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Capture ideas whenever inspiration strikes

Digital Drawing and Sketching Software

Get access to fast and powerful creative sketching tools. Uncover digital drawing and sketching software for concept artists, illustrators, designers, architects, and painters.

Image courtesy of Ryohei Yamashita

Armored cyborg

What is digital drawing?

Digital drawing is when a drawing is created using graphics software. Instead of using a pencil and paper, digital artists draw with a tablet or a computer, along with a device such as a mouse or a stylus. Digital drawing programmes offer features such as layers, brush sets, colour palettes, rulers and guides, and pressure-sensitive strokes.

Image courtesy of Luis Peso

Samurai chopping a tree

What's the difference between digital art vs. traditional art?

Traditional artworks have two elements in common: it can be touched (made of physical materials) and it is “one of a kind" (can’t be copied without recreating it). Traditional artworks can be created with a variety of mediums and tools, including drawing, painting, and sculpting.

Unlike traditional art, digital art is not bound by the limitations of the material world. You can get all the colours the human eye can see, change the vividness and brightness, and erase without a trace, all via a graphics tablet and stylus.

Image courtesy of Monika Zagrobelna

Types of digital drawing

Ski binding rendering created with Alias


Artists set their stylus to a shape similar to a pencil or a marker. The artist uses the same techniques from traditional illustration but can sketch with layers and tools to assist with perspective, resizing, and reshaping.

CAD drawing of a pumping station created in AutoCAD LT


Drafters use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create 2D drawings more quickly and with greater precision, without using stencils and technical drawing instruments.

3D rendering of a luxurious home with contrasting realistic rendering and wireframe.


Concept drawing is used by industrial designers, architects, engineers, and artists to create a quick sketch in order to visualise an initial design.

Close-up view of an architect working on blueprints.


Primarily used by architects and engineers, technical drawing refers to the the use of drawings or schematics to visually communicate how something is constructed.

Drawing and sketching software

Pair Autodesk drawing software together

rendering in Sketchbook

Turn your concept into creation

Use SketchBook to sketch ideas and iterate quickly. Easily import your sketches into AutoCAD and turn them into engineering drawings.

CAD drawing of blow dryer

Use sketching and CAD together

Explore the strength of sketching and CAD working together and learn about the symbiotic relationship between SketchBook and Fusion 360.

Autodesk rendering of athletic shoe

Transforming designs from sketch to render

See how Alias, SketchBook, VRED, and Dynamo work together to create the conceptual design of a track shoe.

digital drawing of dinosaur in Mudbox

Creature modelling and sculpting

Explore creature concept techniques in SketchBook Pro and examine a modelling and detailing workflow using Maya and Mudbox software.

See how customers are using drawing software

Video: Jay Shuster’s path to becoming a Pixar designer and his use of SketchBook to invent new designs

Jay Shuster

Finding inspiration in industrial design

Pixar Production Designer Jay Shuster uncovers pieces of industrial design inspiration in an airplane graveyard and captures them with SketchBook.

Sketch concept of a building made in SketchBook

ESG Architecture and Design

Drawing digitally enables rapid ideation

ESG Architecture and Design accelerates projects by sketching concepts in SketchBook.

Sketch concept of Tesla Model S made in Sketchbook

Tesla Motors

Sketching for automotive design

Electric car maker Tesla streamlined design and engineering processes by using Alias Surface for visualization, rendering, surfacing, and drawing.

Digital drawing and sketching tutorials

Get started with Autodesk drawing and sketching software with these tutorials and lessons.

digital painting of woman in Sketchbook

SketchBook Basics

Get started with an introduction to the SketchBook interface and the most basic interactions, including how to use layers and customise brushes.

cad drawing of boat in AutoCAD

The Hitchhiker's Guide to AutoCAD

Take a tour of the interface and learn the basic commands that you need to create 2D drawings.

car rendering in Alias

Fundamentals of Alias

Learn how to use SketchBook and Alias to facilitate fast creative techniques, create concept sketches, and develop impactful 3D visuals.

rendering of building in Formit

Get started with FormIt

View these FormIt tutorials to learn how to sketch, collaborate, analyze, and iterate early-stage design concepts.

Digital drawing and sketching resources

Improve your drawing and sketching skills with these tutorials, tips, and guides.

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  • What are the key benefits of using digital drawing software versus pencils and paper?

    The main benefit of using digital drawing software is that it frees you of many of the limitations of traditional art. A far greater array of colours can be used (and changed instantly), and characteristics such as brightness and contrast can be endlessly tweaked as needed. Trying out something new and discarding it meanwhile is as simple as a few strokes of the stylus followed by hitting the undo button.

  • Can digital drawing software be used to create 3D images?

    Yes – AutoCAD, Sketchbook and other Autodesk software packages can be used to create 3D images.

  • Which software packages can be used for digital drawing?

    Sketchbook, Alias, AutoCAD, AutoCAD mobile app, AutoCAD LT and Formit can all be used for digital drawing.

  • Which are the main industries where digital drawing software is used?

    Architects, engineers, designers and, of course, artists benefit from the use of our digital drawing software.

  • Can digital drawing software be used for technical drawing?

    Yes – digital drawing software is used extensively for technical drawing across many industries. Doing so can make the process much quicker, more precise, and removes the need to use specialist technical drawing instruments.