FreeFile Review – Painting For Free

This time I’m looking at two free natural painting programs. I have just recently become aware of MyPaint , while Art Weaver is an old favorite presented for comparison. Natural painting programs differ from image editing programs in that, instead of editing an existing photograph, a completely original painting is created, much like an artist paints on canvas. Artistic ability although not necessary, is helpful.

MyPaint is an open source project available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The program installed in Windows 7 with no issues. It’s interface is rather non-standard, with everything in floating pallets, similar to the GIMP. Out of the box, MyPaint’s selection of brushes is rather skimpy, with more available for download. The first issue that I found was that the canvas size cannot be set. A tutorial explains that the canvas expands to whatever size your painting needs – strange. The Brush Editor is also a problem. It is incomprehensible and overly complex for all but the hard core users – 36 different settings in one panel. The program was stable and well behaved. I’m sure that if you took the time to figure out the Brush Editor, it would be possible to create some nice work.

Art Weaver is a commercial product (Windows only) that offers a free version. The free version installed easily. Its interface is very familiar and easy to figure out. Art Weaver comes with many more and higher quality brushes installed than does MyPaint. Brush adjustments are easier with Art Weaver’s more user friendly Brush Editor. I could find nothing to not like about Art Weaver.
– – The Bottom Line – –
This was an easy one. Art Weaver is the clear winner. It is a mature product, while MyPaint is a work in progress. However, Mac and Linux users may find MyPaint quite useful.

Download Art Weaver or MyPaint

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