iPad Pro has often been hailed as a laptop alternative and while I do question this claim, the iPad Pro does offer amazing possibilities. Procreate is probably the most powerful and overall best drawing app for the iPad. It offers an exhaustive set of brushes, advanced layer blending, amazing filters, 100 undo/redo strokes, auto-saving while you draw and much more. So why do you need Procreate alternatives?
Because there are two problems. ProCreate is a paid app (onetime cost of $9.99) with no free trial to test drive it. And, although the company does offer the less powerful Procreate Pocket for the iPhone, what if you want Procreate on Android or Windows? Here are some Procreate alternatives for not just Windows and Android but also iPad Pro.
1. Autodesk SketchBook
Best for – Professionals who need advanced tools
Autodesk is a renowned name when it comes to designing and modeling software suites. They are well known for AutoCAD solutions, a platform that changed the face of many industries.
Like Procreate, Sketchbook also features a pen-friendly interface. One can use colors, brushes, mirror images and draw other form factors. Other notable options include the ability to store images and progress automatically. However, unlike Procreate, which has 128 brushes, each with 50 customizable settings for every brush; SketchBook doesn’t have that many brushes and the maximum size of brushes are also quite small.
Interoperability is impressive as users can export images into multiple formats including PSD. Adding to that, users can also choose the resolution of the images and they also get a pen option. The software is capable of detecting false hand pressure allowing you to easily sketch.
- A fully-featured version of SketchBook is now free
- An exhaustive collection of professional tools at your disposal
- The learning curve is steep as compared with Procreate
- Requires users to be familiar with the desktop version of the Autodesk Sketchbook
Availability: Android, iPad, iOS, Windows
Download Autodesk Sketchbook: iPad
Best for – Old fashion Artists who would like to draw oil painting and watercolor
As I was having a conversation with an artist friend of mine, he casually remarked how tough it was to shift to a digital platform for creating art forms. If you prefer the old fashioned drawing style, you will like ArtRage as a Procreate alternative.
The best thing about ArtRage is that it tries to mimic real paint as naturally as possible. You can even mix colors like you do with real paint. Other important features include tools to keep track of wetness, thickness and lighting direction.
- The most natural experience of using the digital medium to create art
- Intuitive interface
- Lack of advanced tools
- Sluggish occasionally
- Upgrading costs money
Availability: Android, iPad, iOS, macOS, and Windows
Download ArtRage: macOS and Windows
3. Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Best for – artist who likes to use Photoshop’s brush features
I love the fact that Photoshop Sketch was designed to create digital art, unlike Photoshop which is more of a do it all tool. If you like to use Photoshop’s brush features, you will like using Sketch even more. But you don’t need to know Photoshop to use it.
The best thing about the app is seamless Adobe product integration. For example, you can import all the brushes you have used in Photoshop or export your artwork to Photoshop and Lightroom. It’s also a vector-based program which is why resulting files are smaller in size, making it easier to share.
It’s one of the best Procreate alternatives on the market right now.
- A Focussed app with accurate tools
- UI and UX are well-designed
- 14+ different brushes to choose from
- Not available on Windows
- Scarce third-party app/plugin
- Lack of image editing tools
Availability: macOS, Android, and iOS
Download: Adobe Photoshop Sketch
Best for – artist looking for a free, open-source Procreate alternative for digital painting
Krita focusses on offering the most natural sketching experience in a digital medium. It offers comic and textures and the default brushes should be more than enough for creating any type of arts. Krita also allows users to customize the brushes if need be. It has a color wheel and an integrated reference panel. Being open-source, the developers of Krita have always lent an ear to the community and been very swift when it comes to adding new features.
Availability: macOS, Windows, Linux, and iOS
- Tailor-made for artists
- Focus on quintessential
- PSD editing supported
- Interface lacks intuitiveness
- Lags occasionally
- No Android support
Download Krita: Windows
5. Tayasui Sketches
Best for – people looking to draw small doodles and simple sketches
Tayasui Sketches is a simple Procreate alternative that will help the artists draw on tablets and macOS. The cornerstone of the tool is an array of artist tools including pencil, pens, erasers, and brushes. The layout of the tool also deserves a special mention. Other advanced features include the Fill Transfer function that will help you fill based on the created pattern. Furthermore, the Fill Transfer function will also help you create overlapping effects without the need for separate colors.
I would like to mention that the Sketches free version feels inadequate for all the sketching needs and if you are a professional it is better to chip in for the Pro Version. That apart you can also try the Pro Version free for an hour and this should help you make up your mind.
Availability: macOS, iOS, and Android
- Functional and clutter-free
- Limited brushes
- Cannot change the size of the canvas
- Layers are offered only on the Pro version
Download: Tayasui Sketches
Concepts is a vector drawing app, which means it’s more suited for precision measurement drawing rather than freehand sketches. Like procreate, you have access to brushes, layers, etc. However, what separates it from the rest is a variety of payment options which lets you purchase different tools as upgrades. The free version gets you a handful of brushes and layers. You can get the Essentials pack for a one-time price of $9.99 or get everything for $4.99 per month.
Availability: Windows 10, iOS, and Android
- Infinite canvas
- Flexible add-ons
- Steep learning curve
Price: Free/$9.99 or $4.99 per month
7. PaintTool Sai
Not all of us want to just draw and sketch, but some of us also want to fill our creations with colors. PaintTool Sai is a drawing and painting tool which comes with a bland and easy to use UI, but plenty of useful tools. The fact that it was developed by Japanese developers should be enough to tell you it supports manga and anime.
Having said that, it is more suitable for beginners who are just getting their feet wet and looking to learn.
- Easy to use
- Pressure support
- Limited tools and scope
Download PaintTool Sai: Windows
8. Corel Painter
Corel Painter is a great drawing and painting tool, and a perfect Procreate alternative, that is often used to reproduce the effects that we see in the real world in digital form. There are a number of brushes, tools, and textures to choose from. In fact, there are color options like water paint, oil paint, and more to give you a variety of options to choose from.
The UI is customizable which is really cool because you can now remove options that you don’t need or want to be bothered with.
Availability: Windows, macOS
- Hundreds of brushes
- Multiple tools
- Customize UI
- Different types of paint
Download Corel Painter: Windows | macOS
9. Adobe Illustrator Draw
Even though it is the perfect Procreate alternative, Adobe Illustrator Draw is one of the less popular apps from the same team that gave us Photoshop and Lightroom. Built from the ground up for smartphones and tablets, it is a drawing tool that makes natural paper or canvas drawing a breeze. You will need an Apple Pencil or a stylus to get the most out of Illustrator Draw.
- Vector brushes
- Customizable toolbar
- Creative cloud
- Connect with Photoshop, Lightroom, Behance
Download Adobe Illustrator Draw: Android | iOS
Wrapping Up: Procreate Alternatives
We have curated some of the best Procreate alternatives to help you get on board with digital sketching. That being said, we do realize that at the end of the day it is artists’ personal choice. The utility of the features is subjective and we hope that this list will help you zero in on the best sketching app.