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11 Best Free Drawing And Art Software For Beginner Artists

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If you’ve been on the hunt for free drawing and art software, then this article is for you. Keep on reading to find out the best free art software available online.


Key Takeaways

  • The best free drawing and art software is Krita.
  • Krita is constantly updated and is an open-source project developed by the Krita Foundation.
  • MediBang Paint is the best free drawing software for tablets and phones.
  • Pixlr is the best free photo editing software available.

Krita

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Founder KDE, an international free software community, began early developments for Krita in 1998 with the goal of creating digital painting software.

The software went through numerous names, such as Krayon and KImageShop. However, in 2002 it was officially decided that ‘Krita’ was the perfect name, which was inspired by the Swedish word ‘Krita’ meaning crayon, and ‘rita,’ which means to draw.

In 2005, this free drawing software, along with the adorable mascot Kiki, the cyber squirrel, was finally released to the public.

The website includes a guide on how to use the software, so you’ll have the opportunity to look back at it encase you feel lost while using the software.

Krita focuses specifically on concept art, texture and matte painting, and illustrations and comics.

Pros of using KritaCons of using Krita
Krita is 100% free and an open-source.Touch controls are a work in progress.
The software is often updated.Using text can be very tricky.
Easy to use and editNew features are often released untested.
Available for Windows, macOS, Linux.
Table listing the pros and cons of using Krita.

Sketchbook

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Sketchbook, also known as Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, is a software that focuses on drawing and sketching.

This software was created by Autodesk Inc. and released in 2016. Available for macOS, Microsoft Windows, Android, and iOS.

To use this software, you simply need to head over to the website and download the software. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be shown a list of approximately five software versions to install.

After everything is downloaded and installed, you’ll be taken to a plain canvas, where you’ll have the chance to start creating some beautiful art!

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
Professional and easy-to-find tools.Some features may be disappointing.
It may perhaps be too complex for beginners.It may perhaps be too complex for beginners.
It has a simple layout with zero distractions.May not perform well on a tablet.
Table listing the pros and cons of using Sketchbook.

MediBang Paint

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MediBang Paint loves art just as much as you! Their goal is to take advantage of the birth of the internet to make creating and finding art easier than ever by filling in the gaps lying between artists and their audiences.

This software is incredibly easy to use; all you have to do to head over to their website and download the software, which is available for multiple devices.

With MediBang Paint, you can create professional-like art and comics 100% for free! They even include a well-detailed tutorial on their site to help you adjust perfectly.

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
MediBang can turn your comics into eBooks.You must create a MediBang account to access all features.
You have the option to have your work shared on their social networks.The software sometimes glitches.
Super easy to use.
Available for Android, iPad, iPhone, PCs, and Mac
Table listing the pros and cons of using MediBang paint.

Sketchpad

Sketchpad, also known as Robot Draftsman, is a computer software specifically for animation and drawing.

The software was created in 1963 by Ivan Sutherland while he was getting his Ph.D. The software earned him numerous awards, as he created the first software ever to use a graphical user interface.

Related: What is digital art?

This is why Sketchpad is seen as the ancestor of all the modern drawing software we use today.

Anyone can access this software by simply visiting their website, where you will be instantly taken to a plain canvas where you can begin creating art. The software will automatically save all of your work, so you can come back to it anytime.

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
Super easy to use and access for everyone.You’ll have to pay to install the desktop app.
All available features are free and professional.Not many options for advanced artists.
Suitable for school, work, and personal use.You may have trouble saying your work into your device.
Table listing the pros and cons of using Sketchpad.

Sketchable

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Microsoft created Sketchable with the purpose of it being part journal and part canvas. This way, you are able to: write notes, take and edit pictures, and, of course, create beautiful art. All you have to do is install the app and start your having fun with it!

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
Perfect for beginners.It’s only available for Windows 10.
Various use cases.You have to pay for premium features.
Easy and fast to use.App may glitch
Table listing the pros and cons of using Sketchable.

Artweaver

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Artweaver is a drawing software for Windows and Linux that was created by Boris Eyrich in 2009. This outstanding software provides a variety of tools to help you achieve realistic artistic images.

If you’re happy with the free version of Artweaver, you may want to consider moving on to their second version.

The software comes with two separate versions, a free version and a Pro version, which you must pay in order to use, but you’ll have access to more features to make your art look even better!

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
Numerous realistic brushes.The system has a noticeable lag.
Very easy to use.Not many variations in fonts.
You will be able to work with other artists.Features can be limited
Table listing the pros and cons of using Artweaver.

Microsoft Paint 3D

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Microsoft Paint 3D is a painting software that allows you to create art in all dimensions. The software was created by Microsoft and Lift London in 2017.

The plans of Microsoft Paint 3D were unfortunately leaked online in 2016, which made many artists excited. Thankfully, once the software was officially released, it was everything users were expecting and more.

To use this software, all you have to do is head over to their website and download the software. Yes, it’s that easy.

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
Able to share art online.Editing tools are basic.
Very easy to use.No support for multiple layers.
You can playback the creation process of your art.It does not include filters or retouching options.
Table listing the pros and cons of using Microsoft Paint 3D.

Inkscape

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Inkscape is a perfect free drawing software for those interested in creating vector shapes, as you can create vividly-looking primitive vector shapes and text.

You’ll be able to fill your vector shapes with patterns, solid colors, and linear and radial color gradients. The best part is that it doesn’t even cover half of what you can do with Inkscape.

The software is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
100% free to all.Limited text formatting tools.
UI (user interface) is very simple and easy to use.Interface visuals need improvements.
SVG format support.
Table listing the pros and cons of using Inkscape.

GIMP

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GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. With this software, users have the opportunity to do many things, such as: manipulate images, edit images, draw, and many more!

If you’re interested in using GIMP, all you need is to have access to the following operating systems: Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. The software was created by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis in 1996.

The two men started the development of GIMP while studying at the University of California, originally naming it The General Image Manipulation Program.

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
A vast range of features.Some features don’t meet the expectations of others.
Great use of layering.Limited options for 3D designs.
Excellent user community.The user interface requires improvements.
Table listing the pros and cons of using GIMP.

Pixlr

pixlr-homepage

Pixlr is one of the best free photo editors around. By using Pixlr, you can create and share images easily. The whole experience is absolutely free, which means you have nothing to lose by checking it out! 

Created by popular developer Autodesk, Pixlr runs entirely on your browser, which means you won’t have to install anything on your laptop or computer. However, if you would like to use it on your phone, you can install it on both iOS and Android.

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
Very easy to use.It tends to glitch.
Perfect for everyone.Certain features do not perform well.
The user interface is outstanding.
Table listing the pros and cons of using Pixlr.

FireAlpaca

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This software was released in 2016 by PGN, a Japanese software developer. This free digital painting software is available to those who have access to operating systems: Mac and Windows.

FireAlpaca is modern and friendly to its users and available in ten different languages. Despite being free and simple, it’s great for artists looking for free drawing software!

Pros of using the art softwareCons of using the art software
Updated frequently.User interface takes time to get used to.
Simple and easy to use.The user interface takes time to get used to.
Provides multiple image editing tools.
Table listing the pros and cons of using Fire Alpaca.
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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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