12 Best Adobe Fresco Alternatives to Install in 2021

By Eva Williams 17 days ago, Software Reviews

Adobe Fresco is a great option for working with vector and raster graphics. However, it doesn’t allow you to adjust the color, saturation, and hue of specific layers, so make sure to pay attention to other similar programs as well. In this article, you will find a list of the best Adobe Fresco alternatives that includes free and professional software for creating drawings and illustrations of any complexity.

Top 3 Adobe Fresco Alternatives

  • An impressive library of brushes: SketchBook
  • Transform tools: Krita
  • For creating layouts and prototypes: Adobe XD

On this list of Adobe Fresco alternatives, you will find perfect options for beginners and professional artists alike. They support vector and raster graphics.

Each program has a set of brushes and a color palette with a color picker. When using them, you can see the history of your edits and undo any of them. The main advantage of these Adobe Fresco alternatives is that they have extensive drawing toolsets. Besides, they allow you to use images from in-built libraries when working on your projects.

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In this list, you’ll find some of the best Adobe Fresco alternatives out there that will provide you the tools, advanced capabilities, and functionality necessary for creating paintings and designs, while boasting an intuitive UI and terrific performance. Here, you’ll find both free drawing software, paid software for working on your PC, and apps for your smartphone.

1. SketchBook

SketchBook was created solely for drawing. It is a perfect choice for digital artists as it has easy-to-adjust, precise tools and an interesting design. The program has all the necessary tools for creating drawings, including sets of brushes, the layer editor, guides, etc.

sketchbook adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • A wide choice of pencils, brushes, and markers
  • Projects can be shared on social networks
  • In-built drawing options
  • Simple and intuitive controls
Cons
  • Paid Pro content
  • Occasional pop-up ads

Main SketchBook Features:

  • Cross-platform
  • Easy-to-use tools for creating animated images
  • Allows creating custom brushes
  • You can create and save custom colors
  • Allows importing images to different layers

The program has a set of drawing tools that will come in handy for every professional artist, such as a pen, brush, marker, pencil, etc. You can save files in several raster formats, including PSD. This software supports layers and allows you to draw images using a stylus.

Its powerful engine allows you to work with a 100mpx canvas with high precision. All the edits are applied quickly, which makes it a great choice for professionals working on creative projects. This software allows you to use device cameras as scanners, which makes it easier to save various reference images.

2. Krita

Krita is a free drawing software that is popular among professional artists and beginners. It comes with a set of basic and advanced drawing tools. Besides, this program is compatible with a variety of devices, including regular and graphics tablets.

krita adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • A modern interface with a great layout
  • OpenGL Enhanced
  • A wide assortment of brushes
  • Supports layers
  • HDR support
Cons
  • No image retouching tools
  • Regular lags after new updates

Main Krita Features:

  • Over 100 brushes
  • Text tools
  • Adjustable colors
  • SVG format support
  • Basic photo editing

To make it easier for users to edit drawings, Krita has an integrated layer editor. It allows you to combine and group your drawings. Another key advantage is that it has symmetry tools that will help you facilitate your workflow. You will find them in the top right corner.

Krita has a wide choice of brushes that you can use depending on your needs. Besides, you can customize each filter and preview it in real-time. To do it, you can adjust color channels, highlights, shadows, use blending modes, etc.

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD was developed by Adobe for creating layouts, prototypes, and presentations. It’s a great option for designers, companies, and teams that need to work on large-scale projects.

adobe xd adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Has a mobile app
  • Regular updates
  • Collaborative tools and shared file access
  • Many templates
Cons
  • Doesn’t allow you to edit CSS without plugins

Main Adobe XD Features:

  • Supports files from other Adobe and Sketch products
  • For creating interactive prototypes with animation
  • Cloud integration
  • Allows you to quickly create prototypes

When using Adobe XD free of charge, designers can collaborate with other teams for adding animations, creating prototypes, and getting feedback in real-time. It’s one of the best Adobe Fresco alternatives for those who need to work on three-dimensional designs and save custom templates to avoid creating new designs from scratch.

Your team can use this solution for creating and resizing prototypes as well as for changing the layout alignment based on their content.

4. Painter

Corel Painter was developed for creating digital drawings. You can use its impressive range of professional drawing tools, such as brushes, oil and watercolor palettes, paper textures.

painter adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Hundreds of brushes and paper textures
  • Compatible with drawing tablets
  • New dark interface mode
Cons
  • Not all brushes might be compatible with your GPU

Main Painter Features:

  • Unique brushes
  • Convenient photo editing options
  • The Grid tool for creating 3D drawings
  • Customizable textures, palettes, patterns

Corel Painter allows you to customize your digital canvas. You can also change textures and various details. After adjusting the paper texture settings, you can create a highly detailed, photorealistic painting.

What makes it stand out among other Adobe Fresco alternatives is that it allows you to mix colors in the Mixer panel. This option will help you to blend various colors and use a color picker to select the one you need. You can make this panel up to 800px wide, which will make it even more convenient to use. 

5. Adobe Spark

With Adobe Spark, you can easily create professional content and implement any idea when creating graphics, videos, and landing pages. Spark has versions for iOS and Android. If you use iOS, you can also install such standalone apps as Spark Post, Spark Page, and Spark Video. Unfortunately, Android users have access only to Spark Post.

adobe spark adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Makes it easy to share links
  • A great collection of free images
  • Automatic design selection options
  • High-quality design tools
Cons
  • Logo customization options are limited
  • It’s impossible to save logos in your account

Main Adobe Spark Features:

  • 100+ templates
  • Colorful and unique text effects
  • Cloud synchronization
  • The Magic Text feature

The program has a great set of tools for working with images and multimedia files. You can find a collection of free photos by following a simple guide. The program also integrates with Adobe Stock, Creative Cloud, Lightroom, Dropbox, Google Фото, and Google Drive. Besides, you can upload media files from your device.

Adobe Spark is a free software. There are many tutorials that will help you get started. This software has a simple, intuitive interface. 

6. ArtRage

ArtRage is a perfect drawing software for Windows and macOS. This Adobe Fresco alternative has a customizable interface. You can move most panels from your workspace wherever you want, for instance, to the second monitor. Besides, you can scale and rotate them.

artrage adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Customizable interface
  • Advanced layer effects
  • Easy-to-use workspace
  • Import, save, and export options
Cons
  • It’s inconvenient to adjust the brush settings on the screen

Main ArtRage Features:

  • Symmetry tools
  • Blend modes
  • Clone tool
  • Advanced playback effects

ArtRage is suitable for beginners and professionals alike. It allows you to create traditional works of art, graphic designs, videos and movies, book illustrations, product designs, special effects, science illustrations, comics, and sketches. The program comes with a traditional set of tools.

ArtRage has many selection, clone, drawing, gradient or pattern fill options. Besides, it has a mobile app with a set of drawing and editing features.

7. Procreate

Procreate is a professional-grade tool for digital artists. One of the biggest advantages of this software is a huge library of over 150 brushes. The brush collection included in the app is suitable for nearly any type of art project.

procreate adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Large tool selection
  • Your work is saved automatically
  • Tone, saturation, and brightness settings
  • Ability to create your own brushes
  • Quick Menu for performing fast actions
Cons
  • No free trial version
  • Only for iPadOS and iOS

Main Procreate Features:

  • Records your drawings as videos
  • Supports large canvas sizes
  • Unique dual-texture brushes
  • 250 steps of action cancellation/repeat

Procreate works with PSD, TIFF, PNG, PDF, and JPEG files, which means you can export a half-finished project and easily continue working on it on your PC. It’s also useful for preparing your graphic designs for print.

Procreate’s selection tool allows you to highlight specific drawing areas for editing without affecting the rest of the canvas. The app is supplied with hundreds of brush and tool sets. You can also create your own brushes straight on your device. To do so, you merely have to import an image for the brush’s shape and texture, and then set its attribute parameters like spacing and angle.

8. PaintTool AI

PaintTool AI is a high-quality and intuitive drawing software that offers full digitizer support, terrific drawing anti-aliasing, convenient controls, and stable performance. Being one of the most interesting Adobe Fresco alternatives, it supports layers, PSD files, working with a drawing tablet, and the usage of various tools like an airbrush, marker, pencil, pen, and the ability to add vector components.

painttool ai adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Allows viewing sketch miniatures
  • Drag-and-drop tool
  • Powerful user interface
  • Data protection functionality
Cons
  • Doesn’t provide a manual or video tutorials
  • Trial version lasts only a month

Main PaintTool AI Features:

  • Full digitizer support
  • Full Intel MMX technology support
  • High-precision compositions with 16-bit ARGB channels
  • Huge variety of colors

The software’s UI allows having multiple documents opened simultaneously. The drawing canvas can be scaled or rotated by using the sliders provided on the navigator, or the hotkeys configured on your keyboard. You can also keep different areas of the same drawing opened in separate windows for further convenience.

The software comes with a full set of transformation tools used for manipulating selected areas, allowing you to move, resize, rotate, or freely transform them. Any series of transformations can be saved as a set and instantly applied to a specific selection in the future.

9. Draw Cartoons 2

Draw Cartoons 2 is one of the best cartoon pictures apps for Android devices. After opening it, you’ll be greeted by a tutorial that explains all the features of the app. It also provides a large selection of tools for creating multi-frame drawings, and lets you voice and save videos.

draw cartoons 2 adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Large tool selection
  • Smooth animations
  • Convenient and intuitive menu
  • Broad functionality
Cons
  • App occasionally closes on its own
  • Possible video export issues

Main Draw Cartoons 2 Features:

  • Compile images into videos
  • Export finished clips in MP4 format
  • High graphics quality
  • Diverse selection of objects and characters

Users receive access to a library with a huge assortment of tools, fun characters, premade mechanisms, detailed locations, and much more. All your animations can be saved as a video in MP4 or GIF format and sent to YouTube. You can find the works of other animators by searching for the #drawcartoons2 hashtag.

You can change existing figures (“objects”) by dragging and rotating “skeletal” parts in sequential frames to create a feeling of motion. You can also save objects and share them as separate files.

10. Crello

The Crello online editor is designed for creating graphics and content for social media, video hosting platforms, and websites, representing one of the best Adobe Fresco alternatives on the market. Thanks to Crello, companies and regular users can not only produce content but also download photos and images from stock libraries. The program allows significantly optimizing the process of creating graphic designs and improving your workflow.

crello adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Collection of thousands of templates
  • Block-based graphics designer
  • Allows developing your own style
  • 300 free fonts
Cons
  • Limited templates for social networks

Main Crello Features:

  • Ability to easily change the image format
  • Ability to upload your own images
  • 18 000 templates in 22 categories
  • Free editing functionality

To start working in Crello, the user has to select a premade template and format for their project. Crello has templates for most types of products and content: social media stories, posts, logos, posters, presentations, smart cards, etc. Depending on the selected template or format, the size of the workspace will change accordingly.

The program operates as a block-based designer, meaning the user drags the needed elements from the toolset panel onto the workspace and can change them as they see fit. Possible elements include images, videos, text fields, objects, backgrounds, and even music. When editing elements, you can change their color, size, placement, font, opacity, and animation. Organizations can enhance the graphics with their trademark style, which can be adjusted in a special tab.

11. Charcoal

Charcoal is a minimalistic and modern drawing app for iPad. The concept behind this app reflects the developer's aspiration to get rid of everything non-essential, allowing you to focus on your ideas rather than having to battle the software before you can get something done.

charcoal adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Simple and intuitive UI
  • Fast sketch synchronization
  • Rich color palette
Cons
  • Rather limited functionality

Main Charcoal Features:

  • Supports iPhone 12 and iPad Air
  • Allows working in multiple windows
  • Good selection of basic tools

This is arguably the best Adobe Fresco alternative for little kids, anyone with a decent understanding of technology, and even experienced artists that like the feeling of freedom that a clean workspace provides when nearly all you see is the digital canvas. Here, the user is provided with a digital paper sheet, several predetermined tools, and a modest color selection.

The app is incredibly simple to use: simply create or open a sketch and start drawing. You don’t have to mess around with layers, attribute panels, and convoluted settings. Instead of all of that, Charcoal offers rich tools and beautiful color palettes.

12. Vectornator

Vectornator is a professional free vector graphics software that is compatible with Mac, iPhone, and iPad. By using this flexible software, you can create illustrations, interface designs, mockups, and much more, all within a single app.

vectornator adobe fresco alternative
Pros
  • Pen Tool with multi-touch and stylus gesture support
  • Unique Auto Trace feature support with Apple Core ML
  • Time-lapse functionality
Cons
  • Works only on Mac and iOS

Main Vectornator Features:

  • Isometric grid
  • Third-party pencils
  • Figma and Sketch import support
  • Built-in Unsplash and Iconator search

This is one of the most optimized apps for the Apple Pen on iPad. If you prefer to use the combination of a Pen, touchscreen, mouse, or trackpad and are a fan of multi-touch gestures, then the Vectornator is among the best Adobe Fresco alternatives for you.

Its UI is highly optimized for Pen and multi-touch gesture use. The rotation handles are highly precise, meaning you won’t accidentally press the rotation button when trying to scale the image, etc. Having such convenient additions to touchscreen controls allow you to significantly simplify and speed up your workflow.

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