What are the best drawing and CAD programs to teach homeless teenagers?

asked by Gregory Perkins
335 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 35


    Photofunia is an online image editor that allows you to add effects on your pictures. It offers a wide variety of filters, frames, effects and templates. If offers a mobile version for Android and iOS devices.

    Web, Android, iOS


    Juan Stone
    Written on September 28, 2017
    "When I'm not home and I cannot use photoshop, I always use the free tool Photofunia to edit my image, and the final result is always warranted! There is also an app for android and iPhone, but the web tool is already enough/great for every editing need."
  2. 33



    Canva is a graphics design tool where users can create professional designs by curating photos, text, animations, stickers, borders, frames and more. It also features albums and scrapbooks where users may collaborate with their friends. 


    Web, Android, iOS

    Free- Varies by plan

    Jane Lin
    Written on November 4, 2017
    "Canva is an AMAZING way to create fast graphics and documents that are beautiful and professional. It inspires you to make everything aesthetically pleasing and makes it easy to do so. The free templates are more than enough and even if you can't use the paid ones, you can browse them for ideas. The included fonts are perfect for modern design and suggested color palettes are always harmonic. The app allows for fast and easy upload and download--highly suggested!!"
  3. 30


    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.

    Windows, Mac


    Christina Lane
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "There are several reasons why I like Krita. It's free, open-source, and easier to learn how to use than Photoshop. Learning to use Photoshop takes a lot of time and effort but Krita is more intuitive. Krita also has a community forum that helps when I get stuck. I Love that I can talk to people who are using it and get a simple answer and then go use it. "
  1. 30



    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.


    Windows, Mac, Linux


    Lisa Henderson
    Written on October 9, 2017
    "I think using this program can be very complicated at first, it will take some learning. It is free though, so don't worry about burning a hole in your pocket. Just honestly I think that using Photoshop is easier and the layout makes more sense. I find GIMP to be confusing, even just downloading the help menu to get help is confusing in itself. I find Photoshop more user friendly, and GIMP for people with more computer or coding knowledge. That all said GIMP does have many good features and tools to create awesome art and let your creativeness free."
  2. 26



    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. 



    $9.99- with in-app purchases

    Timothy Burton
    Written on October 1, 2017
    "Procreate is a powerful drawing app that can be used anywhere by anyone. You aren't tethered to a normal desktop computer since it is fully functional on a mobile phone. Because of it's portability, it's ideal for someone who is homeless and usually only owns a phone."
  3. 23



    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.


    Mac, iOS


    Gary Harper
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "Through my company we volunteer with a program that helps homeless teenagers learn valuable tools and technology to help them land jobs or start a career. One of the programs we have been focused on lately is teaching them CAD. With the help of some coworkers we tried to find out what would be the best drawing and CAD program to use to help teach homeless and other in-need teens. We recently stumbled upon Pixelmator and came away impressed. It is an app that is an alternative to Photoshop but is extremely comparable. It allowed us a great chance to teach the teens in our program a wide range of tools that should help them with a chance at future employment."
  4. 21



    ArcSite is a mobile CAD app for architecture, engineering, and construction professionals. It's intuitive and easy to use, plus, as it's designed for a mobile device you'll be able to have all your projects at hand on the field without having to print out your plans.



    Free- with in-app purchases

    Joseph Medina
    Written on October 1, 2017
    "This is a great program as long as the screen on the mobile device is large enough. I've tried using it on my phone but the screen is too small to do much of anything. It requires a tablet size screen at the least. Other than that, the workflow on it is great."
  5. 20

    #8You Doodle

    You Doodle
    You Doodle is a great app for Android to create art and draw on photos and draw on pictures. Doodling on a friend, or marking up a picture or adding text has never been easier. With its useful text tool and simple brush tool, you can draw on photos and add text quickly and easily.

    Android, iOS


    Donald Chavez
    Written on September 29, 2017
    "I like You Doodle because of the easy ability to draw on pictures. I can draw or paint right on the pictures"
  6. 17

    #9Atom Draw

    Atom Draw
    Atom Draw is a minimal, beautifully designed drawing app for quickly drawing on photos, writing on pictures, circling something, visualizing and communicating.



    Daniel Banks
    Written on November 9, 2017
    "This isn't a powerful tool by any means, but it does a great job of allowing the user to make basic drawings without much fuss."
  7. 17


    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.



    Celia Miranda
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "I needed the best drawing and cad programs for teaching homeless teens. I found MyPaint, which was free and allows the use of Wacom style graphic tablets. Its great."
  8. 14

    #11Draw On Pictures

    Draw On Pictures
    Draw on any of the pictures and share it with your friends, family using any photo sharing application. Add stickers to photos from our collection of stickers and add text to your photos.



    Louis Duncan
    Written on October 5, 2017
    "This all lets you take pictues and draw on them. You can also use text and stickers. When your photos are complete you can share them using a photo share app. The app does not save photos however or it is difficult to do so which may be a downfall for some."
  9. 13



    Sketch brings a fun drawing and photo editing experience to everyone who wants to be creative, regardless of skill level. 



    Free- with in-app purchases

    Jenny Yu
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "Sketch allows you do draw, sketch, edit your photos. Have fun anywhere when you download this app for your digital art. You do not need to have a lot of skill, but if you Sketch enough you will develop some. There is also a community so you can share and see ideas from other members. "
  10. 11


    AutoCAD is a computer-aided design software that allows you to design every detail with 2D and 3D and share drawings across desktop, cloud, and mobile.

    Windows, Mac, iOS

    Varies by plan

    Robert Fernandez
    Written on September 27, 2017
    "I wanted to teach some local homeless teens some skills of computer design, thinking that they could always use more vocational skills suited to the 21st century. AutoCAD is great and intuitive software for designing in 2D and 3D. At over $1000/month for a subscription, however, I'd better get money from the city to get this program up and running. "
  11. 8



    ArtStudio features a beautiful new user interface and a powerful new graphics engine to make creating works of art faster, easier, and more fun.



    $4.99- with-in app purchases

    Olivia Perkins
    Written on September 28, 2017
    "ArtStudio is an app with multiple features that can be used by anyone. Teens would be interested in the many features available such as sketching, painting, and even photo editing. It would provide a great outlet for homeless teens to express themselves with the beauty of art and creativity. "
  12. 7

    #15Scribble Lite

    Scribble Lite
    With Scribble Lite you can draw on photos with various colors and pen sizes. Then, you can shake your device to erase.



    Patrick Stewart
    Written on October 5, 2017
    "I love drawing and sketching in my free time. I'm not much of a mobile gamer at all as those games just don't seem to hold my interest, then again I'm not really good at them so there might be that. What I am good at is drawing and sketching. I was introduced to this wonderful app in the iTunes store called Scribble Lite, and this is straight up my alley in the entertainment and usefulness category. Scribble Lite is an app for my iPhone that let's me draw on photos or just start from a blank slate. I can simply use my fingers and go to work drawing. It's really wonderful how they have various pen sizes to allow for fine sketching, and the color palette available is really nice. A simple shake of my iPhone and I can erase what I did. This is really useful when I'm killing time or enhancing photos with some doodles and sketches I want to add. This is a must have app for me because it's so simple and clean. It doesn't even have ads! One of my favorite apps and I tend to use it more often than I should when I'm killing time or just trying to escape the wife's chatter."
  13. 6



    PicsArt is an app with tools, effects, collage maker, camera, free clipart library, millions of user-created stickers and drawing tools. You can use your own photos or free-to-edit pictures in the app and turn them into collages and memes.


    Android, iOS, Windows

    Free- with in-app purchases

    Debra Diaz
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "The arts is one of the greatest things we can provide our youth, but the cost of traditional mediums and expensive computer programs do not make it as easily accessible to everyone as it should be. Free programs such as PicsArt allow for a free creative outlet for those who need it, and I have found it to be one of the best apps to use with my homeless youth program. Many of the tools provided allow for easy instruction and demonstrations. We can create and edit a countless number of mediums, and everything is stored safely on our devices. "
  14. 4



    SketchUp, formerly Google Sketchup, is free 3D modeling design software which was developed by Trimble Inc. It is also available as a web-based application named SketchUp Free and paid version SketchUp Pro. 


    Windows, Mac


    Julie Cox
    Written on November 8, 2017
    "SketchUp is a great program, but hardly something anyone should ever recommend to a homeless teenager unless they are socially unaware idiots. Homeless teenagers rarely have laptops to use design software even if it's free. It's offensive to even make such a flippant suggestion given the real life problems these teens are facing."
  15. 1



    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.


    Windows, Mac, Linux


    Lauren Patterson
    Written on October 5, 2017
    "This is a really great open source scalable vector based drawing program, I use it quite often. It's great for when I was teaching CAD to homeless teenagers. Highly recommend this. "
  16. 0



    SolidWorks is a 3D solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering tool. It allows you to take product ideas and bring them to life, helping you design and improve every aspect of the product design process.



    $3995- Free trial available.

    Ann Tang
    Written on December 5, 2017
    "Educating the United State's younger homeless population is one way that we can head off this problem before it gets even worse. I needed an easy program to pass along to my boss as she set up a CAD class for teenagers so I decided to tell her about Solidworks. Solidworks is probably the easiest CAD program to break into so I thought it was a good choice."


Best What are the best drawing and CAD programs to teach homeless teenagers
1Photofunia Apps 35 Free
2CanvaApps 33 Free
3KritaSoftware 30 Free
4GimpSoftware 30 Free
5ProcreateApps 26 Paid
6PixelmatorApps 23 Paid
7ArcSiteApps 21 Free
8You DoodleApps 20 Free
9Atom DrawApps 17 Paid
10MyPaintSoftware 17 Free

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