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Best Alternatives To Procreate For Mac of 2024 (Free & Paid)

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Procreate for Mac does not exist as the app is only available for drawing on an iPad. However, all hope is not lost as we’ve found some pretty decent alternatives to it that work on Macs.

In our research and testing, we found that the impressive Adobe Illustrator is the best replacement for Procreate on a Mac in 2024. 

Is Procreate For Mac Available?

Procreate is only available for iPad and via Procreate Pocket for iPhone. It’s not available on any other platform including Mac, Windows or Android.

Savage Interactive, the developer of Procreate, has also stated that it will not be releasing a Mac version of Procreate for the latest Apple Silicon Macs as there is still no touch input on M-series Mac screens.

Although this might come as bad news, we really wouldn’t recommend using Procreate on a Mac anyway.

Procreate is designed for touch screens and the user experience is tailored specifically for iPads that support tilt and pressure gestures rather than desktop computers that do not.

While some people use Procreate as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop, this obviously isn’t possible on a Mac although you may find our look at Photoshop alternatives for Mac useful if this is a concern.

Can You Run The iPad Version of Procreate on a Mac?

When they were first released in 2020, the latest Apple Silicon M-series Macs could “sideload” iOS apps onto them.

However, recent updates by Apple to macOS have blocked this so it is no longer possible to use the Procreate for iPad app on a Mac.

1. Adobe Illustrator

adobe illustrator

Adobe leads the industry when it comes to the best graphic design software of all kinds and Adobe Illustrator is by far the best professional alternative to Procreate on a Mac.

Adobe Illustrator is a vector drawing software that allows unrivaled levels of precision and control when sketching on a Mac.

Adobe Illustrator is also the only drawing software that allows you to use Adobe Capture to capture sketches you’ve done by hand and then enhance them in Illustrator.

Adobe Illustrator takes some learning for beginners but once mastered, you’ve got a professional drawing tool that’s used by some of the biggest design houses in the world.

You can try a free trial of Adobe Illustrator for Mac to test it for yourself.

You can also read our full Adobe Illustrator review for more.

Pricing: 60% off with Creative Cloud Educational Discount or $22.99/m

Pros:

  • Industry leading graphic design software
  • Incredible set of features and tools
  • Over 16,000 different fonts
  • Integrated with the Creative Cloud suite
  • Edit multiple art boards simultaneously
  • Mac desktop app
  • 60% discount for students and teachers
  • Works natively on Apple Silicon Macs

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • Raster graphic support could be better

2. Adobe Express

procreate mac - adobe express

Adobe Express (formerly Adobe Spark) is very similar to Procreate on a Mac and is ideal for those that need a professional but easy to use software like Procreate.

Express simplified design tool for beginners to digital art.

It’s ideal if you don’t have the time to learn more advanced graphic design software like Photoshop or Illustrator.

The software has thousands of templates which make it easy to get started with everything from desktop publishing layouts to logo designs.

Adobe Express even has a free plan although for professional use you’ll need the Premium version which gives you full access to the amazing Adobe Stock archive of photos and videos.

A Premium membership also allows you to do custom branding and gives you access to all templates and designs.

If you subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud (60% off), you get Adobe Express included along with more than 20 industry standard Adobe apps like Illustrator and Premiere.

You can get started with Adobe Express for free to try it for yourself.

You can check out our full Adobe Express review for more.

Pricing: Free / Starting from $9.99/month

Pros:

  • Easy enough for anyone to use
  • Limited free version
  • Similar tools to Procreate
  • Access to Adobe Stock archive
  • Works on all Macs including Apple Silicon

Cons:

  • Free version doesn’t give full access to all templates or features

3. Krita

procreate mac alternative - krita

Krita is a free open source raster graphics editor which is the best free replacement for Procreate on a Mac we’ve tried.

Krita is designed for digital painting and 2D art and has some pretty powerful features such as an OpenGL-accelerated canvas, color management support and an advanced brush engine.

It also supports non-destructive layers and masks, group-based layer management, vector artwork support and switchable customization profiles.

Krita also works with most major drawing tablets including Wacoms and can export your drawing to Photoshop.

Of course, we wouldn’t recommend Krita for industry level or professional drawing but if you’re an amateur or looking for a free replacement for Procreate on a Mac, it’s definitely worth a closer look.

You can download Krita for free to see for yourself.

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Free To Use
  • Powerful raster graphics editor
  • Imports and exports Photoshop files

Cons:

  • Not updated often for new versions of macOS
  • Lacks professional drawing tools

4. CorelDRAW

coreldraw mac logo design

CorelDRAW for Mac is a powerful graphic design software that’s up there with Adobe Illustrator in terms of a powerful alternative to Procreate on all platforms.

Like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW is a pofessional vector based graphic design tool which means it produces graphics that can be enlarged to any size with no loss in quality.

CorelDRAW offers incredible color accuracy and flexibility with powerful non-destructive bitmap and vector editing.

For those that like to use a drawing tablet to draw on a Mac, the CorelDRAW LiveSketch tool is an amazing addition to it which uses an advanced neural network to instantly create an editable vector image from a freehand sketch.

Although you can use LiveSketch with just cursor in CorelDRAW, it’s best used with a sketching tablet for complete freedom when drawing.

You can try CorelDRAW for Mac for free to judge it for yourself.

Pricing: $549/license or $19.92/month.

Pros:

  • Powerful industry standard drawing software
  • Incredible color and palette controls
  • LiveSketch allow you to create hand drawn tablet sketches
  • Mac desktop app
  • Works on Apple Silicon Macs

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • High up front cost
  • Not as widely used as Adobe Illustrator

5. Affinity Designer 2

affinity designer 2

In just a few years, Affinity Designer has rapidly become one of the best drawing apps for Macs and won an Apple award for design.

It’s easy to see why too with Adobe quality features and interface touches but without the price tag or learning curve.

It claims to be the “fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available” and it’s hard to argue with that, even in the face of competition from Adobe and Corel.

Affinity Designer 2 is incredibly fast working at an impressive 60fps, well designed, relatively easy to use but packs a serious design punch even compared to Adobe Illustrator.

Some of the nice touches in Affinity Designer 2 include a 1,000,000 x zoom for precision drawing, support for Photoshop PSD import and export, customized tool palettes and layer support.

The nice thing about Affinity Designer 2 is that the interface doesn’t feel a million miles away from Adobe Illustrator but it’s less intimidating, easier to get to grips with and allows you to do pretty much everything you can do in Illustrator.

Affinity Designer 2 not on the same level as Illustrator for Professional design and it doesn’t have the power of Creative Cloud behind it but it’s a real contender as a desktop alternative to Procreate.

You can try a free trial of Affinity Designer 2 to judge for yourself.

Pricing: $69.99/license

Pros:

  • High quality vector graphic design tool
  • Imports Photoshop files
  • Excellent value for money
  • Supports Apple Silicon Macs

Cons:

  • Takes some learning if you’re used to Illustrator
  • Lacks industry standard level features

6. ArtRage Vitae

procreate alternative for mac - artrage vitae

ArtRage Vitae Desktop is a digital art studio for those on a budget. ArtRage Vitae Desktop has something for artists of all levels including kids, amateurs and professionals.

ArtRage Vitae is ideal for those that want to draw oil paintings or watercolors but can be used for drawing of all kinds on a Mac.

ArtRage Vitae includes a full set of pencils, wax crayons and a wide variety of brush types. In fact the choice of brushes in ArtRage Vitae are some of the best you’ll find in any sketching software for Mac.

Some of the things ArtRage Vitae allows you to do include the ability to smear and blend thick oils to create natural color gradients.

You can also sketch with pencils and shade with the edge of the tip as well as create delicate watercolor strokes that react to canvas texture.

The richness of textures that can be achieved with ArtRage Vitae is truly impressive giving a realistic sense of thickness of oils.

The other great thing about ArtRage is the price. At just $80, it’s very good value for money and you don’t have to renew the license annually.

You can download ArtRage Vitae for Mac here but there’s no free trial.

Pricing: $80/license

Pros:

  • Amazing choice of brushes
  • Suitable for both beginners and pros
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • No Photoshop import support
  • No M1/M2/M3 Mac support


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