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What painting program do you like best?

karkajou

New Member
Due to a crappy little laptop I haven't been doing any digital art for a long time now, but soon I'll be getting a new computer and I was wondering what programs other artists use and why?
I've used Photoshop and PaintShop Pro in the past but I see that there are a lot more options now.
Corel's Painter 12 seems to be the latest thing but I swear it costs more money than my car is worth. >XD Any budget-friendly suggestions?
 

Sonlir

the worst
I can't draw at all on the computer because I'm left handed when it comes to writing/drawing but I use my right hand for my mouse, one time I tried putting the mouse on the left side to draw and it turned out even worse.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I can't draw at all on the computer because I'm left handed when it comes to writing/drawing but I use my right hand for my mouse, one time I tried putting the mouse on the left side to draw and it turned out even worse.


That's a fantastic excuse. Except I had the same problem and overcame it. This is hella old but done with a mouse for example:
http://www.anime.net/~arshesnei/art/aniart/sjanipartyblack.jpg (Panty shot warning)


It's all about your desire to draw. That and Selection and masks become your friend if you can't paint with a tablet.
 

karkajou

New Member
I've heard that people liking SAI for inking things, but how is it for more... "painterly" paintings? XD I want to move away from heavily lined artwork.
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
I've been using MyPaint a lot recently... the older renditions of it were okay, but they've added a LOT of things to it (moving layers, straight lines, colorize, mirror mode) and it's really streamlined my process for painting things. Its best features are the infinite canvas, sketchpad and the brush engine. I've been able to make/tweak a lot of brushes and get almost anything I could get with SAI/Photoshop. If you don't want to tweak brushes there's dozens of brushes that come with it to play with. It's great for painting things. Best of all it's free so you might as well try:3

You WILL most likely want some sort of photo editing program with it too though... MyPaint kind of focuses on the "painting" part and doesn't have tools like cut/paste. Try Gimp (free, new version out) or Photoshop. The former plays nicer with its file formatting but can be harder to figure out.

SAI is a good program, I've played with Corel Painter 12 and it was very fun. If you can bag the student version do so - it's cheaper. I guess that's what I know most about!

EDIT: OH I've also played with OpenCanvas - OpenCanvas1.1 (free) is simple but I used to use it exclusively for a looong time. I also liked the newer versions (4/5) and I liked them but didn't go past the trial period. Try 'em out.
 
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Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I've heard that people liking SAI for inking things, but how is it for more... "painterly" paintings? XD I want to move away from heavily lined artwork.

If you go to the Brush tool you'll see settings below.

Blending
Dilution
Persistence

Blending is how much of the color adjacent when you pull the brush over it blends into it. IE if you have yellow and red next to each other pulling it from the yellow side will blend it to more orange but from the steps from the yellow side. So doing it from the red side will eventually step to more orange

Dilution is how quickly the color dissolves to the next one.

Persistence is how much of the color you're trying to blend with gets pulled into the color adjacent. For example if you have Blue next to Red if you're moving it from the blue side it will pull that blue into the red. The stronger the persistence the more of that color goes into the next.

This is why never pull from a blank or white canvas, it will pull the white into the color.
 

karkajou

New Member
Thanks for all the input! I guess I'll test out all the free programs first to see if they suit my needs before I try purchasing something.
 

RedFoxTwo

Sarcastic Lurker
Paint shop pro is my right hand man when it comes to attempting to make stuff.
 

Kalithe

Amateur Artist Extraordinaire
I've been using GIMP 2.6 for a while now, and it's great. I recently updated to 2.8, however, and found it VERY buggy with my tablet T.=.T. I don't know why, but it just acts retarded by switching pressure modes and pen types randomly while lagging like a Mother Fluffer... But I digress.

GIMP, for a free, openware program, is an absolute dream once you get the hang of it. Even after 7 months, I am still figuring stuff out, but the basic stuff is easy to grasp. You can use layers if you want to, but I've started leaning AWAY from them with a new painting style that doesn't require heavy outlines, if any at all. You really can't go wrong with it.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
If you can't afford Sai there is AZ Drawing 2 for inking it has rotation tools as well as ruler tools

They have AZ Painter but it doesn't have a canvas rotation function so it's a bit more difficult.

Both are Free
 

RailRide

The Real Wheels of Steel
I've dinked around with a little (2.1MB download) freeware program called SmoothDraw 3. It seems SAI-like, what with the ability to rotate the canvas, continuously variable brush widths (when using a tablet, that is) and layers and such. I've only done one piece with it though, which came out better than my first attempt at Open Canvas, for what it's worth.

I've also found Inkscape useful for turning pencil scans into razor-sharp line art, (and you don't necessarily need a tablet to work with it), though you do have to get accustomed to manipulating vector lines to match the underlying inks. I've yet to try coloring with it, though.

---PCJ
 
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Bojog

Hobbyist Couple
I love what's possible with Flash or other vector-based art programs. For people who don't know, in vector art the computer keeps track of the shape and curve of lines/objects rather than "this pixel goes here, this pixel goes here." Vectors enable you to adjust shapes much more organically, as well as to zoom and resize without worrying about anti-alias or pixellation. Gives a lot of freedom to resize/reshape the drawing before you export as a png or bmp or whatever.

Are there vector-based art programs besides Flash? Flash is really limited in some other ways, even if it's great for lines and solid shapes.
 

Sonlir

the worst
That's a fantastic excuse. Except I had the same problem and overcame it. This is hella old but done with a mouse for example:
http://www.anime.net/~arshesnei/art/aniart/sjanipartyblack.jpg (Panty shot warning)


It's all about your desire to draw. That and Selection and masks become your friend if you can't paint with a tablet.
What do you do now that you've overcome it? use your right or left hand? I always thought it would be easier just to train my right hand to be more precise than try using my left hand on the computer.
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
Are there vector-based art programs besides Flash? Flash is really limited in some other ways, even if it's great for lines and solid shapes.

Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape... SAI also has vector layers (but it's mostly used for inking lines)

I think CorelDRAW is also one!
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Xara is another vector one. I used it long ago when Illustrator used to bug the hell out of me.
 

UnburntDaenerys

R'hllor Coaster
Paint Tool SAI mostly. I also have Photoshop, but it mostly just confuses me and I only use it for text.

Corel Painter 11 is another option, it has some lovely brushes and is rather cheap now that 12 has been out for awhile.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
What do you do now that you've overcome it? use your right or left hand? I always thought it would be easier just to train my right hand to be more precise than try using my left hand on the computer.

If you're using your mouse with your right hand, you keep using it for drawing. I used the polygon lasso tool to get areas I wanted selected for painting.

This person uses a mouse with the pen tool http://www.cgsociety.org/index.php/.../pepper_superstar_-_exotique_4_cover_tutorial
 

Bark

Member
I love the shit out of OpenCanvas. oC 1.1 is nice and free, but I adore the newer versions. It's not quite as expansive as photoshop and similar programs, but it gets the job done, has nice brush sets, etc.
 
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