Best free(or low cost) paint program?

As I mentioned in a previous thread I just recently found my old copy of paint shop pro9. but i can’t find my cd key. So i didn’t even atempt to install it yet. not exactly excited about buying a new program though i guess I could buy the newest version of paint shop pro, I really want a hardcore, intuitive paint program exclusive for sketch/painting instead of a general photo enhancing software like photo shop/paint shop pro/gimp I really prefer a program that specializes in drawing and digital hand painting etc.

I was looking at the free paint programs as an alternative. Can any of them compete with psp? or even surpass it in the paint tools? such as graphic effects, brushes, shaders, textures, blur effects, glows etc. a good size community help forum is always nice too.

I was considering My paint, Pixia, Artrage, Twisted brush, deep paint and pencil. Are any of those better than psp in terms of paint effects, features?are there any other better programs? I really want something that can simulate that glossy dynamic strokes like you see in graphic novels.

what do you all think? I’m planning on getting a sketch tablet with my birthday money and I want a Awsome paint program to go with it? well…as awsome as a free program can get, hehe :yes:

MyPaint is quiet professional because a great artist like David Revoy use it for sketches of Durian(Third BF open movie project). See his work they are great!!!
Gimp in my idea is equal or even better than Photoshop or PSP except in printing which have some weak points(It has NOT efficiant CMYK color mode).Use it for your effects , extend it with hundreds of free plugin availible in its plugin registry.
for vector/cartoon work i recommend Inkskape wich is free and opensource an great for vector graphics.
Hope it help - Regards!!!

well if you dont mind breaking some rules photoshop CS4 is very nice.
but if your against it GIMP is a popular alt to photoshop and should support a tablet thought I’ve never used it.

I know thats not maybe what youre looking for, but its intresting thing and it does not cost anything.
There is some things that are not used even in the photoshop as well.
So try it:

thanks for reply.

From what i gathered, it seems all the paint programs (my paint, artrage, twisted brush, dogwaffle etc) are quite capable and deep. just depends on what UI you prefer. but Mypaint dose seem pretty popular here on BA forums. I was on the My paint page and they ahve a link to a program called “Flow paint”, have you heard of it? it seems pretty cool.

I’ve narrowed my choice down to my paint, artrage, twisted brush and dogwaffle. I guess i’ll download a couple and see what works best for me.

adobeman i love your avatar, what did you use to make it with?

I downloaded mypaint and artrage. mypaint is cool but it was crashing on me last night. and i downloaded artrage tonight and i really dig the intuitive interface. very cool. Is there any programs that rival corel painter 11? I don’t have $400:eek: to lay down on a paint program so i’m limited to sub-$50software.

I think i’ll go with the full version of artrage or twisted brush.

Mypaint is in development and David has started to build a relationship with those developers - who are quite the bunch of awesome from what I have heard.

So it’s a trade off between being free and cool and being a bit unstable for now. Similar to 2.5 I guess.

Next Gimp is hopefully out in the next few months, David Revoy also quite likes a plugin / custom build or something called ‘Gimp Painter’ which adds a lot of functionality for brush settings. There is a stable version of that somewhere, but for Gimp 2.6 I think.

If you want stable and cheap, I’d go with your plan for buying Artrage or Twisted Brush and keep an eye on Mypaint. Have tried Artrage but not TB, seems pretty good. On a budget, is Painter Essentials worth you looking in to? Not “cheap”, but cheaper than Painter 11…

I was just playing around with twisted brush and it is pretty deep. there are so many menus and tools to tweak. I think once you get the feel of TB, it could rival a $200 paint program. there are just so many menus and option text. it has lots and lots of preset brushes, pencils etc. that can be modified.

Artrage on the other hand is a very easy graphical interface that is so easy to navigate. it had a very apple osx feel to it. but it has no presets. you have to select a pencil, brush, pen etc. and instead you adjust thickness, pressure with dials to modify your own brush which gives it a very natural organic feel. it really gives you a sense of accomplishment instead of just using preset brushes.

GIMP for painters is pretty good. It can only do so much though to fix what is still a rather basic brush engine though. That said I mostly use GIMP, and I’m pretty happy with it.

If you’re buying a tablet though they often come with some kind of software. My wacom bamboo came with artrage (which is pretty nice), so see what you get with it before you rush out and buy something.

ben, you must be in europe. it’s the euro version of the bamboo that comes with artrage. man i am lovin the white bamboo. it’s quite sexy i must say :slight_smile:

I did’'t know wacom was a japanese company. I was thinking they were european for some reason. cool. japan makes some awsome stuff! :slight_smile:

I’ll just put a word in for Artrage; I learned to paint in oils way back, and this is the best lightweight program I’ve tried for digital oils.

Painter may have more features, but it’s sluggy, big, crashy and expensive.

Be aware that Artrage by itself won’t adjust, copy paste etc. It really is a natural sketching program by philosophy, which is its strength IMO. And now that it saves / loads photoshop format natively, you can do any of that in other editors.

I’ve some sketches made for fun here. All Artrage.

Umm, those characters are rather disturbing…

that sound again, love your work man!!!:yes: I love your goth big head style. your work should be on artrage front page to showcase it’s potential. do you do any modeling in blender? I’d love to see some of your blender stuff!

the cool thing about artrage is that there is no cheating. you can’t just a click a tree preset and make a tree. you have to paint it. your paintings will look no better than what they look like on paper. keeps things authentic. BTW what tablet do you use? I’m thinking about getting a bamboo fun.

antoni78, i am a PSP user too and you’d be delighted to know that not awhile ago Corel released PSP10 for free! It was part of some special promotion with Lexar or something… PSP10 (or X) is actually the best version ever made, since it was the last from the Jasc era, before Corel bought them and ruined everything. PSP12 (latest version, from Corel) is pretty bloated and completely useless, so don’t bother with it.

The page will give you some info on how to get it and remove all the ugly “nag screen” stuff Corel put in PSP10 and have it running smooth. Corel might have already taken down the download link from their site, so in case it doesn’t work, i’ll upload the installation file for ya because i have it here.

I love PSP quite a lot, but sadly it won’t be getting updated anymore, or rather, Corel wil continue to bury it into the ground with its’ next versions… So if you are worried about that, feel free to try out the GIMP, which isn’t in danger of sucking. In fact, they say that there’s a new single-window mode coming soon!

Oh yeah, one last thing… PSP’s tablet support sucks, and for 4 years under Corel it still hasnt been fixed… I can recommend OpenCanvas as the best program for tablet (its free too, the old one), and it has network mode where two people can collaborate on the same image (kinda like verse-blender):slight_smile:

It’s gone. It’s now a link for MediaOne.

antoni78, thank you for the kind words!

I use an Intuos 3, the previous generation. It has buttons and scroll pad, but not as nice as the new ones. A5 / widescreen. I draw small, and it’s more portable. I know some people who feel even the a4 version is a bit small, so try out some different ones if you can. Personal preference rules here.

Before that I had a cheap A6 one which worked perfectly fine until I got a computer with better screen resolution - suddenly I could tell the tablet resolution was too low because a diagonal line would come out as a flight of stairs with tiny steps on it. I think even the Bamboos nowadays have adequate resolution.

The driver software will let you map all the buttons. In general, I like to map the upper pen button to CMD+C to make it always perform an undo. Double click via a button isn’t that useful to me. For Artrage, I have it mapped so I never have to touch the keyboard.

Oh, and as for my Blender stuff - I usually do abstract animations for use in live visuals. I used to do game art, but it’s been a while, and even then I bought Silo for organic modeling, I’m too disorganized to do without (temporary) n-gons. For anything else, though, all Blender. I’ve even converted some Max diehards to learn enough Blender to at least unwrap in there since that workflow is as good as they come. There are a few of those abstract animations here.

Ok, i’ve uploaded it here:

Just click on “Продължи” in the blue box.

My vote for:

  1. Autodesk Sketch Book Pro. Just like PS is my fav for editing… This sketcher is…well, best stroke response til date in my experience. A combination of this, and for more effects and traditional texture, add Art rage as helper thing.

  2. Open Canvas. Be it the comercial uber cheap tool, or the famous free beta. I have drawn lineart with free beta and is great for that.
    free beta:

OUCH. They are stopping selling english version…

  1. Whatever open source solution comes to be competing with both above… Just sth that aproaches to 85% of that stroke feel, I’d bet for it…