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What program do you use to make digital art and why?


Professional Nibbler
I'm willing to bet this exists on the forum somewhere, but I couldn't seem to find it anywhere. I was wanting to find a nice art program with which I can draw my fursona and get rid of the placeholder image I have. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Note: I've never drawn too much, but I've started to doodle in my free-time recently, so please try to include as many beginner-friendly examples as possible XD


Well-Known Member
On PC: PaintToolSAI. It's a bit 'outdated' these days, but I love it. Very lightweight, which it manages to do by throwing out anything that might be considered an "image editing" tool. You get layers, those layers can have, like, one of four effects, and you get some brushes. You can make your own brushes pretty easily. It's best if you're a cel-shader. You can do painterly art with it, but you'd probably get better results with more robust software. Its line smoothing/precision tool? Ace. The entirely reason I stick with this software and deal with it having a total lack of text and shape options.

On iPad: Procreate. Awful name (I can see what they were going for, but still), but a wonderful little one-time-purchase app. No ads or other nonsense. You kind of *really* need an Apple Pencil, or at the very least a more expensive third-party stylus though, if you want line tapering. You can kind of cheese it with touch tapering, but you have no control and the app just kind of tapers lines as it thinks is best. I use a $20 Amazon stylus, and it works well enough. It could be better.

What I don't use:

GIMP (PC): It's free. It's also got an intimidating UI and kind of a steep learning curve. I've never liked it.

FireAlpaca (PC): It's also free. It's kind of a SAI clone, with a few more options and tools. I've used it, but never got into it too much. It didn't really present me with much of a reason to switch permanently, but I saw nothing wrong with it.

Photoshop (PC and Mac): It is not free. Also, it's kind of a lie. I do use this extensively, but not for art. It's still kind of the "standard" but it's stupidly expensive unless you get the entire suite of Adobe products and use them regularly.


Active Member
I personally use SAI. Been using it for years and even though it's more 'basic' than other programs, I'm just the most comfortable with it.
That being said, Medibang is pretty good. Free too.
Another fantastic free program is Krita. It's open source and basically like a free Photoshop(On that note, Photoshop is now a subscription service.)
If you want to pay for a program though, Clip Studio is great. I used the trial version and enjoyed it very much.


Well-Known Member
I use SAI and ClipStudioPaint.
SAI is great for the feeling of drawing with it. It's pretty easy to draw with it, you have the options you need to do pretty much everything. But it lacks post-processing options like the Color Balance tool, text tools if you're doing tuto and so on. So I use SAI for sketch and coloring or painting and CSP for post-processing and comics.
I bought SAI full price but waited for big sales for CSP (they happen one or two times a year).

I think to begin it's better to use a free tool. I began with GIMP because it was free but I would not recommend it for beginner now. However GIMP has good post-processing tools (Color balance, levels and so on) so you can use it for post-processing.

From what I saw and heard, I think FireAlpaca or Medibang are good to begin since they are simple enough and have a nice learning curve (less frustration is always good when beginning something new :) ).
If after some times you feel a little stuck, go to Krita. And then see if you have some things you really like to do or things you feel like you need more options and then you can pay (if needed) a software that would really help to boost your drawing process because you'll have enough experience to know what you want :)


Пу́тин — хуйло́! Слава Україні! FckNzs.
I've had good experience with the line tool from paint.net. This is a good way for lines if you don't have a drawing tablet. Although there might be better software.


Professional Nibbler
Thank you all for the advice! I really appreciate it. I'll have to check some of those things out.