View Full Version : Suggestions for free/inexpensive drawing software

07-04-2010, 12:10 PM

Sorry that this isn't a specific LightWave question, but I'm sure there are many LW users that also use drawing software for their model sketches (this is the use I had in mind for myself) and I was hoping to tap in on your recommendations for a decent drawing package. I have heard of Gimp and Project DogWaffle, but would like to hear of any others that are out there that you may have used. I guess I an looking of ease of use and something that has a few tutorials. - oh and something that has a 'make awesome picture' button - *grin*.

Something in the range of $0 - $200 would be nice, but I am willing to pay more for the 'make awesome picture' button. Seriously, if there is something out there that costs more but is wonderful to use, I'd like to hear about that too.

Thanks so much.

07-04-2010, 12:49 PM
Artrage: http://www.artrage.com/artrage.html is arguably one of the best painting programs on the market, and the price is a steal.

Artweaver: http://www.artweaver.de/home-en/ Pretty decent free version available, they have a cheap paid version too.

Paint.net: http://www.getpaint.net/ is a poorman's Photoshop for free.

Sketchbook Pro: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=6848332&siteID=123112 is a very good sketch/drawing prog, not free, or that cheap.

Serif Photo Plus: http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/ free version of Serif's answer to Photoshop (don't ever give them your phone number if you register it, you'll regret it, grrr).

That should be enough to start with.

07-04-2010, 12:55 PM
there's lots but nothing beats ps.

besides gimp there is also free stuff like this : http://pixlr.com/editor/
or try to obtain an older version of ps for a few bungholios.


07-04-2010, 01:53 PM
For sketches ArtRage is fine. I have the commercial version, not the latest, one version earlier but it's very good. The pencils are really nice and you can choose various papers as well so it's cool for sketching. The flow of the lines feel really natural.
In the commercial versions of ArtRage you have layers as well, just like in PS and you can save it as a PSD.

But you need a tablet too if you don't have any. Wacom bamboos are cheap but still good and if you buy the commercial version of artrage you are still below 100$. More or less.I guess.

Sketchbook pro is also great. I wanted to have it but since PS does everything I dont care anymore. In the end you'll need PS. At least I always end up with PS, because it's unbeatable. But for sketching, strictly for sketching and nothing else ArtRage should suffice.

07-06-2010, 07:13 AM
www.xara.com - vector based - discussion forums here: www.talkgraphics.com

Has free trial. Tons of tutorials and helpful community

07-06-2010, 09:32 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions! :thumbsup:

07-06-2010, 03:18 PM
You might want to keep an eye on Krita (http://krita.org/) as well. They are working on getting an easy-to-install Windows version out.

07-06-2010, 05:47 PM
if you need a vector based package, inkscape is pretty good.


07-06-2010, 06:04 PM
Is Splinegod the only one using PaintShopPro?

07-06-2010, 06:05 PM
Always good stuff here:


07-06-2010, 06:50 PM
I'll second the suggestions of Xara and ArtRage - They're both good programs. Xara just put out new versions of their drawing apps, with a name change. The basic Xara Xtreme is now "Xara Photo and Graphic Designer", and Xtreme Pro is now "Xara Designer Pro 6".

You can buy the download version now and they ship the CDs later this month.

Also, another free/cheap paint app is Project Dogwaffle. Here's a link to the free version (http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/free/), and they have several versions available at different prices. I haven't messed with it much, but people say it's somewhat like Deluxe Paint.

(Oops - didn't see you already knew about that one!)

There's also Twisted Brush by Pixarra (http://www.pixarra.com/), with both a free version and a pro version that's not too expensive.

Can you tell I'm a software junkie? :)

07-06-2010, 06:56 PM
osalt.com lists open source alternatives to commercial packages.