10 great new tools for illustrators this September

In this month's round-up, we take a look at some of the iOS apps that were recently updated to work with the new features in iOS 11. 

We also jump into some options for Windows, and we look at an exciting new tool, which is currently in beta. So without any more delays, let's take a look at the picks we have for September...

01. Pixelmator 

Pixelmator is an easy-to-use alternative to Photoshop

$4.99 (iOS) / $ 29.99 (macOS)

Primarily an image editor, Pixelmator is an easy-to-use alternative to Photoshop. With full iCloud support, you can start your work on one device and finish it on another. The team is also working on a Pro version, which promises an all-new digital painting experience.

02. Sketch Club 

Sketch Club is built around a community of mobile artists


Sketch Club for iOS is more than just a drawing app for your iPad – it's built around a community of mobile artists who can create and share their work. If you're new to the mobile art scene, this is a great place to start (take a look at our round up of great drawing apps for iPad for more).

03. Procreate

Procreate 4 includes some killer new features


Recently updated to include support for iOS 11, Procreate is one of my favourite tools for creating art while I'm away from my computer. The new update includes a completely rebuilt painting engine and support for drag and drop. Take a look at our full Procreate 4 review to find out exactly what it can do. 

04. Mischief


Mischief is one of those apps you don't know you need until you start using it. One of the features I like best about this digital sketching tool is how you can drop pins anywhere within your canvas and immediately be taken there.

05. Microsoft Surface Studio

This sports an ultra-thin, 28-inch adjustable PixelSense display

Despite not being a Windows user, the Surface Studio is on my radar as one of those devices I'd like to see in my own studio. 

The zero-gravity hinge allows you to tilt the Surface Studio with the slightest touch, yet keeping it locked in place while you're using it. And that Ultra-thin, 28-inch adjustable PixelSense display... oh my! Learn more in our hands-on review.

06. Paint 3D 

This free drawing tool is great for beginners


While we're sticking to the Microsoft Windows platform, let's take a look at one of the free drawing tool options available. Paint 3D is basically a remix of the old MS Paint (which recently narrowly avoided getting canned for good). 

While I wouldn't say this version is fantastic, it's a nice way to ease into things if you're not quite ready for something like Photoshop and the excellent Creative Cloud (or if you spent all your money on the Surface).

07. Mental Canvas authoring system

Although this software is not yet available to the general public, what I've seen so far looks stunning. It takes 2D drawing to a whole new level. If you're interested in testing it out, contact the group to do so. There's also have a player available, which you can download now.

08. Digital Art Masters

Digital Art Masters comes out annually

If you're looking for some inspiration, grab a copy of 3DTotal's Digital Art Masters. This annual series has been around since 2005 and covers both the technical and artistic aspects of 2D and 3D art.

09. ImagineFX

ImagineFX includes tutorials, interviews and plenty of fantasy art inspiration

From $19 (quarterly)

Our own ImagineFX magazine comes packed with in-depth articles, tips and tricks, interviews, galleries and more from some of the leading fantasy and sci-fi artists out there. Take your subscription to the next level by ordering the Print + Digital bundle.

10. Ctrl+Paint

This website is ideal if you want to get started with digital painting

A site created and maintained by Matt Kohr, Ctrl+Paint is geared for beginners. On his site, you'll find tutorials to get you started with digital painting and drawing. Most of the tutorials are completely free – however, he does have a store where you can order in-depth tutorials on specific topics.

Read more: