I recently bought a graphics tablet for my PC, and I must say I’m very happy with it. I’ve always liked drawing and computers, and a gadget like this was the perfect link between two of my favorite pastimes. After installation and initial set-up, I spent some time searching for the appropriate software to make the most out of my new toy. Besides Adobe Photoshop (which works great with pressure-sensitive input devices like my tablet) there are also other drawing editors you may not know about. Here are five free art apps:
Drawing by Agrianti, an ArtRage user
Artweaver – Includes a dozen customizable brushes that recreate different drawing tools: oils, pencils, charcoal, chalk, acrylics, felt pens and more. It also has support for layers and transparency and a history window that lets you undo any previous action.
TwistedBrush – This free app doesn’t has as many features as its full version, but makes up for it with a bunch of great features: lots of brushes to choose from, support for layers, photo cloning and tracing, pattern, textures and more. And it does feel like actual painting on canvas!
ArtRage – Delivers an impressively realistic canvas feel when drawing on your tablet. The latest release includes tools like watercolor, glitter sprinkling and sticker spray. You can also trace a real image and turn it into a beautiful drawing – even if you’re not very artistically-gifted.
Flowpaint – Though it’s not the best drawing apps around here, Flowpaint still lets you grasp the feeling of actual drawing tools when using digital brushes on the computer. It doesn’t require installation and runs under Java.
Greenfish Painter – Not as fully-featured as other drawing apps, but still a reasonably good piece of software to use as virtual canvas. You can freely paint on its interface, mix different colors on your palette like in real life and tweak brushes to meet your needs.