since getting the surface pro 4* in january, i’ve been looking for good, free windows 10 drawing apps for when i want to doodle, quickly draw pattern and collage ideas, as well as jot down general ideas. of course you can use photoshop and illustrator, but if you want free, less intensive programs these are ace. i don’t know if these work on non touchscreen devices, or on anything other than windows 10, but if you have both of those, these are worth a try.
ps. procreate, please come to windows!
as you may guess by its name, graphiter is a pencil based app. it’s free, but to get coloured pencils and the blender you have to pay. i just got the coloured pencils and they were 79p but may have increased in price by now. you get different toned and textured papers to draw on, and with both the graphite and colored pencils you can change the hardness and thickness. it’s pressure based too, so the harder you press with your pen/stylus, the darker the line.
the reproduction of pencil ‘looks’ is pretty decent and this is definitely a fun program/app to play around with. wish it had layers though! you can export to png and jpg, so this would be ideal for doodles and drawings you want to export into photoshop to build on.
inkscape is vector based (like illustrator) and you can do similar things with it. i’ve not used it to it’s full potential though. it’s free to download and has no paid extras, so, things like layers are built in, which is handy. i personally use this if i have an idea for a digital pattern that i can quickly draw out on the surface, and import into illustrator on this or a different device to expand on it when i have more time/am plugged in.
it’s a little more complicated than the others in this post, and could probably replace illustrator if you took the time to learn it properly.
bamboo paper is what i use for doodling when i’m bored, writing ideas or writing to do lists as i can satisfyingly highlight or cross out items. once again, it’s free to download but you pay for extras like more pens and different pads. you can do a trial of these before you buy, which i found useful – but haven’t bought yet. it’s fine as is with what i use it for, but i’m sure more accomplished drawers/artists could do great things with this app. i’ve heard students like this for taking written notes in lectures.
sketchable is …kind of like a mini photoshop/similar type program. like the others, it’s free to download but you have to pay for the extra things, layers being part of that. quite capable as is though, with a good array of brushes and pens available, as well as full colour choice and swatches to remember your favourite colours. some brushes are pressure sensitive, but it seems a little hit and miss. that could just be my lack of skills with this app though.
do you have any recommendations for drawing apps for windows? free or paid – let me know!