Paint program in a Mac?

Just visited a friend who had a really bad fall at home and got a serious injury to her leg. She will confinded to a nursing home for several weeks. She is an artist, and when we visited her today, she was lamenting the inability to stand at an easel and do any painting.

She does have a new iMac, but can’t do much more than browse the internet and use email so far.

I’m a long-time PC user (sorry guys), so took her laptop to try to figure out how to use it, and see if there was a painting program similar to MS’s Paint. I found out how to search, but no result for “Paint” or “Painting program.”

I pretty quickly learned now to navigate through the menus, and eventually came across “Adobe Illustrator” which seems to be what she could use to do some artwork, but we had to leave before I could figure it out. The first thing on the menu was a tutorial, so suggested she go through that.

Is there other painting-type program standard on Mac laptops, or is the above the best bet? I’ve always understood they are excellent for this sort of thing, so would guess there would be something better than Adobe. Or am I showing my bias? :slight_smile:

Look here:

I have Gimp, as well as EazyDraw and the NeoOffice suite, but I don’t do art, so…

In the Adobe suite, Photoshop is more of a “paint” program than Illustrator is. They’re both very powerful apps for professional creative work. I use them and like them, but they probably wouldn’t be my first choice to give a novice who is mostly looking to just create art for fun.

I personally think GIMP is pretty terrible, but it’s free so there’s no harm in trying it. Lots of people use it.

If she can shell out $99, get her a Wacom Bamboo.

Pardon the somewhat off-topic post, but it sounds like she would like to do some real painting if she could. Small, wooden table-top easels can be had for $10 - $15 at most hobby and art stores and they can handle canvasses up to 11X14 or so. Could she perhaps put one of these on a table in a rec room or side table in her own room and then paint like she normally would?

I’ve used a billion Mac paint programs. By far, my favorite (excepting Photoshop, and I’m guessing you don’t want to spend $800) is Pixelmator ( Its $50, does almost everything Photoshop does, and its fast and slick.

GIMP is nearly up to Photoshop standards – EXCEPT the Mac version continues to be slow and tedious (as it requires the X11 environment to run). Dammit, GIMP, come out with a native Cocoa version!

So, yeah. Pixelmator, $50. I do a lot of professional art, and (ahem, appeal to authority) this gets my vote.

To followup: Adobe Illustrator is a vector-drawing (or “illustration”) program. That is, its used primarily for doing print graphics and logos and such. While its a great application, its very different from “painting”.

I also second the Wacom Bamboo; I’ve got one myself ($70), and its a fantastic little pad. It also comes with (a lite version of) Painter, which is a program that simulates “natural media”. If your friend wants to “paint” on the computer, get the Bamboo tablet.

That’s good to know. I’ve been looking at this program since I can’t upgrade Photoshop 7, and it wont work on Intel machines. I really never liked Photoshop anyway. My favorite was ColorIt!, but that’s not designed for Intel processors either.

If she’s an artist, I’m surprised she doesn’t already have computer graphic experience.

Be that as it may . . . here’s another vote for the Wacom Bamboo. It comes with Photoshop Elements, which should get her started in several possible directions.