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apps for drawing comics

10 Best Apps For Drawing Comics

Are you a novice cartoonist or a professional designer tired of using the traditional pen and paper and now looking for the best apps for drawing comics?

Using pen and paper is arduous when drawing comics.

Just imagine how cartoonists in the past suffered.

The culture of comics spread widely in the middle of the 20th century.

However, the first reference to funny magazines with pictures and text date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

At that time, the production of comics was an extremely time-consuming task.

There was still no modern printing house that could print tens of thousands of copies per day without any problem.

An even bigger problem was drawing the pictures.

The best paper and paint did not do justice to the drawn images.

Today, with the development of technology, all these problems are a thing of the past.

Now, the only limitation of drawing comics is your ability.

A good comic strip has a unique concept, plot, sense of humor, above all, good drawing and design.

In the 21st century, it often happens that when inspiration comes, there are no good pencil and paper on hand to quickly express what’s on your head.

That’s why you will definitely need handy apps for drawing comics.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the 10 best apps for drawing comics.

1. Adobe Photoshop

Some may be surprised, but yes, Photoshop is needed not only for processing frames from your beautiful photoshoots.

Photoshop is also one of the best drawing apps.

Used by world-renowned people in the comic book community in addition to ordinary artists.

Thanks to its fame and the developers’ name at Adobe, Photoshop has an endless number of useful add-ons.

These add-ons like brushes, fonts, and other tools will help you unleash your creativity to the fullest.

The best advantage of Photoshop over other drawing applications is the ability to work with layers.

Photoshop also allows you to upload ready-made photographs (or drawings) into your editor.

In this way, it can help some artists draw comics in their own style.

Moreover, it can help compile and layout ready-made works that only need to be correctly placed on the screen.

Another undoubted advantage is its prevalence and optimization for almost all popular operating systems,

Also, it has the availability of mobile versions for IOS and Android.

Among the shortcomings, we can note the difficulty for adaptation for beginners.

The application is designed primarily for professional photographers and artists.

It can be challenging for novice creators to understand all the variety of functions of this application.

However, if you figure out what’s what, you may not be equal in this complex matter.

A subscription to this application will cost you $20.99 per month, and you can order it directly on the Adobe website.

2. Autodesk SketchBook

The Autodesk SketchBook application was developed by the Californian company Autodesk.

This is one of the best mobile apps available today.

The main advantage of this program is its price or rather its complete absence.

App store’s over 18,000 ratings, and an average score of 4.8 are undoubtedly a quality mark.

This application has many brushes, a user-friendly interface, and a wide selection of paints: oil, watercolor, charcoal, gouache, and many, many others.

Know that it is also possible to work with layers, as in the aforementioned Photoshop, which greatly simplifies the work professionally.

Sketchbook also has a set of precision tools such as a ruler and compasses that comic book artists need to create borders, for example, or dialog boxes.

With this application, you can create true masterpieces.

As the developers recently announced, the application is now completely free, as it was already written above.

Sketchbook can now fully satisfy the needs of not only an amateur artist but also a professional designer.

You can download it both on mobile devices and on a personal computer.

3. Comic LIFE 3 (36.30)

Let’s step aside a bit from professional applications for artists and look at a program that directly specializes in comics.

Here, the third version of the well-known Comic Life program stands apart.

Developed by programmers from the international company Plasq.

Comic Life 3 is the best highly specialized program for drawing comics.

Its main difference from other drawing programs is the ability to select ready-made tools sharpened specifically for comics:

  • borders
  • dialog boxes
  • effects
  • filters
  • fonts, and much more

A simple and intuitive interface will allow the artist to quickly go headlong into the process of creating their own unique story.

Another fantastic feature is uploading a photo of a living person and applying special filters to it.

The feature will make your friend, girlfriend, or mother a character in your comic universe.

Isn’t that cool? 

There’s no need to spend hundreds of hours reading Photoshop guides and looking for unverified add-ons.

Here, everything has been done for you. 

In addition to creating your own comic universe, this application is great for creating a stylish school or university presentations.

You can also create awesome memes that are sure to score hundreds of thousands of pluses on Reddit.

This app is available for Mac, Windows, Android, and IOS.

The Comic LIFE 3 version costs $36.30 per purchase for all time (not a subscription).

You can download it from AppStore or Google Play, or from the official Plasq website.

4. Adobe Illustrator Draw

Well, now back to professional graphic design software.

And again, we have an application from the Adobe company, this time an Adobe Illustrator Draw.

This product is as professional and difficult to use as Photoshop but with a considerable bias towards design and painting.

Professional artists most often use it in conjunction with Photoshop Sketch.

Both of these applications were designed specifically to work in tandem.

You can easily transfer files from a program to another and vice versa.

And this is very convenient when creating comics.

For example, you drew an illustration for one of your plots.

Instead of uploading the finished picture to a third-party application where there are beautiful fonts and changing the image format, you throw it into Photoshop, make an inscription, and return the picture to Illustrator to finalize the details.

It is also handy for placing pictures in the correct sequence.

Of the technical features, it is worth noting the ability to work with layers.

Its five pen nibs can customize each of them with users’ needs and a 64x magnification for working out small details.

Both of these applications are available for IOS and Android.

You can find them on the official Adobe website.

The basic functionality of both programs is free.

However, you can subscribe to Creative Cloud to unlock more features.

5. IbisPaint

You can’t seriously write a comic book article without mentioning Japanese manga.

The application that will be discussed there is ideal for drawing such comics.

I’m talking, of course, about the wonderful ibisPaint.

It has more than 50 million downloads and 140.000 reviews.

A truly legendary app with an average rating of 4.5 points.

One of the features of this program that distinguishes it from the rest on our today’s list is the developed social interactions system and the ability to upload your work directly to a special social network on the application website.

This site shows thousands of different works demonstrating the limitless potential of ibisPaint.

Concerning technical capabilities, the program will delight users with:

  • a low entry threshold
  • the simplicity of the interface
  • varieties of different tools
  • more than 800 fonts, 380 brushes, 70 different filters
  • the ability to record the drawing process
  • rulers
  • tools for creating symmetry, masks, and much more.

The application also implements the ability to add layers.

Nonetheless, the only limit on the number is the RAM of your device.

The main feature is what I already wrote about above.

The main feature is what I already wrote about above.

The ibisPaint can enable “manga mode”.

It becomes much easier and more enjoyable to create your Japanese-style comic.

You can try the application in the free version.

However, to access the full functionality, you will need to buy the full version for $5.

Links to versions for IOS and Android and works of users can be found on the official website.

6. Procreate

An application that may not suit everyone, but we must mention it.

Procreate is arguably the best drawing program out there.

Developed and released back in 2011 by the Australian company Savage Interactive.

This program has revolutionized the concept of digital drawing.

A laconic design, speed of work, an incredible selection of brushes, and an almost perfect transfer of work with a brush.

All this in Procreate is brought not just to a high but to a truly cosmic level.

However, despite its outward simplicity, the application is still professional software.

It is intended primarily for artists and designers of the highest level.

It is not difficult to see its potential, but to use correctly all the tools it offers is no longer an easy task. 

Procreate is used by the famous illustrator and co-publisher from the DC-comics Jim Lee, who used it to sketch Batman and the Joker

Professional artists like David Hockney also use it.

Even Disney and Pixar’s in-house artists use Procreate.

Unfortunately for most users, Procreate is available exclusively for iPad and not in other platforms.

The application is paid, and you can download it at App Store for $10.

7. Adobe Fresco

Adobe Fresco is an app designed specifically for digital artists and illustrators.

It gives users the ability to work in both vector and raster graphics.

If learning to master Photoshop is a whole art, then even a beginner can master Adobe Fresco. 

In the app we can find three types of brushes: pixel, vector, and brush imitate the real one. 

Pay attention to the last category because the developers really managed to achieve the effect of “live drawing”.

Using the aquarelle brushes, you can control the amount of water and paint, dry the layer or leave it wet.

There is also the effect of the brush touching wet paper.

This effect makes the user constantly control himself.

Another essential thing to note is that Adobe Fresco can combine vector and raster graphics in one image.

Thus other applications, such as Procreate, do not allow.

When using a vector brush, Fresco creates a new layer.

And this layer can be infinitely scaled.

The following function will be beneficial for artists who like to capture the drawing process, for example, for social networks.

In Fresco Adobe, you can take advantage of the built-in time-lapse feature that will continue even after a break.

Videos like this will look really cool in IGTV format on Instagram.

In conclusion, Adobe Fresco is a modern, user-friendly application that will be suitable for digital artists, newcomers to digital painting, traditional artists who choose a more portable option while maintaining some painting atmosphere, and even children.

Get your download from the official adobe website.

8. ArtRage

ArtRage is one of the best digital painting apps.

This app’s distinct feature is the high level of interaction of various tools with the canvas and with each other.

By rubbing chalk or charcoal over the watercolor, you will not get just a superimposed texture.

The paint will interact with the limestone and leave very realistic and natural streaks.

ArtRage is suitable for everyone who finds interest in drawing.

However, only truly knowledgeable professional artists can use it to its fullest potential.

From the technical features in ArtRage the work with oil and canvas is conveyed realistically.

There is also the possibility to work with layers, a vast selection of brushes, and a well-thought-out system of interaction of colors.

Colors can blend, overlap, and create beautiful transitions and new colors.

The price of the program bites.

For the full version, you need to pay $79, but this is a one-time purchase, and it is definitely worth it.

ArtRage is available for work on a PC. 

You can buy it and see the work on the official website following the link here.

9. PaperColor

Concluding the conversation about applications with wide functionality, we can’t fail to mention PaperColor.

Here, as well as in ArtRage, the feeling of working with real paints is perfectly conveyed.

A well-made application without a strong overload of functionality.

It will make it easy for beginners to figure out the application.

Moreover, it has a wide selection of tools that will not leave indifferent and sophisticated users.

One of the application’s fantastic features is the ability to upload a translucent photo as “bedding” for your work.

This allows, for example, to redraw your friend with high precision while maintaining stylistic details.

A very important feature for creating realistic comics.

Also, it implemented the possibility of a built-in signature of paintings after each of your work.

The main functionality of the application is free.

However, to unlock some functions, you will need to pay extra.

PaperColor has over 10,000,000 Google Play downloads and an average rating of 4.3.

Note that this app is available only for Android users, and you can download it from the link here.

10. Dotpict

In the end, I left an application for real experimenters.

It does not have the usual structure for drawing, including comics, but potentially it is possible to create real masterpieces without requiring high artistic skills and extreme efforts.

Dotpict is a pixel painting app.

It means that you will be drawing in tiny dots without using other tools.

There are not a bunch of settings: sliders, brushes, and filters here.

You only have to choose a color and a size of work-space.

Dotpict, like ibisPaint, has a developed community.

It works from the application and can be directly uploaded to the site, where other users can see and discuss them.

This application is well suited for creating concept art or comics in the Shovel Knight or Punch Club style.

It is an essential plus with its minimum low entry threshold and ease of use.

The program is verified by the community.

It has more than two million downloads on Google Play and a rating of 4.4. 

A very good result for such a simple application.

It is also worth mentioning that the application is entirely free and available on Android and IOS.

You can find the download link and the work of other users on the application website here.

Final Thoughts

We made an effort to include both paid and free applications in this list so that any artist could find what he likes.

We hope you can use these apps to draw comics in both professional drawing applications and experimental formats for both meaningful works and just for fun.

I hope our article helped you choose the best apps for drawing comics that are right for you.

See you on the shelves of bookstores!

For more helpful and inspiration reads, do check the articles below.

10 Best Advanced Graphic Design Online Courses For Self-Improvement

Best iPad Cases for Drawing

10 Best iPad Drawing Screen Protectors (Rated & Reviewed)

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