Painting tools

Top 10 Free Linux Painting Tools

Linux is a particularly strong platform for professionals that work within the graphic design and graphic arts industry. With low cost hardware, quality open source software, and an ounce of talent, artists can produce professional-looking computer graphics.

Designers make use of graphic design software programs. The most common software used in the graphic design industry is Abobe Creative Suite which consists of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Unfortunately, Adobe Creative Suite is proprietary software, and released only for the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. It is also very expensive software. Fortunately, there is a good range of open source software to download without charge for the Linux platform which makes it possible to do remarkable graphics work.

The purpose of this article is to identify the finest open source painting software available for Linux. Paint software is designed to imitate closely traditional painting mediums and effects. Typically, this type of software works best with a graphic tablet. Graphic tablets with an accompanying pen offer a much more precise, natural, and comfortable input method than a mouse, and are ideally suited for drawing, painting, and photo editing.

Painting software should also try to offer the feel of natural paint on a digital canvas. Basic graphics tablets are fairly inexpensive these days; with lower end models being available for around 50 dollars. Traditionally, devices from graphic tablet vendors other than Wacom did not have good support for Linux. However, the DIGImend project has the objective of improving Linux support for generic graphic tablets sold by Waltop, UC-Logic, KYE and rebranded tablets.

Here’s our recommendations.


Now, let’s explore the 10 painting tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources.

Painting Tools
KritaEdit and paint images; part of the KOffice office suite
MyPaintPaint program with dynamic brushes for graphic tablets
GIMPGNU Image Manipulation Program
AzPainterFull color painting software
GrafX2Inspired by the Amiga programs Deluxe Paint and Brilliance
Tux PaintDrawing and painting software designed for children
LazPaintImage editor with layers and transparency
KolourPaintEasy-to-use paint program by KDE
PintaMimics the usability of Paint.Net
CinePaintTools for painting, manipulation and image processing

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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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One comment

  1. Use the software on Linux Mint and it is perfect. Do I really have to change back to Windows to use a graphics tablet other than Wacom simply because there are no drivers. I want to paint and not play with computers and this is why I left Windows-

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