Being an artist takes a lot of time and dedication. It takes patience to hone your craft and it can be difficult to find the medium you like working with the most. As it becomes more popular, many artists want to test the waters of digital art.
Digital art software can be complex if you are not used to dealing with it. It’s rough for beginners to try and find one that they can learn to understand without completely emptying their wallet in the process.
There are a lot of drawing software out there. Unfortunately, most aren’t beginner-friendly. If you don’t know what to look for in good software, it can be easy to get confused. Luckily, we have compiled a list of drawing software that are some of the best in the industry while still working well with beginners.
Check out this list of the Top Vector Graphic Software available!
- Adobe Fresco is the best drawing application for beginners because it was designed to feel as lifelike as possible, is free at the base level, and has the capabilities to be used at a higher level.
- The best applications aside from that are Clip Studio Paint, Adobe Photoshop, and Corel Painter which all have professional-level features while still being good for new users to figure out.
- The runner-ups are Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, and Sketchbook which are all excellent drawing applications, but each has some limitations that put them lower on the list.
What Is the Best Drawing Software For Beginners?
Almost all drawing software will claim to be beginner-friendly, but it is very rarely true. Every drawing application will have a learning curve, but there are a few that help smooth out that curve as much as possible.
These are some of the top options for drawing software for beginners, but we will only focus on the top seven today:
Adobe Fresco is a digital art software created for drawing, painting, sketching, and more. The base level is completely free and the premium version is cheap while unlocking dozens of new features.
It is well-loved by the digital art community and often suggested to beginners because of its many features. The layout is simplistic, making it easy to understand. The feel of Adobe Fresco is so lifelike that beginners will have no problem transitioning from physical to digital art.
- A free version is available with a premium upgrade as an option
- Designed with beginners in mind
- A lifelike feeling when creating art
- Drawing, painting, watercolor, sketching, and more are suited for this software
- Hundreds of brushes, colors, shapes, and other tools
Adobe Fresco was created by the company with beginners in mind. It was designed to be accessible to new digital artists so that they could explore what it is like to create in an unknown medium. The free version of the software has anything one could need for drawing digitally.
Because it was designed for beginners, not only is the basic level free, but the software format is also very intuitive. Adobe Fresco has an easy-to-understand layout that takes away the stress of starting to learn digital art.
Check out this list of the Best Tutorials for Adobe Fresco.
If you are still struggling, Adobe has released dozens of tutorials, walkthroughs, and educational videos about not just the application itself, but also about digital art to help you get your footing.
At the basic level, Adobe Fresco is free. This level has everything you need to be successful with your art including hundreds of brushes, colors, shapes, and fonts. However, if you want to unlock all the features, you’ll have to pay the monthly cost.
The monthly cost is $9.99 after receiving a 30-day free trial. With the premium version, you gain access to all Adobe Fresco brushes. The brush library is one of the largest of any drawing software and is ever expanding. You also gain access to new fonts, shapes, and upgraded cloud storage.
The other option to access Adobe Fresco Premium is to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan. This plan gives you access to all Adobe applications including Adobe Fresco Premium.
Not only do you gain access to all of these applications, but you also gain the ability to collaborate across software and an incredible increase in cloud storage. This plan costs $59.99 per month.
What We Like/Dislike About Adobe Fresco:
- Free at the basic level and the premium cost is still extremely low.
- Designed with beginners in mind
- Video support created by both Adobe and the community to help new artists
- The free version has everything and more that a beginner could need to understand and develop their skills
- Cannot access all the options without paying
- No Android version available
Adobe Fresco is the perfect application for beginners. It was made specifically for beginners so it is cost-friendly and it is easy to navigate.
It will make sure you feel confident as you continue on your journey with support from both Adobe and the community. You can’t go wrong with Adobe Fresco and for that reason, we give it a 10 out of 10.
Clip Studio Paint is a software focused on vector graphics. It is well known for its capabilities in the world of animation and graphic design because of the focus on these art forms. However, Clip Studio Paint is also perfect for drawing.
It is a beginner-friendly application thanks to its welcoming interface as well as reduced prices. You can customize your experience from price to brushes, making sure every beginner can settle in comfortably.
- Uses primarily vector graphics
- Excellent for 3D art, animation, and graphic design as well as drawing and painting
- A simplistic interface that makes it beginner-friendly
- Hundreds of high-quality brushes, colors, and textures are available
- Ability to customize and create your own brushes or textures
Most users flock to Clip Studio Paint for its vector graphics. The vector graphics make it amazing for 3D work, animation, graphic design, comic book creation, and more. With how amazing these brushes are, it makes them great for other art styles as well, including drawing.
It is not as high-tech as many other drawing applications, meaning it has lower requirements for what kind of device you need. This makes it great for beginners who may not have the best equipment to work with when starting.
There are several different payment plans for Clip Studio Paint. There are also two different full versions of the application and a customizable edition.
The basic version of Clip Studio Paint is Clip Studio Paint PRO while the full version is Clip Studio Paint EX. Even the basic version has all that you need, the full version just has added perks such as added brushes and colors.
First, you can pay a monthly fee starting at $0.99 after a 30-day trial. The most basic version of Clip Studio Paint is $0.99, but the price increases as you add more perks and benefits. The cost can go up to $14.99 per month for the best version.
The next option is a 12-month license in a single payment plan. For Clip Studio Paint Pro, it is $26.99. For Clip Studio Paint EX it is $76.99. The last option is a perpetual license costing $49.99 for Clip Studio Paint PRO or $219.00 for Clip Studio Paint EX.
What We Like/Dislike About Clip Studio Paint:
- Multiple different price options for a customizable experience
- The ability to create your own brushes makes your experience more customizable
- Great for a variety of art styles besides drawing because of its vector graphics capabilities
- Slow production time as well as slow upload speeds
- Only PC users can access the one-time purchase option
Clip Studio Paint has a lot of different capabilities and will let you break into other types of digital art thanks to its diverse uses.
However, as a new artist, having lag and slow down during your creative process can be a frustrating issue to face. It is an excellent option for beginners and it receives a rating of 9.5 out of 10.
Adobe Photoshop is well known by most people for being an amazing photo editing application. However, that is not even close to the end of its capabilities. Not only is it excellent for photo editing, but it is also used by many for graphic design and digital art.
As a digital art application, the photo editing features help contribute to the customization of your experience as well as adding detail to every step of your art. However, because of how many things Adobe Photoshop can do, it can also be quite difficult to find your way around at first.
- Primarily created for photo editing
- Versatile application that is used for photo editing, graphic design, drawing, and more
- An industry-standard application that is used by both professionals and beginners for drawing
- Handles large files easily and has high processing speeds
- Workflow and production features make creating art efficient
Adobe Photoshop has raving reviews for its photo editing capabilities, but also for its drawing features. Professionals and beginners alike love the ability it has to handle different art styles as well as different workloads and file sizes.
The features it has are endless, helping to create an easy workflow process and organize as you go. The tools help you narrow in on detail for each step of your work. There are so many possibilities and while that is amazing, it is also extremely overwhelming at first, which creates a harsh learning curve.
Adobe Photoshop has four different options to choose from when subscribing to the software. The first option is to pay a monthly fee of $29.99 per month for the full version of the application. The next two options allow you to bundle Adobe Photoshop with Adobe Lightroom in the Photography package.
Related Article: Adobe Photoshop Vs Adobe Fresco
The Photography package has two versions including a 20 GB storage version and a 1 TB storage version. The 20 GB version costs $9.99 per month while the 1 TB version costs $19.99 per month. Both of these packages are cheaper than getting the Adobe Photoshop app by itself, making them great deals.
As with any Adobe software, the last option is to get Adobe Photoshop as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan. This plan costs $59.99 per month and includes all Adobe applications. With the plan, you also gain upgraded cloud storage as well as easy collaboration across all Adobe applications.
What We Like/Dislike About Adobe Photoshop:
- It has many uses besides drawing
- Professional level quality even with only a little experience
- Endless features and tools to make your process personalized
- Big learning curve
Adobe Photoshop is a leader in the industry of digital art and it is used by professionals all around the world. It is an excellent digital art application, but it does take some getting used to, especially for beginners. Because of this, Adobe Photoshop only receives an 8 out of 10.
Corel Painter is a professional digital art software. It is well-known for its capabilities in drawing, painting, and photo art. Its endless amounts of brushes with precise control make it great for any artist.
Each part of the artistic process is fully customizable in Corel Painter thanks to the number of available features and tools. However, being overloaded with that many features doesn’t always make it the best option for beginners.
- Professional digital art application
- Customizable workspace layouts
- Different brush styles, strokes, and opacities available with detailed control
- Designed for high-spec devices
- Realism is its specialty thanks to a combination of different brushes and AI assistance
Corel Painter is a well-loved application by both professionals and beginners alike. It has an amazing amount of features and tools that allow you to have full control over your creative process. The amount of brushes and textures the software offers and the control you have over them change the game on digital art.
However, Corel Painter is a very hefty application. It has an intense amount of features, which on the one hand, is amazing. On the other hand, this makes it a bit difficult for beginners to understand. It also means the technology required to run it needs to be of higher quality as well.
For Corel Painter, there are two different purchase options available. The first is a one-time purchase fee of $429 for the most up-to-date version of the application which is Corel Painter 2023.
The next option is a yearly subscription of $199 per year, or $16.58 when billed monthly. If you do the one-time purchase option and a new version comes out, it costs $229 to upgrade.
In addition to this, there are also additional upgrades available such as their brush pack, which is a one-time fee of $179.99. If you want to test the application, there is also a 15-day trial available.
What We Like/Dislike About Corel Painter:
- One-time purchase option available
- Leader in the digital art industry
- Variety of tutorials to help beginners
- Heavy application that requires a lot of high specs
- The learning curve can be intense
Corel Painter has been loved by both professionals and beginners alike for a long time. It has amazing features with unbelievable control. However, access to beginners is a little limited.
It needs more time to learn and needs better technology to run it. Because of this, it receives a rating of 7.5 out of 10.
Adobe Illustrator uses mainly vector graphics. It was created to be a graphic design software and is well known for being one of the best software on the market. However, Adobe Illustrator also has excellent options that make it good for other art as well.
There are a few different purchase options for Adobe Illustrator. The first is a monthly payment of $34.49 per month which includes Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Express, and Adobe Firefly. The next is getting it as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan for $59.99 per month.
Adobe Illustrator is very detail-oriented and is great at helping you maintain defined shapes. The interface is rather simplistic and easy to figure out as well. However, while it is a great option, it is more geared towards graphic design, so it does not make our main list.
Inkscape is an open-source digital art program that is completely free. It has professional-level features and tools rivaling some of the best drawing software in the industry. All of these features continue to grow as the community grows with it.
Because it is open-source, there are hundreds of add-ons and tutorials available. The community creates and shares with each other everything they create to help one another grow as well. With each add-on, the brushes, colors, textures, and shapes grow until you have a library of tools that can’t be rivaled by even the biggest drawing applications.
However, every software has its downsides. Because Inkscape is open-source and community-run, it also means the software itself stays mostly the same. The only thing that changes it is the add-ons.
This means that Inkscape has a very outdated user interface that can be difficult to navigate for even experienced digital artists. It is clunky and overwhelming to use, especially for those who have not done digital art before.
Inkscape is a great program, but it is hard to get used to. It is free and worth checking out if you have the time to learn your way around it.
Sketchbook is a software designed to mimic the feel of pen and paper as closely as possible. The software wants new digital artists to feel at ease when using it and to be able to transition without any hassle. The sensitivity of the application adds to this feeling, making it great for beginners.
Once you get comfortable, Sketchbook has a lot of different features you can dive into. There is a great variety of brushes so that you can stick to your favorite mediums or dive into new ones. It makes experimentation easy.
Sketchbook is free for mobile devices. On desktops or computers, however, you must pay $24.99 for Sketchbook Pro.
While this application does have a lot of advantages, it is a lot more limited than any of the other software on our list. It has a lot fewer features, including no layering capabilities, fewer colors and brushes, and less customization overall. It is great to start, but if you want to dive into digital art, you may want to look elsewhere.
Best Drawing Software for Beginner FAQS
Is The Paid Version Of Adobe Fresco Worth It?
Yes, the paid version of Adobe Fresco is worth it. It unlocks hundreds of new brushes and options for you to experiment with.
It is already an application with dozens of tools for free and you gain many more for a very small monthly cost. You also gain upgraded storage and access to collaboration with other Adobe applications
What Is The Difference Between Adobe Fresco And Adobe Illustrator?
Adobe Fresco is a digital art software designed for drawing, painting, and sketching on touchscreen devices. It is meant to mimic the feeling of real-life art.
Adobe Illustrator is meant for desktop devices and is focused more on graphic design and vector graphics, meaning it is not designed to feel like real art.
Is Adobe Fresco Good For Animation?
No, Adobe Fresco is not good for animation. It does have limited animation capabilities, but that is not its strong point.
There are dozens of drawing software on the market and when you are first entering the digital art world, they all seem the same. Knowing what features to look for or tools you need is a skill that takes time to learn.
This list is a good place to start as you discover what your needs are as a digital artist. Each application on this list will give you at least a good start on your digital art journey, so experiment where you can and find what is right for you.
Related Article: Best Sketching Programs.