What’s the best drawing software for PC?

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Whether you’re an enthusiastic amateur or an experienced professional when it comes to digital drawing, there are a plethora of different drawing software options for you. Some of them are platform-specific, so finding the right one for you can be a challenge. You might also have to consider whether you need to upgrade to a specialised computer to be able to run the software. Our guide will lead you through a selection of the best options for drawing software for PC.  

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) has been one of the most popular drawing programs for years. It set the bar high in terms of what you could do with the software, and it’s only recently that other programs have started to offer the same experience as PhotoShop. It has lots of plugins for you to use, and various levels of subscription so you can tailor the experience you receive. 

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator often comes with Photoshop and is another part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s more traditionally used for drawing and illustration, with particular advantages being seen in vector design. It’s also often used for things like book illustrations, and when paired with Photoshop, provides opportunities to do whatever you want with almost no limits. 

Clip Studio Paint Pro

When it comes to drawing software, each artist will have their own requirements, and Clip Studio Paint Pro is ideal for manga and comic book artists. There are two different versions of it – Pro and Ultimate, and you can do a free trial to see if it suits your needs. It’s also more affordable than some other drawing software and the art produced on it has a natural, traditional feel. 

Corel Painter 2021

One of the best art software options has 12 different art styles to choose from and over 900 brushes, Corel Painter 2021 is ideal for versatile artists. It gives you different workflow suggestions depending on the kind of art you’re creating, and has all the options you’ll ever need. The only downside is that it is expensive, but it produces some of the most beautiful art around.


Krita is a free, open-source program with lots of useful tools and an easy to understand interface. It’s not necessarily the best at painting but is superb when it comes to making comics. The interface is also customisable and you can create whatever you want, with many professional brushes installed, and many more options available online. You can also create your own brushes, giving you the freedom to make your artwork truly yours. 

MediBang Paint Pro

Another one that’s great for manga artists and is free, MediBang Paint Pro has lots of preloaded options like backgrounds for you to use. It also works on multiple operating systems and has cloud-based saving, so you can pick up on one device where you left off on another. The other great thing about MediBang Paint Pro is that it lets you draw comic panels really easily, making it a specialised bit of software. 

TwistedBrush Pro Studio

Are you a brush enthusiast? Do you want to experiment with other brush techniques and types all day? TwistedBrush Pro Studio gives you 9000 different brushes to choose from and lets you create your own. It also has drawing tablet support and all the other tools you might need from your drawing software added in, for the experimental artist, this is the best drawing software you can get for PC.

Black Ink

Black Ink is a unique program, which has an extensive, controller-based brush collection. The interface may seem a little complicated at first, so it’s probably mostly for experts in using different types of drawing software, but you can share the brushes you create with the community and Black Ink shows where the future of digital drawing might lie, with the way it leans into the platform that it is. 

Rebelle 4

Rebelle 4 lets you recreate an authentic drawing and painting experience, as it mimics the way the materials behave in the real world. The results are stunning, and with 170 brush options at your disposal, you’ll find that there are no limits to what you can create. It’s also an affordable program, although you may find that it’s very memory intensive for your machine. 

Autodesk Sketchbook

The minimalistic user interface of Autodesk Sketchbook means you can focus on the art you’re creating rather than messing around with the tools. They’re there when you need them, and there’s plenty of support from the community and the tools include 140 brushes and unlimited layers, so you’re not missing out on anything. The other good thing about Autodesk Sketchbook is that it’s free to use, so you don’t need to worry about paying a subscription. 


FireAlpaca is a lightweight program, which means that it has fewer features but is also less resource-intensive for your machine. This makes it more accessible for beginners or artists who don’t have the resources to invest in a high-powered machine. Having fewer features can also help beginners get to grips with digital drawing, letting them perfect the basics before moving on to more complicated programs. 

Paint 3D

While not the most advanced piece of software, Paint 3D is a great way for someone to become familiar with the principles of digital art and drawing before moving on to a more complicated piece of software. It’s also free and comes pre-installed on Windows, so as a piece of drawing software for PC, it’s a fantastic choice to get started and play around with simple designs. 


ArtRage is ideal for those artists who draw and paint. The creations from this program are realistic, and there are plenty of things that help you develop skills that can transfer to and from Photoshop. ArtRage gives you the opportunity to work with all of the usual digital art tools as well as natural media, blending the two effortlessly. 

PaintShop Pro

PaintShop Pro is user friendly, and has lots of plugins available to enhance your digital drawing skills. It’s not the most popular piece of software on this list, but it holds its own and has a solid collection of tools for you to use. It’s also not just limited to drawing, as it also comes with tools that let you edit photos or design your own graphics, which you can integrate with your drawings.  


There’s so much choice out there when it comes to drawing software for PC that it can be hard to know where to start or what to move to next. This all depends on what you want to draw, and how well your computer will cope with a more intensive program. 

If you’re just starting out and not looking to spend a fortune, Krita, Paint 3D and other free software is probably the way for you to learn more before you take the plunge and invest in something more advanced or experimental like Photoshop or Black Ink. 

Author bio: Rachel Gowland works at a digital marketing agency, Tillison Consulting. She’s a passionate gamer and avid reader who loves to travel, using her knowledge of foreign languages to connect with people around the world. 

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