Top Free Graphic Design and Painting Software

We all have heard the well-known saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Graphic designs, paintings and graphs and illustrations convey what we cannot speak in words. Digital illustrations provide us flexibility to collaborate and share our ideas. When it comes to presentation also, figures and drawings are preferred as they lend us the freedom of creative expression.

Graphic designs can be useful to the students and/or professionals for transforming their ideas onto paper.
The digital illustrations now-a-days have become common means of practically communicating your drawings to inspire others. Although many artists still prefer paper to be the most convenient mode, but the features and tools in the graphic design software have grabbed their interest for addressing every minute detail in their designs. In this blog we are going to have a quick walk through some free graphic design software to create your best designs.



Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You can freely draw anything using a wide choice of tools which lets you create patterns and shapes, perform canvas editing and embed bitmaps of selected objects.


Inkscape offers object manipulations like transformation, grouping objects and creating layers. Almost all operations on object coloring are available like pattern fill, gradient editor, dash pattern and path markers. It has perfectly compliant SVG format file generation and editing facility with support to other file formats like PNG, Open Document Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS and PostScript export formats etc.



SmoothDraw is an easy natural painting and digital free-hand drawing software that can produce high quality pictures. With SmoothDraw, you can forget about learning software tools, just start drawing with all your talents!


SmoothDraw offers the user a variety of brushes to draw different types of shapes including pen, pencil, dry media, airbrush, bristle brush, image hose, etc. It provides retouch tools for doing corrections in the images already designed with the help of layers on Windows OS. You can save your design as SmoothDraw file (.sddoc) or to PNG, JPG, BMP, TIFF formats.



Canva makes designing easy for everyone; it’s an amazing tool for the beginners and comes handy for professionals too. The simplicity of Canva has made it an excellent tool for creating Facebook graphics. According to Canva’s developers, the current features are only 1% of what they have in store for us.


Canva comes with variety of features like changing textures, giving effects like blur, transparency, vignette etc to your photos in JPEG, PNG, or SVG format. These features let you create banners, brochures, business cards, letterheads, restaurant menus and many more.



Blender is an open source 3D creation suite which supports 3D modeling, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking. Blender is cross-platform and runs equally well on Linux, Windows, and Macintosh computers.


The features offered by Blender are endless; you name a feature relevant to character animation and sound synchronization or designing and it’s there in Blender. It’s modeling tool lets you create, transform and edit your models in variety of file formats. The image file formats supported by Blender are BMP, Iris, JPEG, PNG, Targa, OpenEXR, Tiff etc.



Artweaver is a full-featured tool with a number of realistic highly configurable brushes enabling to paint creatively with free rotatable and dragable canvas. It provides you with everything you need to try your creative hands. It is not only suitable for beginners but also useful for advanced users.


Artweaver has a user-friendly interface which allows you to collaborate and work on the same design with your team by sharing it over the Internet. It records every event of your design process and allows you to replay it at a later stage. This may be useful in demonstration to others about the progress of the design. Artweaver supports most common file formats like BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, TGA and AWD.



Pixia Graphic Editor is a lightweight option for those who are beginning their journey of graphic design. It lets you create digital drawings and paintings with a variety of tools on Windows platform. With Pixia, which is compatible only with Windows, you can simultaneously work on multiple projects even by directly importing files from scanner or camera.


In addition to the basic features, it offers tools for creating digital art like brushes, color and contrast adjustment, burn, dodge, etc. with lot of options for file formats like BMP, DIB, ICO, JPG, JPEG, PICT, PCT, PNG, TIFF, PSD etc.



Vectr is a complete design package which comes with insightful tools which lets you create fine-looking graphic designs. It allows you to create variety of flyers, logos, business cards, professional presentations and collages. Through Vectr not only you can print your memorable designs, but you can also share your designs with your friends or team members by sending the URL of your project via email. You can also share your work on social media viz. on Face Book or Twitter.


One of the attractive features of Vectr is the options provided by Vectr to use it either on the web or by downloading it to your desktop. Whatever you design is automatically saved and synced across all platforms. It can be downloaded on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chromebook.



SVG-Edit (Scalable Vector Graphics) is online graphic software built on CSS3, Javascript and HTML 5 to convert your imagination into beautiful designs. It is a powerful tool which lets you reproduce your vector drawings programmatically. You can freely download the code and customize it based on your requirements.


As the name suggests, SVG-Edit allows you to create great two-dimensional vector graphics very easily with the help of various shapes like lines, circles, squares, ellipses etc. In addition to free hand drawings, it offers many configurable options for creating your own designs.



Krita is a digital painting software with intuitive interface for sketching and photo editing. Its customizable brushes make it favorite choice for those who are fond of working with every minute details of the design with variety of brushes. Krita’s resource manager lets you import brushes and textures to give you a better tool set.


Krita is popular choice of concept artists, illustrators, matte and texture artists and the VFX industry because of its features like layering, mirroring, color management etc. Krita has support for a variety of file formats including metadata support for kra, ora, tiff, jpeg and png file formats. A latest version of Krita was released in May 2017.


This is not exhaustive list of graphic design and painting softwares. There are many other softwares available in addition to those listed here, but either they are too simplistic with fewer tools or you have to pay to enjoy full functionality.

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