Graphic Art and Design Programs

This page is for programs that are really useful for art and drawing. Most are free but you will see that I have indicated with a $ sign if there is a cost for the program. Programs are available on both a Mac and PC platform unless specifically stated.

Drawing and Paint Software

external image kidpix3_box.jpegKidpix ($)

An excellent program that is available to schools. It allows for each picture to be added into a very easy to use slideshow. This link will take you to another one of my wiki pages with tutorials I have made as well as more detailed information.

Tux Paint

external image dbimage.php?id=9785This program is a very easy to use free download for PCs. It has sound effects, a cartoon character, and fun 'rubber stamp'/'stickerbook' pictures. The kids click on save and their picture is added to the programs files - there are no file paths for the children to navigate and no file names to type. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to add your own pictures and stamps and it is possible. This storyboard project on the web helped me figure out a few things. There is also a help page on the Tux Paint website giving information on how to add extra stamps etc.

Art Rage 2

external image artrage01.jpg This free version of this software has some limited functionality but is still a great resource. The full version is very inexpensive if you negociate with the owner. One of our NZ schools was quoted $1 per machine!

Image Manipulation Software

(including working in layers)


external image gimp-svg-import.pngAn open source program that is almost as powerful as Photoshop (though takes a little time to learn). This link will take you to another one of my wiki pages with tutorials I have made as well as more detailed information.

Seashore (Mac only)

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I used to think that GIMP was the best option on a Mac (and still is if you want to do advanced actions) but now I think that Seashore is all you need for most activities that you want to work with children. It has layers, some filters and a range of tools (including cloning). A great little application.

I have made a tutorial for this program which you can download. (PC only)

external image pdn30_camaro_thumb.jpg
Another really user friendly program for working in layers. The only thing that this program is lacking is a selection tool which puts dots around the shape you want to select (eg magnetic lasso tool) - it can be difficult to draw around objects by hand. You will also need another free download called the .NET Framework for this software to work. This is available from here.