Draw & Paint Online With These Free Browser-Based Webapps
ResourcesDigital PaintingWritten by McKella SawyerDisclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something we get a small commission at no extra cost to you(learn more)
Digital art used to be something you could only do on a desktop with expensive software and equipment(read: drawing tablets). But with so many awesome art apps out there you can create incredible artwork on your smartphone, tablet, or even in your web browser.
Actually one of the best ways to do this is with free browser-based apps.
Most of these work best with a Wacom tablet and stylus, but you can also go a long way with a mouse or trackpad if you have patience.
Play around with a few of these and see which ones may fit best for your workflow. You’ll be surprised how much artwork you can actually make with these!
Sketchpad is fairly intuitive and simple to use, even if you’ve never used an app to create art before.
You’ll get a basic set of tools and brushes like adjustable pencils, stamps, text tools, clipart, and lines with snapping capabilities and layers. You can keep things really basic, or use the tools to their fullest potential to create some seriously cool stuff.
Mostly anyone would love the clean, intuitive layout because it’s super quick and easy to access with all your tools, no matter what type of tech you’re using.
Sketchpad might not be the tool for creating highly detailed finished pieces. In fact I’m almost sure it’s not.
Pixlr is kind of like old-school Photoshop because it has a similar setup, so it’s a decent alternative if you don’t want to invest any money on art software(yet!)
With Pixlr you can also draw or modify images just like you would with Photoshop.
Start with a fresh canvas to draw or paint on, or upload an image from your computer if you’d rather start that way.
You’ll find a lot of tools similar to what you’d get in Photoshop with many of the same capabilities. So this is great if you just don’t want to shell out for Photoshop. Still, this isn’t a real replacement for desktop drawing software.
And this might not be the best for total beginners learning digital art, but those with some experience can jump right in easy peasy.
Vectr is an intuitive graphic design tool created to shorten the learning curve and help designers create some amazing stuff fast.
This app isn’t really meant for painting and drawing, but rather for creating graphic designs like logos, icons, slideshows, or maybe small vector graphics.
Given the name you can probably guess this webapp only creates vector files. So if you do create some artwork here you can scale it out to massive sizes while still maintaining image quality.
If you’re interested in graphic design definitely try this out! With this one app you can easily create professional quality images or icons while still feeling like an artist.
One of the cool things about Vectr(besides being free) is that you can collaborate with others in real time.
Other designers can watch you draw live(and you can watch them) which is great for teaching and learning. It also comes with tons of free tutorials right on the site so you can start learning immediately.
This app is actually a bunch of drawing games like Pictionary, as well as drawing contests and challenges all rolled into one thing.
If you just feel like drawing you can open a blank canvas and get started here. But the interactive stuff adds another layer on the site.
Games can actually improve your drawing skills if you practice the right ones.
Some of them require you to draw quickly instead of overthinking things. And the “it’s just a game” mindset can remove a lot of the mental pressure we put on ourselves when we’re creating art, opening us up to more freedom to express creative ideas.
LetsDraw.it is a lot of fun and a great way to get used to drawing on a computer. It’s simple to get started and intuitive to pick up.
This is actually a drawing game and AI experiment, and it’s lots of fun!
You’re basically playing Pictionary with a machine. You draw and it guesses what you’re drawing, and it learns as you go because it remembers not only your drawings, but those of everyone else who uses it.
This game is crazy smart and it’s always getting smarter.
Not only will you get to play a fun game and hone your drawing skills, your drawings will also go into the program’s database where they’ll contribute to further AI research.
Google Quick Draw is perfect for doodlers, Pictionary enthusiasts, AI nerds, and anyone who wants to kill a little time playing with a really brainy art machine.
Author: McKella Sawyer
McKella is an artist and freelance writer from Salt Lake City, Utah. When she isn't painting or writing for clients she loves to write fiction, travel, and explore the mountains near her home either on foot, horseback, or a mountain bike. You can view her art on Etsy and her writing services at TheCafeWordsmith.com.