What are the best free digital drawing software?

Hi there, fellas! Calling all creative minds out there, let's help our fellow artist Thunder Bud come up with a list of the best and free digital drawing software for creating digital art--bet it vector images, realistic graphics, or even animation-- whether from scratch or not. Suggest down below!

asked by Thunder Bud
42 contributors
9 solutions
  1. 11

    #1Krita

    Krita

    Since it became available for public use in 2004, Krita is a free digital drawing software for Windows and Mac, ideal for color smudging and adding textures with its built-in brushes. 

    Software

    Windows, Mac

    Free

    Pablo Mora
    Written on July 22, 2019
    "Name it, digital painting or illustrating, Krita is a reliable software. If you are into halftone filters and other perspective tools apart from the typical built-in brushes that you get from a typical software, this highly suggested."
  2. 6

    #2Inkscape

    Inkscape

    Inkscape is a digital drawing tool for illustrators. It is ideal for drawing vectors. The free version includes basic tools for creating lines, freehand lines, shapes,  and curves.

    Software

    Windows, Mac, Linux

    Free

    Paul Watkins
    Written on July 22, 2019
    "I am fascinated by how illustrators are able to create digital art out of digital drawing software and I realized it is not as hard as I thought. If you are a beginner like me, start with creating lines, 3D shapes, layer them, fill them with color, just play with it and you'll be fine!"
  3. 6

    #3Artweaver

    Artweaver

    With its large selection of brushes and highly customizable user-interface, Artweaver is a digital drawing, sketching, and tool created by Boris Eyrich for Windows and Mac.

    Software

    Windows

    $39.17- Varies by plan

    Anna Thomas
    Written on February 19, 2018
    "This was a great digital drawing software. I love that I am able to express my creative with such a great variety of tools. I love the fact that I'm able to also work on joint projects online using this software."

WHAT’S THE MEANING?

Vector graphics is the art of creating digital images through the application of mathematical statements or a sequence of commands in a given two-dimensional or three-dimensional space. The defining factor of a vector graphics is the utilization of a series of points that will be eventually connected to create a very high-resolution image.

DID YOU KNOW?

As an artist or an aspiring one, you would notice that Raster (Bitmap) and Vector are two of the most common type of image files that are supported by most digital drawing software. But really, did you know the difference between the two? The difference ultimately lies in scalability. In comparison with raster, vector-based images are completely resizable while retaining its quality. So, if you would ask "Can we enlarge or alter the pixel dimension and the resolution of a raster image?" We are afraid not. Once the raster image is created at a particular dimension (length and width), resizing it at a higher scale would affect its quality. Yet, most graphics artists found a workaround by using the digital art software Photoshop for manually increasing the resolution.

Interestingly, digital artists and illustrators use a certain tool called graphics tablet (also known as a pen tablet, drawing tablet, digitizer, or digital artboard) to draw or sketch animations and graphics using a pen or a stylus in the same fashion that they draw images with a pencil and a paper. Aside from its artistic purposes, this technology is also used in capturing hand-written signatures. Advantages of using vector images include its versatile scalability because they are resolution-independent and therefore increasing or decreasing the size to any degree will not affect the crispness and sharpness of the image. On the other hand, one major setback is that they are not so fit in producing realistic photos as they contain solid areas of color.

  1. 3

    #4Animation Desk

    Animation Desk

    As its name suggests, Animation Desk is a portable animation app for Windows, iOS, and Android that specializes in creating animated movies with more than 40 brushes to choose from.

    Apps

    Windows, iOS, Android

    Free- with in-app purchases

    Julia Green
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I really like this software. I like that the drawing environment that it offers and I am able to easily animate my drawings."
  2. 3

    #5MyPaint

    MyPaint

    Popular among graphic artists and digital illustrators, MyPaint is a software for digitally sketching and creating vectors, whether creating from scratch or making complex ones.

    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Sharon Elliott
    Written on February 9, 2018
    "MyPaint is a great app for drawing with any device. From the mouse to a pen this app excels in all areas over the native Paint app."
  3. 1

    #6Vectr

    Vectr

    Vectr is a free graphics software for creating any kind of 2D graphics easily and intuitively. Vectr allows you to work from your desktop or online if you want. 

    Software

    Web, Mac, Windows

    Free

    Frank Jones
    Written on July 22, 2019
    "I am actually recommending this free digital drawing software for all vector artists like me. I use this for typographies, logos, posters, and all other corporate marketing collaterals. Hit me up if you need some more recommendations!"
  4. 1

    #7MediBang Paint

    MediBang Paint

    MediBang Paint is an easy-to-use painting tool which includes more than 100 free and unique brushes, fonts, backgrounds, and textures to create a drawing, illustration, or painting. 

    Apps

    Windows, iOS, Mac

    Free

    Olivia Cox
    Written on July 22, 2019
    "I work at a comics and animation company. To be honest, why spend a huge amount of money on some paid digital drawing software when free ones like this exist. One pro is its more than 500 pre-made tones and a lot of brushes. "
  5. 1

    #8Gimp

    Gimp

    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.

    Software

    Windows, Mac, Linux

    Free

    Ajay Jayaraman
    Written on February 20, 2018
    "Gimp is an all inclusive tool that will make life easier for you. A perfect alternative to Photoshop. Gimp offers up many options to make this flexible and intuitive drawing application."
  6. 1

    #9Pixia

    Pixia

    Pixia is the English version of a famous Japanese free painting and retouch software for full-color graphic, with masks and layer functions. This program also allows users to customize their own brush tips for desired effects.

    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Tang Zeng
    Written on February 19, 2018
    "When using Pixia there are a variety of tools to use to create your artwork. However where the program really shines is in the filters for photos! The best part of Pixia is that is a completely free download."

Summary

Best What are the best free digital drawing software
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1KritaSoftware 11 Free
2InkscapeSoftware 6 Free
3ArtweaverSoftware 6 Paid
4Animation DeskApps 3 Free
5MyPaintSoftware 3 Free
6VectrSoftware 1 Free
7MediBang PaintApps 1 Free
8GimpSoftware 1 Free
9PixiaSoftware 1 Free
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