Art Software Ledger
Last Updated: March 19th, 2015
This is basically the same thread as this one, except dedicated to art related software instead of animation for all you guys who are in the dark as to what your options are in regards to FREE and PAID art software. Feel free to suggest software to be added to the list, as I probably forgot quite a few, and also, feel free to ask any questions regarding the software, although I may not have all the answers. Still currently being updated.
Jeff's Disclaimer Shenanigans
This list may not be complete or up to date, please see the last updated date above in case you're visiting this from the future and wish to know how fresh this information is. StickPage does not officially endorse any of the software listed, nor have we spent an extensive amount of time with each software. The links provided here were safe at the time they were added to the list, but please exercise caution while downloading software as the content of these links may have changed since they were added. Use at your own risk.
[WIN] - Windows Compatible
[OSX] - OS X Compatible
[NIX] - Linux Compatible
GIMP - [WIN]
Note: The learning curve is much higher than some of the other free software, but it's probably the best out of them in my opinion, although the layout is kinda cumbersome.
MyPaint - [WIN]
Note: The fullscreen mode this has is really immersive, although I would mostly peg this one as a sketching program more than an actual full scale art thing. It has a good variety of brushes, but be wary of making too many strokes in a row because it has the tendency to regard them all as one stroke when you undo.
Krita - [WIN]
Note: good for a lot of things. With it's simple layout and in depth brush, color, blending and filter options, it's really a powerhouse of a program right up there with gimp.
Inkscape - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Note: With the object creation and nodes thing, Inkscape can be a bit more one the confusing side, and it's layout isn't exactly 100% user friendly, but a good program all the same.
Hexels - [WIN] [OSX]
Note: Pixel, or rather, hexel based software, you can do some pretty nice stuff with this, if pixel like things are what you're into.
Pyxel Edit - [WIN] [OSX]
Note: Free, simple, elegant pixelling software that can also make Spritesheets.
Ogmo Editor - [WIN]
Note: Free 2-D Level Designer that integrates with Flash or software that uses XML files.
Graphics Gale - [WIN]
Audacity - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Note: Mostly a music editing software admittedly, it can also be used to produce. Pretty simple, and there are a wealth of tutorials.
Cecilia - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Hydrogen - [OSX] [NIX]
Mixxx - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Bfxr - [WIN] [OSX]
Note: A nifty little free thing that lets you create Sound-Effects.
PxTone - [WIN] [OSX]
Note: Very old but popular (at least in Japan) freeware that lets you create chiptunes. Comes with a manual and Youtube has videos about em. Created by Pixel, the guy behind Cave Story.
LMSS - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
No Excuse List!
Engine001 - [WIN] [OSX] [ANDROID]
Note: Yet another drag and drop software
Stencyl - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Download (has a free version and paid versions): http://www.stencyl.com/pricing/
Note: Drag-N-Drop game maker with minor bits of code. For those who wanna get into how coding works without having to code majorly.
Sketch Nation Studio - [IOS] [ANDROID]
Web Version: http://sketchnationapp.com/
Note: Free platform that allows one to "sketch" games and import them to mobile devices.
Inform 7 - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Download (free): http://inform7.com/download/
Note: Free maker of Interactive Fiction that uses Programming Language based on the English language. Installer comes with its own manual, cookbook, and has a community that while small is very helpful.
Ren'Py - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX] [ANDROID]
Download (free): http://www.renpy.org/latest.html
Note: Ever wonder how those Phoenix Write fangames get made? Ren'Py is an open-source platform that lets you create Visual Novels using Python, the easiest programming language (at least the most basic) in the world.
BLABA (Brian Lunduke's Awesome Blocks of Awesome) - [WIN]
Note: An old but maybe worth to tinker, no-coding freeware that makes games based on a drag-block engine.
Scratch - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Note: Yet another free online game maker used to teach people programming concepts in preparation for actually programming games.
Inklewriter - [WIN] [OSX]
Note: Like Twine, a platform that allows you to write Interactive Novels without the need to know how to code.
ImpactJS - [WIN]
Note: Free library that allows one to create HTML5 games.
ZGameEditor - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX] [ANDROID]
Note: Free open-source software that lets you create procedurally-generated games.
CraftStudio - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX]
Note: A collaborative, voxel-based, game maker that let's you make Minecraft-style games (graphically). The paid version offers more room for customization and scripting.
PaintToolSai - [WIN]
Note: Really easy to learn, with a vast library of brushes, even more that you can buy online, along with a plethora of free user created textures and brushes available to everyone. Very user friendly interface with very straightforward descriptions, it's probably my favorite of the paid programs when it comes to classic old school digital painting.
Photoshop - [WIN] [OSX] [NIX(?)]
Note: Really good software, although it is designed for photo editing so prepare to not know what you're doing at all at first. Although that isn't that much of an issue as there are tons of tutorials online, and once you do get the hang of it, you can go miles and beyond what you can achieve with sai (in theory) since PS has more advanced capabilities.
MangaStudio - [WIN] [OSX]
Purchase2: http://my.smithmicro.com/manga-studio-5.html (SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER)
Note: also a really good software, with a variety of true to life manga pens, tools, borders and stuff if that's what you're into. Really easy to figure out as well.
Illustrator - [WIN] [OSX]
Note: Probably the best program in terms of graphic or web design, it's main functionalities lie in vectoring, patterning, logo making and other things of that sort, less so painting or sketching
Corel Painter - [WIN] [OSX]
Note: basically photoshop, except that it's more confusing and probably less effective. I haven't used it in a long while though, so don't take my word on that, they came out with a lot of versions since then and it could very well be on the same level as any other program now, but when I used it it was cumbersome
FLStudio - [WIN]
Note: Great for pretty much any kind of music production
Ableton - [WIN]
Note: Equally great for any kind of music production, although a bit harder to get a firm grasp on due to it's convoluted layout
All - [N/A]