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8 of the best digital art software in 2021

8 of the Best Digital Art Software in 2021

digital art software

The digital revolution has created many opportunities in various professions, which include digital artists and graphic designers. The process of creating art has turned from traditional designs and mediums to a seamless and revolutionized way.

Now artists and designers can easily share their art online instantly without taking so much of their time. With digital art, you can create art anytime and anywhere and share them with others.

There are hundreds of software artists’ can choose from to begin their creative process. Some are designed with advanced tools that assist professionals with what they require. Meanwhile, free tools can help beginners learn basic and jump-start their creative process.

No matter what tools you are going to use, it requires time to learn them. Even professionals need to learn how to use a specific software application.

In this article, we will provide digital art software used by both professional and amateur artists. We include a free and premium version of the software to allow beginners to try what professionals use.

Digital Art Software for Beginners and Professionals


Autodesk Sketchbook is a digital drawing and painting application first created for professional designers, architects, and concept artists. But now, all of a sudden, it comes with a free version. So now, beginners can start creating stunning illustrations and designs.

The only drawback for beginners is the complicated features since it was first designed for professionals. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll never get to learn the software. In fact, the free version is packed with tools that are minimal, elegant, and less distractive.

  • Basic tools for creating designs: Selection tools, blending tools for layers and brushes, fill and gradient, and adjustable rulers and curves.
  • Copic color library: Digital copy of Copic color pens with default brushes that match.
  • Flip animation: Add simple animations up to 4 layers.
  • The unlimited option of brushes: Choose from standard brushes, create your own, or import brush designs.
  • Handles a 100 mpx canvas even when zooming-in.
  • Export files in JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and PSD.
  • It can work on any device – Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Clip Studio Paint

Clip Studio Paint is a software aimed at manga and comic artists. But illustrators and other artists can enjoy this too. Get the feel of natural brushes as you paint and create your designs. You can play around with thousands of brushes and get new ones every month.

It’s an all-in-one software that offers features for artists who enjoy painting, comics and manga, animations, illustrations, and drawings.  There are plenty of brushes that are customizable and are ideal for painting on any medium. It includes 3D model creation of characters and backgrounds. Furthermore, it is ideal for rendering and inking too.

Get the basic drawing pens and brushes, set pressure on your pen to get the stroke needed for creating your illustrations or designs, and get rid of a shaky and wavy line to draw exactly what you want. Vector illustrations are easy to create with lines that you can easily change their thickness and shape any time you want.

Work with ready-made templates when designing comics, work on multiple pages, add balloons with shapes and designs, and other tools and features for creating manga and comics.

Clip Studio offers multiple ways to bring your imagination into a digital art form.

Get high-quality software at a reasonable price. Clip Studio offers two versions, Pro and Ex version. Both versions are available on any device – Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Chromebook.

CorelDraw Graphics

CorelDraw has been around for about 35 years, bringing a unique and comprehensive software. It offers multiple packages designed for beginners to professionals.

The most popular CorelDRAW product is its CorelDRAW Graphics 2020. You’ll get professional tools to create vector illustrations, edit photos, add layouts, and create designs on any device.

Corel Graphics Features

Get access to powerful graphic designing tools for vector illustrations, Photo-Paint to edit your photos, access your illustrations remotely, and get a library of fonts that you can organize and manage.

Whether you are planning to design product packaging, textile patterns, or create illustrations, CorelDRAW Graphics has all the features you need.

Get access to powerful graphic designing tools for vector illustrations, Photo-Paint to edit your photos, access your illustrations remotely, and get a library of fonts that you can organize and manage.

Whether you are planning to design product packaging, textile patterns, or create illustrations, CorelDRAW Graphics has all the features you need. But if you don’t want to spend much on a software application like CorelDraw Graphics yet like their features, you can try CorelDRAW Essentials 2020. It has some features allowing you to create fun designs and illustrations with easy to use tools.

With Essentials 2020, you can create vector illustrations with simple lines and shapes, try different layouts, experiment with various text styles, and apply colors and fills. If you are a beginner, this software is worth a try. See what CorelDRAW Essentials 2020 reviews are talking about.


If drawing and painting are your forte, ArtRage is the best digital art software you must invest in. The latest version, ArtRage 6, has a new look and stunning tools included. ArtRage gives every artist the feel of painting on a real canvas. With expressive oils, delicate watercolors, sets of pencils and brushes, papers, and more.

Whether you are a professional or an amateur, you’ll look forward to having this tool.

  • The new version has improved performance, canvas positioner and lighting toggle, Ink Pen opacity, and update interface.
  • Drawing tools and media: Oil brush, pencil, watercolor, paint roller, ink pen, palette knife, and various canvas and papers with textures.
  • Editing tools: Fill, selection tool, text color sampler, and more.
  • Guides and references: Tracing images, reference images, and graphic design guides.
  • Color: Modes, picker, samples, and presets.
  • Saving, importing, and exporting: Save, import, and export files such as PNG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, JPEG, and PSD.

There are two versions available for desktop editions, ArtRage Lite and ArtRage 6. Both editions are compatible with Windows and macOS.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular software used by artists. Despite the rise of competitors, Photoshop is used by a lot of artists and creatives.

It was first introduced as a software application for photographers. But it eventually transitioned into an application that artists would enjoy creating illustrations, 3D artwork, posters, banners, and more. Anything is possible with Photoshop. With the professional tools available, you can unleash your creativity.

Work with Photoshop using your desktop or iPad. You can transform images using AI technology, create stunning graphic designs, and share them online.

Aside from creating stunning edits for your images, you can experiment with thousands of brushes to create the design or illustration you have been imagining.

The new release of Photoshop includes the following features.


  • Neural Filters: Powered by AI technology allows users to colorized their black and white photos, change facial expression, and edit portraits.
  • Sky Replacement: Change your skies by changing the photo to change the mood of your image.
  • Cloud Access: Access your saved files on the cloud directly within your Photoshop. Then, you can mark and revert it to earlier versions.
  • Pattern Preview: Visualize your designs in real-time.


  • Go live by sharing how you create your designs on Behance. Turn on your chatbox and audio-video stream so you can interact with your audience.
  • Change the dimension and resolution of your Photoshop documents easily without affecting the quality and choosing the output size.
  • Discover other users on Adobe Live and Behance to get inspired.

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is one of the most preferred software for mac users, but it is compatible with other devices. It creates stunning art, logos, UI design, mock-ups, and icons. Most professionals prefer Affinity because of its vector and raster design tools and intuitive user interface.

It’s enjoyed by most beginners, as it comes with simple tools yet powerful enough to create impressive designs and illustrations. What makes it stand out from other software, besides its comprehensive list of features, is its ability to zoom up to 1,000,000 times. Hence, giving you the freedom to create freely every detail you want.

You can manage large files without experiencing any problems with their performance. Optimize documents no matter how complex it is, work with over 1000 objects with no lags, and allow live outline view.

Other Features:

  • Switch between vector and raster workspace with a single click
  • Create unlimited artboards
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts
  • Compatible or work with PSD, AI, PDF, SCG, CPG, TIFF, and EXR formats
  • Advanced grids, snapping, and alignment
  • Work on any device anywhere you go
  • RDG and LAB color spaces with up to 32-bits per channel
  • Professional and complete vector tools
  • Customizable and sophisticated typography, from styles to tools


If you are looking for free software to jump start your digital art journey, Krita can be what you’re looking for. It’s a free and open-source painting or digital art program to create illustrations, comics, and more.

Experience a flexible and intuitive user interface with over 30 dockers, customizable layouts and panels, and dark and light themes. In addition, it has over 100 professional brushes that have a variety of effects, brush stabilizers, and vector tools.

You can also import other professional tools and brushes to help with your work and able to share them with other users too.

Other impressive features professional digital artists enjoy Krita are:

  • Work on creating animations with tools that can turn your drawings into animated videos.
  • Create straight lines with the help of a drawing assistant.
  • Work on a portion of an illustration without affecting other parts of your work.
  • It comes with an ICC workspace with a color space browser, or you can incorporate your color management pipeline.
  • Edit and save HDR related images.
  • Training materials to learn more about Krita.


Rebelle is a software program that gives artists the feel of creating artwork using traditional techniques and mediums. It creates hyper-realistic paintings with various tools and mediums like watercolor, oils, acrylic, and more.

Whether you are a professional artist that wants a more versatile and on-the-go software application, or a beginner who wants to learn about painting and other artistic skills, Rebelle will work for you. Rebelle is like painting traditionally but in digital format. From the blending of color and canvas texture to drying tools that helps you apply your paint immediately.

  • Mediums like acrylic, watercolor, gouache, ink, pencil, pastel, markers, and airbrush.
  • 170 brush presets.
  • Flow effects are applicable by tilting the canvas.
  • Tools for blending, smudging, brush stabilization and brush creator.
  • Realistic canvases.
  • Masking tools and fluid.
  • Primary color mixing.
  • Customizable interface and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Work with PNG, JPG, TIF, and BMP files.
  • With Layered PSD support.


For artists who want to switch to digital art or for those who want to change the application they are using, here are other tools you can choose from to help you on your creative journey. Explore and get to know which software you might want to use and fulfill your creative and artistic journey.

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