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10 Open Source graphics applications for digital painters

1. MyPaint

MyPaint – is a fast and easy open-source graphics application for digital painters. It lets you focus on the art instead of the program. You work on your canvas with minimum distractions, bringing up the interface only when you need it.

mypaint

MyPaint Main Features

  • exists for several platforms
  • supports pressure sensitive graphics tablets
  • extensive brush creation and configuration options
  • unlimited canvas (you never have to resize)
  • basic layer support

MyPaint comes with a large brush collection including charcoal and ink to emulate real media, but the highly configurable brush engine allows you to experiment with your own brushes and with not-quite-natural painting. Latest stable version available for download is mypaint-0.8.2.

2. Krita

Krita – is a creative sketching and painting application based on KOffice technology. Whether you want to create art paintings, cartoons, concept art or textures, Krita supports most graphics tablets out of the box.

krita digital painting

Krita Main Features

  • support a variety of file formats
  • color models – supports different channel depths, from 8 bits integer to 32 bits floating point per channel
  • supports both layers and masks
  • includes several types of tools: vector tools, raster tools, guidance tools, canvas tools and selection tools
  • supports brush engine plugins
  • provides filters that can be used directly

Krita is a part of KOffice and based on KOffice technologies.  Latest stable full-featured version of KOffice available for download is KOffice 1.6.3

3.CinePaint

CinePaintis an open source computer program for painting and retouching bitmap frames of films. It supports higher color fidelity than ordinary painting tools. CinePaint opens high fidelity image file formats such as DPX, 16-bit TIFF, and OpenEXR, and conventional formats like JPEG and PNG.

cinepaint snapshot

CinePaint was used for films such as Scooby-Doo, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Last Samurai and Stuart Little. Its available as a native application for Linux, Mac OS X, and BSD.

4.DrawPile

DrawPile – is a collaborative drawing program, where you can share your drawing live with other users. There are no restrictions on who may draw where, every user has full access to the whole picture simultaneously.

drawpile logo

Main Feature highlights

  • Antialiased drawing and multiple blending modes
  • Layers
  • Text annotations
  • Tablet pressure sensitivity
  • Image may be rotated freely while drawing
  • Built-in server for hosting shared sessions
  • Chat

Latest stable version available for download is drawpile-0.6.0.

5.Flowpaint

Flowpaint – is a next generation paint program that focuses on usability and power. It’s open source, cross platform, and supports pressure sensitive graphics tablets.

flowpaint screenshot

Latest version available for download is Flowpaint 0.2.

6.QAquarelle

QAquarelle – is the opensource Qt4-based graphical editor, whose goal is to provide the native way of painting with emulated traditional instruments, including the full support of tablet input and OpenGL-based processing in GPU.

qaquarelle screenshot

Latest version available for download is qaquarelle-0.0.4a.

7.Alchemy

Alchemy – is an open drawing project aimed at exploring how we can sketch, draw, and create on computers in new ways. Alchemy isn’t software for creating finished artwork, but rather a sketching environment that focuses on the absolute initial stage of the creation process. Experimental in nature, Alchemy lets you brainstorm visually to explore an expanded range of ideas and possibilities in a serendipitous way.

alchemy screenshot

Alchemy is written in Java, so can run on most platforms. It runs on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.  It requires the Java Runtime Environment version 1.5 or above. Latest version available for download is Alchemy BETA 008.

8.ChibiPaint

ChibiPaint – is an open source oekaki applet, a software that allows people to draw and paint online and share the result with other art enthusiasts. You can start drawing on Oekaki Board section or download it and integrate it into your own website.

chibipaint logo
Features highlights:

  • High-quality brushes.
  • Rotating Canvas.
  • Multiple layers with many blending modes.
  • Filters such as noise generation and blur.
  • Tablet pressure sensitivity through JTablet support.
  • Open source: licensed under GPL v3

Latest version available for download is ChibiPaint 0.7.11.2.

9.Harmony

Harmony – is a web based procedural drawing application with a set of special brushes that has ability to create smooth and rich strokes created by Ricardo Cabella.  Even if you don’t have any drawing experience, using Harmony you can create a drawing that is aesthetically pleasing in minutes.

harmony-drawing-tool

It also gives you the option to change pencil colors and the option to save it into .png file. Since the tool is web-based, it supports various popular browsers and can even be used on mobile phones.

10.mtPaint

mtPaint – is a free painting program which Mark Tyler developed from scratch so he could easily create pixel art and manipulate digital photos.

It uses the GTK+ toolkit (version 1 or 2) and runs on PC’s via the GNU/Linux or Windows operating systems.

Main Freatures

  • Interface
  • Pixel Art
  • Image Manipulation

Latest stable version available for download is mtpaint-3.31.


  • Note that for KOffice in general, the most stable version is in deed still 1.6.3. For Krita, 2.2.2 or the upcoming 2.3 are stable and ready for end users. Especially 2.3 is going to be really great.

    • Thanks for the information Boudewijn Rempt..!!!

  • Awesome Collection, thanx

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  • Thanks, I like this

  • fentastic work