top 5 best digital art programs procreate photoshop

Top 5 Digital Art Programs

Browsing today's digital art app and software options can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of programs that allow you to draw on your computer or tablet... but which ones are actually are worth your time?

Whether you're a long time artist or just getting started, here are my Top 5 Best Digital Art Programs:

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Procreate 

Perks: In terms of price, accessibility, and features for growing artists, Procreate takes the cake. Procreate covers all of your illustration basics, and has a variety of built-in brushes for new artists to try out to get a feel for digital art. Once you're tired of those and want to experiment further, there are thousands more available for download from professional artists all over the world!

Requirements:

  • iPhone or iPad
  • Apple Pencil

Price: $9.99

Adobe Photoshop

Perks: Photoshop is an industry standard in many art and design professions, so you'll be gaining a valuable skill by learning this program. It is a much more powerful program than some of the other options listed here, so you can create larger files with many more layers than Procreate will allow. Being stuck on a desktop or laptop computer, however, it's much less portable. It's also less beginner friendly, but there are millions of Photoshop-specific books and tutorials to help you get started! 

Requirements:

  • Desktop
  • Drawing Tablet

Price: $9.99 / month

Clip Studio Paint

Perks: If you wait for a sale, you can get Clip Studio for as much as 50% off! It's a direct competitor to Photoshop, with many of the same features, which makes this fun art program one of my top picks. However, many of the tutorials are in Japanese or are auto-translated, so it can be harder to get into than other software with more robust guides in English.

Requirements:

  • Computer
  • Drawing Tablet

Price: $49.99 (but goes on sale regularly)

Adobe Illustrator 

Perks: Adobe Illustrator is technically similar to Photoshop, with features geared more towards graphic design and vector illustration. Due to its very technical nature, you can reasonably get away with using AI without a drawing tablet. I do not recommend this program for beginners, but once you have a handle on it, it's an incredibly valuable tool in your illustration and graphic design skill set!

Requirements:

  • Computer

Price: $19.99 / month

Corel Painter

Perks: This program is a bit of a dark horse that doesn't get nearly as much of a spotlight as the others! It's a good choice for traditional artists looking for a very natural transition into digital art. Corel heavily features organic, painterly brushes that replicate traditional paint very well, and is very beginner friendly. It is built to work exactly like traditional art, and labels all of its brushes in a way that are very intuitive to traditional artists (gouache, acrylic, oil, etc.)

Requirements:

  • Computer
  • Drawing Tablet

Price: $19.99 / month

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I hope my Top 5 list has helped you pick out the best digital art program for you! Of course there are many more options than the ones listed here, but I wanted to help narrow down the pool of options to make the decision easier. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

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