17 Best Paid and Free Digital Art Software for PC & Mac in 2021

| May 12, 2020

updated on September 17, 2021 at 8:01 pm

Digital art software

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The creative expression of an art form is what drives an artist to follow their pursuits with passion. Design art software is one such development that has given wings to the creative and artistic talent. Creative professionals can now use design-focused tools for drawing sketches, graphic designs, and illustrations.

Used by professionals, vector art lovers, and artists around the world use digital art software to give life to images through crystal clear colours and graphics. Logos, typography, and icons are the purposes for which the software is widely dependent.

digital art software

Applications of Digital Art Software Across Different Industries

Digital art platforms find their usage across multiple industries where they are considered viable sources for producing clear digital intricate designs and images. Digital art tools are used extensively in these industries:

  • Industrial units

    In industrial units, digital art software is used for additive manufacturing to produce complex geometries and shapes. These results can be repeated for producing the same precise effects.

  • Construction/Architecture

    Digital art technology is used at the product design stage in this sector. The technology is used for developing 3D models for infrastructure, properties, and commercial projects.

  • Education

    Subjects like medicine, art, engineering, etc. depend on digital art forms for teaching-learning processes. Artifact replicas and MarkerBot are some of its most prominent applications.

  • Automotive

    Digital art software is used in the automotive sector during product development stages. The software is heavily relied upon for designing, testing, and validating new concepts as well as manufacturing jigs, spare parts, and interior elements.

  • Art

    Artists use digital art software for creating photorealistic objects. Metals, glass, ceramics, or any other surface, you name it and you will find a wider application of this technique.

  • Furniture

    It doesn’t take long to understand how and why software solutions for creating digital art would be used in the furniture market. People today have greater choices when it comes to selecting the best customised and ergonomic furniture products for residential or commercial use.

Popular Types of Digital Art Software

Digital art software is available in varied types depending either upon the technologies used or methods preferred. Enlisted herewith are the different types of digital art software:

  • Digital Painting

    This form of art is created with the help of computers in the field of architecture, visual arts, art, and literature. These paintings are always in high demand for their detailed layering, fine lines, and colourful graphics.

  • 3D Graphics

    3D graphics are being used for representing a three-dimensional aspect of geometric data. Videos, animation, and movies involve the use of 3D graphics. 3D graphics art is trending popularly on media, social media platforms, and even as wallscape advertising.

  • Pixel Art

    Pixel art is used for enhancing the aesthetic value of videos, images, movies, and video games. Spriting is a critical part of pixel art where the art characters can be further modified for creating games.

  • Photo Painting

    Photo painting is used for editing digital images, pictures, etc. to give them the desired effects and create illustrious images with life-like representations. Both, professionals and young hobbyists prefer this design form.

  • Digital Collage

    Digital collage is created by using varied textures and patterns from other sites to create one complete picture. It is currently in great demand amongst tech enthusiasts, art lovers, and art designers for creating detailed collections of collage.

  • Manual Vector Drawing

    Manual vector drawings use lines and shapes for representing geometrical formulas. The size and resolution of these paintings can be easily altered quickly without going through the hassle of downloading additional tools to complete the design.


List of Best Digital Art Software for Windows, Mac, Linux in 2021

Some of the available best free digital art software for creating illustrations and animations are:

Best Software for Digital Art Online

  • Inkscape

USP: Sharp and crisp high resolution printouts for sketch pencil drawings, basic shade drawing and 3D house drawing.

Sketch pencil drawing

Inkscape vector graphics editor is used for creating cartoons, clip arts, logos, flowcharts, and such illustrations that require designing software. These artistic and technical illustrations are of unlimited resolution and not limited to any particular pixel value.

You can use this free digital art software for importing and exporting different file formats such as SVG, AI, EPS, PDF, PS, and PNG.

Inkscape Tools Available:

  1. Pencil tool (Dots, Spiros & Bezier)
  2. Calligraphy tool
  3. Shape tool
  4. Pen tool
  5. Text tool
  6. Bezier curve tool
  7. Node tool

Supported OS: This digital art software for PC is available for GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS X.

Pros:

  1. Wide range of colour selectors for filling colours/strokes.
  2. Multi-line text support for installing outline fonts.
  3. XML editor that helps in watching live a document for editing.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • The app sometimes becomes difficult to navigate
  • Difficult to create multipage documents
  • File conversion process needs improvement

Best For: Digital art software for Windows and Mac


  • Krita

USP: Customisable dockers and panels for 3D drawing as well as 2D design drawing.

Free hand drawing

Krita software is a painting software used by concept artists, cartoonists, and illustrators. You can take advantage of this free digital art software for opening, saving, editing and authoring screen referred images.

There are also plugins within the platform that let you create your own widgets for python scripting.

Available Krita Tools:

  1. Vector tools
  2. Brush engines & stabilizers
  3. Assistant tool
  4. Wrap-around mode
  5. Brushes
  6. Vector & text

Supported OS: Krita is the best free digital art software for windows is also available for Linux systems.

Pros:

  1. A good number of resources available within the application for letting end users learn how to use different Krita tools.
  2. PSD support for opening files across different programs.
  3. Krita digital art increases the zooming speed and enhances canvas rotation through OpenGL.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Interface not quite user friendly
  • No tutorials available for beginners
  • Occasional lags are inconvenient

Best For: Digital art software for PC (Linux)


  • Alchemy

USP: Voice control for geometric shape drawing as well as lines & altering shapes.

Pencil colour sketch

Alchemy is the digital art software for PC used for exploring the different forms of sketches and arts that could be done on a computer. Artists and illustrators use this free digital art software for creating sketches during the initial stages of a drawing process for which the software is best suited.

Available Alchemy Tools:

  1. Shape tools
  2. Customizable brushes
  3. Mirror draw
  4. Randomise shapes
  5. Record drawing sessions

Supported OS: Alchemy digital art software is available on Windows and Linux for free. Also, it is available on Mac without any hidden charges.

Pros:

  1. Those with programming knowledge can create their own drawing modules.
  2. Mirror draw for drawing mirrored symmetrical forms.
  3. Auto clear option available for cleaning the canvas and drawing on a new page.
  4. This digital art software for PC help records a drawing session in PDF files at regular intervals.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons: Not available for iPads

Best For: Free digital art software for Windows and Linux

Suggested Read: 10 Best Poster Making Software for PC and Mobile

  • Blender

USP: Multi resolution and dynamic subdivision.

Shape drawing

Blender digital art software offers full N-Gon support to easily edge, slide, inset and bridge fill the paintings. The 3D creation suite supports 3D pipeline that covers rendering, rigging, modeling, compositing, and animation.

You can also use this free digital art software for editing videos and managing/compositing 2D animation pipeline.

Available Blender Tools List:

  1. Textured brushes
  2. Custom tools
  3. Sculpting tools
  4. Cycles render engine
  5. Modeling tools
  6. Rigging & animation tools
  7. VFX tools

Supported OS: Blender free digital art software for PC is available for both Mac and Windows.

Pros:

  1. Beautiful 3D paintings can be drawn through masking and brushing tools.
  2. Easily customise the interface layout and colors.
  3. Retina screen supports are available in high resolution.
  4. Preview in real-time the 3D scene.
  5. Robust editor with video capabilities
  6. Auto and manual tracking
  7. Powerful camera reconstruction

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Extensive plugins for 3D missing
  • Not very beginner friendly
  • Add-ons disappear at times
  • Limited rigging options

Best For: Digital art software for Mac and Windows


  • MediBang Paint Pro

USP: Digital painting & comic creation with the help of a finger

Sketches design

MediBang Paint Pro digital art and painting software is used for creating comics, cartoons, and other characters. The cloud support feature lets you share your piece of art with other pencillers, colourists, writers, and inkers. You can create photorealistic images through this art and design tool.

Available Medibang Paints Pro Tools:

  1. Premade tones
  2. Paint brushes
  3. Around eight hundred backgrounds/tones
  4. Over twenty comic book fonts

Supported OS: As a free digital art software, MediBang Paint Pro supports iPad, Windows, iPad, Android, and Mac.

Pros:

  1. Quick and easy transfer between devices without the hassle of carrying extra storage devices
  2. Huge variety of pre-installed fonts available
  3. User friendly minimalist interface
  4. Helps turn your phone into a digital canvas
  5. A large selection of brushes.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • File saving takes time
  • Difficult to move layers
  • Rotation tool moves the entire page

Best For: Digital art software for  iPad, windows, android and mac.


  • ArtRage6

USP: A complete digital painting and drawing package for shape drawing & sketches design

Geometric shape drawing

ArtRage6 free digital art software is a total computer painting package for drawing pictures with oil paints, creating sketches using pencils, and deciding the texture of the canvas through chalk.

The advanced paint simulation feature lets you use painting tools like an easel for quickly picking the desired drawing/sketching tool.

Artrage6 Tools Available:

  1. Tracing image system
  2. Glitters
  3. Stickers flood fills
  4. Cloning tools
  5. Sketching & drawing tools

Supported OS: iPhone, iPad, macOS, Windows 7,8,10, Android, and iOS.

Pros:

  1. Natural painting tools
  2. Natural tools and an intuitive interface make it suitable for beginners as well as pros
  3. Utility tools & special effect tools
  4. You can adjust the canvas texture on this best digital painting software
  5. Custom presets to select your favourite settings

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Extensive pixelation in some brushes
  • Image exporting isn’t quite convenient
  • Upgrades aren’t free
  • Watercolor tools a bit difficult to use

Best For: Digital art software for android, iOS, windows, iPad and iPhone


  • Artweaver

USP: Mirror painting for drawing asymmetrical pictures.

Map drawing

Artweaver free digital art software is used for drawing creative works by both beginners and professional painters. The painting brushes are highly configurable, and users can configure them as per the new variant or new category. You can also customise the palettes for brushes, presets, and shortcuts.

Available Artweaver Tools Free:

  1. Realistic brushes such as airbrush, pixel, and circular
  2. You can adjust the user interface if required
  3. Tools to turn your artistic journey into events.

Supported OS: Artweaver best free digital art software is available for Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Pros:

  1. Programming has done to help you adjust the software as per different arrangements.
  2. Painting canvas can be rotated as per convenience.
  3. Resize and rearrange the colour palettes.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Inconvenient floating tools
  • Multiple windows not of much use
  • Free brush not available
  • Layer support tools need improvement

Best For: Digital art software for Windows


  • SketchBook Pro

USP: Sketching software for quick conceptual sketches.

Digital painting in Photoshop

SketchBook Pro online digital software is used for creating expressive drawings and concept sketches. The software also supports screenshot tools for adding notes and annotations.

You can also create flipbooks and animations through this best digital art software.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro Tools:

  1. Design pencil set
  2. Markers
  3. Pastels
  4. Watercolor brushes
  5. Textured brushes

Supported OS: SketchBook is a digital art software for Windows 10, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  1. Precise and speedy digital art software that can easily handle a 100 mpx canvas.
  2. No need to download a scanner separately as the device’s camera functions well as a scanning instrument.
  3. You can export files into formats of your choice such as JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and PSD.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Complex user interface
  • Toggle lock option missing
  • File transferring between devices isn’t very seamless
  • Limited brush options

Best For: Digital art software for PC (Windows) and Android


  • Clip Studio Paint

USP: 3D drawings can be created through renderings and inking. 

Sketching software

Clip Studio Paint software application is used for creating comics, 2D animation and general illustrations. Vector output and the smooth line-drawing process is everyone’s delight here on this platform.

You can download the software for free on a trial basis for a reimagined drawing experience. The powerful brush engine is instrumental in giving strokes the desired effects.

Clip Studio Paint Tools:

  1. Customisable brushes
  2. Tools for splitting & rearranging comic panels
  3. Diverse editing & drawing settings
  4. Speech balloon tools
  5. Smarter colouring tools
  6. Advanced rules
  7. Diverse colour palette
  8. Transformation tools

Supported OS: Digital art software for PC downloads on Windows, Mac, and iOS.

Pros:

  1. Good variety of brushes available and the built-in tools are also easy to use.
  2. Paper-like experience for you can smoothly develop new strokes.
  3. Realistic water colours and thick oil painting to create more professional pieces. 
  4. Ideal for concept art & painting, illustrations, animation, character art, comics & Manga.
  5. Thousands of free textures, brushes, and background images.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Keyboard shortcut keys difficult to find
  • Not many font options available

Best For: Digital art software for Mac, windows and iOS

Best Digital Art Software of 2021 That Will Bring Your Digital Creations to Life

Digital art software provides designing/editing mechanisms for creating beautiful graphics and images. Digital art software works well on multiple platforms and computing devices of your choice to fulfill your passion for creative tasks.

  • Adobe Photoshop CC

USP: An online digital drawing tool for 3D house drawing, artwork, websites, app and more.

Flash drawing

Adobe Photoshop CC photoshops images by cropping them while at the same time filling automatically the gaps with matching content. You can further use the spot brush for erasing blemishes, flaws and repairing the damage in images.

This design and imaging app is widely used for designing websites, images, and mobile applications.

Adobe Photoshop CC Tools Names:

  1. Illustrator
  2. Fresco
  3. Adobe XD
  4. After effect tool
  5. Dimension tools

Supported OS: This digital art software for Mac is also available for Windows. 

Pros:

  1. Time duration required for creating images, video stories, and graphics are just a few minutes.
  2. Media encoder can be used virtually on any screen to output video files.
  3. You can animate in real-time 2D characters.
  4. Uses compositing techniques to create a new image by using multiple photos.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in vectors
  • Price plans a bit expensive
  • Data merge function difficult to use
  • Not quite beginner friendly

Best For: Digital art software for Windows and Mac


  • CorelDRAW

USP: Shape drawing page layout, typography and photo editing features. 

2D design drawing

CorelDRAW is a vector design tool utilised for creating graphics designs in a user-friendly environment. Illustrators, artists, and beginners can use this digital design tool for creating cards, calendars, posters, and social media images.

Add text effects, gradients, patterns, and object formatting for beautiful imageries.

CorelDRAW Tools Name:

  1. Rulers and grid
  2. Design and shaping tools
  3. Text tools
  4. Typography tools
  5. Vector illustration
  6. Photo editing tools

Supported OS: Mac and Windows

Pros:

  1. Easily learn how to use different tools within this digital art platform through Hints docker.
  2. Colour swatches to apply quickly colour fills and outlines.
  3. Common file formats attached so that you can easily share documents.
  4. A diverse gallery of images for your reference.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Number of templates quite less in number
  • Limited number of professional features
  • Third-party plugins missing

Best For: Digital art software for PC (Windows and macOS)


  • AutoCAD Draw

USP: Used for complex 2D design drawing and 3D drawing.

Digital art software for PC

AutoCAD Draw is graphic design software used majorly by engineers, architects, designers, and other professionals for creating complex and comprehensive 2D/3D designs.

This digital art software has intricate drafting and editing tools for planning as well as designing diagrams, panel layouts, building plans, etc.

AutoCAD Tools Available:

  1. Layers
  2. Brush sets
  3. Color palettes
  4. Rulers and guides
  5. Pressure-sensitive strokes

Supported OS: Digital art software for free Mac and Windows

Pros:

  1. Quick view display thumbnails for easy navigation.
  2. Text customisation and annotation tools for detailed measurements.
  3. Advanced 3D workspace for managing complex projects.
  4. Cloud sharing.
  5. One of the best grade painting & drawing tools.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Grip for adding vertex and segment missing
  • Low rendering capabilities
  • Dynamic blocks require update

Best For: Free digital art software for Mac and Windows


  • Black Ink

USP: Sketching software for grid drawing, geometric shape drawing, etc.

Digital art software for PC free

Black Ink is an advanced digital art software used for creating generative art. It creates an opportunity for artists to explore unlimited options for customising brushing tools in order to develop realistic art pieces.

This digital art software for beginners is for this reason that the digital art software uses node-based language for providing access to brush parameters and creating sketches. The responsive user interface provides real-time brush preview.

Online Black Ink Tools:

  1. Ergonomic tools
  2. High fidelity colours/ transparencies
  3. Generative art brushes

Supported OS: This digital painting solution is available for Windows. 

Pros:

  1. GPU rendering for drawing fast with finest details.
  2. Preview option to check brush settings to give the user a memorable painting/sketching experience.
  3. The brushes customised by you can also be shared with others.
  4. Faster performance on diverse picture resolutions with a GPU-based rendering engine.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons: Feature updates are not quite regular

Best For: Digital art software for Windows


  • Adobe Illustrator

USP: Digital painting in photoshop with non-realistic brushes

Digital art software for Mac

Adobe Illustrator is used for transforming the appearance of any piece of art with the help of stacking, changing lines/shapes, and positioning the work of art accurately.

End users can draw, type, paint, reshape, slice, cut, move zoom, and graph an object of art within this illustrator art software. Also, this is one of the best digital art software for Windows and macOS.

Top Adobe Illustrator Tools Available:

  1. Selection tools
  2. Paintbrush tools
  3. Pen tools
  4. Typography Tools

Supported OS: The vector graphics editor supports Windows 7/10 and macOS.

Pros:

  1. Scalable UI feature
  2. Available in multiple languages
  3. Digital painting in photoshop
  4. GPU in outline mode for retina display.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Swivel shortcut messes with the artboard angle
  • Beginners may find the app difficult to use initially
  • The app slows down as you add gradients, layers and textures

Best For: Digital art software for Mac and Windows


  • Affinity Designer

USP: Stroke stabilization and colour swatches.

Digital art software for Windows 7

Affinity Designer is a vector art editor used for text style management and drawing shapes/symbols/lines. This digital art software also provides robust photo editing tools for fast and smooth image creation.

Used also as a graphic design and illustration application, Affinity Designer offers high-quality illustration kits, font bundles, and brush packs for perfect image development. Also, this is the best application for digital art.

Affinity Designer Tools Available:

  1. Shape drawing tools
  2. Rasyer brushes
  3. Vector brushes
  4. Dynamic symbols
  5. ABR brushes

Supported OS: Windows, macOS, and iOS.

Pros:

  1. Editing tools available for an unlimited number of layers.
  2. Real-time viewing for effects and transformations.
  3. ICC colour management for channel editing at high resolution.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Plugins and scripting options missing
  • No interaction or animation options
  • Extrusion and mesh fill option missing

Best For: Digital art software for iPad, Mac and Windows


  • Rebelle 3

USP: Giving a realistic touch to watercolor and acrylic based artwork.

Rebelle digital painting software focuses on providing as close a real-life painting experience as possible to the designer. Using this digital painting in illustrator tool, you can tune the settings of different tools such as tilt, blow length, drip size, and much more.

This best digital art software for windows has an enhanced brush creator tool using which you can create a brush satisfying your needs.

Available Rebelle 3 Tools:

  1. Ruler tool
  2. Perspective tool
  3. Blow tool
  4. Brush creator tool
  5. Retina touch display support

Supporting OS: Windows 7 and higher, macOS X 10.13 and higher.

Pros:

  1. You can create acrylic, dry, wet drawings using the software’s color blending options.
  2. The feature lets you add paint color dripping effects to your designs.
  3. You can alter the way your paint structure looks and feels like.
  4. This feature ensures that your transparent areas remain clean and unaffected by your drawing and painting actions.
  5. You can use preset stencils or customize your own for creating beautiful designs.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Brush settings are clumsy
  • Simulation is slow for large sized image files

Best For: Digital art software for Windows and macOS


  • Procreate

USP: Filters such as Noise and blur, chromatic aberration etc.

Digital Painting Software

Procreate top digital art software offers precise coloring tools and industry-standard creative effects. You can choose from a large collection of brushes or customize one on your own for improving your drawing skills with this best software for digital art and painting.

Procreate Tools List:

  1. Scribbling tool
  2. Custom color palette
  3. Selection tool for creating well-defined shapes
  4. Snapping tool
  5. Bounding box tool for scaling

Supported OS: Procreate is suitable only for iPadOS, iOS.

Pros:

  1. You can utilize coloring options beyond the traditional ones by using the gradient option to mix and match the color.
  2. You can upload a selfie and directly start painting on it to create fun animations and later play these animations.
  3. You can easily share your designs with your team or friends through social media channels.
  4. The digital art app lets you upload a reference image in your workspace and then paint the current image as per this image.
  5. With this feature, you can use photos to create time-lapse videos.

Reasons to Avoid/Cons:

  • Available on only Apple devices
  • Vector capabilities missing in the app
  • Filter option missing

Best For: Digital art software for iPad & other iOS devices.


Must-Have Features to Look for In a Digital Art Software

Digital art software creatively expresses the creative side of human imagination. It thus has to offer dynamic features to make the creative drawing learning process a highly satisfactory one. Some of the critical features of digital art software are:

  • Digital colouring

Digital colouring is comprised of layers to make the entire painting process fruitful. Changing colours of one part of the picture should not impact other parts of the same picture. This is where layers work and don’t let different parts of a picture merge into each other.

  • Brush tools

What a painting would be without any brushing tools available for colouring process. Moreover, brush tools in digital art forms are more economical than the real hand-used ones. While in some platforms, the number of brush tools is unlimited, in some others though limited the variety is large and versatile.

  • Effects

A user should be able to add effects to a piece of art in the form of repetitions, deep focus, reflective colours, multiply mechanism, etc. The addition of effects is the central characteristic of any online digital art software for the creation of art, drawings, and paintings.

  • Corrections

Artists can easily alter with the help of digital painting package line thickness and tapering. You can also scale, rotate and adjust this as per your preference. In other words, end users can fine-tune their work here well unlike in hand paintings where no customisation is possible.

Summary

Digital art software helps create illustrations and art forms that can be previewed for further alterations. As a user, you don’t have to be a professional or trained artist to use the platform. Even beginners with an interest in the art can start by using any of the above painting/online free digital art software.

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17 Best Paid and Free Digital Art Software for PC & Mac in 2021

  1. pencil sketch says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

Comments are closed.

Vyapar Billing Software

Monarch Smart Cut Pro

Singularity complete

GoToAssist

Singularity XDR

Singularity Core

Whatso

Rapbooster

Employee Vibes

Microsoft Office 365 Business Basic

Filmora X

Ecgtrade

Techno Trade

Hompath Firefly

eR4u - easy retail for you

Marg POS

Plantronics Calisto 3200

Mcafee Antivirus