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I recently purchased a Wacom to do some basic drawing on the computer (caricatures, etc.). This is primarily to save paper.

But I am overwhelmed with the number of software available. Any kind of professional or non-professional tool would do. The OS is not important as I have both Linux and Windows.

I tried Inkscape and Adobe Photoshop, but both are way too complex. Meanwhile, MS Paint doesn't have enough features. My drawings are extremely simple and I do not need a lot of special effects, such as layers, lightning effects etc.

Can anyone suggest a free software?

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  • Even if you do not need them now you will need them. BTW paper is cheap. – joojaa Apr 28 '17 at 11:06
  • It is difficult to answer your question as it stands because you have begun to describe what features you don't need, but you haven't given us any insight into what features are missing from MS Paint. And, as joojaa pointed out, you would really need to purchase quite a bit of paper before it added up to the cost of a Wacom. So, I am guessing there are some other elements that have gone into your choice to create digital drawings. What do you plan to do with them down the line? Knowing what your end goal is might lead to better recommendations. – magerber May 1 '17 at 23:36
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    Doesn't the tablet come with a CD of software? Mine always has. – Scott Dec 13 '17 at 19:35
  • @Scott, I puchased a used one. But can you please tell me your tablet and what softwares come along with the purchase? – infoclogged Dec 14 '17 at 8:15
  • It's been more years than I'd care to admit. I no longer have any of those CDs. I do recall about 5 various entry level painting apps... maybe Procreate? – Scott Dec 14 '17 at 12:33
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How about Krita ?

It's a nice free, open source painting program. I don't actually own a tablet, but this software felt like it was designed to be used with a tablet.

enter image description here

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My options are:

MyPaint http://mypaint.org/

and Krita https://krita.org/en/

MediBang Paint Pro https://medibangpaint.com/en/pc/

Dog Waffle. It has some oldy free versions: The page is ugly as hell. https://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/download/index.html

They do recognize the brush pressure.

I can't make Gimp detect the pressure, but it is still an option.

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I use Autodesk Sketchbook which is now free, it has different types of brushes like for coloring skin, rocks, clouds, etc.

But if you draw on the phone/tablet, you could use Ibispaint - there is a free app - which also has different types of brushes that you might have to buy or you could watch an AD to use them for free in 18 hours. (I don't buy them, I always watch an AD.)

enter image description here

This is from Autodesk Sketchbook. I was practicing how to color eyes.

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I use a XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro Digital Tablet with screen and I've had experience with an Ugee HK1560 and both of them are great tablets which give you the "drawing directly on the screen" experience for way less than Wacom. One thing to keep in mind though is that no Wacom alternative offers multi-touch (finger touch input) on their tablets, so if that's something important to you, your only option is Wacom (or 2-in-1 computers).

For softwares I'd go with:

Clip Studio Paint (Manga Studio): If you're into drawing comic/manga style drawings this has many tools tailored for it.

SAI (ITS FREEEEEE): Pretty good standard for a free software.

Sketchbook: Greatly intuitive, has a trial, and is incredibly amazing when you're new to digital art.

Corel Draw: Pretty good and versatile, kinda hard to learn to use in my opinion.

Photoshop: Pretty much what some would call a Industry standard, has a steeper learning curve but is well above most drawing softwares, also there are a lot of tutorials on how to use it.

They got their own pro's and con's, which I'm sure you can google for more details.

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    SAI is not free. Corel Draw is a vector based program. Corel has Corel Painter, PhotoPaint and Paint Shop, but neither is free. – Rafael Nov 1 '18 at 3:29
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GIMP (gimp.org) is good but it's slow to load and not very responsive to pen controls. Also it is limited to 5 levels of pen pressure, whereas your wacom probably has 256 to 512 levels.

The slowness results in things like when you try to draw say, a circle, you end up with a series of lines instead of a smooth curve, because the code is not well-optimized and when you draw, the input seems to stutter while it is painting pixels.

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You bought a Wacom tablet. When sold new those pen tablets include a number of a high quality, free applications. Check your region's website for the specific details.

For example, as of 2020 in Canada and the US, the Wacom Intuos tablets come with free downloads of these packages, after registration:

  • Corel® Painter® Essentials™ 7
  • Corel® Aftershot™ Pro 3
  • CLIP STUDIO PAINT PRO

In other regions the marketing of the tablets is subtly different, and the availability of these packages may differ.

These applications can be downloaded after you register your tablet with Wacom.

Caveat: the person who asked the question bought the Wacom tablet used. It may be that the original owner of the tablet already redeemed and downloaded the free software, in which case the new owner may not be able to take advantage of the offer to download these packages for free. The new owner will have to ask the original owner for the serial number of those packages.

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I used bamboo paper and it works great and it's free

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    This answer could be improved by listing the advantages Bamboo Paper has over alternatives. – Jules Apr 16 '20 at 5:28
  • With Baboo Paper on Windows 10, I'm seeing a short but annoying delay in getting the ink on the screen. – Alan Aug 22 '20 at 18:56
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You can use GIMP, which is a free software you can use

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    Can you please elaborate? – WELZ Jan 31 '19 at 3:07
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    Please add more info on why GIMP is a good option, check How to Answer to know how the site works. – Luciano Jan 31 '19 at 16:51
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    Welcome to GDSE! Please take a look around tour, especially pay attention to How to Ask and How to Answer a question, as these will help you learn how to correctly pose a query and what's expected of an answer. Whilst you're looking round, you might look at help center too, which will help give you a sense of our community's internal behavioural expectations. That all said, as @Luciano has indicated, this answer is currently pretty low quality, having not enough detail to be meaningful as a stand alone. Consider one goal: for questions and answers to retain value over time for future users. – GerardFalla Feb 4 '19 at 16:44

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