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- January 02, 2020
- 18 min to read
Most free photo editors available on the App Store are quite basic, offering just a limited number of filters and allowing you to easily and quickly liven up your photos before posting them on social media.
But if you’re an aspiring or professional photographer, you probably need a more powerful app with a broader set of tools to use your creativity to the fullest. Besides, you probably use your Mac for photo editing because working on a large screen makes it possible to adjust the slightest details.
1. Apple’s Photos (Built-in app)
Apple’s Photos app is included for free on all recently released Macs. It does a good job at organizing your photos, but its collection of photo enhancement tools leaves much to be desired. Hopefully, our selection of the best free programs for photo editing on Mac will help you choose the right app to suit all your creative needs.
2. Luminar (7 days trial)
Luminar is another full-featured photo editor that’s popular with both Mac and Windows users. It can work as a standalone app as well as a plugin for such popular programs as Apple Photos.
Luminar uses Artificial Intelligence to enable sophisticated yet quick photo enhancements. Among these AI features are Sky Enhancer, which adds more depth and detail to the sky in your photos while leaving other areas untouched; Accent AI, which analyzes a photo and automatically applies the best combination of different effects to enhance your image; and Sun Rays, which allows you to place an artificial sun and adjust the lighting to your liking or make the sun rays already in your photo look even more incredible.
Luminar has over 60 filters you can apply to your photos to enhance them in a moment. Luminar also provides a set of powerful tools for cropping, transforming, cloning, erasing, and stamping, along with layers, brushes, and many more incredible features. Luminar supports the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, making photo editing even more effortless and pleasing.
3. Photolemur 3 (Free Version with watermark)
Photolemur is a relative newcomer on the photo editing market but it has all the chances to win the favor of beginner photographers and hobbyists. Running on Artificial Intelligence, Photolemur is a completely automatic photo enhancer, meaning that it does all the editing for you in no time. It has the simplest interface, with only a few buttons and sliders to adjust the enhancement to your liking and view the before and after results.
All you need to do is choose a photo (or a few) that you want to improve, drag and drop or import them using the Import button, and let the program make enhancements. After it’s done, you can compare the edited version with the original image by using the before–after slider and, if you want, adjust the skin tone or even enlarge the eyes using additional sliders. Pretty easy, huh?
Photolemur also offers a number of impressive styles to touch up your photos and give them a sophisticated and professional look. With this app, you don’t need to stuff your head with photo editing nuances and terms. Just run Photolemur and watch the magic happen!
4. Aurora HDR (14 days trial)
As you probably can tell from the name, Aurora HDR is designed to help photographers enhance their HDR photos, making them even more detailed and beautiful. It’s an ideal tool for editing your photos, with an extensive collection of more than 20 tools including details, tone, mapping, color, glow, and vignette. Each tool has its unique selection of controls to adjust its effects.
Aurora HDR enables you to work with brushes, layers, and masks, and provides a number of automatic AI tools for recognizing and removing noise, enhancing colors, lighting, and details, improving clarity, and adding contrast to dull areas while leaving other areas untouched.
Aurora HDR does a great job dealing with difficult lighting situations and creating full-of-life images while being easy to use.
5. Pixelmator (Trial 30 Days)
Pixelmator is a photo enhancer beloved by many Mac users, as it offers a good combination of a modern and simple interface, the ability to work on multiple layers, and powerful features that take photo editing to a whole new level. With so many editing tools, brushes, and effects, you can enhance your photos to your liking. You can choose between two versions of Pixelmator – standard and pro – depending on your needs. The standard version is great for basic photo editing with its selection of essential tools and filters, while the pro version is packed with extra brushes, tools, and effects that let you push your creativity to new boundaries. You can decide which version is suitable for you according to what features you’re looking for in a photo editing app.
6. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 (Trial link)
Photoshop Elements isn’t as affordable as other photo enhancers for beginner photographers. But luckily there’s a trial version available, so you can check it out before deciding whether this app is worthy of your money. Photoshop Elements acquired many powerful features from Photoshop, only Elements is simplified for amateur photographers and enthusiasts. It includes a good number of effects and filters, plus automated editing options for improving lighting, color balance, and exposure, and even opening closed eyes and reducing the effects of camera shake.
In addition to all of these awesome features, Photoshop also offers editing modes for beginners, intermediate users, and experts. Beginners will probably prefer Quick mode, as it focuses on essential tools to quickly enhance your photos by improving color, lighting, and other basic settings. Guided mode provides intermediate users with step-by-step guidance with more professional features like artistic effects, skin tone correction, and background replacement. Expert mode gives you full access to the app’s really powerful editing features and is ideal for creating stunning images.
7. Affinity Photo (Free Trial)
Affinity Photo’s interface may seem overwhelming at first, especially for novices, but when you come to grips with it you’ll find that the app is just what you’ve been looking for. Its numerous professional tools, effects, and filters encourage you to get creative with your photos. Among the coolest features Affinity Photo has to offer is a before and after view to compare the original photo with its edited version.
Affinity Photo works with 15 file types, including common ones like PDF, PSD, JPG, and GIF as well as some less popular ones. The app amazes with its abundance of basic and top-notch editing tools, allowing you to tweak your photos using all possible kinds of instruments. Affinity Photo allows you to edit HDR photos, apply artistic filters and effects, play with masks and layers, and create breathtaking compositions by combining several images in one. If you find its interface a bit much and are afraid of getting lost in all those advanced tools, you should probably look for something more suitable for your level. But Affinity Photo is worth mastering.
8. Google Photos
Google Photos is a popular cloud storage service for photos and videos. It can’t boast countless masterly tools like other photo enhancers that we review in this article, but it includes some fundamental features like filters, color adjustment sliders, and transformation tools.
Although Google Photos may not be that helpful when it comes to editing photos, it does a pretty good job at storing high-resolution images and videos with 15GB of free online storage, compared to iCloud’s mere 5GB (which you can upgrade to 50GB for a monthly fee). If you’re planning to go on a trip and take plenty of photos, then it might be smart to sign up for Google Photos to use that extra storage space when you come back.
9. PhotoScape X (Free)
A relatively new photo editing app, PhotoScape X has been gaining popularity with many Mac and PC users since its release in 2008. Its interface is simple but unconventional, with a number of tabs running along the top of the window. Each is responsible for a specific stage of editing. The Viewer tab allows you to browse and organize your photos. After you pick a photo, you can switch to the Editor tab, which includes a broad set of instruments, filters, and effects and a useful feature that enables you to compare the adjusted photo with the original.
The next tabs, including the Batch tab, mainly concentrate on editing and renaming multiple photos at once. The GIF tab allows you to easily create an animated GIF from a group of selected photos.
The downside of PhotoScape X is a lack of selection tools, so all changes are applied to the whole image rather than to a selected part.
10. Gimp (Free)
Gimp is a free open-source photo editing app that has been on the market for over 22 years and is available for Windows, Mac, and even Linux. Unlike many free apps, Gimp doesn’t have any ads or in-app purchases. Its grey interface might seem a little old-fashioned and it may be a bit sluggish when it comes to complex effects, though.
Gimp offers a vast collection of advanced tools that hardly any free photo editor can boast. It has numerous enhancement options such as clone and heal brushes, layers and channels, accurate selection tools, a number of transformation instruments, and, of course, color adjustment controls. Gimp is one of the most powerful tools for enhancing photos and is beloved by so many users for its price (free) and versatility. But if you can’t come to grips with Gimp’s interface, it may be worth paying some cash for a more user-friendly program.
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.
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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.
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.
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
Free Apps For Mac Computer
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
Free App Download For Mac
Free Apps For Macos Catalina
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.