Which drawing program will allow you to quickly master the basics of graphics, make drawing easier and support you in your daily work? Which drawing program is the best and what features do free versions offer?
How to choose the best drawing program?
Choosing a good drawing program is essential. At the beginning, it is worth considering for what purpose you want to download the software and how much money you have set aside for it, since there are both free and paid applications to choose from. If digital drawing is your new passion and you don’t have any experience in this field yet, focus on popular, simple free drawing programs. If you are already a graphic designer, consider downloading the application that will provide professional support in your work and allow you to spread your wings.
Before making a decision, be sure to check the popularity of the software. It is worth finding out if there are many guides about it on the Internet, whether other cartoonists use it and what are their comments on it on professional forums and websites. If the program is known it will be easier for you to find answers to questions and relieve any doubts. Of course, trial and error learning has its advantages, but on the other hand, it can be discouraging. That is why it is worth investing in a program that has gained the trust of other people in the industry.
It is also worth asking yourself when the last program update was carried out and how often new ones are released. Remember that thanks to them you will have access to the latest features and additional options. In addition, pay attention to matching the application to the operating system installed on your computer. Before downloading, you can also consult professional thematic forums.
Possibilities offered by graphic programs
Drawing software offers a huge range of possibilities for their users. You can do a lot with them, from creating an amazing illustration, through creating logo designs, business cards or letterhead designs, to photo processing. What other functionalities do graphic programs offer?
Working with bitmaps
Bitmaps are raster images made of small squares, or pixels, each of which has its own place and color. Working on bitmaps involves modifying them, and most often they are, for example, smooth color transitions, i.e. photos or a picture painted with a virtual brush. The quality of these images depends on the resolution, which is the number of pixels they consist of.
Working with vectors
Vector graphics consist of straight and curved lines, which are defined by vectors, which are mathematical objects that describe graphics in terms of geometric quantities. In practice, this means that the quality of vector graphics is always the same regardless of its size. This solution is most often used to create logos, trademarks and illustrations, which must always be clear without losing quality.
Working with layers
Each new project has a background, by adding individual elements, it is worth adding new layers that allow you to modify them without affecting others. It is thanks to them that the graphic designer can make corrections at any time, even after the design is completed. One layer can contain many parts or only one – it all depends on the user’s preferences.
Working with text
Each graphic program allows you to place an appropriate font and edit it. Professional programs allow you to not only select the size, but also the spacing between letters and other advanced options. Working with fonts is a huge part of every designer job.
Even free programs should provide the user with appropriate drawing tools. Basic shapes are important, such as circles or rectangles, but also the ability to fill images with color, use them as an eraser, brushes, or stamping. Some of the utensils may seem a bit complicated at first, but over time they become an integral part of the work of any digital artist.
What drawing programs are there? Are they free?
One of the most popular programs that drawing is associated with is Paint. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for more advanced graphic work, because it does not even have such basic functions as layers. What are the best free and paid graphics programs?
MediBang Paint Pro
If you are looking for a free drawing program and are a Mac OS or Windows user, be sure to consider installing MediBang Paint Pro. It works well as a tool for creating comics and manga-style drawings. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is limited to such artistic forms, as it will also do great with more realistic graphics. If your goal is to practice sketching for beginners – this program should be great for you!
One of the most popular bitmap editing software. Based on a free license and completely free. Working in it is based on layers and channels, thanks to which the files we edit do not lose their graphic quality. On the web you can find a lot of tutorials that will introduce you to the principles of the program. The strength of GIMP is also the multitude of plug-ins and add-ons, thanks to which it is possible to personalize our work tools and use new options not available in the basic version. Handling the support of most graphic formats, GIMP is a great choice for beginner graphic designers. Nevertheless, its strength is also evidenced by the fact that it is successfully used by professionals, achieving surprising results of their work. A product worth recommending to everyone.
Related: The best software for creating animation – free and paid animation software options
FireAlpaca is a great option if you are looking for good quality free drawing software. It has an intuitive interface, so you will not waste time searching for basic tools. You will find that it supports layers, and the program itself is not heavy on your computer resources. The only downside is that there is no option to control the brush hardness level, which can be a problem for advanced users.
Adobe Photoshop is a paid tool for professionals, compatible with any operating system. Most professional graphic designers use it. It has a huge number of functions, so it is perfect as a 3D drawing program. Another advantage is that you can find guides on almost any topic on the Internet. Unfortunately, the subscription price for this program starts from about $20 per month, which makes some people decide to look for cheaper alternatives.
Krita is a free and open source program whose interface is very similar to the previously mentioned Photoshop. It will work well on any system. The application allows you to use over 100 types of brushes that you can customize and create new ones. The downside is the stabilization of the brush and the fact that with larger files the software can stutter. It is worth testing and forming your own opinion.
What are the hardware requirements for graphics programs?
If you are just starting your adventure with graphics, try to use your current equipment. However, if you want to take design seriously, pay attention to a few technical issues that will help you improve your work.
One of the most important aspects is a powerful processor. Most often, a 64-bit system is recommended, and the processor clock speed needs to be over the minimum of 2 GHz. The CPU is responsible for the speed with which graphic activities will be performed.
The next factor to consider when choosing a computer is RAM. 2 GB will allow you to run the software, but it will often be insufficient – producers of the lion’s share of the software recommend a minimum of 8 GB of RAM.
Specific drivers are also required for graphics programs. Depending on the package, they require support for DirectX version 11 or higher, the OpenGl 2.0 standard and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.
Can I use drawing programs on all devices?
Not everyone likes to draw exclusively on the computer. Some enthusiasts appreciate tablets, and still others love to create projects on their phone. Are all programs adapted to this?
What program for drawing on the tablet?
A graphics tablet is a great device and any artistic soul will appreciate its versatile use. Some designers find it much easier to transfer their ideas with a stylus than with a mouse. Programs that you can easily use on such hardware are all the ones discussed above.
What program to choose for drawing on the phone?
There are many programs available to help you create great drawings on your phone. One of them is Infinite Painter, which has unique features such as a hundred brushes divided into categories or the ability to record the drawing process (unfortunately this is not a free option). Sketch Master can be a free alternative to this application. Although the tool offers only seven brushes, it allows you to work with an unlimited number of layers.
Many people begin to develop their passions and want to prove themselves as a graphic designer. There are many paid programs for professionals, but you should opt for free alternatives to start with. Before making the final choice, check what functionalities it offers and whether it is suited to your equipment. If the thought of drawing with a mouse scares you – choose a graphic tablet or download the appropriate application on your phone. As you can see, the choice is very large and everyone will surely find something for themselves. Check it out – it will bring you a lot of fun and will allow you to develop your passion.