Free graphics tablet programs – You just bought or received a new one as a gift graphics tablet, a tool that can give you hours and hours of creativity and catapult you into the world of digital illustration. But there’s a catch: Looking around and asking a few friends you’ve noticed that most of the advice on how to use your new little gem is based on paid programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Don’t worry my friend, you must know that there are many programs for graphics tablet available for free.
In the next few lines I will show you which ones, in my opinion, are the best free graphics tablet programs available on Windows, macOS and GNU / Linux. Each of these programs is characterized by intuitive and feature-filled interfaces that meet your artist needs.
What do you say? Are interested? So start preparing your workstation, grab the stylus and get ready. In just over 5 minutes you will already be starting to draw your first sketches.
Critical (Windows / macOS / Linux)
The first program I want to tell you about is Chalk. It is a digital image editor optimized for creating comics, animations and illustrations. It’s free, open source, and available for all major computer operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux. Definitely one of the best free Wacom graphics tablet programs (and other types of tablets) currently available on the square.
To download Krita, all you have to do is connect to the official website of the program. Once you reach the home page you will be greeted by a huge blue button with the wording Get Krita Now which, once pressed, will redirect you to the Krita download page.
At this point, if you use Windows, press the button Windows Installer to start the download of the installation file a 64-bit (or 32-bit, depending on the version of Windows you are using). Once the download is complete, open the obtained file to start the installation procedure. Then click on the button Next (Reply Yup at the request for User Account Control, when it appears), check the box next to the item terms of license agreement and press the button Next until you have to press the button Install. Once the installation is complete, click on the buttons Next e Finish, to close the setup.
If you are using a Mac, however, click on the button Mac OSX Installer to download the file chalk-[versione].dmg which contains the program. Once the download is complete, open the file in question and drag the program icon into the folder Applications of macOS. Afterwards, do it right click onKrita icon and click twice on the item You open, in order to circumvent Apple’s restrictions on applications downloaded from outside the App Store (only required on first launch).
Once the program is open, you have the option to open a new project starting from a White sheet o da un ready to use model. There are many models available, ranging from templates suitable for the production of animated videos to those dedicated to the creation of a Japanese comic or manga and even models that adapt to some cameras currently in circulation.
When you have selected the template best suited to you, Krita will show herself in all her glory. If you’ve had some experience with graphics or drawing programs, such as the hugely popular Photoshop, you may have noticed that Krita arranges her tools in a similar order to Adobe’s program.
On the left, in fact, all the tools to edit the image; on the right, however, you can manage the color, check the individual tool settings or change the order of the various levels that make up the project. Obviously, at the center is the sheet on which to unleash your own artistic vein.
Surely the tool you will use most of the time with your graphics tablet will be the Brush, which is equipped with different painting styles, ranging from classic brushstrokes to styles that simulate the operation of a street artist spray can, to then arrive at brushes capable of generating random silhouettes. But all of this doesn’t force you not to explore Krita’s further possibilities. Create silhouettes, rectangles, circles, play with i gradients e i Side Dishes. In short, have fun!
If you want to customize your experience even more by moving the mouse cursor to the drop-down menu Settings and clicking on the item Configure Krita you will be able to change the program settings. Not convinced of the sRGB color rendition on your display? Look for the section Color Management and enter the card Display to change the profile in use, choosing from a wide range of presets or adapting it to your monitor settings, by clicking on the option Use system monitor profile. Does the graphics tablet seem unresponsive to your commands? Inside the section Tablet Settings you can freely adjust the pressure level of the nib.
When you are sure of the result, go to the menu File and choose whether to save the project file by voice Save or export the image in various graphic formats among the most popular, using the voice Export.
Gravit Designer (Windows/macOS/Linux)
Gravit Designer it is a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator and a good starting point for those who want to learn how to create vector images with their graphics tablet. In short, it could not miss in a review of the best free graphics tablet programs. The program can be downloaded for free on Windows, macOS and Linux. One is also available online version for browser accessible directly from the Gravit Designer official website.
That said, to download Gravit Designer, connect to the page dedicated to the download of the program and choose the version suitable for your operating system.
To download the program on Windows, select the item Download Designer for PC to start the file download GravitDesignerInstaller.exe. After that, all you have to do is start the installer and hit the button Install (Reply Yup when prompted by User Account Control, when it appears): in a few seconds, Gravit Designer will be ready to be started.
To download the program on macOS, click on the button instead Download Designer for Mac. Afterward, launch the file GravitDesigner.dmg got it, drag theGravit icon inside the folder Applications macOS and bypass Apple’s block for applications from non-certified developers by right-clicking on the program icon and clicking twice in a row on You open (this is necessary only at the first start).
Once opened, Gravit Designer will ask you to create a free account using your personal email address or an account Facebook, Google O Apple. Once the registration is complete, you will be asked whether to continue with the free version of Gravit Designer or to access the version PRO, which includes the ability to export files in high quality and have one unlimited storage through their cloud storage. The PRO subscription is priced at 49 euros / year, with a 15-day free trial period.
You will then be greeted by an interface with work tools positioned at the top of the window and with the level management positioned on the left. This is a different layout than many other graphics programs, but don’t worry: the interface is so simple and clean that you won’t miss it.
Working in vector, the work on shapes is the main strength of Gradient Designer and will allow you to create fantastic minimal illustrations to share with your friends. Gradient also has at its disposal, albeit with certain limitations, its own version of the Brush tool to create small quick sketches.
Once the work on the project is finished, you can safely save the file by moving the mouse towards the menu File and choose whether to save the file on the cloud, download a copy to keep on your device or extract the final paper in the following formats: png, jpeg, svg e pdf.
MyPaint is a graphic tablet program that aims at a realistic and unlikely simulation of the best known painting techniques. To do this, the developers have aimed at a simple and basic interface, making it the perfect free graphics tablet program for those who want to throw themselves exclusively into painting. It is available on Windows and Linux.
To download MyPaint, you need to connect to the developer GitHub page, which shows the latest version of the program available. From there, scroll down the page, look for the section dedicated to downloadable files and download the version that best suits your operating system.
They are poisoned Windows, then select the file .exe a 32-bit O a 64-bit (depending on the operating system you use) and wait for the download to finish. Once the file in question is open, click on the button Next and immediately after on the button Install (answering Yup at the User Account Control request, when it appears). At the end of the installation, you can immediately open the program and unleash your imagination!
As mentioned before, MyPaint offers a basic interface and various tools to allow users to produce their first work of art, with little room for customizing settings. After selecting yours characteristic feature and color, you can choose the type of brush that you are going to use starting from a wide range of styles available.
Furthermore, you can take advantage of a convenient function Sketchbook, to be able to quickly test the various combinations of brushstrokes and styles. In short, even with MyPaint the limit is dictated by your imagination. Create, experiment and above all have fun!
MyPaint allows you to save your files not only through the extension OpenRaster (.ora), but it also supports the export of images in the most classic formats PNG e JPEG.
Other free graphics tablet programs
If after this roundup of programs you have not yet managed to find something suitable for you, here are other graphics programs with which you can continue to experiment.
- GIMP (Windows / macOS / Linux) – the best known free and open source alternative to Photoshop and able to offer a very intuitive user interface, although it is not ready for digital drawing. If you want to know more, check out my guide on how to use GIMP.
- Inkscape (Windows / macOS / Linux) – free and open source vector graphics software similar to Illustrator, featuring an interface that gives the user full control over what he or she will create. For more insights, I recommend you take a look at my guide on how to use Inkscape.
- Paint.NET (Windows) – modified version of the drawing software available within the Windows operating system (although it has nothing to do with the latter, as it is an independent project). If you want to learn more about the specific functions of Paint.NET, I refer you to reading my guide on how to use Paint.NET.