Drawing programs have been around since some of the first operating systems were created. They allow users to create works of art with a mouse and keyboard, stylus, or touch screen.
There are a variety of drawing programs on the market. Some of these programs are very easy to learn, while others have a higher learning curve.
Introducing drawing programs to kids may seem like a daunting task. You don’t want to overload them with too many features – Photoshop is a good example of a program that may overwhelm them.
MICROSOFT PAINT 3D
MICROSOFT FRESH PAINT
Even if kids have an easier time picking up new material, it is still possible to overwhelm them. In our search for easy to learn drawing programs, we have found programs that will be great for kids who want to draw on computers.
We have prepared a guide that will explain how we decide which drawing programs are worthwhile. We will then provide you with top 10 best drawing programs for your kids on the market.
How We Decide the Best Drawing Programs for your Kids, A Buyer’s Guide
Deciding which drawing program is best for your kid is challenging if you don’t know what to look for. We look to provide you with information that will assist you in making a final decision about which drawing program is best for your kids.
You need to take into consideration how easy the program is to use. You also need to take into consideration whether or not your kid wants to delve into 3D drawing.
We decide the best drawing programs for your kids based on the he following factors:
- Additional Features
Simplicity is one of the most important factors that helps us determine whether or not a drawing program is a great fit for a kid. Of course, there will be children who have been exposed to programs because they are digital natives.
However, if this is a child’s first introduction to using computers for drawing, they will need a user interface that is simple and easy to navigate.
We look for programs that have straight forward user interfaces that are also upfront about the features they provide. We don’t want the kid to have to navigate multiple nested menus. Drawing, and using the tools provided should be relatively simple.
The next most important feature a drawing program must have, is an excellent toolkit. Is there a pen tool, rectangle tool, and select tool? Is the magic wand available, or a tool similar to a magic wand available? These are the types of questions that will help define a great drawing program.
Does the drawing program include the ability to create 3D models simply? Is there the possibility to animate individual drawings? These are the types of questions we consider when we critique the best drawing programs.
Additional features are important because they allow the kid more room to explore. Drawing programs that only come with the bare necessities are not necessarily going to fare as well as simple programs that also manage to introduce new tools.
The last factor that is important in deciding whether or not a drawing program is a good choice for a kid is the price.
This part is more up to your discretion, but you will find that there are some free solutions that work just as well as paid solutions. There will definitely be free products in this list that can compete with Photoshop in terms of usability.
5 Best Drawing Programs for your Kids
Below are the top 5 best drawing programs that we believe your kids will enjoy. Since you know your child better than anyone - ou may want to test them out yourself first when deciding which one you want to choose.
1. Microsoft Paint 3D
Microsoft Paint 3D comes preloaded with the Windows 10 Creator’s Update. The program is free and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft Paint 3D is an upgrade over the traditional Paint program. It has a simple user interface (UI) that makes it easy for beginners and advanced users to draw.
The program is very easy to navigate, with clear icons on the top navigation bar representing their uses. Switching brushes, zooming in and out, and editing photos is easy with Microsoft Paint 3D.
In terms of toolset, Paint 3D does not disappoint. Included with this program are stickers, a filter tool, text tool, shape tool with over 20 shapes, and even a cropping tool. Paint 3D has all of the tools a beginning artists needs to convey their ideas.
Paint 3D also has a number of additional features that includes a Mixed Reality mode. In Mixed Reality mode you can utilize the camera to generate 3D models that appear to exist in reality! Mixed Reality mode also lets you transform your 2D creations into 3D interpretations. This is an excellent tool for kids who want an introduction to 3D modeling and augmented reality.
We rate Microsoft Paint 3D a 4 out of 5. While it is simple and easy to use, Microsoft Paint 3D does not have a lot of additional features. For kids who want a more detailed application, some may find that Microsoft Paint 3D is too basic.
2. Microsoft Fresh Paint
Microsoft Fresh Paint is a program that attempts to simulate what pen and brush strokes would actually look like on a real piece of paper. This is an excellent painting program for folks who want a more hand-drawn look as opposed to a digital look for their drawings.
This program is another easy to use simple drawing program. It features a simple UI with a lot of screen real estate for drawing. Distractions are definitely kept down to a minimum to allow for a unobstructed drawing experience. This is important for kids who want to be as experimental as possible without feeling overwhelmed by the options they have.
In terms of tools, Microsoft Fresh Paint features customizable pen and brush tools to achieve lifelike effect. These tools are where this product shines. They are easy to use, and should provide enough customization to keep kids satisfied with the product.
The additional features included in Microsoft Face Paint include a panel called “Inspire Me” that provides sources of inspiration for users. This is great for kids who want a jumping off point to dive into painting. Inspiration is only a click away with this helpful feature.
Microsoft Fresh Paint provides all of these tools at no cost to the user. This program is free to download on the Microsoft Store making it a great value.
We rate Microsoft Fresh Paint a rating of 5 out of 5. If your kid wants to replicate drawing on physical paper, this is the best program for that.
If your child is interested in drawing Anime or Manga, or has an interest in also joining an artistic community, then Krita would be an excellent choice. This program is not for the faint of heart. While this program has a simple UI with easy to find locations for each tool, there are also a lot of tools to work with.
Although there are many tools in Krita, Krita manages to find a way to not be as cluttered as Photoshop. Layer panels are easy to switch between and select. It is also very simple to select a tool from the tool menu, and utilize it to great effect. We would consider this to be an intermediate program to learn for kids that might have previous experience in drawing programs.
In terms of tools, you will find that Krita provides all of the tools a kid will need to create manga, animate, or even illustrate. Krita has a magic wand tool, a layering system, and a pen tool that allows users to create vector graphics. These tools are very powerful and are on Photoshop’s level in terms of the variety of functions that you can use with the tools.
The additional features for Krita would be the community that it has created. There are many manga artists and illustrators who use Krita because it is free and open source. Inside of this community you will find various, meticulous guides that go through each detail of how to use certain tools, or draw certain characters. There is a wealth of information to help the growing illustrator use Krita as a tool for their craft.
Krita is a free open source project that is available on Linux, PC, and Mac. It will be free, and always remain free. The open source nature of this project means it is consistently being updated and upgraded to include new features and make using tools as simple as possible. We believe Krita may be one of the best free, complete drawing solutions for folks who have experience with drawing programs.
We rate Krita 5 out of 5 starts. This is a quality, almost professional grade drawing application that rivals Photoshop minus the bloat.
GIMP is another free open source tool that allows folks to draw. This is an excellent tool for kids to learn how to draw, because it comes with detachable panels that make it easy to focus on drawing without being distracted by tools.
The modular UI is one of the largest draws to this program. The program is simple and easy to use, because it is very easy to remove clutter from the screen. You can help set up a drawing program for your kid to give them focused exercises to work on specific tools. The customization of GIMP’s UI makes it excellent.
We give GIMP a rating of 3 out of 5. While GIMP has been on the market for quite some time, new users may find the UI slightly archaic and un-inviting.
If you are looking for an excellent program to make precise illustrations, then Inkscape is the program that your kid will enjoy. It provides a simplistic UI that makes creating vector image a simple process.
The UI for Inkscape is meant to be simplistic. The pen tool is easy to get to, and drawing with the program is a simple task. There is also a lot of screen real estate available that makes connecting different vector points a simple task. The simple UI makes this our premier recommendation for creating vector images.
In terms of tools, you will find that Inkscape has tools that makes creating Bezier curves easy. With simple Bezier curve tools, you can draw sharp angles and curves with ease. These tools are mostly straightforward to use, but we recommend consulting YouTube, or other guides to learn how to use the tools to the best of their abilities.
Inkscape has additional extensions that can be found in the form of their extension libraries. These extensions offer Inkscape extended functionality. Some extensions provide new tools that make drawing vectors graphics easier. Other extensions provide functions that allow you to export photos to phones and css websites.
Inkscape is a somewhat intermediate vector drawing program. We recommend it for kids who have experienced drawing in a traditional paint program, but want to move on to making precise illustrations. Inkscape is another open source project that is available on PC and Mac. It will always be free, and it is consistently being upgraded.
We rate Inkscape a 4 out of 5 for providing an excellent platform for kids to learn vector graphics. Inkscape is much simpler than Adobe Illustrator, is free, and clearly lays out the tools kids will need to create vector graphics.
The Top Drawing Programs Are Simple and Free
At the end of the day, the best drawing programs for kids, are the ones that have simple UI and tools that are easy to use.
These programs need to be accessible, because the learning curve needs to be appropriate for kids. Throwing a kid into Photoshop for the first time is going to be a challenging experience because of all of the features that the program provides.
Remember to take into consideration whether or not the kid has experience using drawing programs.
If they have, they may prefer a program like Krita, or Inkscape that has more features. If you are worried, have the kid try out the programs, they are free, and pick which one they enjoy. It will help if you can sit down and help the kid explore the program.