Are you a Mac user and want to create professional-grade sketches, logos, animations, vectors, and concept art? If yes, then do you know about the best free drawing apps available for Mac?
Graphic Designers, Interior Designers, Video Animators, and Architects look for free tools to convert their Mac into an art studio. Most people think that the Mac has very limited tools, but there are various free drawing apps available with which you can start your professional career.
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are the most popular graphic designing tools among designers, but they are expensive as compared to other tools. There are other competitive tools that offer similar features (not identical) to that of Adobe Suite at a low price or no cost.
In this article, we will review some of the best free drawing apps for Mac.
1. Autodesk SketchBook
Autodesk Sketchbook is a drawing app available for Mac users who want to create sketches, vectors, concept art, etc. It’s a very useful drawing solution for creative professionals which allows them to create stunning art in less time.
The user interface of Autodesk Sketchbook is intuitive and provides a distraction-free interface that allows you to maximize the drawing space. To get started the software is effortless as the Quick Tour Window helps you to demonstrate all the essentials in a creative way.
Sketchbook is compatible with all devices and allows you to export your creative work in various formats, including JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, and PSD. It also enables you to use different functions such as Brush palette, color and shapes picker, perspective and predictive stroke, control guides, and rulers.
With pencils, inks, markers, and more than 190 customizable brushes, you can include textures as well as shapes in your art. For precise lines, you need to use traditional rulers or ellipse guides, while for smooth lines, you need to work with predictive stroke.
You can use your device camera as a scanner that enables you to scan your sketch. It imports all lines of art with a transparent background (which you can ink or color afterward).
Autodesk Sketchbook is available on all the major platforms (including, desktop and mobile) which allows you to stay creative and productive wherever you go. There’s no limit to what you can do with Sketchbook. If you are passionate about creative artworks, then Sketchbook is a great fit for you.
Inkscape is an open-source drawing app used by graphic designers, illustrators, and web designers and an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. In short, Inkscape is to Illustrator what GIMP is for Photoshop.
Inkscape is available for all platforms including Windows, Mac, and Linux has a simple interface. For instance, there are a total of three panels present in the software that is at the top (program window), on the left (basic tools), and the right (command bar).
You can use the Flow Text tool to create individual text lines without any frames. It can be installed inside any shape and regular text. Although Inkscape’s screaming text does not support any other program, so you will have to first convert it into plain text.
Inkscape has full-featured and well-designed tools for creating, editing, and converting vectors. The best thing about those tools is that each tool has its separate window which does not clutter the interface.
If you are using the software for commercial printing, then it can be a tough part as Inkscape does not support CMYK. So, you must have a printer that can convert your file into CMYK. You can export files in SVG, PMG, and HTML. It differs from other free drawing apps as you cannot export your artwork in JPG format.
For beginners, it is one of the best tools to start with while experienced designers can move to other advanced tools. Some of the features of Inkscape still need improvement.
FireAlpaca is a free painting and drawing tool compatible with both Windows and Mac. The application is powerful with simple features and functions that allow you to make illustrating easy. It helps you to deliver your work in a reliable and speedy manner.
It provides all the basic tools such as pencil, brushes, selection tools, eraser, eyedropper, move tool, hand tools, bucket, etc., that would help any digital artist. To create shapes and symmetry, you can use a gradient tool, shape tool, or pen tool.
As the application is available in 10 languages, designers can readily access this application across the globe. The interface is simple with basic tabs like edit, file, filter, and layer tab. You can even use image editing tools such as flip, resize, filters, canvas size, rotate, selections, and layer support.
FireAlpaca’s windows can be moved from left to right, rotate or float anywhere around the interface, or overlap it on other windows. You can also add or cancel windows to make the application windows as you want.
Although the application is free, it provides advanced features such as perspective tools (cancellation lines and multiple perspective views). The 3D perspective allows you to snap to a 3D object such as a cube.
Since it doesn’t require any tricky controls or excess training to deal with, it is best for beginners. If you are a comic book artist, then you will love its panel layouts and built-in templates (available for free).
Krita is an open-source painting, drawing, and animation application designed for illustrators, concept designers, texture renderers, visual effect creators, comic book creators, concept artists, animators, game artists, matte painters, and many more. It is used by professionals, hobbyists, and even students all over the world.
From industry standards to innovative designs, Krita provides various basic as well as standard features that make your art more creative and productive. It provides stabilizers for smooth freehand inking, a distraction-free canvas-only mode, multiple types of layers, brush engines for sketching, and much more.
Krita has more than 9 brush engines, so you can choose any one of them with which you are comfortable to design. However, you can also create your own brushes and tag them through a unique tagging system.
Before you start sketching or painting on Krita, you should first get familiar with basic brushes used in software like Ink Ballpen, Fill Brush Circle, and Fill Brush Block. If you want to work specifically on painting, then you can use Bristles Wet, Bristles Texture, Basic Mix Soft Brush, and Airbrush Pressure.
Krita’s Fill Brush Circle and Block have a hundred percent opacity and these brushes have the characteristics of pressure size (change in size depending on how much pressure applied to the tablet).
However, the Bristles Wet Brush is used to transit between colors, and the Bristles Texture Brush is used to add a smooth texture.
To organize drawings and paintings, Krita allows you to manage layers by combining, ordering, or flattening the layers. And, with the help of layer visibility options, you can also remove some parts of the drawings.
Krita lets you open, edit, and save HDR and scene-referred images. You can even manipulate the view to examine HDR images which can be further used in the films and visual effects industries.
5. MediBang Paint
As the name suggests, MediBang Paint is a free paint app available for various platforms including the desktop (both Windows and Mac), tablets, and smartphones (both Android and iOS).
The name differs for each platform as follows:
- Windows & Mac: MediBang Paint Pro
- iPad: MediBangPaint iPad
- iPhone: MediBang Paint iPhone
- Android: MediBangPaint Android
MediBang Paint provides various drawing tools and functions such as brush, eraser, eyedropper, selection tools, gradient, transform, comic panel, magic wand, crop, and much more. You can export your file in .PSD format (with the layers intact).
Similar to Photoshop, the selection tool of MediBang Paint helps you to add, subtract or intersect selections and make a polygon, eclipse, or free-form shapes. The app is considered as a drawing app, and not a photo editing app.
MediBang Paint offers a resource library that consists of background images, action lines, fonts, and patterns. With the layer palette, you can change the blending mode, move them around, merge, hide, lock, etc.
If you are using an iPad, then you can make use of palm rejection. You can turn on strict palm rejection where your iPad will only detect the stylus. You can also turn off palm rejection and use finger gestures with the help of Hand tools.
With these drawing apps, you can create professional-grade sketches, vectors, and graphic designs. If you are comparing Adobe Suite with these apps, then I would like to say some of them offer similar features, so you can give it a try right away.
Now, you know the best free drawing apps available for Mac. If we missed any of your favorite apps, please let us know in the comment section.