15 Best Paid and Free Digital Art Software for PC & Mac in 2020

| May 12, 2020
Digital art software

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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 depended upon.

digital art software

Applications of Digital Art Software Across Different Industries

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

  • Industrial units

In industrial units, the 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 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

Drawing 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 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.

Top Free Drawing Software for Best Design, Illustration & Animation

Some of the available top design drawing software for creating illustrations and animations are:

  • Inkscape

Sketch pencil drawing

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

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

Pros:

  • Wide range of colour selector for filling colours/strokes.
  • Multi line text support for installing outline fonts.
  • XML editor that helps in watching live a document for editing.

Tools Available:

  • Pencil tool (Dots, Spiros & Bezier)
  • Calligraphy tool
  • Shape tool
  • Pen tool
  • Text tool
  • Bezier curve tool
  • Node tool
  • Krita

Free hand drawing

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

Supported OS: Krita free digital art software for Windows 10 is also available for Linux system.

Pros:

  • Good number of resources available within the application for letting end users learn how to use different Krita tools.
  • PSD support for opening files across different programs.
  • Increases the zooming speed and enhance canvas rotation through OpenGL.

Tools Available:

  • Vector tools
  • Brush engines & stabilisers
  • Assistant tool
  • Wrap-around mode
  • Brushes
  • Vector & text
  • Alchemy

Pencil colour sketch

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

Alchemy is a drawing software 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 initial stages of a drawing process for which the software is best suited. 

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

Pros:

  • Those with programming knowledge can create their own drawing modules.
  • Mirror draw for drawing mirrored symmetrical forms.
  • Auto clear option available for cleaning the canvas and drawing on a new page.
  • Help record a drawing session in PDF files at regular intervals.

Tools Available:

  • Shape tools
  • Customizable brushes
  • Mirror draw
  • Randomise shapes
  • Record drawing sessions
  • Blender

Shape drawing

USP: Multi resolution and dynamic subdivision.

Blender drawing 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 drawing art software for editing videos and managing/compositing 2D animation pipeline.

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

Pros:

  • Beautiful 3D paintings can be drawn through masking and brushing tools.
  • Easily customise the interface layout and colours.
  • Retina screen support us available in high resolution.
  • Preview in real time the 3D scene.
  • Robust editor with video capabilities
  • Auto and manual tracking
  • Powerful camera reconstruction

Tools Available:

  • Textured brushes
  • Custom tools
  • Sculpting tools
  • Cycles render engine
  • Modeling tools
  • Rigging & animation tools
  • VFX tools
  • MediBang Paint Pro

Sketches design

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

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.

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

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

  • Premade tones
  • Paint brushes
  • Around eight hundred backgrounds/tones
  • Over twenty comic book fonts
  • ArtRage6

Geometric shape drawing

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

ArtRage6 free digital art software is a total computer painting package for drawing pictures with oil paints, creating sketches using pencils and deciding texture of the canvas through chalk. The advanced paint simulation feature lets you use the painting tools like an easel for quickly picking the desired drawing/sketching tool.

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

Pros:

  • Natural painting tools
  • Natural tools and intuitive interface make it suitable for beginners as well as pros
  • Utility tools & special effect tools
  • You can adjust the canvas texture
  • Custom presets to select your favourite settings

Tools Available:

  • Tracing image system
  • Glitters
  • Stickers flood fills
  • Cloning tools
  • Sketching & drawing tools
  • Artweaver

Map drawing

USP: Mirror painting for drawing asymmetrical pictures.

Artweaver drawing 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.

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

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

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

Digital painting in Photoshop

USP: Sketching software for quick conceptual sketches.

SketchBook Pro raster graphics 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 digital art software.

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

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

  • Design pencil set
  • Markers
  • Pastels
  • Watercolor brushes
  • Textured brushes
  • Clip Studio Paint

Sketching software

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

Clip Studio Paint software application is used for creating comics, 2D animation and general illustrations. Vector output and smooth line drawing process is everyone's delight here on this platform. You can download the software for free on trial basis for a reimagined drawing experience. The powerful brush engine is instrumental in giving strokes the desired effects.

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

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

  • Customisable brushes
  • Tools for splitting & rearranging comic panels
  • Diverse editing & drawing settings
  • Speech balloon tools
  • Smarter colouring tools
  • Adanced rules
  • Diverse colour palette
  • Transformation tools

Best Drawing Art Software of 2020 That Will Bring Your Digital Creations to Life

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

  • Adobe Photoshop CC

Flash drawing

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

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.

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

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

  • Illustrator
  • Fresco
  • Adobe XD
  • After effect tool
  • Dimension tools
  • CorelDRAW

2D design drawing

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

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.

Supported OS: Mac and Windows

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

  • Rulers and grid
  • Design and shaping tools
  • Text tools
  • Typography tools
  • Vector illustration
  • Photo editing tools
  • AutoCAD Draw

Digital art software for PC

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

AutoCAD Draw is a 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. 

Supported OS: Digital art software for free Mac and Windows

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

  • Layers
  • Brush sets
  • Color palettes
  • Rulers and guides
  • Pressure-sensitive strokes
  • Black Ink

Digital art software for PC free

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

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

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

Pros:

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

Tools Available:

  • Ergonomic tools
  • High fidelity colours/transparencies
  • Generative art brushes
  • Adobe Illustrator

Digital art software for Mac

USP: Digital painting in photoshop with non-realistic brushes

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. 

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

Pros:

  • Scalable UI feature
  • Available in multiple languages
  • GPU in outline mode for retina display.

Tools Available:

  • Selection tools
  • Paintbrush tools
  • Pen tools
  • Typography Tools
  • Affinity Designer

Digital art software for Windows 7

USP: Stroke stabilization and colour swatches.

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.

Supported OS: Windows, macOS and iOS.

Pros:

  • Editing tools available for unlimited number of layers.
  • Real time viewing for effects and transformations.
  • ICC colour management for channel editing at high resolution.

Tools Available:

  • Shape drawing tools
  • Rasyer brushes
  • Vector brushes
  • Dynamic symbols
  • ABR brushes

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 are unlimited, in some other 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. Addition of effects is the central characteristic of any drawing 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/drawing software.

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