Best free drawing software of 2022

Equipped with the best free drawing software, you can draw, ink and paint without endless subscriptions stifling your creativity.

Regardless of your medium, skill level, or desktop platform, the free drawing tools provide an accessible entry point for beginners (and they’re an absolute blessing for artists working on tight budgets).

When it comes to choosing the best digital art and drawing software, it can sometimes seem like Adobe is dominating the creative apps space. The industry standard photoshop and Illustrator are often essential tools for designers.

But the premium graphic design software and its photo-editing counterpart aren’t without their critics. Some users, especially beginners, may find Adobe’s interface a little intimidating (although it won’t take long to master). Others take issue with the fact that most Adobe tools are locked behind a Creative Cloud subscription.

To help you find the tool that’s right for you, we’ve tested the best free drawing software for PC, Mac, and Linux. Many offer the exact same advanced features as premium programs, including 3D modeling software. Others offer simple, streamlined experiences for those new to the art. All give free rein to your imagination.

We have also tested, reviewed and evaluated the best alternatives to adobe photoshop and the best free alternatives to adobe illustrator.

The best free drawing software of 2022 in full:

(Image credit: Krita)

1. Krita

Best Free Drawing Software Overall

Reasons to buy

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Well-designed brushes and tools

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Accessible interface

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Practical drawing aids

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PSD support

Reasons to avoid

Unpredictable update schedule

Krita offers professional-grade free drawing software, created by a team of artists with the noble goal of making creative tools accessible to everyone.

You can use Krita for any type of drawing and illustration, and even animation. But it’s especially good for comics and manga. There are panel templates, halftone filters, and perspective tools in addition to the usual brushes, fills, and pens. Each brush is fully customizable and you can save your custom brushes to reuse them later.

Right-clicking anywhere on the canvas in Krita will bring up a selection wheel that allows you to choose a new tool and select a color in seconds – a much easier system than scrolling through menus and settings

Krita was created by artists for artists, and it shows in the dozens of thoughtful little touches that make it easy to create great paintings. There are handy drawing aids for creating straight lines, vanishing points and smooth shapes. You also get layers, masks, various transform tools, HDR support, and advanced selection features.

Krita is an incredibly powerful drawing program, and it’s completely free to download and use.

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(Image credit: Artweaver)

2. Free Artweaver

Best Free Drawing Tool for Beginners

Reasons to buy

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Realistic media

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Supports layers

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Kid-friendly interface

Reasons to avoid

May be too kid-friendly for some artists

Artweaver Free lets you create beautifully realistic digital drawings by taking input – from your mouse, a stylus, or, if you have a touchscreen PC, anything you fancy touching the screen with. – and applying ultra-realistic brush effects.

In addition to familiar brushes such as tale brushes, calligraphy pens and airbrushes, this free drawing software also gives you a huge range of patterns and pens, allowing you to produce highly complex images with minimal effort. . It is also layer-based, so you can create your layered masterpiece without losing the ability to change anything.

Artweaver Free is designed for artists of all ages, but we’ve found it particularly useful for children. Kids love experimenting with all the different brushes, and with this free drawing app, we love not having to clean up messes afterwards.

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(Image credit: Microsoft)

3.Microsoft Paint 3D

Best Free Drawing Software for Basic 3D Modeling

Reasons to buy

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Converts drawings to 3D models

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Wide choice of paint effects

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Accessible and easy to use

Reasons to avoid

3D effects are pretty basic

Like classic Microsoft Paint (which it was originally intended to replace), Microsoft Paint 3D serves as a blank canvas for you to doodle to your heart’s content.

But don’t underestimate one of the best free drawing software just because it’s probably already on your desktop.

It may seem like a modern version of an old program. However, the real fun happens when you click on the 3D Objects button. Here you can choose a model to import (current choices include people and animals), or better yet, draw your own shape and “inflate” it to turn it into a three-dimensional model that can be rotated and viewed from different angles .

You can choose a finish for your shape (options include matte, glossy, matte metal, and polished metal), paint its surface, and apply lighting effects. There’s no way to control the thickness of the 3D effect, so your object will still look like something created with Puff Paints, but as free drawing software it’s great fun for kids of all ages. ages.

Multiple models can be positioned at different depths and combined to create a scene, and you can even bring doodles into the real world if you have access to a 3D printer.

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(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. Microsoft Fresh Paint

Best free drawing app for painters

Reasons to buy

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Realistic blending effects

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Easy for kids to enjoy

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Good for touch screens

Fresh Paint is another free drawing app from Microsoft, this time designed to replicate the feel of putting a brush or pen to paper.

The interface really goes to town with skeumorphism, with a plastic color palette that splatters as you dip your virtual brush, indicating the hue you’re currently using and creating a pleasing splatter. You can wash the bristles in a cup of water before choosing a different color or use them one after another to blend them on the brush.

Fresh Paint can simulate watercolors, gouache and all sorts of other materials. As the name suggests, you can interact with your work as if it weren’t yet dry, spreading it and blending colors on the canvas.

Experienced artists will be able to get great results with tools that behave like their real-life counterparts, while kids and novices will make an equally realistic mess. it’s a great example of one of the best free drawing software solutions that anyone can take advantage of.

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(Image credit: MyPaint)

5. My painting

Best open source drawing software for professionals

Reasons to buy

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Highly customizable

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Designed for graphics tablets

MyPaint is the brainchild of artist Martin Renold, who was frustrated with the limitations of his Wacom tablet’s proprietary software and decided to take matters into his own hands. Today, the open-source program is one of the best free drawing software tools for serious artists.

Its background as a Linux app means that MyPaint works a little differently than most Windows apps, and its interface will take some time to master, but it’s worth it if you’re a hobbyist illustrator and Krita focuses on comics. does not quite meet your needs.

MyPaint works best when used with a graphics tablet, but you can also use it with any other input device, including touch screens.

There’s the usual selection of customizable brushes, along with support for layers and a handy scratchpad for creating sketches. You can also download and install additional brush packages created by other users – a benefit of the source code being publicly available.


How to choose the best free drawing software for you

When deciding which free drawing software is right for you, first consider how many features you might need, not just for drawing. This can include free photo editing capabilities or the necessary logo creation tools.

Also consider your current experience with digital art – some offer too basic entry points for professional artists; others may be too complex for a beginner to understand.

Finally, make sure the best free drawing software fits your creative workflow as well as your budget.

How we test the best free drawing software

When testing the best free drawing software, we look at what matters to users: interface and experience, platform availability, tools and features offered.

We evaluate how features meet real user needs – from drawing and watercolors to 3D models and animation.

We rate tools based on accessibility for the intended user – whether a seasoned artist or a novice designer, whether on Windows or Mac.

More importantly, we verify that free means free. No hidden costs or subscriptions, no time-limited trials disguised as free tools. Any payment should be optional and clearly communicated to users.

Find out how we test, rate and review products on TechRadar.

Marilyn M. Davis