6 Best Free Digital Painting Apps for Windows 10

Microsoft Paint is an iconic app. It may feel limiting in more than one way today, but it was the default paint app for most Windows users back in the day. Out of the several free digital painting apps available, we have compiled a list of the 6 best ones for Windows 10.

Free Digital Painting Apps for Windows 10

Microsoft had plans to discontinue the Paint app but decided against it. There was a lot of chatter across the web around it. Either way, Paint continues to live on, but there are better digital painting apps that you can try out for better results.

Let’s check them out.

1. Paint.NET

Paint.NET is based on the popular .NET framework and hence the name. The UI is dated and will remind you of the original MS Paint app bundled with Windows installation. However, under that are a powerful set of tools that load quickly.

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There are a decent number of tools to select from and brushes to paint with. You can add shapes, work with layers, make different adjustments to colors, and add effects that act as filters in modern photo editing apps we have come to love on smartphones. There is support for plugins that may enable additional features like support for more file types.

2. Paint 3D

Part of Microsoft’s plan to retire Paint was to replace it with Paint 3D, which comes pre-installed with all versions of Windows. Think of Paint 3D as an older sibling that picked up more skills has more experience and extra tools under the hood.

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As the name suggests, there is a library of 3D images of different objects and shapes that you can add and play around with. It also supports 3D text if you have a message to convey. It’s an updated Paint version with more effects, brushes, tools, and some 3D images to choose from.


GIMP is an open-source GNU image editor touted as a free Adobe Photoshop alternative. There are many tools and options, but the good thing is that one can customize the UI to declutter the interface. Still not the most user-friendly painting app on Windows, but well-supported by devs and has a huge community to help you learn things.

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It is a powerful painting app with advanced features like photo retouching, brushes that can be customized, gradients, and even an animation package. Then there are plugins that one can install to enhance utility. GIMP will take some time to get used to and requires patience to learn everything that it has to offer but well worth the time.

4. Artweaver

Artweaver has a cool collection of brushes. You can find a brush for calligraphy, crayons, and many others. Similarly, Artweaver has a number of other tools under its arsenal. The UI loads pretty quick but looks dated.

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Artweaver is a powerful app that’s easy to use. It’s good enough to learn digital painting and create good pieces of art. There’s a free version of the app, and you can pay for the Plus version to unlock more features.

5. Irfanview

Irfanview doesn’t carry all the bells and whistles that we saw in some of the above Windows painting apps. It is closer to Paint in that respect but offers many effects and filters that you can apply instantly. These can be effective in getting quick results with minimal effort.

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You can use the popular image editor to show slides. It’s a team player meaning you can open images already open in Irfanview directly in other image editors from within. In case you need advanced editing features.

6. Krita

Last but not least on the list is Krita. It allows you to create your workspace where UI elements can be moved or removed based on your existing project. It also supports dark mode making the UI customizable and functional.

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Krita is a powerful painting and image editing app. It has got all the usual sets of brushes, pencils, and fills to choose from. Play around with layers or apply different filters; the choice is yours. Artists designed Krita for artists, and it shows. As such, you feel right at home while using it to paint your heart out.

Paint Your World

These are the digital painting apps that will get you to take your hobby to the next level. While there are paid solutions, you can try out the free ones first and then gradually move on to them depending on your need.

Next up: Do you want to insert an image on top of another image in Paint? Find out how to add an image over a picture in Paint and Paint 3D.

Last updated on 13 July, 2021

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