A Quick MyPaint Guide

MyPaint is a graphics program with a focus on streamlined user experience, making it easy for you to create sketches without clutter. But don’t be fooled — behind its simple interface lies many features that are great for all kinds of drawing.

First off, be sure to have your graphics tablet connected and ready to go. After you download MyPaint, open it up and you will see something like this:

A First Look at MyPaint

The first thing you will notice, besides its simple interface, is the unlimited canvas. Basically, it’s one very, very big sketchbook for you to draw as much as you want.

As a graphic designer, you only have to learn about the brush packages as well as some keyboard shortcuts, which will help speed up the sketching process. For customization, the 1.2.0 version allows you to edit your keyboard shortcuts under Edit > Preferences. For older versions: hover the cursor over the menu entry and click the shortcut you want to assign.

If you click on Brush List, you will see a few presets with different sets of brushes. Some of the brushes, such as pen and brush, are pretty standard; others, like calligraphy and kabura, definitely are for the more adventurous. Although there are many brushes, you will likely only need two — pencil and pen. Experiment with what’s available, and find one that works best for you.

Brushes in MyPaint

I’m only using the pen so far. In general, sketches in pen are more vivid and bold, which inspires confidence in my concepts. I also find that I have more control of my lines, allowing me to work more efficiently and effectively.

Now that you have your brushes and keyboard shortcuts set, feel free to try them out and bring your concepts to life.

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