Not everyone likes Photoshop. If that’s you, here are some paid Photoshop alternatives to consider using instead.
Adobe Photoshop is a mastodon of graphics software. After more than 30 years in the digital art world, the program remains constantly updated in order to keep its title as an industry standard. That being said, each artist has their own preference, and some find Photoshop is not the program for them.
Whether you’re looking to see what other (possibly better) options are out there, or you just can’t justify Photoshop’s hefty price tag, here’s a list of paid Photoshop alternatives you can use instead.
SEE AS WELL: Top 15+ Best Free Photoshop Alternatives
1. Clip Studio Paint
If Photoshop is the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase “professional artist software,” then Clip Studio Paint should be the second.
Clip Studio Paint Pro has all the essentials of the digital artist, like a layering system and the typical image adjustment tools, but also a number of features that its competition can only dream of. To name a few, it also has perspective rulers, the ability to import 3D references, and an incredibly extensive library of ready-made materials. If you buy Clip Studio Paint Ex, you can even animate your works in a video or draw multiple pages of a comic book.
In addition to all this, it is available both on PC (Windows and Mac) and on your mobile / tablet devices (Galaxy Store and App Store). Depending on the device you choose, your Clip Studio Paint free trial can last up to six months. Once that expires, you have the option of purchasing the Pro Edition for $ 49.99 or the Ex Edition for $ 219.00.
Download: Clip Studio Paint ($ 49.99, free trial available)
Originally written by the founders of Fractal Design Corporation, Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges, this raster graphics editor now owned by Corel Corporation does a fantastic job simulating traditional art mediums such as graphite pencil, oil paint , charcoal and pastel sticks, among others. If you are a former traditional artist who has just entered the digital art world, this program is definitely worth trying.
Photoshop and Painter have been competitors since their inception. It is because of this that the two programs have many similarities (e.g. interface look, layering systems, canvas controls, etc.), but it is these similarities that have become inescapable for many image editing applications launched since.
Painter’s most notable features include its in-depth brush controls and the always-customizable palette drawer that lets you play with shapes, flow maps, paper textures, and color gradients. After 30 days of free use on your Windows or Mac PC, you can either choose to be billed $ 199 / year or purchase a perpetual license for $ 429.
Download: Painter ($ 429, free trial available)
PGN Corp first developed and released openCanvas in 2000, making it another software often compared to Photoshop and Painter. Nevertheless, it is often hailed online as the most suitable alternative for beginners.
The latest version of openCanvas sports a brush engine with over 150 default brush presets, smooth stylus stabilization, and plenty of filters and layer modes so you can take your art to the next level. Its most unique function is the event tool , which allows you to record and replay your drawing process. Using it, you can choose to resume work on your part anytime during recording or create a GIF animation.
After a 120-day trial period, you will need to purchase the program for $ 59 from the official website or through Steam. The program is only available for Windows.
Download: openCanvas ($ 59, free trial available)
4. Paint Tool Sai
In 2004, Systemax Software began development of Paint Tool Sai, painting software for Windows that aimed to be light and comfortable to use, but high in quality.
Paint Tool Sai has grown in popularity rapidly in recent years, and for good reason; he nailed the basics perfectly. Although the program lacks filters, polygonal tools, and text functions, it has incredibly precise 16-bit color channels, customizable hotkeys, mirror function, and all the transform and transform functions. standard setting. Its full digitizer (pen pressure) support is particularly impressive, turning even your laziest brushstrokes into anti-jagged line work with crisp edges and natural taper.
You can activate a free trial which lasts for 30 days, after which you can make the one-time purchase available for around $ 53 (fees are in Japanese Yen, so prices may vary depending on your bank’s currency conversion), if you decide this is the program for you.
Download: Paint Tool Sai ($ 53, free trial available)
Like Painter, ArtRage is designed to be as close to real life as possible. Its greatest strength is undoubtedly its wide range of artistic tools with realistic physics, which arguably simulates traditional mediums better than its contemporaries.
Using ArtRage, you can paint, coat, blur and mix tools and colors on all kinds of different paper types for your canvas. Each tool can be changed to your liking as a sticker, or you can choose to use one of the many presets. Stencils are a unique feature that allows you to use layers as you would a piece of scrap paper; you can mix color palettes or have reference pictures on the side. ArtRage also has a fairly active online community where its users come together to share resources.
You can download a demo of ArtRage without fear of registration or expiration. However, to save files, you will need to purchase the software on PC (Windows / Mac) for $ 79, iPad for $ 4.99, or iPhone for $ 1.99.
Download: ArtRage (free and premium version available)
PC users don’t have the opportunity to monopolize all the fun! Released by Savage Interactive in 2011, Procreate is the last software on this list and a great Photoshop alternative for those who prefer to work on the go.
Procreate aims to recreate the feel of natural drawing while taking advantage of a digital workspace. You can play around with its photo-color palette feature, over 130 brushes, auto-save, 4K canvas resolution, text and animation capabilities, and a handful of powerful filters, blend modes, and masks. Procreate was also designed for multi-touch and Apple Pencil support.
Procreate is a one-time purchase from the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
Download: Procreate ($ 9.99)
Adobe Photoshop Isn’t Your Only Option
Even though this is the industry standard software, you don’t have to use Photoshop to create amazing illustrations. Different projects may require different tools. Perhaps you prefer the pen tool from one program to another. Whatever your reason for trying something different, know that the perfect digital workspace for you is out there.