Anybody knows a good sketch illustrator?


Adobe Illustrator is well more or less the standard in vector work.
I never really liked AI and only after having bought Freehand did
they get normal pen tools.

But still path work in AI is a pain.

Did anybody ever try out Autodesk Sketchbook Designer (Former Alias Sketch).

This is a very interesting approach to sketch drawing with path.
Somewhat reminds me about Flash or SketchUp.

Problem is this software is so slow and eating easily up to a a gig and more of
ram that it is somewhat useless on a laptop. Pretty sad when you only have 200
to 400 lines.

This is not the best drawing but in a nutshell it shows best how this software works.
Such a nice way. Scale Rotate Mirror Move all in one widget …
The Deform tools are also pretty awesome. (Go AI eat dirt)

Another nice one showing more the line working and detailing.

I spend the day looking for other options but I feel most path / vector tools
follow the typical well AI or Inkscape route.

Anybody knows a different software?

That’s an approach to vector drawing I haven’t seen around much before, but maybe it’s because my Uni are huge Adobe and Autodesk fans and think their products are all sent from heaven. I don’t have any issues with AI though but I much prefer CorelPAINTER (yeh Corel woo flame me lol) even though it’s pixel based because of the flexibility and natural workflow.

For vector tools, I’d go with Xara ( They have 30 day try before you buy, so there is nothing to lose. It is vector drawing program, but its tools feel most natural to me (I’ve played with almost everything out there) and screen redraw is blazingly fast (they claim fastest there is and I would agree) even with the most complex drawings… so, now you know :wink:

Alchemy may not have all the functionality you prefer, but it’s great for brainstorm sketches.

dakka dakka

whats wrong with CorelPAINTER ? Photoshop is NOT a paint tool and way to slow for that.

In Graphic Design I find AI useable - not to bad - but for sketching it is just slow.
This process Alias / Autodesk is using is pretty awesome. Too bad it gets slow and after few objects
can start to use up 1 gb of ram …

This approach is in deed very different because you never work with Bézier curves at all and thus have
different tools. You loose a little point editing problem here but on the other side you can so fast redraw
a curve and it blends in the new drawn part that to be honest it is a faster way.

Photoshop is not a paint tool? You gotta be kidding!

yeah, someone post some photoshop works from Enayla… then again, I’m sure cekuhnen knows her.

still, “unbiased painting” apps like MyPaint or ArtRage kick Photoshop and Gimp both for the true painting feel and for the adequacy to the task.

You may wish to consider the freeware apps out there like GIMP and inkscape too. My budget is limited, and these pieces of software coding really helped raised my level of output somewhat.

It depends on what you are trying to actually accomplish as to what tool to use. What is the end result you are looking for? Would paper+pencil/scanner/softwareX suffice? Maybe I’m taking the word “sketch” too literally…

dakka dakka

whats wrong with CorelPAINTER ? Photoshop is NOT a paint tool and way to slow for that.

Oh no I think there’s nothing wrong with CorelPAINTER at all, I think it’s fantastic, but it seems to be shunned for one reason or another by the locals (obviously not the rest of the world) :wink:


yes you can paint with Photoshop but its workflow is not streamlined for it.
Only because some do it does not mean it is the best choice.

Just the recent version of PS caught up on Painter or SketchBook Pro with
certain features PS was lacking since a long time.

The speed and flexibility of SketchBook Pro with the drawing aids mh simply
show Photoshop its limits.

Dakka Painter is pretty dominant for concept sketching in my industry while
in the past years Sketchbook Pro gained a lot of ground.

Jay not really

take a look at the videos

Illustrator is very slow for fast drawing - while great for some precision stuff.
Think about the clicks you need to do for drawing moving scaling distortion re-sketching cropping trimming …

Sketch in this context means more a free fluid approach optimized for fast working with minimal steps
needed to gain certain results.

Look in Artrage Cek, its free version is not res limited .
Did you tried it?

Can you elaborate a bit more? What features are you talking about?

Brush engine? – There are a lot of top-notch brush packs out there, for free, which are basicaly all you need and much more. (email me if you want mine)
A decent blender? – PS hasn’t had good default blender brushes until now but, as stated above, there are top-notch brushes for you to download (and probably useable in since PS7).
The rotate canvas feature? – Your’re right … something PS was lacking since a long time but has it now.
GUI? – Tab away everthing and configure your tablet to your liking (brush size, colorpicker, zoom, various tools, everything you need for fast drawing … all without touching the keyboard)

plus more features than every other image editing software out there. Anything i’m missing?


I think he means physically based brush types like ArtRage designed to emulate physical media like watercolour on wet paper etc… This brush type only made an appearance in CS5, and was one of the new features punted by Adobe.

  1. photoshop is/was perfectly able to emulate those effects even with older versions.
  2. the question is: what is he after? Quick sketches? A beautiful landscape painting nobody can distinguish from a traditional media painting?

Just have a look: (most of those painting were done in photoshop)
PS, Artrage, CorelPainter are just tools – of course you need talent/skill to be that good, but PS is perfectly usable as a painting/sketching tool.


Claas aren’t you a teacher? You can probably get the AD app free or at least super cheap. Why try to find another wheel?


yes I have the AD account but legally I should not use the software for my own work plus the speed of that app is so painfully slow
it confuses me that they even release it. I was more looking for a clone or a different app which features a similar approach.


Did you ever work with them? What about you give them a spinn.
This might give you a better idea about where they overlap with PS and where the strong difference is.
Pay attention to the brush paint medium selection and distortion tools.

From my experience with Gimp and Mypaint I find that the Gimp’s brushes can act like Mypaint’s- the only issue is how Gimp manages these settings, Mypaint is much more elegant in this regard. Gimp also allows image brushes, which would be super sweet in Mypaint. As someone who has done quite a bit of oil painting I feel that the emulation of it is just pointless, and is not close at all (even in artrage). Best to find brushes that just feel good to you.
I recently had a conversation with someone on Etsy who wanted the “original” of one of my pieces, and who was amazed that it was all digital (in Gimp). A high-tech brush engine is cool and all, but you can do a lot with just a basic round/opacity settings.

*I’m assuming here that PS is at least as functional as Gimp digital paint-wise

PS yes it has

the color mixing of the ink is not really a feature I want to miss. Simulating the depth of oil when adding a lot is in deed
somewhat difficult to do since you need to build up surface.

But airbrush is not airbrush - if you cannot make use of tilt then the paint engine is somewhat limited.
Of course you can work around that but when it comes to speed and efficiency it actually matters being able to do it.

It all come on also simply depends on which tools do you need and which app offers that.

For example Sketchbook designer has not many of the features Illustrator does have however when it comes
to fast sketching and concept drawing development the workflow of SBD beats the rather old fashion AI approach.
Drawing lines trimming lines rounding edges, REDRAWING curves in those areas SBD is just blazing fast easy to use
and efficient.