Digital artists everywhere, rejoice! You don't have to spend a small fortune on software to create your digital masterpieces. There are many free drawing programs online that do not require you to download software, and still feature powerful design tools.
Sketch n Paint!
This drawing program can be used only online and is ad-supported, so the interface is somewhat cluttered with ads along one side of the screen. Some typical drawing tools included are:
- Color pick-up
- HSL and RGB code color groups
You can also print and save files to your computer in JPG format.
Good for Beginners
Sketch n Paint! is not as full-featured as Sketchpad, but its simplicity makes it a good tool for a beginner. It's easy to paint your drawings with the color interface which offers many options. It also has a color pick-up tool which is useful since you can't enter in color codes. While it doesn't support layers, the masking feature lets you paint above and behind your images for a nice three-dimensional effect. It does not have a lot of brush options but the ones it does offer are good choices for such as scatter, sharp, soft, and rotating which can make some beautiful artistic effects.
Sketchpad is free to use online, although you can purchase a desktop version for $4.95. The program comes with the typical tools you would expect in a drawing program such as:
- 18 brushes
- 14 shapes
- Over 5,000 clipart files
- Over 800 Google fonts
You can make anything, from simple line drawings to complex art pieces, with the program. Edit with selection tools, cropping, filling, and adding color effects. For more complex pieces, Sketchpad supports using layers, and the program allows you to import images and photos from your computer.
Sketchpad.io and the Classroom
Sketchpad.io is a great program if you want to doodle and play around, which makes it a nice program for children. You can also integrate it with the Google Classroom app and save your files to a Google Drive. It has several recommended uses for classroom instruction such as having students illustrate concepts they've learned, illustrate creative writing, or study art and design. Sketchpad even includes tutorial videos to help teachers integrate it into their lesson plans.
Easy to Use
The interface is easy to use, and the documentation is clear, with helpful tutorial videos. It's also available as an extension on the Chrome browser for easy access. The site gets a 4.1 average review rating with over 2,000 reviews in the Chrome store.
Techsupportalert.com says Queeky Paint is "a great online app worth trying and its web tool is a great time killer." Technology site EnkiVillage calls it one of the best free drawing software options. Queeky Paint is ad-supported, so there are ads on both sides of the screen which can be a bit distracting. The app includes drawing tools such as:
- Shapes and Ellipse
- Smudge, Blur and Airbrush effects
Comparable to Adobe Photoshop
It also includes tools familiar to users of Adobe Photoshop such as magic wand and the lasso tool. In addition, it supports layers. There's a color wheel, although you cannot specify traditional color codes. It also has a number of filters like drop shadow, bevel, blur, and glow. Files are saved either to your computer or to a free Queeky Paint account, which is convenient if you'll be working away from your home computer. You can also import and export color palettes which is useful since you cannot determine the hex, RGB or CMYK codes from the colors you choose on screen.
Fun and Unique Features
A fun feature of Queeky Paint is the ability to record your drawings, making "speed drawing" videos, many of which have been posted on YouTube in a competition sponsored by Queeky Paint. Queeky allows you to make some fairly sophisticated drawings and paintings but the downside is a lack of any documentation or tutorials on the site. Adobe users will have a leg up on beginners since many of the tools are familiar. It's most likely a good choice for an experienced user of graphic design software or a beginner willing to test it out to learn the ins and outs of the program.
Choosing the Best Online Drawing Program
Your level of skill will determine which program meets your needs best. You can create the simplest drawings to some lovely paintings and designs with these totally free software options.