Recommend a graphics progam to draw curves

I am trying to draw some images (backgrounds for web pages) which have curves on them. I am looking to draw some kind of S curve but when I try to freehand it with GIMP or MS Paint it comes out kind of crap and blocky. I have tried using the curved line feature on MS Paint, but I cannot get something which looks nice and smooth.

Are there any programs out there which will do this (and hopefully bot cost me an arm and a leg)? Alternatively is there a way to smooth out the curves I have drawn?

Adobe Illustrator is my favorite drawing program. I think you can also do curve drawings in Photoshop, though not as indepth with Illustrator. This might be a bit pricey for your particular application, though.


Yep, you’re looking for a graphics program that can do vectors. Photoshop can do basic vector drawing functions, and Illustrator is the best. But both will cost an arm and a leg.

What other programs do you have access to? Flash can do it, as can Freehand or Corel Draw. All are expensive.

Alternatively, you could use the circle marquee in GIMP or MSPaint, stroke it, and erase the parts you don’t need. Then do another circle marquee. Not the most elegant solution, but its free and it’ll work.

Vector graphics are absolutely the best thing for drawing curves. It would suprise me if there were not some free or demo vector graphics programs out there … not as fully functional as Illustrator or Photoshop, but still able to do what you want quite well.

I believe Illustrator and Photoshop both have 30 day trials. So go for the Illustrator trial, and then get all your work done in 30 days :slight_smile:

GIMP is a freeware (i think) graphics program that i have never used, so have no idea of its capabilities.

I can do it in AutoCAD (a drafting program) and export the file into a format you can use. You can then color the drawing however you would like in GIMP or MSPaint. Email is in the profile.

I can do it in AutoCAD (a drafting program) and export the file into a format you can use. You can then color the drawing however you would like in GIMP or MSPaint. My email is in the profile.

So, you want a powerful, versatile vector-graphics program that doesn’t cost like one? Say hi to Mickey for me while you’re wandering around Fantasyland.

Kidding. Don’t really mean to come across as snarky, but one really can’t expect professional quality anything without being willing to pay for it. And make no mistake - vectors shouldn’t be wrangled with by anyone other than a trained professional.

Besides, vector graphics programs aren’t as simple to create as pixel-coloring programs, which is why it’s hard to find open-source/freeware knock-offs of Illlustrator like GIMP is of Photoshop.

Which reminds me, have you ever worked with a “curve drawing” program before? Pushing pixels around isn’t near as tricky as manipulating Bezier handles - so whichever program you use, prepare yourself for a rather steep learning …uh, thingy.

Thank you for all the replies.

Madd Maxx, check your e-mail and thank you.

I cannot afford to buy an expensive program at the moment. The website design is more of a hobby than anything, although I am trying to desgin a website for my wife, who is setting up her own business at the moment.

I will look in to the free 30 day trials.

      • If you have an old PC, you can install Linux on it and use the (better) version of GIMP (the Linux version is better-tested) and Sketch (-now named Skencil), which is the OSS vector-drawing program.
        Sketch is the only program I have been told that approaches the sorts of things you can do in Illustrator. And this can work well for your situation, since all you want to export anyway is web graphics–these are going to be small file sizes, that you can get back and forth between the computers on a floppy disk. You won’t even need to cncern yourself with getting a CD-RW or other interchangeable media to work in Linux.

  • I still don’t think Linux is easy enough to use to replace Windows for a typical person–but if you install it on an older second PC, then for some things it can do very well. A BIG reason for using a second PC and not just dual-booting is that if you have problems getting Linux to work, then this way you can get online with your Windows PC and look for help. I’d advise a “full-install” distro like Fedora, something that installs a full “Windows-style” GUI.
  • This page is an interesting read, it lists equivalent/replacement software for Windows programs, on Linux:
    ~ will do what you want easily. And it’s free. MS recommends it as a replacement for MS Paint on your computer.

      • Does Paint.NET have vector graphics? I can’t find any indication that it does, and I don’t care to download and see for myself…