Under construction. June/July 2007. These glossary and software pages are a work in progress. Please understand that definitions are being added daily but will take time to finish.
Software For Painting, Drawing, And Related Graphics Programs
By Tony Johansen, Director East Sydney Academy of Art
These are the programs that the creative artist needs for making 2-D artwork of all kinds and editing digital images. Animation and 3-D Software are described here.
Programs for natural painting media and related painting and graphics programs that are described here are: ArtistX, ArtRage, AutoCAD, CG illust, Chinese Painting On Phantom, Chinese Painting On Tablet PC, CinePaint, ComicWorks, Deep Creator, Deep Paint 3-D, Drawing Programs, EasyDraw, E-Paint, Expression Design, Fireworks, FlySketch, Fractal Software, GIMP, GIMP Animation, Gimp Portable, GIMPshop, Gsumi, Iconographer, Illustrator, ImageReady, Krita, Modo,, MS Paint, Nature Painter Digital Canvas, Painter, Painter Essentials, Paint Shop Pro, PhotoArtMaster, PhotoShop, Project Dogwaffle, SketchBook Pro, SmoothDraw, Studio Artist, Twisted Brush, Virtual Painter 5, Wizardbrush, Wet Dream.
Many of these programs (like Painter) are specialist natural media painting programs, in other words designed with the idea of simulating traditional painting and drawing as their principal structure. Some go beyond that to experiment with more original digital means of making images (like Studio Artist) Some are meant for other purposes entirely (like PhotoShop which is intended first for Photos) but still enable creative painting or related creative effects. Some, such as PhotoShop and FireWorks are so strongly integrated into the process of web design that they are also described on the web design software page.
On other pages:
- Animation and 3-D software
- Glossary of terms used in Blogs, computers, and Internet A - L
- Glossary of terms used in Blogs, computers, and Internet M - Z
- Glossary of terms used in graphics and painting software
- Publishing software
- Web Design software
- ArtistX If freeware suits your budget or you are philosophically inclined toward open source software (or you are not afraid of Linux) then ArtistX could be a good way to explore opensource software. Unlike everything else on this page in which is a distinct program, ArtistX is a Linux distro which is like an entire multimedia studio and includes (according to its web site) virtually every piece of open source graphics, animation, audio, and video software. A partial list includes 2D Graphic Software: Gimp (experimental version), Inkscape, Nip2, Krita, Cinepaint, Synfig, Rawstudio, Skencil, Hugin. 3D Software: Blender, Wings3D, Kpovmodeler + Povray 3.6, K3D. ArtistX possibly should be regarded as suitable for those who have a lot of computer experience as open source software is designed by geeks who often forget that not everyone is as computer literate as themselves and unlike company's that sell software for profit the developers are not under pressure to make software easy to use. Having said that, if you are adventurous, the price on this software can't be beaten. ArtistX web site here.
- ArtRage A really simple and really fun program for painting on the computer. It comes in a free version as well as a professional version for only $20. Other programs may be more powerful but no other program can compare on value for money or plain fun when using it. it is possible to use any digital painting program with a mouse but all of them are far easier to use with a Wacom Tablet. ArtRage is made by a small team in New Zealand. Click here for their web site.
- AutoCAD AutoDesk is the company that introduced AutoCAD way back in 1982. CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. Where as Illustrator is perfect for designers of artwork for illustrations, newsletters and so on AutoCAD is perfect for architects, engineers, and for drafting, although it is also popular for high end animation and game development. It works with both 2D and 3D shapes and objects, although there is a "lite" version which is 2D only. There are various versions aimed at different engineering and drafting disciplines such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, architecture, mapping and so on. As a productivity program aimed at industry and professional firms it is one of the most expensive programs on the market. There is a comparitively inexpensive student version but it cannot be used for any commercial use and has internal and visual indicators in printed and exported artwork that clearly labels the art as student work. Windows only. Wikipedia article about AutoCAD here. AutoDesk Student Community here. Official web site here.
- CG illust Software that was a big hit in Japan and now sold in an English language version. It was designed specifically for the anime and manga market. The web site features a title banner that randomly selects user works to go behind the title text. CG illust makes color bitmap illustrations, while ComicWorks specializes in black and white manga drawing. Website for CG illust here.
- Chinese Painting On Phantom Released for public experimentation by researchers at the University of Taiwan where it is undergoing development. Some bugs have been reported in the program and it should be regarded as experimental for the time being. However the attempt to recreate digitally the effects of Chinese ink and brush painting is most interesting. The Phantom in the name refers to an input device. The program does work with Wacom tablets however. Their web site is here.
- Chinese Painting On Tablet PC Underdevelopment by researchers at the University of Taiwan it is available for download and use, although some bugs may exist in the program. Although it must be considered experimental, it offers an interesting attempt to recreate digitally the effects of Chinese ink and brush painting. Web site is here.
- CinePaint A raster graphics editing program designed for painting on and retouching bitmap frames in movies. It is not a video editing program. It is the most successful open source program used in the movie industry and has been a significant contributor to movies as diverse as Harry Potter and Stuart Little. Linux and Macintosh. Windows under development. Wikipedia article on CinePaint here. Official web site here.
- ComicWorks Designed specifically for manga artists this graphics program is perfect for drawing and producing comics and cartoon stories in black and white. The software is made by the same people who make CG illust which has been a runaway success in the Japanese market and now available worldwide. Website for ComicWorks here.
- Deep Creator A 3D modeling tool, texture creator, and scripting engine for creating immersive simulations and creating games, training and visualization e-resources, and animations. It is powerful and well suited for indie game developement. In line with similar software aimed at industry the full version is very expensive (over $2,000) but a version for non commercial use is only $250. Windows only. Review of Deep Creator here. Official web site here.
- Deep Paint 3D Considered by many to be the best painting program for painting 3D models and is widely used in movies and games. Just as Corel Painter is the leader in 2D art, Deep Paint 3d is the leader in natural media painting in 3 dimensions. Deep Paint 3D is able to to work in 2 dimensions just as Painter does, and in what they call 2.5D which is an advanced way of creating the illusion of light falling on 3 dimensional brush strokes as if the paint really is thick. But where Deep Paint 3D is really different from Painter is in painting truly 3 dimensional models. It has the ability to map the shapes and apply the paint in a way very similar to the way real paint comes out of an airbrush or from a paint brush onto a real 3 dimensional object. It can operate as a standalone program or as a plug-in for photoshop which allows easy file sharing between the 2 programs. Windows only. Review of Deep Paint 3D here. Official web site here.
- Deleter CGillust And ComicWorks See either CG illust or ComicWorks.
- Drawing Programs Digital drawing and painting can be acheived in the expensive and very sophisticated Painter, or the free and simpler ArtRage. There are numerous simple sketching and drawing programs like FlySketch most of which are free or very cheap. According to About the top 10 programs designed specifically for artistic creative expression are: (1) Painter (Windows and Macintosh), (2) ArtRage (Windows and Macintosh), (3) Painter Essentials (Windows and Macintosh), (4) Expression (Windows), (5) SketchBook Pro (for tablet PC - Windows and Macintosh), (6) Project Dogwaffle (Windows), (7) Deleter CGillust (anime and manga - Windows), (8) Twisted Brush (Windows), (9) PhotoArtMaster (Windows), (10) Studio Artist (Macintosh). The About list and further information can be found here.
- EasyDraw A vector drawing program that is an easier to use alternative to Illustrator and is an excellent and easy to learn program that teachers are finding is good software for getting people started with vector drawing. While a far simpler program than Illustrator it is fully capable for use by professionals such as engineers, scientists, artists, and teachers. Macintosh only. Official web site.
- E-Paint A genuinely simple painting application which costs the same as more capable programs, In fact it is $10 more than ArtRage and is frustratingly lacking capability in comparison. Their web site suggests they are deliberately aiming for those who want few choices and there can be a lot said for limited palettes. It should be very easy to learn. Their web site is here.
- Expression Design A program from MicroSoft that is unique in that it is vector based yet allows the creation of brush strokes and makes works that are hybrid vector and bitmap artworks. Although marketed as a web illustration and design tool it is suited to a wide range of artistic expression and can be regarded as the most artistically oriented of the various vector based programs. Review of Expression here. Official web site here.
- Fireworks A graphics editing program developed by Macromedia and purchased by Adobe in 2005. It offers tight integration with Dreamweaver and is very popular with web designers. Unlike Photoshop it is designed for working with both vector and bitmap images at the same time - sort of like combining the best of Photoshop with the best of Illustrator in the one program. Fireworks also is strong when working with slices and is the best program for image compression for the web. Its range of features makes it the ideal program for designing web content and preparing graphics to be exported into WYSIWYG editors, especially Dreamweaver. When Macromedia was purchased by Adobe many believed Fireworks would be retired in favor of Adobe's own program ImageReady but instead it was ImageReady that was dropped, perhaps an acknowledgement of the uniqueness of the Fireworks feature set plkus its popularity with Dreamweaver and Flash users. Wikipedia article on FireWorks here. Review of Fireworks here. Official web site here.
- FlySketch A brilliant little sketching program that does things in a way that is unique. Once used you wonder why other drawing software doesn't do things this way. For example FlySketch can open over the top of other open programs transparently which has surprising results. It is possible to highlight the text in a Word document for example as if you had a highlighting marker, make drawings and handwritten comments (or even text) onto the Word document, then save and email the document complete with your additions. Other painting programs have a digital tracing paper ability but you need to be inside the program to use it, and then import an image to be traced, FlySketch on the other hand over-lays any program and behaves as if it were just a piece of real tracing paper. The program is hot key activated, so can be instantly available when needed, and put away just as instantly. It is pressure sensitive and so makes natural looking colored pencil or pen drawings with a Wacom tablet. It can also smoothes curves when in mouse mode so that when only a mouse is available your drawings have a flowing line that is otherwise hard to achieve with the mouse. There are only two downsides to this great little program. First it is Mac OS X only and the other is that at $25 it is expensive compared to the price vs capabilities of painting programs, still, at that price it is hard to resist for those using the Mac. Official web site here.
- Fractal Software Fractals are a branch of art and geometry discovered accidentally in the 1970's by Benoit Mandelbrot. They had been theorized to exist abouty 50 years earlier but it was probably impossible to prove their existence before the computer because the computational power required is thought to be beyond human capability. They are irregular patterns that repeat with variation on into infinity. Since their discovery it has been shown that fractal patterns occur in nature. The irregular pattern of the way trees branch is an example. Fractals have many practical applications in the handling and compression of graphics in the computer world but most people are most familiar with fractals as art since software can make patterns of colors of great beauty. Fractal art, competitions, information, and file libraries with fractal software for Windows, Macintosh, DOS, and Unix can be found here at Fractalus Gallery.
- GIMP Stands for GNU Image Manilulation Program first started in 1995. It is open source and absolutely free. It is a powerful editor of bitmap images and has some vector capabilities. In this sense it is comparable with Adobe's FireWorks, although the comparison is more commonly made with PhotoShop. It is not so refined as PhotoShop however. It edits raster graphics using layers, paths, channels and other means that are familiar to users of PhotoShop. Detailed information is found at Wikipedia. GIMP comes in various versions including CinePaint, GIMPshop, and GIMP Animation. A most interesting version is GIMP Portable which is small enough to be installed on a thumb drive and carried from computer to computer. The GIMP web site is here.
- GIMP Animation A package of free plug-ins for the open source image editor Gimp which enables animations to be made frame by frame. The package is called GAP (Gimp Animation Package) and can be downloaded from here. GAP tutorials here.
- GIMP Portable A mini version of the open source image editor GIMP which is inteded to be kept on a 512MB USB thumb drive. The drive can be plugged into any Windows computer and the GIMP program is available for use directly from the thumb drive. This is extraordinarily convenient if traveling and you are unable to (or it is unsafe to) take your laptop with you. PortableApps web site and downloads here. Windows only.
- GimpShop Every artist who cannot afford PhotoShop but needs to use it should download GIMPshop today. It is not quite so refined as PhotoShop, but hey, it's free, although paying for Paint Shop Pro is possibly the wisest choice of the three despite the fact that GIMPshop is free because of the extra capabilities of Paint Shop Pro combined with a comparatively low price. GIMPshop is a version of GIMP an image manipulation program that is free and open source. GIMPshop was developed for Mac OS X and later for Windows that gives the look and feel of PhotoShop from Adobe. GIMPshop is a powerful tool that is claimed to do virtually anything that PhotoShop can do, is compatible with most PhotoShop plug-ins, and has a comparable ease of use/difficulty due to complexity. Unfortunately the claims and the truth do not always match. The GimpShop philosophy is to not weigh down the program with what are regarded by some as unessential extras. The basic download therefore is like a Photshop with many of the goodies missing. This barebones basic version is relatively easy to download and install, especially for those with computer experience. This basic version is snappy in operation and quite easy to use. Those coming to GimpShop from Photoshop will find the interface easy to adapt to. The problem starts when you decide to download extra filters and so on. They are (like many things in the open source community) made by various unrelated developers of varying degrees of finish. Many require better than average computer experience to install successfully. Even finding the filters you need can be a chore. There are hundreds of them available but sorting through lists and reading discussions on their merits takes a lot of time. Then there is the download and installation time. While GimpShop is free those who are not computer geeks may find the time setting up frustrating while others may enjoy the tinkering. The Wikipedia article on GIMPshop is here. GIMPshop download page for Mac, Windows, and Linux is here.
- Gsumi A free and open source ink drawing program. It has limited capabilities but the price is right. Their web site is here.
- Iconographer A full featured icon design and creating program that sadly is no longer being developed (not since 2003) Formerly is was $15 but now it is free if entering the special code provided by the original developer. It has the advantage that it has a full feature set yet is able to be easily used by beginners. It is a Mac OS X program only but makes icons for both OS X and Windows. Official web site here.
- Illustrator The leading vector graphics program from Adobe and regarded by many designers and illustrators as the "must have" program that they love the most. Illustator was developed for the Mac in 1986. 3 years later Corel introduced CorelDraw for the Windows platform and became the biggest competition for Illustrator. In 1997 Illustrator was ported to Windows and CorelDraw quickly lost market share as designers mostly preferred Illustrator. CorelDraw had already been ported to Macintosh but could not successfully compete head to head. At the time of its introduction Illustrator was unique in that it used bézier curves which produced lines based on mathematics. This meant illustrations were scalable to any size without loss of quality. Artists found it fairly easy to learn and like its precision and ability to work quickly with complex shapes. It is considered normal practice to start a composition in Illustrator then export the image to Photoshop or Painter to develop the image further. Windows and Macintosh. Review of Illustrator here. Official web site for Illustrator here.
- Image Capture
- ImageReady A graphics editing program developed by Adobe in 1998 and intended for "finishing" images for the web and was tightly integrated with Photoshop. When Adobe purchased Macromedia in 2005 they decided to retain the greater sophistication of Fireworks and discontinue ImageReady which they did in 2007 with the introduction of CS3. ImageReady is still commonly found along side older versions of Photoshop. Windows and Macintosh. Wikipedia article about ImageReady here.
- Krita A Linux natural media painting program that attempts to more accurately render the mixing of liquid paints on the palette as well as the canvas. It appears to do a very good job of it although the program is in continual development and requires some refinements here and there. It is possible for Windows and Mac users to use Krita. It is technically part of KOffice. Review here. Official web site here.
- Modo Professional level 3D graphics and modeling program. While there are many other excellent 3D painting programs in existence, Modo stands out because in addition to 3D rendering tools as good as any, it also has superb sculpting capabilities, so that the sculptor can mold and shape clay-like material using the digital equivalents of traditional sculptors tools. Of course this kind of professional level power comes with a hefty professional level price tag in comparison to its less sophisticated competitors. On the other hand it is popular for serious artists for good reason and many regard it as the Rolls Royce of 3D modeling programs. PC and Macintosh. Review here. Wikipedia article here. Official web site here.
- MS Paint A painting program bundled into every release of Windows to date. It is generally sneered at, perhaps because it comes with the operating system, and therefore seen as a cheap gift, and perhaps because a lot of people do not fully try out its capabilities. While it is a fairly simple program it is a long way from being the least capable of the painting programs described on this page. It is most suited to bold graphic art and is widely used, especially by Oekaki artists and for pixel art such as the art for many mobile phone game. Wikispedia article on MS Paint is here.
- Nature Painter Digital Canvas A very basic natural media painting program that is aimed at education and those who like simplicity. Claimed to be especially good for children, this program is not as much fun as ArtRage, which kids seem to love. The program it is most comparable with is Wizardbrush but Wizardbrush is $10 cheaper. Their web site is very uninformative. Windows only. The web site is here.
- Natural Media
- Natural Media Programs
- Paint See MS Paint.
- Painter The best digital painting and drawing program available according to many people. I personally love painter but that may be because I am familiar with it. There are another 2 programs out there that could easily be rated number one (Studio Artist for Macintosh and Twisted Brush for Windows) but Painter retains the top spot because, of the 3, it is the only one that is available in both Windows and Macintosh versions. It gives a choice of hundreds of different brushes and traditional natural media. It is like a studio with the works, and without the mess. It also offers many digital tricks that are only possible on the computer. Benefits include the ability to step back from mistakes and recover the previous state of the work, the ability to keep watercolor wet for as long as is desired then dry it at will, never running out of color, and owning every art tool imaginable. Materials look surprisingly real in the way they behave. Best results are obtained when using a Wacom tablet. There is a steep learning curve when first starting, although if you are used to using layers in PhotoShop then you have a head start. A logical way to start with Painter is to use the Painter Essentials version which comes bundled with many Wacom tablets, learn to use the basics in the simplified program, then upgrade to the full version later. A review of Painter is here. Windows and Macintiosh. More information on the official web site is here.
- Painter Essentials The logical first painting program for many artists because it comes bundled with many Wacom tablets. Since you will need to buy a tablet anyway, you might as well use the Painter Essentials that comes with it. Later, after gaining experience with the Essentials program you may choose top upgrade to the full version of Painter, but many artists enjoy the relative simplicity of the Essentials version. In both versions various brushes are used with various media like digital watercolor, or charcoal and are applied using a mouse (not recommended) or a stylus on a Wacom tablet. The great advantage of working digitally is the ability to work in layers and step backwards. In addition the finished work can be easily integrated with online content, projected onto a screen, and e-mailed around the world. Windows and Macintosh A review of Painter Essentials is here. More information on the official web site is here.
- Paint Shop Pro Despite its name this is not a natural media painting program. Instead it is similar to PhotoShop with 3 key differences. (1) It is able to work with vector images with ease, whereas PhotoShop can only work with vector images from Adobe Illustrator, (2) It is a fraction of the price of PhotoShop (it is currently about $90), (3) but it has the big drawback that it is Windows only which is a bigger factor than you might suppose in the printing industry where the Macintosh market share is far greater than for the general population. Paint Shop Pro is a powerful raster bitmap and vector image editor that can be regarded as even more capable than PhotoShop in many key creative areas. Like PhotoShop it can be used as a graphics and drawing program, although, again like PhotoShop, it does not have the sophistication of the purpose made natural media painting programs like Painter. Having said that it has hundreds more special effects than PhotoShop and enables the creative artist to do more with digital images than PhotoShop can. Then there is the Photo Art Suite, a bundling of Paint Shop Pro, Painter Essentials, and Photo Album, all for only $110. Painter and Paint Shop Pro work together beautifully as a complete painting and graphics package. It's miniscule price makes it a viable alternative to PhotoShop for those who cannot afford the other program, and the refinement and capabilities of the program makes the $90 price a better investment than the free GIMP. Review of Paint Shop Pro here. Official web site here.
- PhotoArtMaster A natural media painting program that has a quirky interface but is capable of very beautiful painting effects. The interface while taking time to learn is very appealing and the program has many passionate users. Unfortunately as of November 2007 the company that makes PhotoArtMaster went into liquidation with its assets put up for sale. It remains to be seen when or if the program will be released by a new owner but at present new copies of the program are not available for purchase. Windows only. About.com article on PhotoArtMaster here. Gallery of images made with PhotoArtMaster here.
- PhotoShop The best known raster graphics editing program. It has the advantage of integration with top line graphics, animation, web design and publishing software. PhotoShop offers professional level image editing application and can be capable painting and drawing program although lacking the sophistication of specialist natural media painting programs like Painter. PhotoShop has the great disadvantage of being very expensive. The price is many times more than Paint Shop Pro which can do virtually everything that PhotoShop can do plus some tricks that PhotoShop is not capable of, all at a fraction of the price. Thats what happens when everyone has heard of Photo Shop and most people are not familiar with the alternative. Windows and Macintosh versions. Official web site is here.
- Project Dogwaffle A superb series of graphics programs to put a smile on any artist's lips. They blur the distinction between painting and animation programs. Described as quirky, I would say creative in their approach to a painting program. For example the latest Pro version has the ability to allow the artist to animate the sky and control cloud speed and shape. Or have snow actually falling in a snow scene! The brush selection includes animation brushes for creating movement in pictures. All this in a natural media painting program. It is a good example of digital painting exploring areas that traditional media can't do. There are numerous versions available from free to $120. The one called "artist" at 39 dollars is a good starting point for many, although the free version is actually lots of fun and easy to learn on. They understand quirky artist needs and are quite unusual in that they make upgrades easy and are happy for you to buy the cheaper packages and build on them as you can afford. Their web site admits it is made by starving artist's for starving artist's. This friendly approach carries through to the so called "wafflers" who make up the community of users. Recommendable but idiosyncratic software. About.com put them at number 6 on their top 10 of painting programs. Particularly suited to the uses of cell animators. Their downside is that they are only available for Windows. Web page for the free starter version here. Web site for the commercial versions here.
- Twisted Brush A natural media painting program. When every review you read you read of a program starts by talking about how much fun the reviewer just had then you know this is a well put together program that just works, and has the right balance between easy to use and powerful effects. Twisted Brush is exactly like that. Even better, at the low prices charged for the various versions it makes you wonder how Painter gets away with being so expensive. When I made my list of top ten painting programs there were three that all could easily be number one. I chose Painter for number one only because it comes in both Mac and Windows versions. If Twisted Brush had a Macintosh version I would put it at number one. Its that good. (And by the way it is no good saying Macintosh is only 5% of the market so that doesn't matter. In the arts it is more like 15% judging by the traffic I get to art related web sites, and 15% is a lot of artists.) Recommended, and excellent value for money. Review is here. Official web site is here.
- SketchBook Pro AutoDesk SketchBook Pro is designed primarily with tablet PC's in mind but also works well with Wacom tablets. It is a superb sketching tool being far simpler than natural media painting programs like Painter. It is consequently easy to learn and has an easy to use interface. It has many innovative features that are appealing to the artist including a "one-flick" gesture menu selection feature and an auto save function that means drawings can be saved without inputting text, meaning the stylus does not need to be put down. Features are described on the official web site here. It works with Tablet PC, Windows, and Macintosh.
- SmoothDraw A natural media painting program. Official web site here.
- Studio Artist Award winning painting program. Could easily be argued as being the best digital painting tool in existence. While it emulates the effects of natural media it also goes where no artist has gone before into a land of digital effects that are difficult to describe exept, perhaps, as visual synthesization. If the phrase "the future is here" was ever applicable to anything this is the place. By freeing the artist from the shackles of traditional ideas of how artistic marks are made it opens the creative mind to creative means that are totally original. This program suits those who like to experiment. Studio Artist loses points because it is Macintosh only, just as Twisted Brush loses points for being Windows only. The review link is to a 10 page extensive review which will possibly tempt some adventurous Windows users to consider switching to a Macintosh just to try this awesome program. Review of Studio Artist is here. Studio Artist official web site is here.
- Virtual Painter 5 An unexpectedly fun creative tool. It is not a natural media painting program in the conventional sense, rather it is intended for those who wish to apply painterly effects to photographs. There are several programs in this class and some others of them are described here, but Virtual Painter is probably the best of them. Notice that I specify a version number in this case because version 5 is so markedly improved on previous versions, and also because the company chose to continue selling Virtual Painter 4 but renamed it Virtual Painter Classic. Be sure not to get the classic version. It can be used as a stand alone application or can be a plug-in for PhotoShop. If you just use it to apply effects to photographs it is fun and useful, but the creative artist can take this so much further than that. It is actually useful to start with a digital photograph and apply an oil paint effect in Virtual Painter, then open it in Painter or Twisted Brush and creatively develop the image from there. While not a necessary extra step, it instantly changes the way you look at an image, and the digital artist will find this a fun tool to play with. Of course there may well be times too when all you want to do is make a photo look painterly in PhotoShop but the built in PhotoShop paint filters just don't look so very much like paint. As a plug-in Virtual Painter extends the creative potential of PhotoShop usefully. Windows only. Note that the standalone and plug-in versions are sold separately. Review is here. Official web site here.
- Wet Dream An open source watercolor painting program that is intended as a plug-in for GIMP but is also available as a separate download to experiment with. Appears to give a very nice traditional watercolor look. Their web site is here.
- Wizardbrush A simple and easy to use natural media painting program. It is basic enough that even children can use it with ease but it uses layers, MDI, filters, has alpha channel support and so on which means it is no lightweight little desktop drawing program, and is capable of sophisticated work and integrates with PhotoShop. It is only $30. Windows only and supports Wacom tablets. Web site is here.