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Free Open-Source Art Programs for Both Fun and The Quarantine 

By Leia Pastizzo

There are a lot of free and helpful resources for artists floating around the internet, and I thought I would take the time to outline just a few of my favorites for anyone who is wondering where to start in the mire of multiple choices out there. Some of them have an accompanying app, which is pretty handy, and all of them should be compatible with both Apple and Windows products.  

As far as programs go, I am particularly fond of Krita, which is a free, open-source painting program “made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.”   


It has an in-depth user manual, an extensive collection of Tutorials and How-To's, and a comprehensive Reference Manual.  

SketchBook is another of my favorites, with an added mobile app as well. Sketchbook is easy to use, intuitive, and full of options for a variety of fun purposes.  


It can be used across multiple devices, for easy sharing and multi-tasking, and comes well equipped with instructional how-tos, and helpful tips. And, of course, totally free.  

Next, we have Inkscape, a free and open source vector graphics editing program that I quite enjoy using.  It is easy to download, easy to get started, and fun to experiment with.  


It comes well equipped with tutorials and instructions, and I appreciated the “follow-along" nature of some of them.  

And these are just the ones that I use, there are oodles more, such as MyPaint, Mischief, Painter, and Clip Studio Paint, to name but a few.  

Of course, the library provides several resources for artists, most prominent among them, a free learning forum which offers classes on Adobe’s various products, as well as other computer programs, called “Udemy”. Udemy provides well-structured video lessons with helpful tips and tricks to try as you go.  

Our databases also have a Fine Arts and Music Collection, where you can read about any number of cool artistic ideas and histories. Kanopy is also a fun resource which is chock full of documentaries and tutorials.  



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