Before I switched to a Mac, there was a small, lightweight, little-known app called OpenCanvas that was my digital paint program of choice. As OpenCanvas is not Mac supported, my Mac forced me to learn Photoshop. I’m glad it did, as I grew to really love working with Photoshop. But, I always wondered about OpenCanvas. I remembered the program had a tactile quality to it that Photoshop never quite matched – Photoshop was developed as a photo manipulator that artists used to paint digitally, whereas OpenCanvas was developed from the start as a sketching and painting tool. It was coded specifically to utilize pressure-sensitive tablets.

The result is that OpenCanvas feels much more like drawing than Photoshop does, at least without custom brushes (the great thing about Photoshop is that you can customize it to perform the way you want).

After building my computer, though, I finally have the option of using OpenCanvas once again. So I headed over to and downloaded a free trial of OpenCanvas 4.5+, as well as the first version, OpenCanvas 1.1, which is the only freeware version (so you can still download it here) to play around with.

The program actually didn’t feel as comfortable as I remembered in either version (the version I actually used years ago was oC 2.x). I suppose I’ve just grown too used to Photoshop! But here’s a sketch from 4.5+:

I do like these plants very much….