Let’s talk about the chart. Personally, I prefer to use an online tool like Canvato easily create graphics for a website. But you can’t be online all the time, and that’s why it’s better to install software to create graphics for offline work.
There are many graphic applications for Linux that help digital artists improve their work or build something interesting from scratch. Well, maybe the apps that exist under Linux aren’t commercially popular, but they offer powerful features to become the perfect companion for a digital artist.
In this article, we will specifically focus on tools that work with digital drawings/sketches and image editors.
Best Graphic Design software for Linux
Now let’s move on to a review of the 7 best Linux tools for digital artists.
GIMP literally means the GNU Image Manipulation Program. GIMP is one of the best free tools that a digital artist can install on Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution.
This is a completely free program for a digital artist on Linux, which has nothing to do with the level of his knowledge. It is intended for everyone. Even if you are an expert, you can use it, or if you are a beginner, you will also be comfortable working in it. GIMP has more to offer than just photo editing or design. A distinctive feature is the ability to install plugins and extensions. Moreover, without spending a penny, you can do all the basic design or editing work, as well as some complex image manipulation tasks.
If you are running Ubuntu, you can find it in the Ubuntu Software Center application list. You can install it directly from there, and if you are on another Linux distribution, you can go to their installation guide page for more information.
Another impressive Linux tool for digital artists. Krita was conceived as an add-on with KOffice to facilitate image editing as part of an office suite of tools. However, it turned out to have much more potential to become an independent desktop application, competing with programs like GIMP.
To our surprise, it still doesn’t look like GIMP. However, it is more focused on illustrators, cartoonists, and concept artists. It definitely offers a whole range of possibilities and is constantly evolving. In addition, it can be argued that Krita provides a better user experience compared to GIMP.
Recently, animation rendering capabilities, full OSX support, improved color matching, and more have been introduced. Krita is also extensible with plugins or extensions. Supports a good collection of filters to choose from, and also provides the ability to manage layers in an image in the same way as Adobe Photoshop. Can import many files, but now there is no support for PSD files.
Features and usability are Krita’s strong point.
You can take the snap package from the Ubuntu software center, or download AppImage and make it executable for further installation. For more information, you can try going to the Krita download page.
This is an open source vector graphics editor. You can install it on your Linux system as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. The user interface offered here may not be very attractive, but it’s just damn good when combined with the powerful features and tools offered.
Obviously, this is one of the best Linux tools for digital artists who are actively developing. If you find it easier to work with, but still prefer Adobe Illustrator, then you can easily export your file to Illustrator format and import it into Illustrator later. You can also export to SVG, SVGZ, LaTeX, and POV-Ray formats. There are extensions that allow you to save files in PDF, EPS, and so on.
Inkscape may not be as useful if you are a leading expert, because it lacks some of the features available in the popular commercial vector graphics editor. However, if you are an artist who prefers a free and easy-to-use tool, you can definitely use it.
You can install it directly in the Ubuntu Software Center. In any case, if you are using a different Linux distribution, you can try installing it via the terminal by typing the following command:
sudo apt install inkscape
An open source vector drawing program. Karbon is also recognized as Karbon 14, Kontour, and KIllustrator. It allows you to edit and create vector drawings. It is one of the most suitable Linux tools for digital artists working with vector graphics. It includes a gradient tool, a tool for determining the shape of the trajectory, a pencil, a calligraphy tool, and so on.
It supports both shapes and texts. You can import SVG images and edit them easily. Karbon provides a great customizable user interface. In addition, it offers an advanced line editing tool, similar to pen in Photoshop. Moreover, the program is constantly being improved and allows you to expand it by using plug-ins that are compatible with it.
You can install it directly from the Ubuntu Software Center. In any case, you can enter the following command in the terminal:
sudo apt install karbon
5. Vectr (without open source code)
Like the two graphics tools listed above and, as the name suggests, Vectr is a tool for vector graphics. It is slightly different from the usual software.
You can also use Vectr in your web browser. It also has a real-time teamwork feature. You can provide the URL of your design, and others can watch you edit the image in real time.
The user interface is another plus. The modern user interface and aesthetic appearance certainly sets the mood for creativity. It also has a great set of documentation for beginners in creating vector design.
The desktop application is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. This is not open source software, however, you can download it for free.
Like any other image editing tools, Pinta came out of nowhere to become one of Linux’s favorite tools for digital artists. It is an open source utility with many features.
If you have used Paint software before.Net, then it’s pretty much the same. In other words, you can leave it as an alternative to Paint.Net for Linux/Ubuntu. You will find a variety of drawing tools that include-brush, free drawing tool, pencil, shapes and so on. This is not just a regular drawing tool, but also a support that allows you to control the layers of the image. In addition, you get the ability to add extensions for experimental features.
Also, Pinta offers a variety of filters and effects (motion blur, red eye removal, glow, warp) that will help improve the image. You can easily customize the toolbar as you like (either as a floating window or as an attached toolbar). Includes a dock-style setup feature. It comes with support for file formats like OpenRaster and others.
Another open source Linux tool for digital artists. MyPaint focuses on drawing sketches. If your display supports touch input, you can get the most out of it. The user interface is quite simple and convenient.
It is definitely a decent alternative to MS Paint under Linux with some advanced features. It provides support for the base layer and an unlimited number of canvases. You won’t have to resize the canvas again (or adjust it). You get extensive brush capabilities that you can immediately try out on the canvas.
If you are an artist, then with this tool you can make anything from anything digitally. I would even call it the best drawing software on Linux.
If you want to install it, you can find it on the Ubuntu Software Center or install it using the command below:
sudo apt install mypaint
Finally, you’ve learned about some of the best Linux tools for digital artists. Of course, the list we compiled contained only the popular and favorite choice for almost everyone who uses Linux/Ubuntu.
In fact, there are many similar tools, but most of them are designed for Windows and macOS. Finding something that is available on our native Linux is not an easy task.
I intentionally didn’t consider some of the tools here because of their limited number of users (only the people who need it are a really focused audience of digital artists), or else they are just outdated. Among the main ones are Radiance, Lux Renderer, Dia and Wings 3D.
Have we missed any of your favorite Linux tools designed for digital artists? Which of the above tools would you choose to use? Share in the comments.
Translation of the article: https://itsfoss.com/best-linux-graphic-design-software/