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Introduction
Although they overlap in function, paint programs are really a different class of product: From raster editors such as Adobe Photoshop, The GIMP, they apply artistic filter effects to photos to look like works of art. To vector-graphics drawing software, such as CorelDRAW and Inkscape, are program that have freehand illustration tools with the ability to render images at any sizes. Even traditional 2D animation programs like Toon Boom Studio and Pencil that uses both raster/vector imaging are more concentrated in the animation than paint manipulation.

A paint software application supposed to mimics traditional painting mediums and effects more than just a bitmap drawing program like Microsoft Paint. My only two requirements are a graphic tablet support and the feel of natural paint on a digital canvas. All artists at one time or another dream of doing a comic book and cartoon animation, so if it supports animation or booklet pages, it's a plus. WOW, these free paint programs are truly a fantastic work of art, anyone of these will definitely satisfy the graving artist in you. List in favorite order:
Discussion

Project Dogwaffle ScreenshotProject DogWaffle is surprisingly full featured. It has a comprehensive set of tools, including fully customizable brushes, lots of filters and effects, multiple color selection options, a good set of color gradients, animation aids and more. On the downside the program runs slowly on older PCs, has limited layer support, has a clunky cut and paste mechanism and only handles BMP and Targa files. Don't let its appearance or unfamiliar menu control fool you, this is a great total artistic program to get.

Artrage ScreenshotArtRage is an amazing natural paint program that allows users to achieve realistic paint effects without the messy cleanup. The user interface is wonderfully design and simple to use tool that will suit young adult through to experienced artist, even in its limited version its an amazing program and if you do grow out of its limitations you will at least have built a firm affordable foundation from which to move on. Bottom line is that you can concentrate on your creativity, rather than wrestle with menus.

Twistedbrush screenshotTwistedBrush has one of the most versatile and powerful brush engines in existence, yet it was designed from day one to be easy to use. “Simplicity without sacrifice, powerful enough for the professional artist yet simple enough for the novice” as noted on their web site, the quick start guide is a nice intro to the programs abilities. TwistedBrush runs on all versions of the Windows operating system and is designed for all realms of digital art including natural media fine art even with its limited feature, it's program worth looking into.

Artweaver screenshotArtweaver offers you all the artistic effects which you need for your creative painting. You can create sketches from photos and experiment with a wide range of natural brushes. The brush simulation is as realistic as possible therefore it's suitable to leave your creativity free to run. Artweaver has countless file formats; transparency and layers; many effect filters; editable text layers (font, size, color, leading); history function. Available in English and German language, it can easily be translated through the support of language files.

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Quick Selection Guide

Project DogWaffle 1.2 Free Edition    Rating 8 of 10

Pros   realistic paint effects and frame-based animation tool
Cons   support for only Targa/BMP file formats, lacking only the advanced layer and scripting tools, unappealing interface
Developer Home Page   http://www.dogwaffle.info/
Download link   http://www.dogwaffle.info/dogwaffle/free/Dogwaffle_Install_1_2_free.exe
File Size   4.3 MB   Version 1.2   License Type Restricted Freeware (full commercial version available)   Installation Requirements Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
Info   released in 2004, a subset of the PD2-would like to see a more recent free version, the commercial version is now at 4.

ArtRage Starter Edition    Rating 7 of 10

Pros   realistic paint effects, appealing user interface, great program for young artist
Cons   limited tools, no layers or stencil/ruler creation found in the commercial version
Developer Home Page   http://www.ambientdesign.com/artrage.html
Download link   http://www.ambientdesign.com/artragedown.html
File Size   7.8 MB   Version 2.5   License Type Restricted Freeware (full commercial version available)   Installation Requirements 2000/XP/Vista and Mac OSX 10.3.9 or Later
Portable version available   Portable version available
Info   love this program and is cheap enough to buy full version

TwistedBrush Free Edition    Rating 6 of 10

Pros   Quick Start Guide, Sketchbook
Cons   significantly reduced set of features
Developer Home Page   http://www.pixarra.com
Download link   http://www.pixarra.com/download.html
File Size   4.75 MB   Version 14.2   License Type Restricted Freeware (full commercial version available)   Installation Requirements 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Info   this one is only a version behind from the commercial version

Artweaver    Rating 5 of 10

Pros   Multiple file support, transparency and Layers support, pen tablet support for a realistic feeling, editable text layers, dogweaver plug-in to share images between Project Dogwaffle and Artweaver.
Cons   still young program, not a true natural feel like painter or artrage
Developer Home Page   http://www.artweaver.de/index.php?en_version
Download link   http://www.artweaver.de/index.php?downloads_en
File Size   8.80 MB   Version 0.5.6   License Type Unrestricted Freeware   Installation Requirements 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Info   German and various others through the support of language files.

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