Top Drawing Software for Digital Art

If you decided to purchase a Wacom Intuos Art Pen and Touch tablet, you were lucky enough to receive digital art software with it. Most drawing tablets don’t come with any digital art programs.

Most art drawing software is very similar in their basic functionalities such as selecting different brushes, colors, etc. The advanced features are what differentiates one digital art software from the other.

The most famous and best drawing software is probably good old Photoshop. Although not specifically designed with drawing in mind, it definitely does its job well. Additionally, being the used art software it is easy to find tutorials and help on the internet.

Photoshop is an amazing jack-of-all-trades. But if you are planning to only use the drawing software for a specific purpose, you might be better off buying specialized software for that. For example, if you are planning to draw comics or manga, Manga Studio might be a better option.

Before buying any art drawing software, always check if the software is compatible with the tablet you bought! Also, make sure the software can be installed on your operating system if you are not using Windows.

Here at The Beginning Artist, we have compiled a list of the best digital art software in our opinion. Note that the mentioned programs are for digital drawing and painting and might not be able to do photo manipulation, animation or modeling.


Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular names in the photo editing and digital painting industry. It is the standard tool for many students, graphic designers and illustrators. Photoshop is a powerful tool that gives you the resources to create or edit beautiful works of art.

You can purchase Photoshop as a download or as a monthly subscription. The subscription is a good option because it gives you full access to updates Adobe makes to the painting program. Photoshop provides layers and filters, so you can build your images and create depth. You can also use filters to change the look and feel of your images. For example, you can add a filter to make your image look like a charcoal drawing. You can also move and position or resize your canvas to fit your work needs. This software has multi-monitor support, so you can create your layouts on different screens and view them as one image. Read more…

Corel Painter Essentials 5

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at painting, or if you’re a photographer who’s longed to turn a photo into a realistic painting (a viable product to sell in your photography business), then this is the program for you. While Painter Essentials 5 includes numerous and useful enhancements, its photo painting feature alone is worth $50. Besides, this is the only consumer-level program on the planet that gives you real-world painting power in digital form. So, if you’ve got an extra $50, consider Painter Essentials 5 the perfect artistic and inspirational gift…even if it’s to yourself. Read more…

Manga Studio 5

With the introduction of the starter edition of Manga Studio 5, Smith Micro took an already excellent digital comics creation tool and made it better by building it again from the ground up. And don’t let the word ‘Manga’ in the title deceive you. Manga Studio 5 is a powerful, worthy alternative to Photoshop for narrative- and character-led illustrations. Over the years it has become an application not just for creating Comics, but also full-colour professional digital paintings. Read more…

Sketchbook Pro 7

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro is for artists of all skill levels. This digital painting software allows you to draw and paint stunning works of art on your computer. Sketchbook Pro does not have the large selection of brushes, pencils, pens and other tools that similar products offer. However, the quality of the drawings or paintings you can create with it, along with the software’s ease of use and advanced features, outshine the lack of any particular type of brush or pencil. Read more…


US Serif DrawPlus X6

DrawPlus X6 isn’t perfect, but it does its best to make itself user-friendly. It has a clear layout, and there are an extensive number of free tutorials available online to help you get started, but its number of small frustrations will put off more serious graphic designers. Still, if you’re looking for cheap vector-drawing software, then Serif DrawPlus X6 could be the program for you. Read more…

Anime Studio Pro 11

Anime Studio Pro 11 is quite simply the best version of an already powerful and easy to use animation application. The addition of frame-by-frame animation alone is worth the upgrade price. However, the improvements to the applications Bone System are nearly as impressive. This version is clearly a must-by if you are already a fan, but if you are a new user, I highly recommend starting out with Anime Studio Pro: it’s easy to use, yet grows in complexity as you learn, and is a now a complete package for animation. And the price, compared to other professional animation applications, simply can’t be beaten. Anime Studio Pro 11 has my highest recommendation and is now part of my permanent digital toolset. Read more…

Best Drawing Software For You?

In the end, the best drawing software for you will always depend on your personal taste and future projects. Good software for drawing cartoons and anime often focuses on different tools and features than programs for drawing realistic portraits and landscapes. Fortunately, most of the top drawing programs can operate on both windows and mac, but always check just to be sure.

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