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Let your creativity explode with MyPaint!

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I can’t describe what one can do with MyPaint as this depends on the talent and creativity of the user, but I can show you the design tools that we have at our disposal. All the tools and functions can be called from the top panel of the application. From left to right you see a global menu that contains the usual (settings, files actions etc), undo/redo buttons, color chooser, brush chooser and brush settings. The five rest are the toolboxes that are opened as new movable and adjustable windows.

You can pick colors, change between brushes, manage the layers and draw in the scratchpad from which you can copy and paste to the canvas.

Brushes are many and in some categories like the “pencils” for example cover every possible need. You can  change the opacity, hardness and radius of whatever brush you choose. This works good on some and not so good on others. For example, some brushes just zoom and “pixelize” when you increase the radius. Others do great. It depends and all that you really need in reality is user experience to get the exact results you want (as usually is the case with any application of such kind). To expand the abilities and possibilities of every brush in a more “professional” way you can also use the more advanced settings.

The brushes are categorized in groups and you can also create your own and fill them with the brushes of your choice by simply drag and drop the brush to the corresponding tab. MyPaint includes 167 brushes and tools by default so I can’t show them all to you, but know that you can download more and import them straight to the Brush List Editor with just two clicks! Here are some examples:

You can export your creations in three formats that are the OpenRaster (.ora), PNG with solid or transparent background and JPEG. Speaking of backgrounds, you can set a color or a pattern as a background. Here I chose a milimetre paper:

What puts the icing on the cake in the usability sector of MyPaint are the keyboard shortcuts. You can perform many actions like changing the opacity or the size of the brush, zooming, calling color history and drawing straight lines from the keyboard that save you from digging in menus or adjusting sliders with your mouse. You can either get used to the defaults or set them to your preferences from the options.

MyPaint is a powerful tool in the right hands and if you don’t completely suck in digital painting like I do, you may actually be able to draw things like these:




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  • Philip Witte

    MyPaint is one of the most productive painting programs I’ve ever used. Once you get used to the keyboard shortcuts, it’s hard to use anything else. Everything in MyPaint is right at your fingertips when your hand is at the “rest” position in MyPaint… brush size/opacity, undo, eraser mode, color picker/history, brush defaults, etc… plus, MyPaint brushes are awesome.

    Simply put, MyPaint rocks!

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  • ScionicSpectre

    Still one of my favorite creative programs- I use it for all sorts of graphical tasks since it feels so natural. It’s so much better than Corel Painter I can’t even explain it- I almost feel like I’m actually painting sometimes since it hardly demands any interruptions.

    Painter may have a few extra features here and there, but painting isn’t about fancy effects and lists of settings. It’s about getting a good brush, pigment, and going to work.