Best Anime and Manga Drawing Software in 2023

Manga is growing in popularity and many people interested in drawing manga and anime are looking for drawing software that can make their drawing easy. This manga drawing software is great fun and can make your job easier, it’s easy and faster than traditional drawing, which requires some craftsmanship.

Creating manga or anime art is not an easy process and can be especially intimidating for the new budding mangaka. One of the newer and more efficient ways to create manga art is to use digital drawing software, which saves a lot of time throughout the manga creation process and results in a cleaner end product. But there is so much manga drawing software out there that can be used to create a manga that it can be difficult to decide which one is really good. Which manga drawing software is really good? And what is the best software for drawing anime in 2023?

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Best manga drawing software

Getting started with manga drawing software is easy for users as it is fairly familiar software with lots of features. Whether you use manga drawing software or just an anime drawing program, over time you can create your drawings with new tools, features, and assists. When you think of the best manga drawing software, this is what you get…

Below is the list of the best software for drawing manga:

  • Smith Macro Manga Studio
  • PGN OpenCanvas
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • SYSTEMAX PaintTool
  • Corel painter
  • My paint

Manga Studio
Best manga drawing software

Smith Macro Manga Studio

Smith Macro Manga Studio is designed for those who want to do manga and the best software for drawing anime. The program can edit vectors, work online, and enable a variety of gender-specific color swatches, extra screen tones, and smart rulers that are useful for individuals. The Smith Macro Manga Studio is a quality all-rounder program for manga artists.

You can use it with a graphics tablet as it is pen pressure sensitive and designed to work with a digital pen perfectly. It mimics the traditional pens used by comic book artists. There is an option to customize the preset brushes to suit your style.

• It offers a wide range of gender-specific swatches.
• You can add pose and anatomical design.
• Manga Studio offers the ability to assist tablet users with the pressure sensitivity of the pen.
• Digital pens that mimic traditional ink pens are used by skilled manga artists.
It has fantastic screen tones as well as a perspective ruler for easy layout and 3D drawing.
It provides a great opportunity for people who want to indulge in manga illustrations.
Not the most user friendly software around
It can be a bit on the expensive side
Pgn OpenCanvas
PGN OpenCanvas

PGN OpenCanvas

OpenCanvas is on of the most popular programs among manga and anime artists, as it is proved to be one of the best manga art software and anime drawing software. Digital drawing program is available in Japanese and English.

The program offers a variety of brushes, like the grid-based pen tool, a set of watercolor brushes, and a marker. OpenCanvas offers a range of real digital inkjet tools as well as the use of a layering system for easy editing. PGN OpenCanvas has a user-friendly interface and navigating the menus and miniature panels are easy. You can select from many different tones, patterns, and textures, as well as editable brushes. PGN OpenCanvas has an excellent event log feature that you can use to keep track of your progress.

• It uses a layering system that makes editing easy and straightforward.
• It has an easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to find menus and a thumbnail window.
• OpenCanvas has a variety of paper patterns, tones, and textures, as well as fully editable brushes that can be used to create manga designs and illustrations.
OpenCanvas can be used perfectly for digital color purposes.
User friendly
All of the text captions look rough and jagged
It’s all in individual floating windows that get in the way
RGB color images only
Adobe Photoshop Manga
Adobe Photoshop Manga

Adobe Photoshop

You may have used Adobe Photoshop at some point in your life. It is the right choice for you to draw a perfect painting drawing with its many tools. Photoshop is top rated tool even for manga and anime art art that allows you to digitally draw all of your anime and manga drawings from start to finish. It’s a wonderful tool that gives you complete control over what you draw.

• You can scan your sketch and later use Photoshop’s editing options to create illustrations from that sketch.
• You can use brush tool for tablet work, while mouse users can use the pen tool for perfect drawing accuracy.
You can color in your anime design and manga illustrations effectively
Excellent borders for your shade.
Photoshop is a complex application
It takes up valuable space
PaintTool Manga
PaintTool Manga


SYSTEMAX PaintTool is an inexpensive Japanese manga drawing software. It is perfectly designed for the anime and manga art industries. It’s a very light interface and very easy to navigate. If you love creating anime and manga-style art, this is a must for you.

• This tool includes watercolor pencils and markers that you can also use to download custom brushes from the web.
• It adds amazing sharp edges and another layer to the strokes to create amazing anime art.
The price is friendly
It has many built-in brushes of different sizes, shapes, and textures.
The user interface is boring, too bright, and can be eye strain.
Corel Painter Manga
Corel Painter Manga

Corel Painter

Corel Painter is a famous program that many people believe in. Corel Painter is a divine manga and anime drawing software that takes your creation to the next level. It has wonderful digital brushes as well as classic pens. It also includes watercolor, chalk, oil paint, pastels, markers, and colored pencils. These days, artists use Carol Painter to create styles of anime and manga that are naturally drawn to art.

• You have several brushes to choose from for your digital art.
With your tablet, you can enjoy precise pen pressure sensitivity.
• Corel painter is a dominant tool that can be used for anime or manga style painting.
It has wonderful digital brushes as well as classic pens
Not all brushes can use the GPU.
Improving performance is an issue with your hardware.
Mypaint Manga
Mypaint Manga


MyPaint isn’t specifically designed for drawing manga and anime art, but it is free and can be a great tool for beginners who want to create manga illustrations. It works great with pens and pressure-sensitive devices like tablets. You can create and configure your brushes such as pencils, chalk, colored pencils, and charcoal. You can work professionally and efficiently.

• With this tool, you can take advantage of all the features and benefits of digital painting.
• You can save your design as a waste paper and have a large collection of brushes that can also be personalized.
• You can move the layers around easily.
My Paint is ideal manga drawing software for beginners.
It also supports blending patterns like brightness, overlay, and saturation.
Most of the important functions are missing
Inking Manga
Inking Manga

How to Draw Manga – Short Guide

You are manga and anime big fan and you want to learn how to draw Manga? That’s great! Let’s go from the beggining. What do you need to start working?

You need a graphic tablet or a digital drawing board, together with a digital art software. Above you could find out what are the best manga drawing software as well as best anime drawing programs.

Beside that you need to do the traditional preparation part. You need pencil and paper to do your sketch and then a scanner to upload that image onto your computer.

Follow these four steps to learn how to draw your first manga:

Idea for your Manga Character

Many people thinks this is the most easiest part. Yes, you are a huge fan and you can come out with dozens of cool characters in less than a minute. Well, it’s not that easy.

You need to think about absolutely everything. Starting with very rough doodles, then figure out character’s style, expression, pose, features. Don’t spend too much time on this one, as it should be used just as an idea to create initial sketch. You will work more on your manga art later.

Sketching out the Character

Although the traditional method of using the simple pencil and a piece of paper still perfectly works, you can also make a sketch using your digital equipment – tablet of a digital drawing board.

You should start with the head, first with the basic face shape. When you are happy with it, then you should plan where to put nose, mouth, eyes and ears.

What most people first see on manga drawings? The eyes, exactlly! The eyes are very expressive in manga and you should approach them very carefuly. There is a big difference between the male and female eyes, as well as the evil and good eyes. You should read more about the manga iconography HERE.

Draw Manga Eyes
Manga Eyes

You should pressing the pencil lightly so you can easily come back if you are not happy with your work. Of course, we are talking only on traditional sketching.

After you are happy with the eyes shape and look, you should take care about something what is very important in manga and anime art. Light reflections. These reflections are called “catchlights”.

Drawing face

After you have a head shape and eyes, you should continue with mouth, nose and ears. Mouth is a bit more trickier, but nose and ears should be easier parts, epsecially the nose – which is just a line or two and some shading.

What about mouth? You know that mouth is almost expressive as eyes. If you want to experiment with it. If not, you can draw basic close mouth with a couple of lines and some shading.

The part where you can use a lot of your imagination is manga hair. There are so many options here you can use, from short and classical to long and excentric.

Inking the drawing

When you are happy with your sketch, you can switch to the more serious part of this work. After you start with ink, there is no going back.

Of course, the things are much different in digital manga and anime art, but you should really decide not to come back to your sketch, once you start drawing your main piece of art. That’s why it’s important to make the best possible sketch, so you will have much easier work to do later on.

Coloring and shading

In this phase you should take out the best from your software. Start with the brush tool and colors you pick. Start from the larger parts and then continue with the smaller parts of your manga art. When you are happy with coloring, then proceed to shading. This might look like the previous step, but now you should work with softer brush tools and play around with shading as much as you don’t get something you like.

I didn’t go deep in this tutorial, as the steps may vary in depth, but I gave you a basic idea of what the crafting process should look like. A lot depends on the software you use, you will certainly get better results with more expensive and more capable tools, but it also means that these are more complicated to learn and use.