Meta: This post covers all the best art software you can imagine when you want to draw that awesome anime and manga art. Anime and manga art is best drawn with Clip Studio Paint, but there are other options too.
All digital artists love applications that are easy to use and offer a natural feel. But if you want to take your digital artwork to the next level, then you should definitely invest in an art software with a traditional-like feel but with advanced features.
So, what are some of the best art software for drawing anime and manga art that you should check out? Well, below is a review of the top 13 art software that I consider to be the best for digital illustrations.
Clip Studio Paint Pro
Clip Studio Paint Pro is rated as the top best software to draw anime and manga art. The painting and drawing tool comes with distinguishable features.
It has quickly become the go-to software program for comic and manga art creators, thanks to the traditional and natural feel it offers.
Clip Studio Paint Pro has an advanced digital painting and drawing features. For instance, it uses pen-pressure detection for realistic-like pen strokes.
Its powerful performance is based on the fact that it can allow you to easily work on high-resolution files that have up to 10,000 layers.
This software has superb features that allow you to create attractive artwork from scratch.
They include pencils (that actually feel and look like real pencil strokes when drawing), storyboarding, inking, panel layout, lettering, and screentones, among others.
Clip Studio Paint also has one of the most crucial features when it comes to drawing anime and manga art, and that is a stabilization setting for drawing that beautiful line art.
Related: Line art and line drawing
Related: Line art mastery
One super nice feature that Clip Studio Paint also has is the ability to fill your layers with a base color with the bucket tool while you might feel like this is so basic.
Well, CSP has taken the bucket fill tool a bit further, and it actually works like magic when you use it.
It’s hard to explain why it’s so different than what other art software has. But it just is.
- Almost limitless brush selection (when you think about the Clip Studio Resources that comes with the software -image above) that is customizable. They include a pencil, watercolor, pastel, and oil painting, among others.
- It works with high-res files that have up to 10,000 layers
- Adjust or enhance your results with the numerous editing features
- Scan and print from Clip Studio Paint Pro directly
- It’s suitable for cross-platform use
- Affordable software with advanced features
- It provides a traditional feel with a natural touch
- Performance is superb (might even be better than Adobe Photoshop CC performance -I feel)
- The user interface can be confusing initially
Adobe Photoshop CC
There is no doubt that Adobe Photoshop is one of the best software to draw anime and manga art.
Its ease of use, broad range of features, customizable options, and user-interface are some of the core components that make it stand out.
Adobe Photoshop CC has dozens of premium techniques. They include frequency separation, spot healing, dodge, and burn, among others.
In addition to that, it provides you with composition techniques that you can use to create one image from multiple photos.
It features a diverse toolset that includes brushes, mixer brushes, pencils, as well as eraser tools. Besides that, you can use intelligent stroke-smoothing modes and multiple image adjustment options.
The paint symmetry, variable fonts, copy and paste layers, tooltips, and properties panel are some of the core design features that make Adobe Photoshop CC a game-changer.
The reason why Photoshop is so good is that it offers so much under one roof. Graphic design, digital art, photo-editing, etc. However, when it comes to drawing anime and manga, Clip Studio Paint is the best.
- Paint symmetry and variable fonts
- 3 intelligent stroke-smooth techniques
- Multiple adjustment options, including shadows, tint, temperature, contrast, and exposure.
- A broad set of brushes with smoother and clearer brush strokes
- Access to your Lightroom photos
- Multiple advanced layers for various manipulations
- Art-friendly textures, filters, overlays, and plug-ins
- You can merge various images to create a new image
- The learning curve is quite complex
- This software is quite expensive as it’s a subscription-based service.
PaintTool Sai is quite a popular art software for drawing manga. The lightweight software normally runs seamlessly to give the best out of the digital art space.
PaintTool Sai has a plethora of creative tools that are user-friendly. So, if you want to create anime, draw cartoons, or even do Photoshop, this is one of the best art software that you can use.
The application has a broad color spectrum, as well as a variety of colors. Note that you can easily adjust color saturation as well as luminescence. For artwork personalization and ease of use, PaintTool Sai comes with custom brushes that help you to create crisp work.
Even though the website/webpage (at the time of writing) seems like it’s still living in the 1990s, the software is being updated and is in wide use throughout the world.
- A wide color spectrum and variety of colors
- Access to mini versions of all drawings
- Fully digitized support
- Drag tool, lock and move the layers
- It offers easy, quick, and stable operations
- It makes the creation of digital art comfortable and fun
- The brushes are very easy to use
- Limited tools for image grading and editing
Corel Painter is a great digital art software, especially for drawing manga and anime art. The application is compatible with both windows and mac. What makes it stand out is that you can use its broad range of premium features to create an impressive piece of art.
Corel Painter has numerous brushes that include digital brushes and those that mimic the traditional media brushes.
These include colored pencils, pastels, watercolor, and chalk, among others.
Additionally, Corel Painter software also offers you different paper textures. So, you can easily choose a paper texture that complements a specific type of brush.
- A broad range of brushes in different categories
- Natural media library that helps to minimize your experimentation period
- Pattern pens for incorporating unique brush patters
- 2.5D texture brushes
- The new version offers improved performances thanks to the upgraded UI
- The color selection feature is excellent
- Numerous types of brushes that give your artwork a more digital look
- The performance boost of this software heavily relies on your hardware (RAM memory)
- Not all brushes can use the GPU
Krita is a versatile and free open-source software for computer graphics. What makes it rate among the best art software the advanced features that make it excellent for manga and anime.
It should be noted that Krita has customizable tools and, therefore, all your work will certainly have a personal touch.
This software effectively presents you with an end-to-end solution when it comes to artistically create digital paintings.
It’s a great program for masters as well as newbies. With the diverse pre-designed tools, you can easily switch and change your options.
- Suitable software for painting and sketching
- You can use it to create comics, concept art, matter paintings as well as rendering textures
- Numerous hand features, great filters, and amazing brush engines
- It makes painting or art sketching fun and easier
- You can easily customize the predesigned tools to create artworks with a personal touch
- The touch controls still need to be upgraded
- It’s not easy to work with texts
Do you want to make outstanding art? Then you should consider using Medibang paint. This free and lightweight digital painting program can also be used to create comics.
It’s rated as one of the best art software for drawing manga and anime due to its premium features.
Medibang Paint is furnished with important resources that include pre-programmed backgrounds, advanced brushes, comic creation tools, and cloud fonts, among other essential resources.
You can use it with software with devices that run on IOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS X.
- Numerous premade backgrounds to cater to your different needs
- Various drag and drop textures and tones
- High-quality comic book fonts for creating professional comics
- The software allows you to draw efficiently
- You can easily edit your work without the need to start from scratch
- You can upload and share files with others regardless of where you are
- The ads that pop-up, when the app is starting up, can be annoying
ProCreate (iPad exclusive)
This is a powerful and unique iPad drawing tool that offers you a natural drawing experience. Procreate packs various high-quality features, and you might even mistake it for a desktop program.
It comes with more than 130 brushes, and the best part is that you can go ahead and make your own personal brush!
The award-winning iPad-exclusive software gives you the ultimate power to create beautiful illustrations, attractive paintings, and beautiful sketches.
It offers you hundreds of layers and accurate color pickers in addition to those tools such as groups and blend modes that enhance their effectiveness.
- Create powerful paintings, illustrations, and sketches
- Over 130 brushes with the option of creating your own brush
- Complete PSD support and text tool
- Share your creations with other artists and the world in general
- It packs versatile and powerful features
- The software provides you with a natural and easy drawing experience
- The text tool feature significantly improves the experience of digital artists
- This program is only available for iPad users only
With your idea, you can create impressive artwork with Autodesk Sketchbook.
Whether you want to draw a simple sketch or create stunning complete artwork, this is one of the best art software for you.
Using Autodesk, Sketchbook’s feels just like drawing.
It offers professionals the much-needed speed and precision. The software’s highly interactive UI normally stays in the incognito mode until when you are ready to draw with a pen, pencil, paintbrush, or the marker.
- It has more than 190 customizable brushes that can incorporate different shapes and textures
- Premium tools that feature a blend of ellipse guides, traditional rules, predictive stroke, etc.
- Line-art import in addition to the transparent background
- It comes with a 16-sector radial-symmetry technology
- It effectively handles 100-mpx canvases
- It’s free!
- The software program allows you to easily draw without distraction
- It has familiar art tools found within the digital space i.e., markers, inks, brushes, and pencils
- The software doesn’t have all the essential features for Photoshop
This is another best art software that is known for its accuracy and ease of use. Affinity Designer quickly brings your vision to life with its premium creative content pack.
They include illustration kits, brush packs, and font bundles that help you to accurately polish your projects.
As a creative, you will have the ultimate control when using brushes and the multiple blend modes.
It’s worth noting that this program also comes with various stabilization options and over a million percent zoom.
- Vector support in addition to shape-drawing tools
- Over 1,000,000 % zoom
- Real-time adjustments, blend modes, gradients, and effects
- Multiple customizable options ranging from UI, UI tool size, user preferences, and toolbars
- It’s naturally easy to use this software.
- Great personalization options
- It’s reasonably priced
- Its user-interface can be confusing to new users.
This watercolor-inspired art software claims to give your artwork a breath of life.
Rebelle allows you to create realistic acrylic, watercolor, dry, or wet media artwork.
This painting software simply mimics how paint usually behaves. You can specify the amount of water you want to use, the drip size, and even the blow length.
With the tilt option, you can even decide the direction your paint colors should run through.
- Versatile brush engine that’s easily customizable into different shapes and response mechanisms
- Upgraded stencils in addition to masking fluid that make the watercolor simulation work magically
- A multi-touch user experience Apple, Microsoft, Wacom and trackpad devices
- A wide range of tools that make painting an authentic experience
- The software offers a faster performance
- Its intuitive user interface is easy to use
- The brush range is limited
ArtRage stands out as the best art software for drawing manga and anime due to its realistic features. The intuitive and beginner-friendly drawing software is designed to bring out the best in creativity.
It tends to provide a high level of realism. While this program is mainly designed for painting and natural media, it has versatile features. As a result, you can find it useful for Photoshop as well.
- Natural painting tools including the oil brush, paint tube, paint roller, and airbrush
- Multiple layers and blend modes with opacity adjustment
- Intuitive user-interface with multi-touch gestures
- Various customizable options including the appearance of your canvas, your actions, and brushes
- A basic application that’s simple to use
- It brings out the best in digital paintings with the realistic-like paint
- It’s not ideal for large canvases
It’s a full-featured and unique painting tool. Artweaver is a game-changer with its upgraded set of predefined brushes. They allow you to paint naturally and creatively.
Apart from the highly customizable brushes, this software also allows you to customize the user interface. The digital art program comes in two options i.e., Free and Plus.
- A massive set of standard image editing tools e.g., gradient, fill, selection, and crop tools
- High –DPI display support
- Basic and advanced image and effect filters
- A diverse brush selection set
- The user interface is easily customizable
- Unexpected stability problems
Closing up the list of the best art software is Paintstorm Studio. Designed for digital painting professionals, this software comes with the best in-built features for digital artwork.
Paintstorm Studio has a large set of brushes that are easily customizable. You can quickly adjust the brushes to suit your painting preferences.
The simple-to-use, powerful, and intuitive software gives attention to detail. As a creative, you have full control of all the brushes.
In addition to that, the brush settings expose you to limitless possibilities. Note that the software has a dynamic user interface with custom panels.
- Limitless brush settings with numerous brush options
- A dynamic user interface including the color, panels scale, TAB Lock, and opacity
- Individual hotkeys designed for any brush
- Advanced symmetry-tools
- Multiple customizable features
- You have the full control of all the brush options
- The software is beginner-friendly
- It may shut down unexpectedly due to glitches
- Limited file saving options