freeware drawing/paint programme that allows complex fills

Paint on the Mac used to do this I vaguely remember, but I am trying to find something like this for the PC. Need a vector or bitmap paint/draw programme that will allow me to add shapes (circles, triangles etc), and then inside freehand draw complex lines (preferably not Bezier curves as they drive me nutty, but …). Then fill in the spaces drawn with the freehand lines with patterns colours. The problem comes about when the shapes to be filled are determined by combinations of different freehand lines.

Now for instance Serif Draw 4 is typical of the programs tried. It allows me to draw freehand lines, and will fill in closed freehand shapes determined by a single line. However, when the shape is defined by the intersections of two or more open freehand lines it doesnt do anything.

Now I can sort of get around this by drawing lots of single closed loops, but in practice that doesnt work as the single loops are hard to fit together well on the edges, and is ten times more work.
If anyone can decipher the above I would love to get an answer.

Have you tried the gimp?

I can’t visualise exactly what it is you’re after, but rather than filling a complex drawn shape, why not build the shape up from lots of vector pieces? Inkscape might be what you’re after.

Is there an image (someone else’s) you could link to to show us the sort of effect you’re attempting?

Effectively I was trying cel shading type pictures, where I defined the areas to be shaded by single lines. As to why I used lines rather than areas to define the fill area, it is because on a freehand drawing lines make sense. To use closed areas means that one has to fit draw each areas border exactly fitting into the other areas.
As an example use http://www.cartooncritters.com/drawwizardgirl.htm and the coloured in version on http://www.cartooncritters.com/learntodraw.htm . If I wanted to colour in her cuffs separate from her sleeve I would have to draw each closed shape (cuff, sleeve) and apply a fill. The problem comes if the edge of the cuff closed shape does not fit over or exactly the edge of the sleeve closed shape - you get a white unfilled area. Also one has to draw each shared edge twice. Much easier to draw one edge, and let the computer figure out the area of the cuff. I am pretty sure that photoshop can do this sort of thing in its sleep, but this is for a single project and not worth the expense.

The best so far is serif photoplus which I only just tried now- it does fills OK but poor at adding unfilled shapes defined by lines. Still can work around unless someone can suggest something better. Inkscape only fills closed areas.

The gimp looks promising from its documentation. Will download it and try

You could try Inkscape also: http://www.inkscape.org/

Just tried the Gimp. The fill command is fine and works well and the freehand pen commands are good. 90% there. All that is lacking is a simple object drawer (triangles squares, circles etc). As Gimp says in its documentation, it is designed as as an image manipulator, not a painting programme per say and so hasnt included them. There is a workaround using the selection tool, but a bit limited. It will do until something better comes up.
Thanks

Paint.net is the best so far. has a proper fill, as well as geometric shapes. Can be a little sluggish, but good for a free prog. www.getpaint.net/

Inkscape does shapes.

I’m still not sure if I’m understanding you correctly.

Inkscape will fill open hand-drawn lines too - I just did this on inkscape.

I tried doing that and it wouldnt let me, though thats probably just my stupidity. I just deleted inkscape too, so cant check how you did it. Thanks for the replies and help though

retrying inkscape (though a fine programme) made me realise why it was no good for the freehand type of sketching I want. Inkscape treats all lines as vector objects which is fine. However it means that to define an area to colour as defined by the intersection of several lines is not always straightforward. Eg. I think inkscape would struggle to colour in each area in this picture http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/emt668/EMT668.Folders.F97/Hondorf/Work/Write%20Up%207/Images%20for%207/image34.gif
whereas the bitmapped paintnet would do
it in seconds

Actually, it can be done - vector objects can be cut into pieces, each of which can then be assigned its own fill and stroke, but I confess, that might be a bit cumbersome.

What Inkscape can’t do (AFAIK) is take an imported bitmap and flood fill it.

But I’m still not quite sure how you would like the desired program to work - it sounds like you want it to completely flood-fill every nook and cranny of an irregular bitmap outline, but not leak out of openings in the outline. That’s easy to describe to a human, but how can a machine tell the difference between an opening and a nook that it should start filling?

you are right that leakages through a gap is a problem. One has got to be sure that every area is completely enclosed by a line. However, leaks are usually easily found and plugged.