Create your masterpiece with MyPaint

Get a huge array of useful features in this easy-to-use painting program.

There are numerous digital painting programs on the market these days, and many of the ones we've encountered have either been short on features or confusing to use (or, in the worst cases, both). MyPaint manages to pack a lot of unique and useful features into a clean, intuitive interface, and we think it's among the best digital painting programs we've seen.

MyPaint is easy to get started with. It has a toolbar and menu bar across the top of the interface, and we appreciated the fact that the program's designers managed to arrange its numerous features in an uncluttered, commonsense format. The first thing we noticed when we started playing around with MyPaint was the huge variety of brushes that it comes with, from classic pencils, markers, and paintbrushes to pixels, fur, and leaves. You'll find all the traditional brushes here and quite a few unusual ones, too. We found the program's color sampler tool easier to use than most, making it easy for us to select our desired color quickly. A scratchpad lets you experiment--and save your work--without making changes to your main project, and the program also supports the use of layers.

Beginners will find MyPaint fun and easy to use, but more experienced artists will appreciate its more advanced features, including settings for brush opacity, dabbing, smudging, and tracking. You can select brushes using customizable hot keys, which is especially useful when working in full-screen mode. MyPaint is also compatible with pressure-sensitive graphics tablets.

The program's online documentation provides a comprehensive manual as well as a quick-start tutorial. Overall, we were quite impressed with MyPaint, and we recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality, free painting program.

MyPaint installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly.

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