Mac: The Best Programs to Draw with the Wacom Intuos Graphics Tablet

What are the best programs to draw with your Wacom Intuos graphics tablet on MacBook? I just bought a graphic tablet from Wacom, the Wacom Intuos, and I started looking for Mac programs to use with this design tablet. There are a few paid and many other free programs to draw on the tablet. Many of these programs also have their versions for Windows.

Not only will you be able to use this tablet for photo editing or drawing programs, but you can also use it as a mouse substitute, especially since it has the same tactile gestures as an Android tablet or an iPad – something that will greatly facilitate its use.

Obviously these graphic design programs also work for other Wacom tablets.

What free drawing programs does Wacom offer for your tablets?

Well, it depends on the model. Some applications are offered for free while others come at discounted prices.

  • Intuos Art with Corel Painter Essentials: Intuitive and powerful painting software for everyone, from amateurs to digital artists.
  • Intuos Draw with ArtRage Lite: Tools to paint and draw naturally in an intuitive and elegant environment.
  • Intuos Comic with Clip Studio Paint Pro and Smith Micro Anime Studio Easily create professional comics and manga from start to finish.
  • Intuos Photo with PaintShop Pro X8 (Win), Wacom Creative Kit by Macphun * (Mac) & Corel Aftershot Pro 2 (Win & Mac): Intuitive tools with functions that help you edit, improve and refine digital images.
  • Intuos 3D with ZBrushCore: Shape, sculpt and paint your characters, models, toys, and jewels in 3D with this leading 3D application.

The best graphics tablets for Mac and PC from Wacom

You still don’t have a graphics tablet to draw or design on your computer? We recommend that you buy a Wacom model. They have several options depending on your needs. The input tablets are priced at about 70-80 euros. If you want something more professional the price goes up to 200-300 euros. Compatible with Mac and PC.

  • Wacom Intuos S – The best graphics tablet for less than 100 euros
  • Wacom Intuos Pro – The best graphics tablet for less than 200 euros
  • Wacom Cintiq 22HD – Perfect graphics tablet for professionals

What are the best programs to draw with your Wacom Intuos graphics tablet on Mac?

Essential applications to get the most out of your graphics tablet.

1. Photoshop (monthly or annual subscription)

It was clear that we were going to be able to use this tablet with the best photo editing program. Adobe has done a great job integrating pressure sensitivity in its software and offers many controls.

2. Clip Studio Paint (43 euros)

The perfect tool to draw manga and comics on your Wacom tablet. Many animation professionals use this app to draw their characters. It has a free trial; and best of all, every month they incorporate new brushes and extras. If you want to draw comics. This is your app.

3. Pixelmator (32.99 euros) and Pixelmator Pro (64.99 euros)

My favorite: Pixelmator. Right now we have it in version 3.7 and are constantly adding new features. I can assure you that it is the closest thing to using Photoshop without having the Adobe program. It also has the advantage of working in a very similar way to Photoshop, so you will not have problems while moving around its menus and layers.

  • Send images directly to Photos
  • Open and save images using PSD, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, PDF and many other popular formats
  • Open and save Photoshop images with layers
  • Open and save 16-bit images per channel
  • More than 160 effects
  • Retouching tools
  • Photo Level Settings
  • ICloud compatible
  • Use the latest Apple technology: Cocoa, OpenGL, OpenCL, Core Image, Grand Central Dispatch, 64-bit,
  • FaceTime, Automator

3.1 Pixelmator Pro

A slightly more expensive option is Pixelmator Pro. The new version of the program much more “set” in the Mac world. Everything is very simple to use. The perfect app for people who want to make very powerful touch-ups.

Pixelmator Pro has a new and intuitive interface that allows you to retouch your photos (even in RAW format) in a simple way

The software uses “Machine Learning” to detect what type of image you are retouching and allows you to recognize things like the horizon, improve the removal of objects or the selection of specific areas.
Pixelmator Pro offers a non-destructive touch-up and you can create your own touch-ups

Pixelmator Pro costs 64.99 euros. No annual or monthly subscriptions, and you get constant updates.

Pixelmator Pro requires macOS High Sierra and a graphics card compatible with Metal.

4. ArtRage Studio (47 euros, free with Wacom)

Both this application and the following one we can download them completely free by registering our tablet in Wacom. An application to draw with your Wacom, really good and easy to use. ArtRage focuses on how the tools are used, and how the pigments would act in real life. ArtRage incorporates pressure and tilt sensitivity in all of its tools.

5. Autodesk Sketchbook Express (free with Wacom)

The same as before. We can download it for free thanks to Wacom. Another app to paint and draw, cheaper than Corel Painter. You can use a tablet to draw basic shapes in drawing mode or add text. Sketchbook Pro incorporates the pen inclination and sensitivity options in all its main drawing tools.

6. GIMP (free)

The free code software that emulates Photoshop and is totally free. You just have to get used to some changes in the way you work to start retouching photos or drawing.

7. Blender (free)

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on programs like Maya for creating 3D drawings, this is a very good option that supports all the features of Wacom tablets. For example, we can create animated 3D movie characters. The application offers a number of features that incorporate pressure and tilt sensitivity.

8. Autograph (2.99 euros)

A simple application to sign documents, e-mails, PDFs. You can capture your signature on the tablet and then embed it in any document. Very useful.

9. Ink2Go (19.99 euros)

Another really useful application. With ink2Go we will be able to write down anything in the screenshots that we can do with the application. We will also be able to write down any PDF, web page, presentations etc. With the tablet, everything will work much faster than if we use the mouse.

10. Corel Painter 2020 (359 euros)


One of the classic options of a lifetime. It is somewhat expensive but responds very well to this type of graphic tablets. You have many brushes, effects, and enough filters.

11. Inkscape (free)

Another free code application with support for graphic tablets. It is similar to Adobe Illustrator and Corel Painter. The calligraphy option is really good.

12. EXTRA: the Affinity program pack, By Serif Labs

12.1 Affinity Designer (54 euros)

Undoubtedly one of the best options of 2017 and 2018. Affinity Designer is one of the best applications for your Wacom tablet, so we have expanded the list.

Spectacular, professional graphic design for Mac! Take advantage of macOS technologies such as OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch, Core Graphics and is fully optimized for 64-bit systems and multi-core processors to squeeze every piece of available hardware performance. It is capable of importing PSD files and is compatible with PDF, SVG, AI (PDF Stream), Freehand or EPS.

12.2 Affinity Photo (54.99 euros)

Affinity Photo does not stop improving with each new version. The closest thing to Photoshop available for Mac right now and its price is still very reasonable!

  • Open, edit and save Photoshop PSD files
  • RGB, CMYK, Grayscale and LAB color spaces
  • CMYK finishing workflow with ICC color management
  • Full 16 and 32-bit channel editing
  • Possibility of working with all standard formats such as PNG, TIFF, JPG, GIF, SVG, EPS, EXR, HDR and PDF
  • Always scrolling and zooming in real-time at 60fps with real-time previews, real-time tools, and real-time editing
  • Open and edit massive images without compromising performance or running out of memory
  • Take all the advantages of the latest macOS technology, including OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch, and Core Graphics
  • Full support for MacBook Pro Touch Bar and Force Touch trackpad
  • Fully optimized for 64 bits and multicore processors
  • Support for normal monitors, retina and multi-monitor configurations – including the latest 5k of iMac

You can work with Photoshop files and the app also has filters, layers and everything that one expects to find in this type of design and photo retouching program. A good purchase and value for the money!

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