Script Recording

This feature allows you to record your entire painting process and play it back later to reconstruct the painting. You can easily share script files with others. Also, you can record annotations, allowing you to make notes while you create your design to display during playback for easy creation of tutorials.

Customer Support Service

Customer support is a must-have for all drawing software. On this platform, users can contact the support team for their issues. It is usually in the official contact form or a chat feature. Users can also make use of their frequently asked questions section and also videos and tutorials made available. All this information will teach users to use the software.

Drawing Software FAQ

What is the most user-friendly drawing software?

The most user-friendly drawing tools are PaintTool SAI, CorelDraw, Vectr, and MyPaint. They have an intuitive interface that makes it easy for users to navigate easily.

What software do most artists use?

The most common software for artists include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Krita, and ArtRage.

What is the best drawing software for beginners?

MyPaint is the best drawing software for beginners because of its easy-to-use interface.

What is the best free drawing software?

For users who have a low budget or are just looking for a free option to try out the software before committing, Vectr, Adobe Spark, Inkscape, Krita, MyPaint and GIMP are the ideal options. With these free plans, you can try out templates at no cost at all. 

How can I draw on my computer for free?

Many artists create their piece with their computer using drawing software. The first step to take is to select a free software package that contains a full complement of the tools that you need for your drawing. Such free software that works perfectly with computers are GIMP, ArtRage, Vectr, Adobe Spark, Inkscape, Krita, and MyPaint.

You can use these software tools to create drawings that look smooth and realistic.

Written by
Anastasia Belyh
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