The Artist’s Software Guide

Before you purchase software, check with the manufacturer to ensure the product is compatible with your computer’s operating system. (Note that many Windows-only programs can be run on Mac machines with emulation software.) Also, many programs offer a free trial version, or demo, so you can try before you buy.

Tools for Making Art

Adobe Photoshop
$649, Adobe

Free, GIMP

Adobe Photoshop Elements
$99.99, Adobe

Corel Painter X
$419, Corel

Poser Figure Artist
$99.99, E-Frontier

3D Virtual Figure Drawing Studio
$27.99, Cloudstars Software

ArtWorks Basic
$49.95, Artellmedia

Tools for Business

Artist’s Butler
$20, LynnSoft

$99, Software for Artists

$795, ArtSystems

$95, Archer Artist


Virtual Magnifying Glass
A free, open-source screen magnifier

An organizing tool that lets you edit and share photos online

An office suite with a word processor, spreadsheets and multimedia capability

Michael Chesley Johnson is a frequent contributor to The Artist’s Magazine. Read more about artist’s software in the July 2008 issue of the magazine.

Learn more about selling your art:

  • Complete Guide to Selling Your Work Online
  • Quick & Easy Guide to Photographing Your Artwork
  • Read more articles about selling your art
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