If you’re looking for a free drawing program that offers more capabilities then Microsoft paint, yet is not as advanced as a 3D platform, there are many available. Many of these programs are great for drawing, sketching, coloring, painting, and retouching images. Several options are listed below and are 100% free!
- DrawPlus Starter Edition – Is an excellent graphic and drawing software, containing tools like pencils, pens and brushes. It also includes shape-blending and excellent color manipulation. It’s a great free platform available to graphic designers.
- Artrage – Using this software is supposed to be like drawing and painting on paper. There are 20 painting tools you can use such as oil paint and watercolor. The trial version does not expire however your saved image resolutions and formats are limited unless you upgrade your version.
- Chasys Draw IES – is a photo editing and drawing software with tons of tools and options. The interface contains a unique feature which makes tools partially transparent until you hover over them with your mouse. Giving you the ability to have many tools open at once without being too distracting while you work.
- SmoothDraw – This great drawing software is designed for free-hand artists. It supports multiple tools such as ink-flow, and brushes. The program is intuitive and easy to use, yet it contains more functionality then a Microsoft paint program or something similar.
- Pinta – this software is very simple and easy to use. It’s great for beginners for this reason and has capabilities ranging from photo editing to freehand drawing. It also has unlimited undo, which is a nice feature.
Open source drawing programs range from a wide variety containing many features and tools. Some are designed with more professional artists in mind while others mimic simple platforms similar to Microsoft paint and are ideal for beginners. These various programs contain a plethora of options that may only be required by the most advanced users, however even the advanced programs are capable of simple photo editing and drawing when required.
Take it upon yourself to download and test any of the free options available and see which one you work best with. It isn’t always the “best” program that will give the best results, but rather the program that you are most comfortable using. An open source drawing software can have all of the functionality in the world, but if you fail to create your best work on that platform, it’s worthless to you. Things like the layout, ease of use, and overall functionality will all play a role on your enjoyment and acceptance level.
Don’t forget that many open source software packages’ goals are to get you to upgrade to a “full” or “premium” version of their software with more capabilities and options, but if you are not enjoying the base or free version, chances are you won’t enjoy the upgraded version as well. You can download several different programs and try them for free before deciding which drawing software is best for you.