Top 10 Best Free Drawing Software For Creative Digital Artists


Looking for a drawing program that’s not as elementary as Paint? Or perhaps something with more features and flexibility than the usual photo editor? Then have a look at these excellent drawing software we’ve listed. Some are great for digital sketching and some for painting and retouching images. And the best part? They’re absolutely free.


1. DrawPlus Starter Edition

DrawPlus Starter Edition

This freeware is the ultimate in graphics and drawing software. Why? It’s a vector illustrator with a realistic set of tools like pencil, pen and brush. It’s also pretty accurate, with text on a path that’s just wonderful for creative designs. In addition, the shape-blending techniques and the professional colors are just great. Definitely worth checking out.



2.  GIMP


This beloved open-source software has a devoted community laboring for its development. And indeed, it has come a long way. The software is now more user-friendly, stable and packed with more features. It’s also pretty intuitive, with extensive customizations everywhere from widgets to tool sets. For photo editing, GIMP is your best bet. However, some graphic designers and illustrators may prefer vector editors like DrawPlus and not just an image manipulation program like GIMP.



3. Pixia


This English version of the popular Japanese software is best for full color graphics. There are lots of tools you can use for painting and retouching. The software even allows the customization of brush tips by using an image file to create very unique effects. There’s also plenty of free plugins and filter downloads, and it supports layers, masks and a variety of editing functions.



4. Artrage


Artrage is probably the closest thing you’ll ever get to a digital easel. Using this software is like drawing and painting on paper – it’s seamless, easy and realistic. There are 20 painting tools that you can use in a variety of settings and presets. There’s also an oil paint tool you can control to adjust paint volume and wetness. Go ahead watch your paint or watercolor smear realistically across your canvas, and be awed. Although the trial version does not expire, the save resolution and export format is limited unless you upgrade.



5. Chasys Draw IES

Chasys Draw IES

More user-friendly than other programs, Chasys is a full-feature editing and drawing software that allows you to create vector graphics and manipulate your photos with tons of tools and options. The program walks you through every project creation, which is pretty helpful for newbies. It’s also got a nifty Windows aero-compatible transparency that keeps unused tools and windows semitransparent until you hover your mouse over it. Overall, the software is intuitive, powerful and packed with awesome features.



6. Inkscape


Another great vector illustrator, Inkscape is powerful, stable and flexible. The interface is pretty straightforward: tools and options are clearly presented and side palettes are tucked in. The tools for drawing and editing are actually good, and you can tweak the objects tool as creatively as you like. Everything is possible with Inkscape; you can create the simplest logos to the most complex graphic designs all in a single software.



7. SmoothDraw


SmoothDraw is another great freeware best used by free-hand artists. You can design and draw graphics, presentations, invitations and just about anything with this software. It supports brush and tool configuration and even ink-flow, which free-hand artists will appreciate. The program’s interface is easy to use and the image effects are more advanced than your usual drawing software.



8. Google Sketchup

Google Sketchup

This 3D drawing software is a helpful tool to make even the most inexperienced user create an awesome 3D art. Create a sketch to remodel your kitchen, design your new deck or landscape your yard and be amazed with professional-looking results. The program is simple, easy to use and is blissfully free of technical terms. Help and guides are also plenty, so you won’t get lost in the application. The fun part? Exporting your drawing to Google Earth. Very cool.



9. Paint.Net


Simple and powerful, this free image editor will allow you to design, create, retouch and restore images among others. Newbie or otherwise, this software is easy to use with a range of tools and options you can choose from. There’s even an unlimited undo button – every action is recorded so you can go back as deep as you want. You can also download tons of amazing plugins to go with this great program.



10.   Pinta


Lighter and easier to use than other open-source drawing software, Pinta is ideal for newbies and experienced users alike. Pinta is full-featured, with 40 menu entries for image editing that supports multiple layers, drawing tools, photo effects and color adjustment, just to name a few. It also supports freehand drawing and has unlimited undo, which makes experimenting with an image worry-free. Pinta is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.


Are you more interested in freehand drawing, or image manipulation? Your pick of the best drawing software from this list will depend on the kind of digital art that interests you.  Either way, there’s always a software that’s right for you.


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