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Procreate for Mac does not exist as it is only available for iPad so here we’ve looked at the best alternatives to Procreate for Mac in 2021.

There is in fact no desktop version of Procreate as, just like Adobe Fresco, it’s designed only for iOS.

However, the good news is there is plenty of other great drawing software for Mac which make excellent equivalents to Procreate For Mac.

For professionals, these Procreate alternatives can also be used with drawing tablets too for a more realistic drawing experience.

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Can You Run Procreate on Mac?

There is a way to run iOS apps such as Procreate on a Mac but Apple is making is increasingly more difficult to do so.

Previously you could “sideload” iOS apps on the new M1 chip Macs but recent updates to Big Sur have blocked this for many apps.

You can check out our guide on how to run iOS apps on a Mac for more.

With this in mind, here then are the best alternatives to Procreate For Mac in order of ranking.

1. Adobe Illustrator

procreate for mac - adobe illustrator

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

Adobe Illustrator has been around for almost 40 years now and in that time has always been up there as one of the best tools for everything from professional graphic design to logo designing.

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

Adobe have enhanced it in recent years with the release of the amazing Creative Cloud which is collection of design tools that includes Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop to create the ultimate professional design suite.

It also includes professional resources such as Adobe Stock which gives you access to millions of professional stock photos, videos and other multimedia assets.

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.

If you don’t have the time to learn Adobe Illustrator, we also recommend taking a look at the excellent Adobe Spark which is a simplified design tool for beginners to digital art.

On its own Adobe Illustrator costs $19.99 per month.

However, if you’re entitled to an educational discount, Adobe Illustrator is an absolute bargain right now as Adobe is currently offering 60% off the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite

This means you get all 20 Creative Cloud apps for just $19.99.

For everyone else, Creative Cloud normally costs $52.99 per month so the 60% off offer is a huge saving.

That’s not just Illustrator you get – Creative Cloud includes 20 industry leading apps including Photoshop, Lightroom, Spark, Adobe XD, InDesign, Premiere Pro and Acrobat Pro.

So you’re basically getting 20 Adobe applications for the price of one copy of InDesign

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 $19.99/m

Pros:

  • Industry leading logo design software
  • Incredible set of features and tools
  • Over 16,000 different fonts
  • Integrated with the amazing Creative Cloud suite
  • Edit multiple art boards simultaneously
  • Mac desktop app
  • 60% discount for students and teachers
  • Works on M1 Macs

Cons:

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

2. 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 For Mac.

CorelDRAW was only recently re-released on Mac although it’s fallen quite a way behind Adobe Illustrator and isn’t as easy to learn.

Like Adobe Illustrator though, CorelDRAW is a vector based graphic design tool which means it produces vector 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: $669

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 M1 Macs

Cons:

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

3. Affinity Designer

affinity designer

In just a few years, Affinity Designer has rapidly become one of the best drawing software for Mac 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.

Affinity Designer started life as DrawPlus by developers Serif but that’s now a legacy product and Affinity Designer has replaced it.

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 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 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 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 not on the same level as Illustrator for Professional design but it’s definitely suitable for those that are looking for a desktop alternative to Procreate.

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

Pros:

  • High quality vector graphic design tool
  • Imports Photoshop files
  • Excellent value for money
  • Supports M1 Macs

Cons:

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

4. 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 $40, 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • No Photoshop import support
  • No M1 Mac support

5. Krita

procreate mac alternative - krita

Krita is a free open source raster graphics editor which is the best free alternative to Procreate on a Mac.

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.

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

About The Author

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2 Responses

  1. smayer97

    Any idea why Apple is blocking sideloading iOS apps on Mac, especially after touting this benefit?

    Reply
    • MacHow2

      There’s no official reason but it’s probably partly because the user experience of apps that rely on touch screens obviously won’t be the same in macOS. There are probably other security and commercial reasons for it too.

      Reply

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