I imagine this is a long shot, but is anyone aware of an art program that allows you to work on a spherical “canvas” instead of a flat “canvas.” I do a lot of planet-wide map projects and for the past several years I’ve forced Google Earth down this road . . . it’s passable in most areas, and works very well in others, but it’s not what Google Earth is intended for. (And the final products are far from aesthetically pleasing.)
If the software has the ability to ‘unwrap’ the image as a traditional flat picture that would be great too.
I am open to some sort of 3D applicable as long as I can still draw on the sphere.
You want to paint on a Sphere? As in unwrapping it out like an orange peel (or how most standard maps work)?
You can try Blender 3D (free) or ZBush (commercial).
I'm not sure how well you can flatten the image to print a flat map. (as spheres and the 2d world just don't like each other mathematically)