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FREE Top 10 Best Drawing Software for Mac [2024]

Ollie Mattison
Ollie Mattison
Originally published Aug 08, 23, updated Feb 29, 24

When it comes to flawless functioning, especially in graphics designing, animations, and most importantly, during the rendering process, nothing can beat the smoothness and speed of a Mac computer. With that said, if you are a creative designer, you would hate the frequent system crashes that Windows PCs have, and most certainly, you wouldn’t like the time the non-Mac computers waste when your head is full of the creative idea.

Considering the above, we have compiled a list of some free drawing software for Mac that you can use as a beginner or a professional graphic designer.

Part 1: 10 Best Drawing Apps for Mac [Free & Paid]

Below are some best drawing programs for Mac, free and paid. The list also includes the name of a built-in app in macOS called Preview that is more or less similar to MS Paint that Windows operating systems have.

It is noteworthy that the applications listed below are in no particular order as far as their working efficiency or flexibility is concerned, and you are free to pick any software that you find best as per your business or personal needs.

Although we have tried our best to provide the latest information about the programs available in this writing, you are highly encouraged to check the vendors’ official websites to get the most updated version and corresponding details of the applications you are interested in.

1. Free Preview App on Mac

Price: Free

System Requirements: macOS Mojave 10.14 or later

Best for: Home users for elementary photo and PDF manipulations, editing, and annotations

Main Features

  • Allows image conversion

  • Enables PDF editing

  • Allows background removal from the photos

  • Allows batch picture conversion

  • Allows image resizing

2. Sketch

Price: $99 one-time payment | $9 per user per month (for teams)

System Requirements: macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later

Best for: Professionals who want to create vector arts, workflows, icons, user interface designs, etc. for apps and websites

Main Features

  • Allows pixel-perfect vector design creation

  • Supports Boolean operations

  • Enables projects and component sharing through Shared Libraries

  • Lets you upload your designs to the Cloud for seamless accessibility

You can go to to learn more about this drawing app or download it.

3. Paintbrush

Price: Free

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or later

Best for: Beginners who want to do basic photo editing like cropping, adding annotations, etc.

Main Features

  • Can open photos of almost all major formats like JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, BMP, etc.

  • Can open photos with transparency in PNG in GIF files with Alpha Channel

  • Offers basic drawing and editing tools

You can go to to learn more about this drawing app.

4. Patina

Price: $2.99

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later

Best for: Home users and beginners who want a basic drawing program can do elementary image editing like cropping, resizing, etc.

Main Features

  • Has almost all drawing shapes, including arrows

  • Allows manual color management

  • Allows rotations

  • Supports transparency

You can download it from App Store directly:

5. ArtBoard

Price: $39.99

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.9 or later

Best for: Beginners and professionals who want to draw vector art designs and also wish to edit the existing images

Main Features

  • Allows exporting your creations to editable PDFs

  • Supports almost all major formats such as PNG, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, etc.

  • Supports transparency

  • It has a clipart library with a plethora of drawings

6. FireAlpaca

Price: Free

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 or later

Best for: Beginners and professionals for creating designs and illustrations, and digital painting using various tools

Main Features

  • Supports 3D Perspective view

  • Available in 10 different languages

Learn more about this drawing software here:

7. Affinity Designer

Price: $49.99

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 or later

Best for: Creative professionals who want to design industry-standard vector designs with pixel-perfect precision

Main Features

  • It supports pan and zoom at the framerate of 60fps.

  • Offers unlimited artboards

  • Supports almost all major formats from Adobe products such as Ai, PSD, SVG, etc.

  • Available for Mac, iPad, and Windows

Go to to learn more about Affinity Designer.

8. Tayasui Sketches

Price: Free with in-app purchases

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.10 or later with a 64-bit processor

Best for: Beginners and home users to come up with creative drawings and sketches

Main Features

  • The program is multilingual.

  • Allows layered objects

  • Allows exporting your creations in PSD format

  • Supports stylus and can recognize the pressure

You can download it from App Store:

9. Autodesk SketchBook  

Price: Free

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.11 or later

Best for: Beginners and professionals who are looking for a free tool with simple UI to put their ideas and concepts on sheets

Main Features

  • Has effective sketching tools

  • Offers robust coloring options

Go to and download it to try.

10. Krita  

Price: Free

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.9 or later

Best for: Creative professionals who want to draw vector arts, paint the sketches, apply filters, etc.

Main Features

  • Offers multiple brush engines

  • Allows masking and advanced selections

  • Allows creating layered objects

  • Offers advanced color management

Go to to learn more about Krita.

Part 2 (Bonus): How to Draw in Preview on Mac for Free

The built-in free drawing software for Mac, Preview, has some markup tools that allow you to annotate and draw shapes on the images. The step-by-step instructions are given below explain how this can be done with the least effort:

Step 1: Reveal Markup Toolbar

Right-click the photo you want to edit on Mac, go to Open With, and click Preview (default). Next, click the Show Markup Toolbar from the upper-right corner of the interface to get the Markup Toolbar under the standard toolbar.

Step 2: Use the Shapes Tool

Click the Shapes icon in the Markup Toolbar, and select your preferred shape tool from the available options. Drag the automatically added shape to reposition it to your preferred location on the image. Optionally, use the scaling handles to resize the body as needed. Next, click the Border Color and Fill Color icons and select your preferred colors for the shape’s outline and background color.

Step 3: Use the Text Tool

Click the Text tool from the Markup Toolbar, drag the text frame to your preferred location on the image, and use the scaling handles to resize the frame. Next, click inside the frame, delete the placeholder text, and type a new caption instead. Now, click the Text Style icon, and use the available options to format the text as needed.


There are several free drawing software for Mac. Depending on your needs, the complexity of your work, and the type of tools you need in the application, your definition of the best free drawing software for mac may vary from that of your friends or colleagues. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that free drawing apps for mac will always have limited options. If you want some advanced tools and features, your best bet would be to go for a paid program. It may not only offer a flawless user experience, but you can also expect around-the-clock technical support from its team should you stumble upon any issue while using the tool.

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