So when I first made the switch from Windows to macOS a few years back, one of the gripes I had and can imagine many other people having too is the absence of a stand-alone basic graphics or painting utility application. While Apple kind of pioneered such apps on personal computers with their Macintoshes shipping with MacPaint, the scenario has been quite different since the last 3 decades with MacPaint seeing its last release in 1988. Today we take a look at 5 different paint app for mac; whether you are someone who has been missing MS Paint on Mac OS or just looking for a basic painting app, this list is for you.
Softonic review MS Paint style app for Macs based on MacPaint. MacPaint was Apple's original paint program for Macs and MacPaint X is a modification of it. MacPaint X therefore contains many of the elements that made MacPaint popular i.e. Ease of use and a simple palette based interface. Well, it's not possible to play Paint on the Mac, but there is a simple paint application in the preinstalls that you may like to play around with - you just need to know where to look.
Before we begin
Neither Paint or Paint 3D for Mac exist as Microsoft never released it on macOS but there are some excellent alternatives n 2018. If you’ve switched from PC to Mac, it might seem strange that there’s no default drawing program with macOS. Experience the world's most realistic and professional digital art & painting software for Mac and Windows, featuring hundreds of realistic brushes, paint and tutorials. Accelerate your art with Painter 2021. With next-generation artificial intelligence, a new Thick Paint workflow, and impressive GPU-based performance optimizations, see how.
One of the key demographics for Apple's Macintosh line of computers is the artist. Its intuitive interface is part of the reason, as is the early adoption by Adobe and other artist-oriented companies. MacPaint was included with the very first Macintosh sold, and paint programs have found a home on Macs ever since. Which paint program is right.
Even though we don’t have a full-fledged paint app, the Preview app does offer a few basic tools that you can use as an alternative. To get started, open Preview and open up the image you want to edit or simply open the image with Preview directly. Next show the Markup Toolbar by clicking the icon shown below.
Read: Use Mac’s Preview App like a Pro with These Tips & Tricks
You can now find a whole host of editing options from simple sketching and drawing to insertion of various shapes and text and even adjusting image parameters like exposure, contrast, sharpness, and a lot more. You also get the ability to add a signature or signing your PDFs from Preview itself, image size formatting, and text formatting options.
Although Preview has a lot to offer, it may not be the perfect replacement for some as it does not allow you to create new image files which is its biggest setback.
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Quick Tip: Be sure to first make a copy of your image before editing with Preview, as it automatically saves all your changes and it could be really hard to revert back if you have already saved the image.
1. Paint Brush
Paint Brush for Mac OS is like the perfect replica of MS paint. The app is quite bare-bones and extremely easy to use, offering just the basic functions of a paint application.
Unlike Preview, in this app, you can create a new document and this is the first thing you are greeted with, on opening the application and you can state the size of your canvas. It offers all the basic functionalities just as MS paint like a pencil, color fill, shapes, text, magnification, and also a color picker tool which comes in very handy. It also supports most image formats including JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and GIF.
Paint Brush is also very fast to open and get work done with and will be perfect for doing some small editing or painting stuff in a jiffy.
Link: Download Paintbrush from here
2. Paint S
Paint S is sort of a middle ground when you want more features than MS Paint but not quite full-fledged as Photoshop. You can use this drawing tool to edit photos, create art, and do basic scaling of images. The basic array of tools that you get with this app include fill, eyedropper, line, curve, rectangle, ellipse, and text.
Other than that, it also has some advanced tools the enhance the functionality of the app such as transparency, drop shadow, grids, rulers, and even layers. The layer function lets you edit over existing images without permanently changing the picture completely and a lot of Paint users would love this functionality.
Quick Tip: You can quickly toggle between layers and shift those to hide or reveal the layer elements without worrying about where those elements are on the canvas.
Price: Free, unlock all features for $8.99
Link: Paint S
Seashore is a free, open-source paint application for Mac OS built entirely in Cocoa. While the UI might seem a little dated, the app has a lot of tricks up its sleeves which makes it an upgrade to Preview or Paint Brush.
SeaShore introduces the concept of layers, just like you have in Photoshop. The layers work like sheets of acetate stacked upon each other and the transparent areas allow you to see through to the underbidding layers. This allows you to create different layers for different effects and adjusting the effects separately or deleting them separately, thus providing easy management.
Seashore has a nifty gradient tool where you can specify the direction and strength of the gradient. Some other features include alpha channel editing, texts with subpixel rendering, and textures.
Read: 10 Best Ways to Open and Edit PSD files without Photoshop
Quick Tip: Another free and open-source alternative is Pinta, which is also cross-platform and an exact clone of Paint.NET on Windows.
Link: Download Seashore from here
4. MS Paint using Wine or Play On Mac
If you didn’t know, Wine is an awesome and efficient way to run native Windows applications on your Mac and the best part about it is that unlike Bootcamp or VM installations, it does not require a windows license and does not add that overhead.
The setup process can be a little tedious, but it is definitely rewarding as you can run most of your Windows apps on your Mac. Play On Mac is a third-party tool built on Wine, which we recommend for installing Windows applications on Mac OS. Just download Play On Mac and all the dependencies required for Wine and then you should be able to install any Windows app of your choice. To install Paint, go to Install Apps > Graphics > Paint and hit download. MS Paint should be installed on your computer and it works just as well on any Windows PC.
Quick Tip: Although Wine is much less intensive or involving than Bootcamp or a virtual machine running Windows, it still takes up a lot of space with its dependencies and adds overhead. QEMU is an open-sourced virtualizer that allows you to run Windows for ARM on M1 Macs that would let you run Windows apps pretty seamlessly.
Link: Download Play On Mac from here
5. JS Paint
If you’re not a fan of installing a virtual machine and just want the MS Paint app for nostalgic reasons, JS Paint is a great alternative. It’s a web app that runs in your web browser and simulates the Windows XP version of paint. The web app is light-weight, doesn’t consume any resources, and works like a charm.
The toolbar on the left holds the same basic tools such as fill bucket, color picker, shapes, spray paint, text, etc. You can use the cursor to select a tool and just start drawing, it’s that simple. You can use it on any web browser and once the app is loaded, you can use it without an internet connection. JS Paint is great as an MS Paint alternative and you can check it out for free.
While MS Paint is mostly about simplicity, it doesn’t hurt to include a feature-packed app for all the power users out there. As I said, by no means should Pixelmator be considered a basic app as it is far from that, having a boatload of options, effects, and features.
Pixelmator also offers layers with the option of layer styles presets where you can either use a predefined preset or save your own custom style preset. It also has retouching tools, color correction tools, and a real-time effects machine along with all the drawing and brushing tools. It even sports iCloud support and the ability to publish your pictures directly to social media.
What makes Pixelmator stand out from all the other professional graphic utility apps, is its flexibility; while it does have a lot of features, one can also just use the brush or pencil tools to doodle anything just as they would in any other paint app. The app is not at all overwhelming even for a beginner and strikes a perfect balance between simplicity and productivity. If you do not mind spending $30, Pixelmator is a keeper.
Link: Get Pixelmator on the App Store
Wrapping Up: Microsoft Paint for Mac
Mac OS doesn’t come with any paint app but that doesn’t mean that there is a dearth of paint apps on Mac and it is quite the opposite. But before downloading any third-party app, we highly recommend checking out Preview and checking whether it fulfills all your needs or not. Paint Brush is an awesome simple and easy to use paint application while Seashore is slightly more complex with the addition of layers.
Pixelmator is one heck of an app with all its features, but it is very flexible and you can use it as an MS paint replacement to a cheaper Photoshop alternative. And last but not least, if you need to use a lot of Windows apps, Wine is your best bet to get MS paint running on your Mac. So this was our list of Microsoft Paint for Mac. Which one do you use daily or did we miss yours? Let us know in the comments below.
Getting your art out there has never been easier than it is today. Just a few decades ago, people needed sophisticated tools and other expensive methods to show others their creative talent. Digital platforms have revolutionized this landscape and a lot of artists are getting recognized every day. However, if you’re looking for drawing apps for Mac, you can find a ton of options and it can be a little overwhelming.
In this article, we are going to streamline that list so that you can choose the best drawing app for you. Let’s jump into it.
- 1 Top 10 Best Drawing Apps for Mac:
Top 10 Best Drawing Apps for Mac:
We have compiled a list of 8 best drawing apps for Mac that you can get today. The list is ranked based on which app we think is the best, but you can choose whichever app suits your art style.
1. Adobe Photoshop
What can I say about Adobe Photoshop that hasn’t been said already? Photoshop has been around for a long time and it gets new updates every year. It’s one of the most sophisticated drawing apps for Mac and will be a lot of help for a creator. You can create your own image and also edit other images to your liking. This software has a lot of love and support all over the world and it’s easy to understand why. There are a lot of videos online that’s going to help you learn Photoshop and there’s a large online community who’d be happy to help you. The newest version, Photoshop 2020, has an AI called Adobe Sensei that will help you get better selections.
Photoshop is great, but it is expensive. You will have to pay a subscription fee of $20.99/month if billed annually and you can do so here. So if you’re new to the creator scene, then I’d recommend checking out other entries.
2. Autodesk Sketchbook
If you want a professional drawing app with a lot of bells and whistles and if you want it for free, then Autodesk Sketchbook is for you. This app is so versatile and feature-rich that it will appeal to a lot of people. It has a minimalistic design and is preferred by a lot of content creators. There are over 140 brushes and you can even import brushes created by other artists. You can also get custom perspective guides among other things.
You can check out more features and download the app by clicking on this link.
3. Corel Painter
Corel Painter is an app that’s designed by creators for creators. It has a wide variety of tools you can use to propel your art to the next level. With over 900 brushes, this app is loved by many artists. Corel Painter also supports GPU acceleration so that you can get your work done much faster. Their website has hundreds of videos that will help you perform better.
Corel Painter costs $339.99 and there’s no subscription. You can download the app here.
4. Rebelle 3
If you are into realistic painting, then you will find Rebelle 3 appealing. It’s a unique app that uses realistic watercolor, acrylic paint simulations. The resulting image will look like it was made on paper with real colors and if this suits your art style, then you should definitely go for it. It makes the colors seem extremely realistic and you can even get simulated watercolor drops. This app was supposed to be an experimental software designed by Peter Blaškovič and it is popular among watercolor painters and CG artists.
You can check out Rebelle 3 and its features on its website. You can get Rebelle 3 for $89.99.
If you are new to digital drawing or if you have older Macs, then FireAlpaca should be a nice fit for you. It doesn’t have as many features as the earlier entries on the list, but that’s why it’s recommended to beginners. You won’t find the options overwhelming and you can worry about getting a more powerful Mac later on. It’s a small app that’s simple, easy and free to use.
You can check out the feature list of FireAlpaca on their website.
Are There Any Paint Programs For Mac
Preview comes pre-installed on a Mac and it can do much more than sign PDFs. If you want a simple drawing app for random doodles, the Preview should be good enough. You can open up any image on Preview and click on the Markup icon (pictured above) to access a lot more menus. It can help you doodle, make notes and even select shapes with the lasso tool. Since this is an in-built app, you don’t have to download anything.
7. Clip Studio Paint
If your dream is to become the best mangaka on Za Warudo!(means “the world” for all of my readers who are not JoJo fans), then you deserve a great manga illustrator. Clip Studio Paint is highly recommended if you draw a lot of manga panels. You can decide panel layouts and customize the tools for your art style pretty quickly. This drawing app for Mac also works great if you want to draw comics.
Clip Studio Paint is available for the free trial and you can get the standard version for $49.99. You can get the full-featured version for $219.99.
8. MediBang Paint
MediBang Paint, just like Clip Studio Paint is aimed at anime and comic-book artists. It has over 50 brushes and a large number of backgrounds that you can choose from. They have tons of tutorials for you on their website and you can snap grids and arrange the panels easily. This app is also available on iPhones and iPads. Medibang Paint is available for free and you can download it here.
Inkscape is an app that will appeal to a wide variety of creative people. It can help you create anything from sketches to website designs. It’s a versatile app that’s open-source and free to use. Inkscape also has a very helpful community that will help you use the app.
You can download Inkscape for free by clicking on this link.
Paint Programs For Macbook
Patina is another simple app that lets you create sketches to your heart’s content and simply moves everything else out of the way. It has a simple layout and it’s extremely simple to use. you can use it to make a lot of sketches and doodles on other images too. Patina has a lot of essential features but misses out on stuff like multiple layers. This app is, however, perfect for beginner artists.
Patina is a free app available on the App Store and you can download here.
List of 19 Drawing Software For Macbook
Here is the total list of top Drawing tools and Apps for your Macbook.
- Adobe Photoshop
- Autodesk Sketchbook
- Corel Painter
- Rebelle 3
- Clip Studio Paint
- MediBang Paint
- Adobe Illustrator
- Affinity Designer
- Tayasui Sketches
- Tayasui Sketches
These are some of the best drawing apps for Mac. I hope that this article was helpful to you. If you have any doubts or if we missed your favorite app, then please let us know in the comments section down below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.