The above fantasy figurative study practice, were done using both Krita and Mypaint.
The centaur piece is actually very old and redone - just after doing the satyr and dryad piece. I had lost the last full
sized file - so just had a screen cap. I took it into krita and rough painted in strokes - then back into Mypaint for detailing.
Each tool has some advantages and disadvantages and is oft the case I will use morethen one program for this reason. I have stated
this in other places but always good to repeat some things: this sort of practice - using no references helps build a
solid foundation. The outcome here so closely matches the way I used oil on masonite - hardboard, that I find it compelling
to use these two programs in this technique. I used wet brush tools in both programs and the brissle, and
bristle blender brush in Krita.
All of the above tools have something decent to offer. After 20 years - my experience - which goes all the way back
to Photoshop 2.5 and Aldus Freehand, leads me top look for individual tools - not looking for one software package to
limit my efforts. I have noted many other artists using and some promoting the above software as well - and IMHO - well
deserved promotion. You may note that I have left GIMP out of this review of open source graphics programs. I have only
used GIMP for conversion from Open raster from Mypaint to Photoshop format and some simple tasks. I have never used it
for painting or typical Photoshop type work. I have seen people do some decent digital painting with it though.
All of the above open source software will most likely continue to grow and offer more as time goes on.
I use all Gnu software in both Linux and Windows. When using Linux - I have used the following distros for a fair
amount of time: Mint in XFCE, Peppermint, Manjaro in XFCE, Bodhi, Ubuntu Studio, Xubuntu, Mageia in Mate, XFCE,
and Enlightenment. Mageia still has Xara Extreme in its repositories and even though it is old - it is still ripping
fast! I have tested other distros in the form of sketching - like AntiX - running Fluxbox or ICEwm. Because Xubuntu
has been improving a lot and amd tending to stick to Ubuntu Studio - which is based on Xubuntu. If just sketching
in Mypaint - any decent distro that supports the light weight and fast Mypaint is good to go.
Just to be thorough, the last group above are art pieces that were done in Xara. So why put these here, and what is Xara. Xara - was a lightweight - yet fastest most stable vector program
to hit the graphics program scene. The ability to do art fast,
and the ability to do levels of complexity that would choke other vector programs made it the sleeper in vector programs. Early on
it was partnering with Corel and also worked with the GNU - open source community to create a free, open version. Sadly conflict apparently
killed this effort and Xara developed into it's own full program - pulling away from Corel. Please verify this as I read these things in
passing - so for details and what not - you need to look up. Now the lament part: The last distro I know of to fully support XaraLX
was Mageia. I just started a full on long term test of Mageia 6 and XaraLX is no longer stable. So it looks like Mageia 5 was the last
gasp for XaraLX. XaraLX is still faster then anything out there, outside of it's commercial decendant - now owned by Magix, under the name Photo
and Graphics Designer. I was doing the abstract piece on the left in XaraLX in Mageia 6. It crashed too many times, and the text
tool no longer worked. So after doing the abstract fish and some of the abstracted background - took it into Xara Extreme 2, on an
old WinXP laptop, to finish it. The other two pieces are very old, and were done in Xara Extreme 2. All the tools I used to do them are in
XaraLX. The difference is the interface was greatly improved. So a valuable tool on the Linux side appears to be dead now, and it was
the only vector tool to rival the best out there for down and dirty - and heavy duty vector art. Don't get me wrong - I like and use
Inkscape. But inkscape's memory/ data handling is slow and limited comparatively. So I lament the loss of XaraLX. I wonder - had it worked
out succesfully when the GNU community and Xara got together, would other Commercial software companies considered at least porting
their stripped down versions - like say Photo Elements. Well that is pointless speculation and the only hope for XaraLX would probably be
if Magix - which is linked to the XaraLX site, decided to fund an effort to revive the LX version. Possibly as a means of offering a very very
stripped down version of what has become a very mature, multi faceted program, in hopes that it brings more people in their direction.
After all - the last time I had a chance to test a version - version 6 I believe - it was the same super fast - faster then any other
vector program, only with a lot more features.My opinion is that once one gives Xara a real try ... really learning the tools ... they, like
me will become frustrated with other vector programs. The other programs will seem convoluted, and slow. I have become more at home in
Linux now and would gladly run all my digital art efforts from Linux were the needed software in place. There are distros more stable then
Windows and the cariety of choices in desktop paradigms and base distro engines - one can easily find a great match. Mac and Windows
are a take it as we offer it proposition. So from a Linux enthusiast perspective - I lament the apparent death of XaraLX. Kudos to Mageia
for supporting it as long as it did. Side note to this side note section: Mageia 6 - in Plasma and or Enlightenment - just awesome!. Xfce and
MATE also good. The Plasma - though higher in overhead then Kubuntu - is as fast and is the best looking Plasma - when set to dark theme IMHO.