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Forums » Art & Creativity » Some free art software

Okay, so it's obvious that there are is a lot of creativity to be found here at RPR. I'm sure everyone has their preferences, but being an (amateur) artist and (professional, as in I've been paid for it) decent graphic designer myself, I have spent plenty of time scouring and other like websites seeking something cheaper than Photoshop -- and by cheaper I mean free.

I thought I'd share the better of my findings with you guys, since this is not only a writing community but a community of artists as well.
Getting the obvious one out of the way first, Gimp is the hands-down best alternative to Photoshop. The only things you really have to get used to are the keyboard shortcuts (which you can customize, and I might show everyone how later) and the layout (which is remedied by an alternative Gimp flavor called "GimpShop", a clone designed to mimic the layout of Photoshop for the pirates out there whom are just too used to good old Adobe's look-and-feel).
Fortunately for us, Gimp has recently released an update to their software which fixed the tablet driver problem (before, it was just one hot mess trying to draw with a tablet x_x). Gimp has loads of custom plugins and "Script-Fu" that are easy to install, and you can use your Photoshop brushes on Gimp by simply dragging them into Gimp's brush folder!
This software is more for the illustrators than the graphic designers. It is, quite simply, a blank canvas with no options dialogs or anything (they are hidden by default, you can open them :P yes, it does support layers!) which means you can focus purely on the artwork rather than the software you are using. It also supports custom brushes, but I'm not 100% sure it'll support the Photoshop brushes, so that's a pain in the rear.
As with everything else on this list, this software is both free and pressure-sensitive (if you draw using a digital tablet).
I'm not a fan of this software, only because I cannot use it to draw with (no pressure sensitivity for anything other than Wacom) but if you're on a computer that has no hard drive space for a "big" program (lol) then I would suggest this. It is run entirely through the web browser using the Adobe Flash plugin. It has a lot of free features, and you can also pay (it's cheap, like $20) for professional effects.
This is the last one and the current love of my artistic life, it's basically a clone of OpenCanvas or Paint Tool SAI. It will allow for both aspects, illustration/painting and graphic design. The only way I can tell you how great it is would be to have you download it yourself. Use the English portal unless you can read whatever Japanese alphabet they're using.
Oh thank you!~ Been searching everywhere for some software like Photoshop that was free hehe ^_^.
brndnpcktt Topic Starter

xD no problem! ^^; I did some searching myself after I dropped from college (student program does NOT extend x_x; )
yangchun (played by yangchun)

Now I use Ubuntu, and MyPaint works pretty good. A bit laggy with larger brushes.

I had a XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro screen draiwng tablet and it worked flawlessly with MyPaint in Ubuntu.
This is a great resource! Mind if I add Krita as well? It's very good for illustration especially.
Super helpful info, thank you for sharing! Sometimes it can be really hard to find scattered resources for design tools! :D
hello! i would like to add some to the list if thats alright!


I'm pretty sure this one is Fire Alpaca but dark mode seeing as how MB brushes are compatible with FA. if you're like me and hate getting ur eyeballs seared by blinding white programs, go for it. don't be like me and ignore it. i'm still using FA like a moron

Autodesk Sketchbook

I used this for a while before my computer started giving me issues. The brush library is really fantastic and it definitely lives up to its name, having a more sketchbook like feel to it in terms of brushes. however, it is a tad bit limited, and i've noticed that the features on the windows store are slightly better than the downloadable version. it's nice but it doesn't have the full extent of say, CSP. however, i've seen wonderful works of art made on it, and the UI is great if you're a beginner

Krita is another popular and not hard to get used to program. the interface is a lot like CSP if you've ever used it. unfortunately, i cant give any personal advice because my computer hates me, and in turn, it hates krita.

remember kids, everyone hates adobe and their terrible prices. pirating is only illegal if you get caught

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