If you’re wondering how to make digital art in 2021 you’ll be happy to know that the process has never been easier. This is thanks in no small part to the rise of digital art maker tools that are not only advanced but also simple to work with.
The real question is, which tools should you use when trying to combine your creativity with modern technology? Well, there are quite a few of them to choose from, but after doing some research we managed to come with a list of the top 10 digital art maker tools currently available.
Not only can you access 10 best tools, but also you can have a quick look at how you can get started with digital drawing in this video:
Now, let’s nail digital drawing down in this post. Whether you’re already an artist or only now stepping onto this path, you’re sure to find at least some of these tools very useful for honing your artistic skills. Before we begin we just want to point out that this isn’t necessarily a ranked list per se. With that out of the way and in no particular order, let’s get started.
How to Make Digital Art – Best 10 Tools for Beginners
Befunky’s goal is to allow users to create digital art with just a single click, and that’s not just marketing talk. The tool comes with a wide variety of effects, frames, overlays, graphics and more that you can indeed apply to your own images with just a simple click of a button. Befunky offers a very impressive array of toys you can play with you, and for a reasonable price to boot. A monthly subscription will set you back $4.99 if you don’t mind paying annually. Otherwise, the price is $8.99 per month.
- Tons of effects and textures to play with
- Lets you import images from Facebook, Dropbox, and more
- Extremely easy to use
- Free version is extremely limited
- Tries to get you to pay upfront for a yearly plan
- Can’t use most features without an account
If you want to learn how to make digital art using the power of artificial intelligence we strongly encourage you to check out Vance AI. The website offers over a dozen AI-powered image editing tools, including a very efficient photo colorizer. The creatively named Toongineer Cartoonizer can take a photo, whether it be a selfie, picture of a landscape, screenshot from a movie or anything else, and transforms it into a cartoon version of itself in just a couple of seconds. Vance AI lets you test out its tools with next to no limitations, which is always nice to see.
- Able to cartoonize absolutely any type of image
- Processing speeds are remarkably fast
- Lets you cartoonize 5 images for free every month
- Limited sample images
- The process can take a couple of attempts with some photos
- No customization options (for the cartoonizer at least)
If you’re looking for a digital art maker that you can use completely for free you’ll absolutely love this website. DeepArt lets you choose between plenty of cool art styles while also giving you the option of uploading your own. Creating a standard resolution art piece is free but the high resolution version needs to be purchased. If you really like how the image turned out, you can even buy a print of it to hang up on your wall. The idea is definitely very cool and you can even use the website to turn videos into veritable works of art.
- Create unlimited standard resolution images for free
- Resulting art piece can be printed and shipped to you
- Works with videos in addition to images
- Free version images are small and come with watermarks
- Slow processing times (10 minutes or more)
- High resolutions renderings are very expensive
Creating sketches is usually a painstaking process but it doesn’t have to be thanks once again to Vance AI. Sketch Converter is another great tool offered by the company and it works similar to the aforementioned cartoonizer. Simply upload your image, run it through the tool, and let the Sketch Converter do all the hard work for you. A single subscription of $9.90/mo will give you premium access to the Sketch Converter, Toongineer Cartoonizer, and all the other tools offered by Vance AI. Quite a bargain. And of course, you can also try it out for free.
- Lets you cartoonize 5 images for free every month
- Gives you the option of isolating and converting only faces
- Very fast processing times
- Only a single style is available
- No customization
- Not ideal for converting images of landscapes
Krita is an open source painting program available completely for free on Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Unlike all the other digital art maker tools mentioned so far, Krita doesn’t have an online version so you’ll need to download and install it locally in order to use it. That’s a bit of a hassle but we think it’s well worth it when considering that you’re getting unlimited free access to a powerful software suite that lets you create any type of art you could possibly imagine. The downside? It’s not really suitable for beginners.
- Very powerful software suite for creatives
- Rivals even the likes of Adobe Illustrator in terms of options
- Completely free and open-source
- Fairly steep learning curve
- No online version
- Certain assets need to be purchased separately
Sketchpad is a digital art maker that gives you complete freedom to pursue your creativity while offering you all the tools needed to do so. The tool comes with over 5,000 pieces of clipart, over 800 different fonts, and more than a dozen shapes and brushes. Sketchpad is one of those tools that doesn’t really like to hold your hand, so you’ll have to figure out how to use everything mainly by yourself. Using the tool online is completely free, though there are some limitations. Downloading it, however, requires you to purchase a license.
- Tons of clipart, fonts, shapes, and brushes
- Available in over a dozen languages
- Gives you complete creative freedom
- Few tutorials to help you figure things out
- Offline version requires purchase
- Not the most user friendly tool
Artworktool.com is another great website where you can learn how to make digital art even without any prior experience. The site is particularly good at letting you create things like banners, covers for your social media pages, infographics, favicons, and even memes. There are plenty of templates for all those things and more but you can also create custom canvases if you want to try designing something from scratch. You don’t have to pay to use the website but you will need to create an account.
- Great for creating banners, covers, and more
- Neatly organizes your artwork
- Doesn’t need a subscription
- More restrictive than similar tools
- Requires you to sign up for an account
- Charges for each stock image individually
This website has quite a few tools artists might be interested in but our personal favorite one has to be the digital painting maker. This simple tool can be used to give an oil painting-like effect to any image you upload. There aren’t that many options and styles to choose from but the ones that are available do a pretty good job at conveying the desired effect. The tool doubles as an image converter that supports over a dozen formats and is completely free to use.
- Simple to use
- Fast processing speeds
- Completely free
- Very limited capabilities
- Can’t handle certain types of images
- Website doesn’t always work
Symbaloo is a neat website that acts as a sort of aggregator for a wide variety of free digital art maker tools. The website feels a bit convoluted at first but is worth trying to wrap your head around it because of how much it has to offer in terms of creative tools. Symbaloo can be used for free but also has paid plans that remove advertising while also offering some other features. There’s also an app you can download but it doesn’t do much and is difficult to recommend.
- Great aggregator for digital art maker tools
- Wide variety of tools
- Completely free
- Website feels bloated
- Occasional annoying ads
- Useless app
Last but not least we have Adobe’s excellent collection of creative tools. Collectively referred to as Adobe Creative Cloud. These include well-known tools like Illustrator, Fresco, Capture, After Effects, and the ever-popular Photoshop. Each of these tools allows you to express your creativity in a different way and there are over 20 of them to choose from. The pricing is quite steep regardless of whether you get them individually or as part of a package deal. However, it’s well worth it if you’re serious about creating digital art.
- Some of the most popular artistic tools around
- Huge variety to choose from
- Amazing quality
- Very expensive
- Short free trial
- Potentially intimidating for beginners
1. What Makes the Best Digital Art Maker?
This depends on what exactly you’re trying to achieve but, for the most part, you’ll want a tool that’s versatile and simple to understand while also giving you plenty of options to play around with. It wouldn’t hurt to be free as well, though most of the best ones aren’t.
2. What is Digital Art?
Digital art can be any sort of art piece created with the use of technology, either partially or entirely. Unlike traditional art, digital art requires the use of art-based software or other similar digital tools. Thanks to our current technology, it’s possible to create digital art that’s on par or even superior to traditional art. Learn more about what is digital art and how it evolved over the years in this YouTube video from British Council Arts:
We hope this article has helped you learn a bit more about understanding how to make digital art. As you can see, you don’t necessarily have to be talented in traditional arts in order to create a masterpiece. These days we have so many tools at our disposal that allow us to create amazing digital art with relatively little effort. Naturally, some of these tools require lots of practice and a good understanding of technology but learning how to use them is an integral part of becoming a great artist.