Best art program for a beginner?

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  • Just wondering if a couple of posters could sound off on the best choice for a newb who does not have much experience using art software. I'm looking ideally for one where ease of use is a strong point but has reasonable capabilities as my skill level increases.

    I'm an ok artists with no real experience using any Photoshop software or any other program so blank sheet really.

    I intend on putting a good amount of work in and am starting learning pixel art so ideally it would be good for that purpose but not exclusively so...

    Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated! <img src="smileys/smiley4.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • I've heard Inkscape is pretty good.

    Both for pixelart and normal one.

    It's what my artist uses.

    Personally I stick to GIMP and do everything like a caveman :P

  • For pixel art Pyxel is a good tool : (but still in beta !)

  • thanks both! I have tried GIMP but am not quite sure yet, will check out inkscape. will try that pyxel out too :)

  • thanks both! I have tried GIMP but am not quite sure yet, will check out inkscape. will try that pyxel out too :)

    Pyxel is GREAT. Gimp is very powerful, but I find the interface to still be lacking. Even when using the custom version that looks like photoshop. GIMP is really strong in the scripting world, you can script out repeatable tasks that are very complex in GIMP, but I find using it day to day, I always fall back to Photoshop.

    If you are just doing some light pixel art, Pyxel is the bomb.

  • I'm decent enough with Photoshop but I've become quite fond of Inkscape after reading this brilliant blog: 2D Game Art for Programmers.

    For pixel art, I'd recommend Graphics Gale and/or Pickle. GG is excellent for designing animated characters, and I've found Pickle to be particularly useful for generating terrain and tilesets.

    Also, it's probably a bit much for your needs, but I wouldn't overlook the idea of designing in 3D and rendering to 2D. As a 3D animator, that's the easiest solution for me, but that's just because I suck when it comes to thinking and working in 2D :P

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  • I use photoshop for editing generally, but it's hard to get into.

    For most drawing or when I need more control, I use Painttool SAI a Japanese program but there's an English version these days. Fairly intuitive and much better with a tablet than photoshop. (Not dear either)

    ArtRage is often recommended for beginners to pick up and is also capable. is free and super easy but more limited.

  • GIMP! Don't even bother looking at other programs pal :D

    -Gimp is free also for commercial use thanks to public license

    -Gimp is user friendly for beginners and professionals

    -You can adjust the GIMP interface according your own likes

    -Gimp can do also pixel art and very detailed paint work

    Oh, and get a Wacom tablet. Never use a mouse in graphic softwares...

    I had a genius tablet quite a bunch of times and those damn products kept breaking in 4 months. Wacom tablet lasts like, forever! I even got a really old one that still works after fixing its cable that has been abused by its previous owner :O

    Did I mention GIMP?

  • I second the tablet recommendation, I have two. The Bamboo, though it's an entry level model still outclasses any other brand I've tried.

  • I've been able to use Paint.NET just find for most everything (see, and plugins), then resort to Photoshop or PaintShop Pro (my personal favorite) as needed. I find you'll need more than one paint app, because they all have strengths and weaknesses. ;)

  • Pick up spriter as well, while it's cheap :). Even if you are not planning on doing animations right away, it will be worth it.

  • I use Inkscape and GIMP. Both of these applications are excellent. There are also plenty of tutorials to get you started on Youtube and the web.

  • +1 for Gimp! I used Photoshop for ages, but am tired of paying for upgrades. I just started using Gimp and wow- It has everything you need... and it's FREE!

    Tip: Does your game need grass? Google "gimp grass brushes".

  • You can get Adobe CS2 (witch includes Photoshop) for free from their site.

  • Plenty of suggestions, appreciate them all. will be doing some hardcore research/trials on these bad boys. Thanks dudes!

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