Is GIMP a Good Program for Drawing?

Is GIMP a Good Program for Drawing?

In the world of Graphic Design, nothing reigns supreme like the Adobe Suite. Microsoft’s Office Essentials might have the lockdown on text-based software, but Adobe has a vice grip on the design side of things. However, that doesn’t mean that either of these are perfect for everything. When it comes to digital art rather than just design, neither of these suites really cut it. In this instance, artists start looking for alternatives.

While GIMP can be used for digital art, it is more of a photo manipulation program like Adobe Photoshop. However, due to it being free, open source software, it is a good option for those on a budget.

GIMP has really managed to become on par with Adobe’s golden child Photoshop in almost every way. However, with that comes many of the faults it has too. While it can be used as a drawing tool just like Photoshop, it really isn’t specifically cut out for it. Keep reading for more information regarding GIMP’s drawing capabilities and some recommendations for suitable alternatives.

Is GIMP a Good Program for Drawing?

GIMP is a very lightweight and powerful tool capable of rivaling and sometimes even surpassing Photoshop in nearly every aspect. It’s also open source, meaning that anyone can go in and alter the program, share what they’ve made, and do pretty much whatever they want without fear of repercussion from a corporation. The freeware aspect is also incredibly tempting for those with a limited or nonexistent budget.

However, it is more of a photo manipulation tool rather than an art studio. It is set up in this way to make these sorts of services more accessible to the general public than something requiring a subscription fee. Thanks to the vibrant community, there are many tools out there to use it as an art program if needed. It’s just not optimized for it.

Why Use GIMP for Drawing?

Just because GIMP isn’t optimized for digital art doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for it at all. Plenty of artists use the program to create their work.

Here are some reasons to use GIMP for drawing:

  • It’s completely free
  • It’s very lightweight
  • It can be used for more than drawing
  • It’s compatible with many different devices
  • It has many resources available
  • It’s highly customizable
  • It’s very easy to learn

It’s a great program to use for many reasons. If drawing is only part of what needs there are for the program, it’s a perfect solution. Not to mention, it’s a very lightweight program capable of running on most devices with an option to have an even smaller version capable of running off of a flash drive.

Good Programs for Drawing

If looking for a program specifically optimized for digital art, GIMP might not be the way to go. While it can be used fine, especially for beginners, there are plenty of other options out there more attuned to the task.

Here are just a few good program options for drawing:

  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Corel PaintShop Pro
  • Krita
  • Inkscape
  • Procreate
  • PaintTool Sai

Each of these programs have their own pros and cons, but they tend to be fluid based on skill level and individual needs. Some of these are free, some have fees or ads. Additionally, not all of these programs will work on all devices. The good news is that there are enough to fiddle around with and find out what is most comfortable without worrying that there isn’t anything better.

What is the Best Program for Drawing?

When it comes down to brass tacks, there is no one program better than the others for drawing. There are some more optimized for certain styles, needs, and skill levels but that doesn’t mean that they are going to work for everyone with those requirements. The best program for drawing will always be whatever is most comfortable, easy to learn, and functional for the artist themselves.


GIMP is a great piece of freeware that has become the main competitor for Photoshop. With that means that it is an excellent program for photo manipulation, but not necessarily a great program for drawing. While it can be used for it, GIMP isn’t optimized for it like some other programs are. However, it is merely one tool in an artist’s belt, and if it is the most comfortable program to use and suits all of their needs, then it is a good program for them.