The best drawing programs and how to choose them.
Graphic drawing programs make up a whole layer of the digital industry. With their help, you can perform various manipulations with images, for example, design, create and edit them.
Some pictures on a computer screen consist of dots; the second ones are built from geometric shapes, the third from the smallest objects (fractals), and the fourth from geometric bodies (polygons). The choice of an editor depends on what your goal is.
The principle of operation of graphic programs for drawing
Digital images are created using special software – graphic editors. Such programs include tools that allow you to load, view, modify, and save graphic files in the desired format. You can assemble a collage of several pictures or photos, apply filters and special effects, add animation, and adapt the image for posting on the Internet.
The program can be a standalone application (for example, PaintNet) or a combination (3ds Max, GIMP).
Almost all editors are graphic processors equipped with modules for loading the original image from cameras, scanners, and cameras, converting colors, and applying effects. Programs can work with different file formats and convert them. Most editors allow layer-by-layer processing of images.
The main types of graphic programs for drawing
Digital pictures are created in different ways. Depending on the image’s building unit, there are raster, vector, fractal, and other types of editors.
Programs of this type are based on the bitmap concept when a picture is a combination of a set of dots (pixels) that have their coordinates and color. The more dots per unit area, the better the image quality. With the help of raster programs, most illustrations on websites, books, and magazines were created.
A set of tools for raster drawing programs allows you to create pictures from scratch and edit them by applying retouching, layering, and color correction. This type of software is well-suited for creating realistic images.
The capabilities of the raster graphics editor allow you to get high-quality images from scratch and process uploaded images. Such programs are used by artists, illustrators, photographers, designers, and retouchers. The tools are designed to create various visual content for many operations.
Photoshop, Paint.Net, GIMP, and PaintShop Pro are the best graphics programs for drawing.
A feature of this type of program is that simple geometric shapes are used to generate images – points, lines, circles, and polygons. In the editor’s memory, they are stored as primitives, along with mathematical formulas that describe the shapes in terms of XY coordinates:
- dot – one;
- line – two (beginning and end);
- square-four (coordinates of the upper corners) and the magnitudes of the side.
Vector editors are designed to create scalable graphics, including interfaces and logos. Compared to raster images, vector images are less realistic but have some advantages:
- files are compact; they require less hard disk space;
- they can be scaled up and down without sacrificing quality.
The disadvantages of vector images include a possible discrepancy between digital and printed versions.
Vector graphic editors are used by designers who develop labels, booklets, graphics, charts, and icons. Blueprints, emojis, and emoticons are all examples of vector images.
Corel Draw, Figma, Inkscape, and Illustrator are popular programs.
Some applications combine the capabilities of raster and vector editors. These are Photoshop, GIMP, and Spotlight.
In programs of this type, images are formed due to mathematical formulas. In addition, a system of equations can serve as a building unit.
Fractal graphics are based on self-similarity: geometric properties are inherited from “parent” elements. The enlarged parts of the object resemble the object itself and are similar to each other. The center of the fractal figure is the simplest element – an equilateral triangle on which the same triangles are built. Still, with a side three times smaller than the original, and on them are elements of the second generation, the side of which is nine times smaller than that of the base figure.
The process can be continued indefinitely. Fractal graphics are used to create backgrounds for computer games. It is ideal for imitating the textures of living and inanimate nature. Clouds, sea surfaces, mountains, and meadows look realistic on the screen, thanks to fractal shapes.
Graphic files of this type only take up a little space. By changing the coefficients of the equation, you can get a completely different picture.
Artists often use the Apophysis, Sterling, and Fractint fractal generators.
Some editors combine the capabilities of the described types of graphic software. Programs for working with three-dimensional images are in demand when generating 3D models for cinema and computer games, advertising for industry needs, and architectural design.
Programs for creating presentations and slide shows stand apart. They are characterized by combining the capabilities of raster and vector editors and working with multimedia formats (video, audio, and animation). The purpose of such programs is to generate colorful interactive presentations.
Top 10 Graphic Drawing Programs
- Sai Paint Tool
This editor is often used by anime and manga artists. Thanks to a clear interface, working with this program is relatively easy, even for beginners. A rich toolkit that can fine-tune allows you to solve most problems.
Designed for creating images from scratch, editing vector images, and retouching photographs. The developers have equipped the editor with the tools to perform various manipulations with images of various formats. The program’s functionality allows for layer-by-layer processing of graphic files.
- Adobe Photoshop
An editor capable of performing all kinds of actions with raster images, from drawing on a tablet to making changes to finished drawings and photographs. Like other Adobe products, it is a benchmark for other developers through continuous improvement and innovation.
A free graphic drawing program with fewer tools than commercial counterparts. Ideal for novice artists, as it allows you to master the basic skills of working with the editor. Adding your brushes and textures is possible, increasing the number of available functions.
A feature of this program is the presence in the arsenal of professional tools designed to create a digital version of paintings. The editor is used to write paintings that imitate the technique of oil or pastel painting.
- Clip Studio Paint
Creators of comics, illustrations, and 2D stop-motion animation appreciate this Celsys product for making it as easy to draw manga on a tablet or computer as it is on paper. Suitable for both raster and vector graphics. Synchronization of mobile and desktop versions is provided.
- MediBang Paint Pro
Designed specifically for drawing comics and digital art. Includes the necessary set of tools, but if you wish, you can add your own by setting the desired options. Many options make this editor indispensable for artists creating anime, comics, and manga.
The main purpose of the program is photo editing. Thanks to a rich set of tools, you can give the image any look. The editor is often called the best free alternative to Photoshop. Although Artweaver features are more modest, they are enough for a beginner photographer.
Another completely free program for drawing on a computer and processing finished images. The functionality is limited, but all the basic tools in this editor are present.
A popular product of the Canadian company Corel, designed to work with vector graphics. Covers, advertising banners, business card layouts, posters, and flyers are created with this editor. Designers and specialists of printing companies actively use it.
Criteria for choosing a graphics program for drawing
- By level of training
Professional artists and novice amateurs need different editors. Simple graphics programs for drawing on a tablet suit those who want to try drawing. You can use the pen to create images displayed on a computer monitor. Advanced designers require special software designed to solve specific problems.
- According to technical requirements
Graphic editors with many tools and options require installation on computers with sufficient power (64-bit processor with a clock speed of at least 2 GHz). Particular attention should be paid to the amount of RAM. For the normal operation of simple graphics programs, you need at least 4 GB for fully functioning such professional products as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop – 16 GB.
- By interface language
Using the English version will require the user to have an excellent command of the language. It is much easier to master Russified editors for creating and processing images. Most of the training materials posted on the Internet are also in English, so you can only do it with basic knowledge; you will have to learn the names of the instruments at least.
- By degree of convenience
Not all editors can boast a clear interface; sometimes, it is unreasonably complex and overloaded with redundant functions. Video tutorials and special articles will come to the rescue to help you understand the set of tools.
Final Tips for Choosing a Graphic Drawing Program
Determining which editor is right for you is easier if you rely on your needs and the type of device on which the graphics program will be installed.
- Using a smartphone to create designs, you can download the ibis app. After watching commercials, you will not have to pay for access to the editor’s functions.
- For those who choose a graphics program for drawing on a tablet, we advise you to try Clip Studio Paint, where you can create comics.
- The needs of those who comprehend the basics of working with images will be completely satisfied by the free Paint.NET editor.
- Professional illustrators who adhere to the classical ways of drawing prefer the ArtRage program, designed for painting canvases in oil and pastel painting.
- If you need to create images from scratch and process photos, pay attention to Photoshop or Affinity Designer.
- CorelDRAW is ideal for creating scalable drawings, logos, digital art, and printable images.
Despite the variety, new graphic programs for drawing on a computer constantly appear. Developers offer editors tailored to create a certain type of visual content. This approach makes it possible to achieve high efficiency of graphic software, eliminate unnecessary functions, and create all conditions for designers and artists to work comfortably with images.