10 Apps Similar To Procreate
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Who would have thought that a hobby as kinesthetic and delicate as art could be adapted to the rigid, impersonal planes of a technological device?
… and yet, with a little help from apps such as Procreate, it has made the transition easier.
Technology, surely, facilitates everything we do nowadays.
We can enjoy more things without exerting that much effort like ordering for food or shopping online.
Procreate, blessed by the infallible Apple branding, is an immensely popular digital art tool .
It’s characterized by a vast library of brush tools (think acrylic, think charcoal, think watercolor, etc.),.
Moreover, with the added option to tweak existing brushes to your liking, you can create entirely new custom ones.
No time to customize, then you can simply download brushes from a ton of sites.
However, if you are not an iPad/iPhone connoisseur, or simply want to explore sturdy Procreate alternatives, look no further than our list of 10 Apps Similar to Procreate!
Table of Contents
Perhaps you like the Apple aesthetic and/or functionality, but not the Apple price tag.
Well, worry yourself no further.
Krita is very similar in design to Procreate.
It differs in the sense that it is entirely free, currently available to all as an open-source application.
I think that’s a pretty sweet deal.
The creators of Krita believe that quality art tools should be more widely available, not just to those with deeper pockets.
This desktop program is designed to work on Mac and Windows.
It can be found in both the Windows and Steam store for download.
Even more, as an open-source application, it is free to be modified and distributed should you desire to do either.
There are even archives uploaded on Krita’s website.
Both brand new test versions and older can be found there.
Even the slightly out of date versions can be found to satisfy whichever one tickles your fancy.
Versions compatible with your old but reliable computers are also available.
But enough of the tantalizing appetizers: how does the actual art hold up?
I have to say, pretty well.
More Features of the App:
One perk of the program is an extremely customizable ‘studio’.
You can move panels to the optimal positioning.
You can move it according to the way you like to work and create shortcuts for tools you tend to use often.
Once satisfied with adjustments made, you can save this set-up as the new default.
So when you return for future projects, you won’t need to tinker with it all again – it remembers you!
Much like Procreate, this program allows you to import new brush sets from other artists.
This will ensure that your toolbox is as comprehensive as can be for your needs.
Other fun features include:
- A brush stabilizer to negate the effects of shaky hands
- The natural pop-up palette for quick splashes of color
- Effective layer management to keep yourself organized
- The ability to customize established brush sets
Such an intuitive, affordable design has made Krita a big favorite.
Another crowd favorite would be PaintTool Sai.
This is because it has all the professional features one could want in a digital art tool while remaining user friendly and uncomplicated.
Sai has amassed such popularity due to the sheer variety in tool and color options.
For example, when choosing a hue to paint with, the artist has a full range of control in terms of:
- Saturation (strength of the color) and
- Luminescence (lightness/darkness of the color)
Both of which allowing for even the most vivid of creations to come to life fully.
It shares the ability to use layers to keep your drawing experience organized.
Moreover, it has the added benefit of being able to lock and/or move multiple layers when the whim strikes.
What this means is if you have one element of the piece on one layer, and you lock it with another, should you move one across your canvas, the other would follow!
More Features of the App:
This digital paint tool is so comprehensive.
You can even customize the eraser.
You can turn any brush you have into an eraser to customize how exactly you rub out errors or extra harsh lines.
An airbrush eraser might soften the edges of lines.
A giant paintbrush would blot out larger chunks of the picture.
Available primarily for download for Windows, PaintTool Sai is an entirely digitized program.
However, it can be utilized on almost any device, such as mobile phones or tablets.
One neat feature is the offer of a 31 day trial period, so you can test the waters.
Just be sure you’d like to purchase the program in its entirety because there is no refund or return policy in place.
Yes, unlike our previous contender, you do need to purchase this software.
However, it is hardly an extravagant purchase.
It will cost you a one-time fee of $49 for a perpetual license which you will not need to renew.
Fifty bucks for infinite art?
The site offers payment for this license through all major credit cards as well as Paypal.
This makes Sai highly accessible to the masses.
Once bought, the certification is emailed to you promptly for an easy-peasy, no-hassle purchase.
Artrage, by comparison, is known for its incredibly lifelike and hyper-realistic texturing.
This caters to all media of your choice: watercolor, acrylic, pencil lead, or even crayon.
You can rest assured that this digital studio offers an online version of your favorite tools without sacrificing the quality of appearance.
And this realism extends to the usage of the said tools: from smearing or dabbing colorful paint to shading with the edge of the pencil.
Each brush reacts to the on-screen canvas precisely as it would a real one.
This allows for an authentic painting experience with none of the whole mess!
Other useful elements of the program include:
- Support for several different styluses
- Wide array of brush options
- Color blending for a smooth effect
- Ability to upload to dropbox, or download files from Photoshop
- It can work offline for those no-fun laggy internet days
There are different levels for this program ranging from Artrage Lite.
It professes only the necessary tools suitable for beginners to Artrage 6.
This is synonymous with having an entire studio at your disposal.
As such, prices vary.
Should you opt for the more comprehensive Artrage 6, you’d be looking at spending about $80.
This is for the one-time purchase of the license.
A bit pricey, but for an entirely up-front cost, I think that isn’t too shabby at all.
They also offer a myriad of payment options.
This includes but not limited to credit card, Paypal, or a wire transfer directly from your bank.
The checkout page also has the ability to translate the price into your country’s currency.
This will help you make the absolute most informed decision in terms of your wallet.
Furthermore, if you’re new to digital artwork, or artwork in general, the Artrage website has several demos, tutorials, and comprehensive fora.
You can connect with other users to help you through the process of getting started.
There is also a collection of:
- Links to art supplies resources
- Reddit threads
- Facebook communities
- Even an exclusive member area for registered users
In essence, when you splurge on Artrage, what you seem to buy is a community that is friendly to masters and novices alike.
Another common choice for digital creators is Adobe Photoshop Sketch, which is available for free on both the App and Google Play Store.
This does limit your creative experience to a tablet, Chromebook, and Apple or Android phone.
This is when held in comparison to others available for download to a computer as well.
But on the flip side, you would be receiving a product from a very reputable brand for free.
Much like Artrage, the main aim of Adobe Photoshop Sketch is to mimic the natural effects of numerous recognizable media on canvas, such as paint, pen, or markers.
Like many of its competitors, this software also offers several customizable brush sets.
Later, they will appear as a permanent fixture in your tool kit – the only limit is your imagination!
More Features of the App:
There’s also the option to access shared libraries when you use Capture for your custom brushes.
So you can even dabble with other artists’ tools.
Speaking of tools, Sketch supports even the latest styluses from several brands, such as Adonit, Apple, and, of course, Adobe Ink.
However, there are features unique to Adobe here.
For instance, there is the ability to easily send your sketches to the sister program Adobe Photoshop.
This is if you want to enhance what you’ve created with the additional multitude of tools found there,.
Alternatively, you can send it to Adobe Illustrator to scale up your piece for printing without sacrificing the resolution.
On a similar note, you may also care to reap the benefits of their public gallery.
You can upload your gorgeous artwork to Behance for near-instantaneous feedback or to sneak a few peeks at designs from other talented artists.
Once you have downloaded the app, you can browse through the settings to find helpful tutorials.
They will guide you through the process of settling into a creative groove with Adobe Sketch.
Overall, a reliable, inexpensive (ahem, free), and comprehensive option.
If you like all the features detailed in previous programs, then you’ll love Autodesk Sketchbook as your Procreate alternative.
This application is widely available to a plethora of devices such as:
- Apple Products such as iPhone and iPad
So there should be no accessibility concerns whatsoever.
One element of Sketchbook that goes highly praised is its intuitive, user-friendly interface that’s there when you need it, but sticks well out of your way when you don’t.
That way it doesn’t clunk up your screen, you don’t drown in tabs and tool options, and instead, you can just do what you do best and create.
This software boasts itself to be a right eclectic mix of traditional artistry and technological innovation, so you benefit from the best of both worlds!
Unique Features of the App
For instance, you can stick to the tried and true digital methods that emulate hand-to-paper art, such as a vast selection of customizable brushes, realistic textures, and color blending for familiar, reliable techniques.
But should you wish to embrace the even more modern, there are a few spectacular advancements you can try your skilled hands at.
There is an aptly named Predictive Stroke tool that, alongside symmetry features, corrects skewed lines or smooths shapes for just the tiniest assist in your masterpiece.
(But shh, we won’t tell!)
However, the coolest by far is the scanner feature.
If an inspiration strikes or you think a doodle you hand drew could be enhanced by some of the digital tools available on Sketchbook, you can capture a quick pic with your camera and it’ll scan onto the app!
You can’t say that isn’t a nifty feature.
This program used to be subscription-based.
But as of April 2018, the makers of Autodesk Sketchbook abruptly transitioned into a free download for individual users.
With this individual ‘subscription,’ you gain access to the program which works on all devices, which is highly convenient because, be honest, when was the last time you went anywhere without your phone handy?
Another similar product to Procreate would be the Corel Painter tool for a perfectly reasonable of $64.99 (and for a limited time, you would receive a $19.99 brush set for free with your one-time purchase).
Though the company offers a more comprehensive (and expensive, at $269) Painter 2020, Painter Essentials has the benefit of being more beginner-friendly as well as more affordable.
This is for several reasons, including their ‘quick start guide,’ which is a detailed demo in easy to access PDF format, to aid even the freshest of novices at the cusp of their artistic journey.
More Features of the App
Available for Windows and Mac, it also possesses a myriad of features to make creating art fun, easy, and hardly exhaustive.
For example, this software boasts artificial intelligence used to turn any desired photo into simple linework, so you can paint any given picture in the style of your choice.
Watercolor, charcoal, colored pencil, whatever style strikes your whim, name it, and you can decorate a simplified photograph in that manner.
While this feature is great for real amateurs, Painter Essentials does offer new canvas options for when you feel ready to venture outside the linework.
Much like previous contenders, this program has several textured brushes to individualize your piece, including but not limited to dry, wet, speckled, and spattered.
Moreover, you can blend, blur, and dab the digital paint to your heart’s content, all great options for a unique piece.
And if what’s immediately available fails to meet your needs, there are many additional brush packs available for purchase as you require them to expand your tool kit.
And since this software is catering towards the less experienced demographic, there is a learning portal made readily available to users, containing such useful items as tutorials, helpful tips, contests, webinars, and a place to upload your work for others to view.
Again, that makes this a community-centric app welcoming to anyone, but especially newbies to the scene.
Infinite Painter, available to both Google Play and App Store, is another reliable option for those looking for a cheap alternative to Procreate, sitting at just about CAD 5.13.
This app also promises variety in brush sets, with 80+ natural brushes and the option to customize brand new ones as per your personal needs.
Infinite Painter’s makers also guarantee that said brushes will interact with the textured ‘paper’ background realistically.
Tools explicitly designed to streamline your artistic experiences:
- Straight edge or protractor tools
- Gradient fill
- Layering options
- Transformation tools to flip, rotate, or mirror your desired image
Your workspace has the option to be customized as well, with specific buttons available to be moved where you would like them, despite it being uncluttered, to begin with.
That way, you can cater to your tool kit to your specific preferences based on the frequency of use.
There are less common tools seen here as well, like the ability to clone photographs into paintings, or a unique ‘liquify’ effect that can ripple what seems to be a dense material into… well, liquid.
Its import/export options are top-notch too because, for instance, you can quickly grab images from your device gallery or the world wide web to tinker with.
ColourLovers is an affiliated website from which you can search for a more diverse assortment of hues, patterns, textures, etc., to upload to your canvas.
Once your brilliant work of art is complete, you have plenty of options there in terms of making sure it gets seen; PSD is an option for file download, to ensure that all your intricate layers remain intact, as well as the more general JPEG, ZIP, and PNG.
You may also choose to share with their exclusive painter community, Pen Up, or your Instafeed should you prefer to personally benefit from all those validating likes.
Overall, a pretty decent digital studio to play around with at an excellent cheap price.
A fan of our previous open-source option? then you’re in luck because MediBang Paint professes the same status, at a whopping $0.
This is primarily an application used for constructing original manga or comic-style artwork, with panel options to match.
Even so, it offers many of the same tools and options as Procreate, also being listed by many as a lightweight alternative.
MediBang is available for download easily from their lovely website and is compatible with PC (Windows and Mac both), iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
Perks of this program include secure Cloud storage and transfer between devices to keep track of all your art, an assortment of premade backgrounds and pre-set fonts ideal for comic book art, and keyboard shortcuts available to be implemented.
Another new design benefit is that collaborative work is now possible, using Cloud to interact with several colorists, writers, specialists, etc., all to devise one gorgeous comic.
That’s one unique feature by itself that makes the entire app worth considering, especially if you are prone to engaging in collaborative work, or even just sharing your work with others of the craft.
Now, if any of the apps previously mentioned with a heavier emphasis on community appeal to you, then you may consider this free (albeit with sporadic ads) app.
Their website offers a series of tutorials and a more comprehensive series than we’ve seen so far at that.
They are arranged in popular categories such as for beginners, how-to, and news.
There is also a list available so you can search by topic if one particular technique or tool just evades your comprehension, and you don’t want to go digging in the archives for help.
There is also a communal MediBang gallery that you can browse for inspiration or share your work too, which is great for exposure, getting useful tips, or just showing off a product you’re proud of.
It is definitely software designed and geared strongly towards the manga/comic community of artists, but as a free app with plenty of universally useful features, and it is worth your consideration.
This app has won several awards, such as Apple Design Award Winner, Editor’s Choice, and Windows Developer Awards 2018.
It’s worth paying attention to.
Affinity is praised as being highly professional and stripped back with no frivolous features to distract or unnecessary elements.
All the necessary tools you need at a higher quality and performance.
Being professional, the makers understand that speed and intuition are vital.
They, therefore, offer such features as real-time blend mode previews, as well as remarkably quick pans and zooms to streamline your process considerably.
Moreover, you can upload/alter/create more significant and/or more complex products without suffering the annoying effects of lag.
Now, for the more general features offered:
The ability to create unlimited artboards and view them simultaneously leaves you completely unrestricted as an artist, free to pursue any number of inspirations that may strike your fancy.
Customizable shortcuts, as well as linked symbols, are also a great help if efficiency is something you value in your digital art tools; you no longer need to get bogged down searching through menus when a single click of a key can get the job done.
One neat feature is that you can create a saveable history with alternate futures, to explore all the possibilities of a project without committing to anyone you aren’t 100% sure of yet.
Color control and typography are equally as comprehensive, with numerous available styles as well as the ability to upload your custom styles if you need to be meticulous.
This polished program is compatible with download onto Windows ($34.99), Mac ($34.99), and iPad ($13.99) for reasonable accessibility, and though Windows and Mac both offer a free trial, the iPad does not.
I would call that pretty affordable for the sheer variety of high-quality options, wouldn’t you?
This app might be best utilized by those seeking careers in the graphic design industry, as it seems to be designed with professional work in mind.
However, at only $34.99, it is a steal for the fantastic features offered, and if you want your work to have that polished vibe, then this might be the app for you!
10. Tayasui Sketches
The final Procreate-Esque app listed here today is Tayasui Sketches, which is available on the App Store, Mac App Store, and Google Play Store.
Some might consider this the closest dupe for Procreate as the two apps share several features in common.
In terms of brushes, the options are comprehensive.
Not only is there a massive selection including:
The actual utilization of brushes is diverse too.
For instance, when using the Apple Pencil, there are several different ways to draw.
Many variables are taken into account.
These are the :
- Pressure of the point to the screen
- Speed with which you draw
- Tilt of the pen about the piece
Helpful hint: if you tilt your Apple pencil, this creates a natural shading effect, just like using a real pen!
Each of these variables affects the thickness, strength, and darkness of the lines you draw.
They will keep you at your humble drawing roots and not overwhelmed with technological advancements.
They also offer a ‘wet watercolor’ effect, which is exactly how it sounds.
Your piece will glisten and shine as if indeed dripping with diluted pastel pigment, as well as blurring and blending to a high, gorgeous degree.
Users of this app also benefit from unlimited layers, for easy organization and meticulous planning.
this is to ensure that your piece turns out just right, as well as limiting the damage of potential mistakes.
We also have the option to sync with Cloud among all devices, which keeps your work safe, secure, and easily accessible.
Patterns, gradient, photo import, and color mix also all ensure a vivid and unique final product.
All these prove how comprehensive the tool kit of Tayasui Sketch is.
There is the option of an Artist’s Community for sharing work, as well as view helpful how-to videos.
The price of this app seems to differ from each source.
Still, the general range is between $5.99-$19.99.
To be real, this is a reasonably affordable range for most.
Especially taking into consideration the comprehensiveness of the purchase.
Wow, there are so many fantastic apps similar to Procreate out there !
You can note that most share the same base features,.
But there is also a great deal of variety as to the more minute offerings and tool.
So it all boils down to what you as an artist value most.
Is it efficiency ?
Variety in tools?
All in one?
Regardless, comment below on what you are looking for in such an app.
We’ll be very interested to hear from you.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you will also enjoy reading our other articles on digital art.