The capabilities that are built in to Mac graphic design tools these days are nothing short of a revolutionary change. Photoshop sells a limited version for less than $100. The nearly as capable Pixelmator is less than $15.
If your budget won’t stretch that far, but the $5 graphic design apps that resemble MacPaint more than Pixelmator just don’t do it for you, then you might be impressed by what you can get for the price of lunch.
The Graphic Painter Starter App
If I were asked to recommend a starter app for anyone interested in learning digital graphic design tools, this would be a close second, though it’s actually easier than Pixelmator.
Paint X is a drawing, painting, design app that steps a level above the free and $5 MacPaint-like apps.
It features more tools, more options, more ready-made shapes, more paintbrushes, and, therefore, is capable of creating more professional results.
The charcoal user interface is more reminiscent of Pixelmator, too, though Paint X avoids the multiple floating palettes which clutter up a screen.
All the tools you need are nicely arranged across the top Toolbar, above the image.
The claim to fame for Paint X, other than the attractive price tag, are the paintbrushes and tools.
The standard tools apply here, too– pencil, eraser, airbrush, text, color picker, rectangle selection, free form selection.
There’s also a healthy list of ready to use shapes to drop in, each editable.
Did I mention anything about paint brushes?
Paint X comes with more brushes than you’d expect for the price. Over 150 different brush types.
These include custom brushes like DNA, Calligraphy, Ink, Blur, and many others. Two dozen shapes also round out the options– Star, Heart, Cloud, Smile, Line, Curve, Oval, and more.
The brushes can be tuned to emulate watercolor, calligraphy, crayon, and various others.
The basic functions are also standardized– flip images vertically or horizontally, rotate or resize, crop, and drop in colors to strokes or fill areas with a click. Undos don’t appear to be limited (perhaps by the amount of memory on your Mac).
Is Paint X a good value? Yes. But it’s priced a mere $5 less than the more accomplished and professional Pixelmator. It’s a good choice to start out learning graphic design, and you won’t be out much money if you need to graduate soon to more capable Mac apps.