Paintbrush – A Simple Drawing App For Mac

drawing app macWhen it comes to drawing applications, more fully-featured doesn’t always mean better. Some people prefer simplicity to create quick drawings over the steep learning curves of the giant drawing apps. One of the most popular simple-but-quick drawing applications is Microsoft Paint. This application might be the number one choice of such software under Windows for not so graphic literate people.

I used MS Paint a lot. Even though I’ve moved to more “capable” alternatives under Mac, I still miss the bare-bones simplicity of the good ol’ MS Paint every once in a while. That’s why I was excited to find out that there’s a similar drawing app for Mac called Paintbrush.

Quick Doodling

Paintbrush is a free open-source application which was built to fill the needs of a simple drawing app after Apple dropped its MacPaint. But don’t let the word “simple” fool you. Paintbrush is a very capable drawing app. To get a better picture (pun intended), let’s see the application in action.

After downloading and installing it, the first thing that Paintbrush will show you when you open it is the canvas size setting. You can choose one of the preset sizes from the drop down list, or you can set your own preferred size.

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You might notice some familiarity in the number combinations of the presets because they are the common pixel settings of a computer monitor.

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Continuing on to the drawing canvas, I personally think that the interface couldn’t be any simpler. There are only two things visible: the blank canvas and the tools floating pane.

To start drawing, just pick a tool and begin doodling. You can do free drawing by using a brush and spray, or you can pick a more precise tool like line, curve line, rectangular, ellipse, or rounded rectangular.

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Choosing one of the shapes will give you more drawing options. You can choose among empty shapes and two kinds of color filled shape.

You can also adjust how bold the tip of the brush/spray is by moving the stroke slider, and change the line color by clicking at the color picker.

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You can zoom in to get more precision in your drawing. Aside from the magnifying glass, you can also adjust the zoom using zoom level chooser at the lower left of the screen.

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I tried to do a quick doodle using Paintbrush, and here’s the result.

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Beyond Drawing

Besides drawing, the app is also able to do other basic image editing such as resizing, adding text, and also flipping.

To open an external image, use the “File – Open” menu and browse to the location of the file.

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While resizing the image can be done using the “Image – Image Size” menu.

04b Image Size.jpg

Add text to the image by clicking on the “Add Text” icon in the tools pane, write down the text on the text field and adjust the Font using the Font menu.

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Paintbrush is indeed simple and might not be enough for those who are used to more heavy graphics applications. But for everyday Mac users who only want to doodle, this app is a solid alternative.

Have you tried Paintbrush? Do you know any other alternatives to light drawing apps for Mac like this one? If so, share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.

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