Free drawing software are available for everyone nowadays to use and enjoy.
There are many out there and not all of them are great. We have selected for you the best four free drawing software in our opinion that you can get off the internet.
Drawing software come in many shapes and flavors. It can be hard to pick one particularly if you do not have a lot of experience with digital drawing.
Furthermore some of the most famous(like Photoshop or Corel painter) are very expensive and certainly not a wise choice to start with if you are a beginner and if you do not know if you are going to enjoy digital drawing.
Luckily for you there are many available free drawing software on the internet ready to be downloaded and used. Some of them are incredibly robust packages with features that compete with their professional counterparts.
You’ll fine here a short list of our favorite free drawing software comprising a brief review and a link to their web sites where you can download them for free.
We have selected among many, our favorites in terms of features and ergonomics. You can be assured that whichever free software for drawing you decide to use, you will be able to start drawing within minutes of downloading and installing it.
Our micro reviews aren’t meant to be exhaustive but will serve the purpose of quickly guide you through their main differences and weaknesses/strengths.
The first free drawing software we have selected is GIMP. Gimp is an amazing piece of software, versatile and powerful with many features. From many perspectives it is very similar to Photoshop but contrarily to its expensive counterpart is completely free.
Gimp is a terrific software to experiment with digital drawing.
Its basic digital brushes and pencils work a wonder out of the box and can be further customized by the user.
It is great for digital sketching, digital inking and digital coloring. Moreover it integrates beautifully with drawing tablets and allows fine tuning of the digital drawing experience with this tool. It is a very comprehensive drawing software but it has also a lot of features for the digital photographers.
This is certainly a plus but the great amount of options can be a bit intimidating when you first launch it.
GIMP is overall a great free drawing software and it is a terrific tool for digital drawing. Its basic tools work great just out of the box and with a minimal tweaking you can certainly get nice results.
GIMP it is not, however a digital painting software and you won’t find in it a great variety of digitally simulated media like pastels, oils, charcoal.
Art Rage is one of our favorite software for drawing and it can be used for free!. If you visit its web site you’ll notice it comes in two flavors. There is a free version of it and a complete version which includes all of the drawing features and doesn’t cost much at all.
However you can download the free version and start using it right away. The main difference between the free version and the full version is the absence of a few features in the free version. However the free version is perfect for starting and you won’t probably notice the absence of the advanced features until you start using Art rage more intensively.
The great thing with ArtRage is that you can paint with oils, sketch with pencils, sprinkle sparkling glitter and much more. Tracing and Reference images let you load photos to recreate as paintings either by eye or by letting ArtRage select colors for you as you paint.
So Art rage is a proper full featured digital drawing software.
Art rage integrates wonderfully with drawing tablets, even if you can also use the mouse with it, but as soon as you launch it you’ll notice the beautiful interface has been thought with the tablet in mind.
All the tools in art rage are beautiful and work great out of the box however you have a certain degree of control over them and you can customize them further if needs be.
Consider though that Art rage puts simplicity at the first place so you won’t be able to customize your drawing/painting tools like in GIMP or Artweaver. This is a pro for a beginner but could set off the advanced artist.
Art rage, however deserves to be tried and we strongly encourage you to try and draw using this wonderful free drawing software.
Artweaver is a free drawing software for Windows developed by Boris Eyrich, mainly oriented to artists familiar with commercial programs like Adobe Photoshop and especially Corel Painter.
Like the latter, Artweaver is capable of simulating a wide range of classical effects such as oil paints, acrylics, pastels, pencils, airbrushes, etc to create natural-looking artistic images.
This might not make any sense to you if have never used Corel Painter but it is incredible how ArtWeaver feels similar to Corel Painter from the interface to the features and the customizability of the painting/drawing brushes.
I am not going into detail here about Corel Painter but that is one of the most complete and powerful (and expensive) piece of software on the market available for digital artists; and Artweaver feels very much the same!
ArtWeaver also offers effect filters like sharpen, blur, emboss, and mosaic, as well as transparency and layer support in its own proprietary format. The program also has standard image editing tools like gradient, crop, fill and selection tools, and pen tablet support for a realistic feeling.
Artweaver can also be run in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems using Wine. The sheer amount of customization options can, like in Gimp, set a novice a bit off and when you start using Artweaver you feel you definitely need a little bit of tweaking to get the most benefit from the basic brushes.
Overall ArtWeaver is a great package and is free! Definitely worth downloading and trying particularly if you are the experimentator type and if you are ready to invest a bit of time studying the software and exploring the possibilities offered by the customization options.
Inkscape is an open-source vector graphic editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. Now, if you do not know what vector graphic is this software might not be intuitive like the others and you might want to research about vector graphic and its advantages before going on.
If you know it and you already know what softwares like illustrators and freehand are capable of then you have a pretty good idea of what inkscape can do for you. InkScape can basically substitute the principal functions of these more expensive softwares for free!
For what concerns drawing we have found that inkscape has an amazing digital inking tool. Similarly to what you can do with Illustrator, you can import a pencil drawing into Inkspace and use its inking tool to trace your drawing and digitally ink it.
The inking is vectorial inking so the lines you draw will be smoothed by the software but we have found that the quality of the smoothing is excellent and the line art you can produce is very sleek. Moreover you have complete control over the inking brush and can customize it to suite your inking needs.