top software for visual artists

Best Software for Visual Artists

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    Did you know that over 80% of visual artists use software to enhance their creative process? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best software for your artistic needs.

    Whether you're a digital painter, graphic designer, or photographer, finding the right software can greatly impact the quality and efficiency of your work. In this discussion, we will explore some of the top software choices for visual artists, highlighting their unique features and benefits.

    So, if you're looking to take your artistic endeavors to the next level, keep reading to discover the perfect software that will elevate your creativity to new heights.

    Key Takeaways

    • Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, Corel Painter are widely used software options for visual artists, offering an extensive range of tools and features.
    • Affinity Photo, Clip Studio Paint, Krita, Autodesk Sketchbook, Rebelle are alternative software options for visual artists, known for their affordability and intuitive user interfaces.
    • Procreate stands out with its natural drawing experience, extensive brush selection, layer support, and seamless integration with other iPad apps.
    • Affinity Photo is notable for being available on multiple platforms, its affordable pricing, intuitive user interface, and professional-grade features.

    Adobe Photoshop

    Adobe Photoshop is a powerful and versatile software that's widely used by visual artists for photo editing, drawing, and digital painting. As a leading digital art software, Adobe Photoshop offers an extensive range of tools and features that make it an indispensable tool for artists. Whether you're a professional illustrator or a beginner exploring the world of digital art, Photoshop provides a platform where your creativity can thrive.

    With its intuitive interface and vast array of brushes and tools, Adobe Photoshop allows artists to bring their visions to life. The software's compatibility with various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and iOS, ensures that artists can work seamlessly across different devices. Additionally, Adobe Photoshop CC 2021, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, comes with AI capabilities, enhancing the artist's workflow and expanding their creative possibilities.

    One of the standout features of Adobe Photoshop is its layering tool, which allows artists to work on different elements of an image separately. This feature is particularly useful for graphic designers who need to create complex compositions or manipulate multiple images. Moreover, Photoshop offers unique textures and patterns that can be applied to artwork, giving it a distinct and personalized aesthetic.


    Procreate is a top digital art software that offers unique features to enhance your artistic creativity. With its natural drawing experience, wide range of brushes, and support for hundreds of layers, Procreate provides the tools you need to bring your imagination to life.

    Its seamless integration with other iPad apps further expands its capabilities, making it a versatile choice for visual artists on the go.

    Top Digital Art Software

    When it comes to digital art software, one option stands out for its impressive capabilities and user-friendly interface: Procreate. This leading digital art app, exclusive to iPad, offers a natural drawing experience and a wide range of brushes and layers.

    Procreate 5.2, the latest version, now supports M1 iPad Pro and 3D painting tools, making it a cutting-edge choice for digital artists. Running on iOS 11.1+ and highly regarded for its accessibility and affordability, Procreate is a popular choice among top artists on social media.

    It's the best digital art software for mobile devices, providing a powerful set of tools for creating stunning digital art. With its features and functionalities, Procreate competes with other digital art apps and stands as one of the best drawing apps available.

    Procreate's Unique Features

    With its innovative features and seamless integration, Procreate sets itself apart as a leading choice for digital artists. This popular digital art software offers a range of unique features that make it stand out from other software options. Take a look at the table below to see some of Procreate's standout features:

    Procreate's Unique FeaturesDescription
    Natural Drawing ExperienceProcreate provides a realistic drawing experience, mimicking the feel of traditional art tools.
    Extensive Brush SelectionWith a wide range of brushes to choose from, artists have endless possibilities for creating their digital artwork.
    Layer SupportProcreate supports hundreds of layers, allowing artists to work on complex projects with ease.
    Seamless IntegrationProcreate seamlessly integrates with other iPad apps, making it convenient for artists to incorporate their digital work into other creative projects.
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    Procreate's unique features make it one of the best digital art programs available for visual artists. Its natural drawing experience, extensive brush selection, layer support, and seamless integration set it apart from competitors such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Corel Painter, and Clip Studio Paint Pro. Whether you're a beginner or a professional, Procreate offers the tools and capabilities needed to bring your artistic vision to life.

    Enhancing Artistic Creativity

    Building upon Procreate's unique features, the app enhances artistic creativity by providing a seamless and professional digital art experience on the iPad. With its intuitive interface and robust capabilities, Procreate stands out as one of the best digital art programs available. Here's how it helps artists unleash their creativity:

    • Extensive Brush Library: Procreate offers hundreds of brushes, allowing artists to explore various styles and techniques.
    • Layering and Editing Tools: The app supports multiple layers, enabling artists to experiment and make precise adjustments to their artwork.
    • Integration with Other Software: Procreate seamlessly integrates with popular digital art software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Fresco, Affinity Photo, Adobe Illustrator, MediBang Paint, and Autodesk Sketchbook, providing a versatile and efficient workflow.

    With Procreate's powerful features and compatibility, artists can fully explore their artistic potential and create stunning digital artworks.

    Corel Painter

    Corel Painter, renowned for its realistic brush strokes and textures, is a versatile and powerful software that offers a wide range of painting tools and features for visual artists. As one of the best digital art programs available, it provides an exceptional platform for digital painting and drawing. With its extensive collection of drawing and painting tools, Corel Painter allows artists to create stunning and lifelike artwork.

    For those looking for an Adobe Photoshop alternative, Corel Painter is a top choice. It's multi-platform friendly and seamlessly transfers files to and from Adobe Photoshop while preserving their content. This makes it an excellent software for capturing different art mediums digitally. It's particularly appealing to veteran artists who are transitioning to digital art.

    One of the standout features of Corel Painter is its ability to emulate traditional painting techniques. It accurately captures the essence of watercolors, acrylics, and oils, providing an impressive natural media emulation. The software's extensive brush library allows for realistic strokes, and its customizable canvas textures and surfaces add depth and authenticity to the artwork.

    Corel Painter isn't only a powerful digital art tool but also a creative software suitable for designers, artists, and students. It supports third-party software and works seamlessly with drawing tablets, making it an affordable option for those looking to explore the world of digital art. With its powerful features and realistic brush strokes, Corel Painter is a go-to software for visual artists.

    Affinity Photo

    powerful photo editing software

    If you're looking to explore a powerful alternative to Corel Painter for your visual art needs, consider Affinity Photo. This digital art software offers a wide range of features and tools that make it one of the best digital art programs available. Here are some reasons why Affinity Photo stands out:

    • Extensive capabilities: Affinity Photo isn't just limited to photo editing; it also excels in drawing and digital painting. This makes it a versatile choice for artists who want to explore different mediums.
    • Cross-platform flexibility: Whether you're using Windows, macOS, or iOS, Affinity Photo has got you covered. Its availability on multiple platforms allows you to seamlessly switch between devices without compromising your creative workflow.
    • Affordable pricing: Affinity Photo is known for its affordability compared to other digital art software programs. It offers professional-grade features without breaking the bank, making it a favorite among visual artists on a budget.
    • Intuitive user interface: The software's user interface is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate. This ensures that you can focus on your art rather than getting lost in complex menus and settings.
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    Clip Studio Paint

    When it comes to Clip Studio Paint, you'll be impressed by its extensive brush customization options. The software allows you to fine-tune your brushes to achieve the desired effect, whether it's mimicking traditional media or creating unique textures.

    Additionally, Clip Studio Paint offers seamless integration with 3D models, allowing artists to easily incorporate them into their artwork and explore new dimensions in their creations.

    Brush Customization Options

    The brush customization options in Clip Studio Paint empower visual artists to craft brushes that are uniquely tailored to their artistic vision and creative needs. With this digital art software, you have access to a wide range of tools for paint and realistic digital painting.

    Clip Studio Paint offers a large selection of brushes, including an impressive array of natural media brushes. You can adjust various parameters such as size, texture, density, and blending to achieve the desired brush behavior. The software also provides pen pressure detection, allowing for more expressive and dynamic brush strokes.

    Additionally, Clip Studio Paint allows you to import custom textures and shapes, expanding the range of brush effects and styles. You can easily save and organize your customized brushes for convenient access and reuse in future artworks.

    3D Model Integration

    To enhance your artistic process and expand your creative possibilities, Clip Studio Paint seamlessly integrates 3D models into your digital artwork. As one of the best digital art programs available, this app offers a wide range of digital art tools that can be used for free or through a subscription.

    The integration of 3D models in Clip Studio Paint is a great feature that allows you to easily incorporate complex objects into your artwork. This functionality is especially useful for artists who want to create realistic scenes or characters.

    While Adobe Photoshop is widely regarded as the best Adobe software for digital drawing, Clip Studio Paint serves as a strong Photoshop alternative, providing artists with a powerful toolset and an intuitive interface for creating stunning digital art.


    digital painting software for artists

    Krita, a dynamic and versatile free and open-source digital painting software, offers visual artists a reliable and feature-rich platform for their artistic endeavors. With its customizable interfaces and reliable resource management, Krita is an ideal choice for artists using Windows, Mac, and Linux. It boasts a wide range of brushes, making it a strong contender for the best digital art software available. Whether you're a beginner or a professional, Krita caters to your needs with its extensive features.

    Here are some reasons why Krita stands out:

    • Variety of brushes: Krita has a dynamic community that has developed hundreds of brushes, allowing artists to explore different styles and techniques.
    • Animation and storyboard features: Krita goes beyond just being a digital art program. It supports animation and storyboard features, providing artists with the tools to bring their creations to life.

    Additionally, Krita offers a free version, making it accessible to artists of all budgets. It also supports wet and dry media, allowing artists to mimic traditional painting techniques digitally. Furthermore, Krita has app versions for iOS, providing artists with the flexibility to work on the go.

    Collaborative workflow tools and various support options are also available, ensuring that artists have the resources they need to excel in their creative pursuits. Overall, Krita is a powerful and versatile software that enables artists to unleash their creativity and earn a commission with their art.

    Autodesk Sketchbook

    If you're looking for another powerful and user-friendly digital drawing and painting software, Autodesk Sketchbook is an excellent choice to explore. With its intuitive and user-friendly interface, Sketchbook provides a seamless experience for artists of all levels.

    One of the standout features of Autodesk Sketchbook is its wide range of customizable brushes and settings. Whether you're looking for a realistic pencil or a vibrant watercolor brush, Sketchbook has you covered. Additionally, the software includes perspective tools that allow for accurate drawing and ensure that your artwork is visually pleasing.

    Another advantage of Sketchbook is its layer blending modes and adjustment options. These features give you the flexibility to experiment with different effects and enhance your artwork. Additionally, Sketchbook offers a time-lapse recording capability, allowing you to showcase your artistic process.

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    Autodesk Sketchbook is available on various platforms, including desktop, mobile apps, and even drawing tablets. This versatility makes it accessible to artists on the go. While Sketchbook does have a free version, the full version provides additional features and customization options.

    In comparison to other popular digital art software like Adobe Photoshop or Procreate, Autodesk Sketchbook holds its own with its user-friendly interface and powerful tools. It's definitely worth considering for artists looking for a versatile and intuitive painting software.


    young girl fights against oppression

    Rebelle 7 offers digital painters a cost-effective alternative, delivering a realistic and immersive painting experience with its wide selection of brush presets and authentic color blending. This versatile software replicates the essence of traditional art mediums, making it a standout option for artists looking for a natural and immersive digital painting experience. With over 240 brush presets, Rebelle allows artists to create stunning digital artwork that closely resembles watercolors and acrylics.

    Here are some key features of Rebelle:

    • Realistic Painting Experience:

    Rebelle provides a realistic painting experience that mimics the look and feel of traditional art mediums, allowing artists to create digital artwork that closely resembles real-world paintings. Its authentic color blending and brush system make it a popular choice for artists seeking to capture the essence of traditional media digitally.

    • Wide Selection of Brush Presets:

    With over 240 brush presets, Rebelle offers a wide range of options for artists to choose from. Whether you're looking to create bold strokes or delicate details, Rebelle has you covered.

    Rebelle is a cost-effective alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC and offers a free version for those who want to try it out. Whether you're into digital art, comic panel creation, or simply want to explore new painting software, Rebelle is definitely worth considering. Its ability to replicate real-world painting techniques and deliver an immersive painting experience sets it apart from other software like Procreate and Krita.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Software Do Most Artists Use?

    Most artists use a variety of software depending on their specific needs and preferences. They may use top-rated software for graphic design, explore the best animation tools, or choose popular software for 3D modeling. Additionally, they may use software for photo editing, digital painting, vector graphics, video editing, typography, virtual reality, and creating digital illustrations.

    Which Software Is Used in Visual Arts?

    When exploring traditional techniques and experimenting with mixed media, incorporating technology in art becomes essential. The impact of digital tools on visual arts enhances creativity and pushes the boundaries of visual storytelling in the digital age. Blending traditional and digital art techniques allows for artistic expression. Additionally, software can be utilized for art therapy, offering new avenues for healing and self-expression. The future of software in visual arts holds exciting possibilities for artists to further enhance their craft.

    What Software Do Professional Illustrators Use?

    Professional illustrators rely on top drawing software options to create stunning digital art. They explore the versatility of graphic design software, enhance illustrations with powerful photo editing tools, and unleash creativity with advanced digital painting programs.

    What App Do Most Digital Artists Use?

    Most digital artists use Adobe Photoshop CC 2021, the top choice for its extensive features and AI capabilities. Procreate is also popular for its natural drawing experience, while Rebelle 7 offers affordable realistic media simulation.


    In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best software for visual artists, the options are vast and varied. Whether you prefer the industry standard capabilities of Adobe Photoshop CC, the natural drawing experience of Procreate, the realistic brush strokes of Corel Painter, or the extensive brush library of Krita, there's a software out there to suit your specific needs.

    Remember, finding the right software is like finding a needle in a haystack – it may take some time and exploration, but the results will be worth it.

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