Creating art can happen from the comfort of your own sofa, even with no paint! If you’re looking for a less messy way to work, apps and software for creating digital art have come a long way in recent years. This can be great if you’re looking to create animations, cartoons or even play around with photography in your art.
The right software will change from person to person. Some apps are more suited to people who normally enjoy sketching, others painting and, of course, total beginners. It can take time getting to grips with a drawing app, even if you’re an expert artist with traditional mediums. You need to consider the following questions:
- What device do you have?
- What is your art style?
- How much do you want to spend?
To help you choose, we have compiled a list of our favourite drawing apps for digital art.
Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Available on iOS, Windows
Adobe Photoshop Sketch, along with other Adobe drawing softwares, have been the professional’s favourite for a long time. The interface is intuitive, meaning it is easy to use, and there are many resources and a lot of support provided by Adobe. The huge variety in brushes, tools and effects is versatile and you can create anything that you want. Pressure that you apply to your stylus will translate to the page which helps to make this software great for fine artists who want to add digital elements to their art. Adobe ID is required to use this software but this means that it’s compatible with content created across the Adobe applications.
Digital art is much more enjoyable and can be made much easier with the correct stylus, such as the Da Vinci Virto Tablet Brush.
Available on iOS
Procreate might seem a little scary at first, but it’s an excellent platform for beginners. With many preloaded brushes and filters, there are also helpful tutorials for people of all skill levels as well as community pages sharing a variety of tips. Artists are offered an impressive range of tools and features, from customizable brushes and up to 128 layers to multi-touch gesture commands and support for an ultra-high-definition 4k canvas. For a one-time payment, you can have access to this solid software for animations and illustrations, with a handy on-the-go version for your iPhone too.
Clip Studio Paint
Available on iOS, Android, Windows
This software is ideal for digital art and is even used professionally and in educational settings for cartoons, animations and comics. Users of Clip Studio have commended the app on the great feel to drawing, along with it’s great digital art tools and highly customizable pens and brushes. While this software might take a beginner a long time to get to grips with, it also offers great tools for beginners to create realistic art with little experience. It is available to buy across different platforms and OS’ in PRO and EX versions, with EX having more sophisticated features.
Available on Mac, Windows
Free for individual artists, Autodesk Sketchbook is a versatile and portable app. Keen sketchers will love the natural feel of drawing with this software, created by the excellent drawing engine which can cope with a canvas up to 100 mpx. The almost 200 brushes, which you can customise, offer a great range which is perfect for both fine art and digital designs. A great feature of Autodesk Sketchbook is that the user interface will hide while you are drawing, maximising work space and allowing you to concentrate. You can even capture and add your own images to your work.
Available on Windows, Mac, iOS
An excellent option for digital and graphic design, Affinity is a fairly new software on the digital art scene. Affinity’s capability for adding detail is immense, with the ability to zoom in up to 1,000,000% times. It can cope with importing high quality images and moreover can handle 1000s of objects on your canvas. This tool has many convenient tools to aid the artist or designer in their creativity, however the fairly steep learning curve makes it difficult for beginners to get started.
Available on Windows, Mac
Another great free option, Krita offers everyone, from beginners to experienced artists, a great drawing experience. The vast range in tools and features cover both the expected and the brand new, allowing you to highly customize your brushes and textures. There are numerous features to assist your drawing, including the option to download and share brushes and textures from other artists to use in your own art.
If all you need now is something to draw, check out our recent blog on how to find inspiration for your art.