Don't use Paint, get one of these great drawing apps instead.
Drawing software are usually very rich in options and with interfaces that are often complicated, which creates a somewhat slow learning curve. But as soon as you master the concept it is really possible to manipulate the graphics in a breathtaking way. In this article, I am going to present you a selection of drawing and painting software that will allow you to reveal the artist inside you.
Procreate is an in-depth graphic design tool for iPad that gives you all the tools you need to make sketches or draw detailed, finished drawings. With Procreate you can turn your tablet into a drawing book and let your creativity run wild. The application is optimized for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and includes hundreds of beautifully crafted brushes, some of which are double-textured. And if you run out, you can create your own brushes or download them on the Procreate marketplace or on other websites.
Krita is a free and open-source reference software for professionals in graphic design, drawing, illustration and digital painting. Mainly dedicated to drawing and inspired by Corel Painter, Krita offers a large number of pencils and brushes, as well as tools that brilliantly imitate natural painting. The user also has a wide range of brushes with a large number of parameters. Like the big ones such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP, Krita has a good layer system and a wide range of effects with real-time preview. Color management is also included thanks to supported color models such as CMYKA, RGBA, Gray or YCbCr.
Adobe Photoshop Sketch allows you to create expressive drawings wherever you are using natural drawing tools (pencils, pens, markers, watercolor brushes, etc.) and achieve all the textures and blending effects of paper. This application contains graph and perspective grids to easily represent a 3D world in your 2D drawings. Photoshop Sketch provides a palette of drawing tools that interact naturally with the work area, including a graphite pencil, pen and mixing markers. You can also upload your artwork to Behance as a work in progress to gather feedback directly within the application.
Adobe Illustrator Draw is a version of the popular vector-based drawing application designed specifically for smartphones. Like the desktop version, this application lets you draw on the screen of your device with a wide selection of tools. The app has all the tools you could ask for in a good drawing app. There are several types of brushes that can be customized (opacity, size, color…), as well as up to 10 layers that can be used simultaneously and, of course, undo and redo buttons. Like Adobe Sketch, you can also post your works in progress on Behance to collect feedback.
Tayasui (which means easy and simple in Japanese) Sketches is a mobile application which allows you to create realistic drawings with your fingers. It has all kinds of configurable tools on a very neat interface that avoids distractions. It has interesting options such as the use of 3D Touch to be able to draw with different levels of pressure or compatibility with Wacom and other brands that allow you to make much more professional drawings. The app also has an online community where you can view and publish your drawings for inspiration.
Autodesk SketchBook provides graphic designers with pre-project and illustration software capable of producing professional-quality sketches. The application features a hybrid work environment that allows for both painting and vector drawing. Autodesk SketchBook has a fast and simple user interface that makes it easy to use for beginners, but also satisfies experienced graphic designers with its rich functionalities.
Affinity Designer is an incredibly accurate vector illustrator that feels fast and at home in the hands of creative professionals used to Adobe Illustrator. It intuitively combines rock solid and crisp vector art with flexible layer management and an impressive range of high quality raster tools for finishing. With accuracy, quality and speed at the heart of every single design task, and the ability to finesse designs without switching apps, this fresh-faced multi-discipline illustrator lets creatives shine.
Vectornator is a powerful and completely free iOS (and now also for macOS) vector drawing application. Vectornator's interface is based on floating panels, some of which are retractable to leave as much space as possible for the image. The application is quite easy to use, even for beginners. The program is aimed at both amateurs and professionals, who will find all the usual tools and functions: layers, text, scissors, brushes, eraser, shapes, etc. It even integrates common graphic elements from Apple terminals and the Icons8 search engine to help you complete your projects more quickly. Furthermore, Vectornator is able to import Adobe Illustrator files from the Creative Cloud to continue the work started on the Mac.
PaintTool SAI, developed by the Japanese studio Systemax, was specifically created for use in the manga drawing industry, but has now crossed all the borders of the drawing world. This Windows-only software is suitable for beginners as well as advanced users thanks to its wide range of tools. Unlike Adobe Photoshop or GIMP for example, it is 100% drawing oriented, and is neither suitable for photo retouching nor graphics. It takes all its interest in the use of the graphics tablet, because it manages the pressure of the pen in a fluid and intuitive way.
Pixelmator is a graphical editing tool that is both complete and easy to use. Through a user-friendly and neat interface, the software offers numerous drawing, retouching and image editing functionalities: layers, colour selection and correction tools (saturation, brightness, contrast, etc.), retouching tools, various filters and effects (more than 130), etc. In addition, Pixelmator supports more than 100 graphic formats (PSD, Tiff, Jpeg, PNG, PDF, EPS, etc.) including Adobe Photoshop files with layers.
Let the artist in you express himself with MediBang Paint, an image editor that gives you many creative possibilities in addition to the options usually found in traditional graphic editors. With MediBang Paint, you can work in detail on your creations and color schemes, as if you were really working with a felt pen or a brush. The program is optimized for graphic tablets and offers many features: brushes, visual and graphic effects, color palettes, layer windows and preview blocks.
Of course, this list is non-exhaustive and there are many more drawing and painting applications out there like https://alternativeto.net/software/ibis-paint-x--sketchbook-anime-manga/, https://alternativeto.net/software/concepts-smarter-sketching/, https://alternativeto.net/software/mypaint/ and https://alternativeto.net/software/clip-studio-paint/about/, but this should be a good starting point if you want to get into digital drawing. Let me know in the comments what you think about these programs, or if you feel I've forgotten an important app.