It can be difficult to select the top digital art software. Although there are many software vendors available for digital art, it can be overwhelming to narrow down the options.
We have you covered, whether you are a beginner trying to draw with a pencil or an experienced artist who wants to learn the best digital art software.
1. Adobe Photoshop
Since its inception in 1988, Adobe Photoshop has been the standard for image editing software. It is unlikely that this will change. It is undoubtedly the most powerful digital art program available. You can create amazing illustrations and 3D artwork. You can create anything in Photoshop, from posters and banners to complete websites and mobile apps. You can unleash your creativity with a variety of professional-grade tools in Photoshop. The paintbrush tool was specifically designed for illustrators and makes it easy to create symmetrical patterns.
You can also create with a variety of pencils, pens, and markers that feel as real as your real-life counterparts. Photoshop’s latest version includes a host of new features. For example, you can create intricate patterns with the “Paint Symmetry” mode. You can create Mandalas on your own axes of symmetry, while an interactive fill workspace allows you to edit. Frame tools allow for masking and multiple undo levels. You can also preview live blend modes. Photoshop is now part of Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) and is continually being improved.
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2. Corel Painter
Corel’s graphics processing software is regarded as one of the best in the industry and the latest release of Painter is no different. The right combination of performance and features. It’s the ideal digital art software for Windows. There is also a Mac version. Corel Painter has over 900 brushes, including everything from texture and blender brushes to pattern pens and dab stencils. You can import brushes from other artists or create your own.
Color harmonies can be saved to the program assets. This makes it easy to choose colors. You can also create digital artwork with a unique sense of proportion using grids and guides based on classic image composition techniques. Using Mirror painting and the kaleidoscope tools allows you to create design symmetrical illustrations simply by using multiple reflections of mirror planes and brushstrokes on opposite sides of the canvas.
Corel Painter’s intuitive guide allows you to quickly convert a photograph into a digital painting, or use the photo as a source of cloning. You can also use the handy “Brush Accelerator”, which optimizes your CPU/GPU settings to paint up to 50x faster.
3. Affinity Designer
Despite being relatively new to the scene, Serif’s Affinity suite image editing software has been a major force to be reckoned with. A key member of that lineup is the Designer. It is the best digital art software that you can find for macOS.Winner of the Apple Design Award (WWDC2015), It’s a responsive and fast application that allows you to pan and zoom at 60fps. 1 You can preview effects and blending modes, curve edits, and more in real time.
The engine of Affinity Designer can handle complex documents. It also allows you to organize objects using color tags and layer groups. The program’s ability to toggle between raster and vector workspaces in one click is an interesting feature. You can easily create scalable artwork, and then enhance them with detailed textures. The designer supports RGB and LAB color spaces with up to 32 bits per channel. It also supports Pantone and end-to-end CMYK/ICC color management functions.
You will also find unlimited artboards and comprehensive vector tools. Live pixel preview, one-million percent zoom, advanced grid controls (standard and isometric), and custom typography styles. Affinity Designer works with all major image/vector file types including EPS, SVG, and fully-layered PSD.
Paid image editing tools can be great but not everyone has the budget or means to spend hundreds of dollars. Krita is the perfect choice if you are in that category. This open-source digital art software is packed with features, despite being completely gratuitous. Krita was developed in 1999, and its first release came in 2004. It has been loved by both professionals and amateurs alike. The user interface is composed of panels that can be moved around to create a customized workspace. You can also set shortcuts for frequently-used tools.
There are 18 different brush engines included in the program (e.g. The program comes with 18 unique brush engines (e.g. Color Smudge. Particle. Shape). These can be modified extensively and then organized by a unique tagging system. The pop-up palette allows you to quickly select colors and brushes, while the resource manager makes imports of texture and brush packs from other artists easy. Krita has a wrap-around mode that lets you create seamless patterns and textures. The Multibrush tool allows you to mirror images about multiple axes in order to create a kaleidoscopic effect.
Other notable features include full-color management support (using LCMS to ICC and OpenColor IO EXR), PSD compatibility, and brush stabilizers.
5. Rebelle 5
Although graphic processing programs can produce amazing modern illustrations, what if they could recreate the charm of old-fashioned art like a watercolor painting? Rebelle 5 is a digital art software that does exactly this. It simulates techniques such as color blending, and wet diffusion, and allows you to create realistic acrylic or watercolor artwork with minimal effort.
It comes with many tools, such as Blend, Dry, Blend, and Smudge. The program has a wide range of tools (e.g., Wet, Dry Blend, Smudge, and a new DropEngine to simulate watercolor drips. The powerful brush creator allows you to “tilt” your canvas to create flow effects or custom brushes. Rebelle 5 includes over 100 canvas, stone, or paper presets, including styles like Cold Pressed (Wasabi Fine), Kenaf, Lokta, and Bamboo Soft. The software also comes with a variety of masking tools and creates stencils.
The package also includes new color filters, a layer called “Masking Fluid”, and a Photoshop plug-in. Rebelle 5 features a custom user interface that supports multi-touch gestures and a customizable user interface. It’s available for Windows and macOS and is compatible with all standard file formats, including PNG, BMP, and TIF, PSD.
6. Clip Studio Paint Ex
Comic books are a favorite pastime of many, but what about those who enjoy drawing and illustrating them? Clip Studio Paint Ex is the right tool for you if your answer is “yes”. Clip Studio Paint Ex is trusted by professional comic book artists and manga illustrators all over the globe. It boasts an impressive array of specialized features.
You can use these tools to create effect lines, panel tools, speech balloons that you can customize, and rulers to draw many lines and shapes. The program allows you to add depth and perspective to backgrounds and position 3D characters (with adjustable body shapes, camera angles, and more) directly onto the canvas. It is easy to create vector shapes with smooth strokes. The program also includes a tool called “vector eraser” to erase any intersecting lines. Clip Studio Paint ex gives you access to thousands of customizable brushes and “effect lines” that can be used for dramatic effects (e.g. speed, action) to illustrations.
The story editor and page manager make managing the storyboarding workflow easy. The finished manga/comic can then be previewed in 3D, and published in popular formats like EPUB.
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Apple’s tablets are amazing and with the upcoming iPad, They are only going to get better. If you really want to unleash the creativity of your iPad and Apple Pencil, You need to Procreate. Digital art app that has won numerous awards lets you create illustrations and sketches from anywhere.
There are more than 200 handcrafted brushes available. You can also import your own custom brushes and create your own with the brush engine. Many features in Procreate are designed specifically for iPads. ColorDrop fills your artwork quickly with seamless color. There’s also “Drawing Assist”, which corrects your brush strokes automatically in real-time. You can add vector text to your drawings, and a variety of finishing effects and filters (e.g. You can also add vector text to illustrations (Warp, Symmetry and Liquify).
Additional features include a fully-featured layering system with 250 levels of undo/red, continuous autosave, and the ability to record the entire process of creating digital illustrations in time-lapse videos in 4K resolution, which can then be shared over social media.
Android has a lot of great tablets you can use to draw on the move. We recommend ArtRage as a digital art application. The app comes with many creative tools that can be used to replicate real-world counterparts. You can use thick oils or delicate watercolors to paint. You can also experiment with textures by mixing and smearing paint.
There are many realistic tools available (e.g. You can draw and sketch just like on paper with a variety of realistic tools, such as shading pencils and precision ink pens. ArtRage can be used with any industry-standard blending mode and supports unlimited layers. You can add reflectivity to your pigments by using the “Metallic Tinting” feature. You can import an existing photo to be used as a guide when painting the same can be done by importing it as a tracing image. The app automatically samples colors from the traced image, so you can focus on your brush strokes. ArtRage works with both S-Pen and Wacom styluses.