For many people drawing is a true passion. Fortunately, the digital world offers a great way for everyone to easily live their artistic streak. There are a myriad of drawing apps for Mac. And even though it seems like a really good program always has to cost a fortune there are great free options offering professional functions that will even satisfy advanced digital artists. In the following list we portrayed the best free drawing apps for Mac.
1. Autodesk Sketchbook
This software is probably the application of your dreams amongst the free Macintosh drawing programs if you live and breathe drawing. With a myriad of functions and a beautiful UI that will hide while drawing, with quick and easy access to smoothly switch between brush, colour, and layer, one can create real masterpieces – without paying a penny.
It has almost unlimited brushes with the options to download more brush sets or to fully customize them to make them perform as you expect them to. This will give you a feeling of real hand drawing. And next to the advanced perspective guides, rulers, and radial symmetry the predictive stroke will make the lines of your freehand drawing perfect. Its advanced layer functionality even allows to group layers and the blending modes help in creating great art. And for bringing the perfect drawing into being many tips, guides, and tutorials can be found on their blog.
As it is also available for iOS and as there is only one subscription for all devices and as you can save your art to iCloud you can have access to your works any time from anywhere and from any device. This will enable you to continue your work you have started at home on the go on your mobile device. The iPhone can even be included into the workflow e.g. as a paper scanner.
The non-profit Krita Foundation makes it possible that this amazing drawing app for Mac can be offered for free. It comes right behind Autodesk Sketchbook and is perfect for comic and concept artists.
The flexible user interface can be arranged as per the artists requirements and workflow. Furthermore, customizable shortcuts make inconvenient frequent clicks on the bars unnecessary.
You can use over 100 brushes and the brush stabilizer and the drawing assistants for smoothened, perfect lines. Or you can create your own brushes with one of the brush engines. There is also the option to use vectors and texts to create comics and with the wrap-around mode one can easily create seamless patterns with multiple repetition of the same piece of art.
What Krita makes stand out from the mass of drawing tools is that it lets you edit HDR and scene-referred images. OCIO and OpenEXR support make it suited to be used in film and visual effects workflows. It is the only one amongst the free drawing apps for Mac that makes powerful 2D animations possible.
It also comes with an API for the creation of your own widgets and extensions using Python for maximum adaptation to your way of working.
On Kritas website users can find a user manual, tutorials, tool introductions and more useful resources that will help in learning how to master drawing with Krita.
This open source vector graphics editor can be used for many different illustrations like clip art, cartoons, and many other drawings. Its simple UI provides optimal access to the layers and tools like shapes, colour picker, and path markers amongst many others. It boasts fantastic rendering capabilities and even has multi-line text support which makes it suited for numerous different art genres. Something that definitely makes it stand out from other drawing software for Mac is the calligraphy tool for unique text parts of your creation.
Next to SVG, AI, PDF, PS, and PNG it supports many other file formats, too, which makes it highly compatible with your workflow. To make this workflow even smoother it is possible to customize Inkscape via add-ons as per your needs. To become acquainted with this software users can access the free tutorials on Inkscapes website.
4. MediBang Paint
This digital painting and comic creation software is very lightweight and thus suited even for older computers that tend to run slow under some applications. With 800 pre-made tones, backgrounds, and several fonts that are free to use it is especially suited to draw Mangas. It indeed has a function to make comic panels and a comic page manager to change the page order or edit the pages belonging together within the same document.
But also for other projects the more than 50 brushes, with the option to create your own brush, and the wide variety of settings offer an ideal environment. Layer manager, perspective lines, and cloud usage to continue working on your iPad or iPhone and to sync your settings are great functions for every artist.
Almost all features of the desktop version are also packed into the mobile versions but with an interface adapted to the respective device. For a drawing experience like on a graphics tablet the Stylus Pen is supported and to be able to work together with others at the same project it comes with a group project feature. And the icing on the cake are the many tutorials on its website that support every user’s journey towards the perfect drawing result.
The Gnu Image Manipulation Program is an open source image editor that is mainly known for its quality image manipulation but it is also a great software for artwork creation and graphic design. Its famous toolbox with quick to find tools including layers, selection by colour, bucket fill, blend, smudge, perspective, and many more provides all the basics artists need.
It is also interesting for developers as it supports many languages, including C, C++, and Python. In general, it offers great possibilities for customization and use of third party plug-ins. It also fits optimally into workflows involving other free software like Inkscape.
It is a considerable Mac draw program for as well novices as experienced users and artists who want to turn their photos and images into real drawing art or create such from scratch. Tutorials help users to easily cope with the functions and the user manual, that is available in 17 languages, adds to this.
FireAlpaca is an illustration drawing software for Mac with less functions than comparable applications but this makes it very simple to use and thus optimal for beginners. Still it offers the basic tools like pen, pencil, air brush, watercolor and customizable pens and effect brushes.
But there is more: Perspective lines and a 3D perspective tool help to draw perfect 3D objects and you can even exchange files between Mac and Windows. Thus you can continue your work on any other desktop, and even if it is an old one the application will run fast. In sum, this drawing app for Mac provides artists with a basic pack of tools that are necessary to create digital art and can also be interesting for comic artists with its various comic templates.
7. Paint S
Paint S is the free version of Paint Pro with some limitations. This program makes drawing, sketching, and image editing possible. Next to layers, fill function and a restricted range of brushes it supports curved texts, shadow reflection, transparency, and gradients, amongst others. Simple shapes like rectangles or ellipses are predefined and can be used for perfect symmetries within the illustration.
Even though it definitely has less features than other drawing apps for Mac it can be a good choice for beginners as it offers the elementary functions and is simple to use.
Whether beginner or advanced graphics artist, whether comic or concept art, there are many free drawing softwares for Mac that are worth a try. Having their different strengths and weaknesses you can now choose the best one for yourself from the list and start creating fantastic digital artwork.