Usefulness of MyPaint

It’s been quite a while since I dropped in on this site. I tried using the MyPaint program for a while, but it was more of a an impediment than a useful tool, I have tried several programs of this type. MyPaint is a very good program. My idea was to use the program to test colouring, textures, etc. on studies for paintings. It turned out that I was spending more time and attention on operating the program than working on the art.

The problem is similar to my experience in architectural design. I started when computer design programs were rare. Everything was done by hand on a board (hence the name “board work”). Now there are CAD operators rather than designer draftsmen.

I guess I am old. I am very proficient with Architectural Desktop, Autocad etc. But I prefer board work, I also got paid a great deal more for my design work than the computer designers.

I guess this will be my final post. If anyone wishes to discuss this; I would be pleased to exchange opinions and ideas,

Best Wishes,

Fred Brawner LBA, BFA, MS ad nauseum…


Hummmm I use my paint for similar purposes as you do. (See my online blog gallery on

I would say for drawing and sketching, not really many programs does it better than mypaint and also are as lightweight. I’d say it’s enough to do that is set out to do. Just a really pure painting/drawing program largely. Would love to see more of your works and exchange art ideas and stuff.

1 Like

When a program gets really popular it becomes convention… people get so used to its workflow that they begin to expect similar applications to, maybe not work exactly the same, but similar enough that they can figure them out with little effort.

This becomes a problem when new programs comes along with their own ideas on how to go about doing things. Many users feel that they have to fight the program instead of working with it.

The good thing about going a new way when designing a program is that innovate and maybe find better ways of doing things. But to ignore most complaints from users isn’t good either. This is where I feel MyPaint lost its traction. People loved its brush engine and the infinite canvas, but there was no end of complaints about the lack of selection tools. None of the developers were interested in implementing selection tools, maybe to stick with the original idea behind MyPaint; to simulate drawing on paper. When you draw on paper you can’t select, resize or move things about. You erase them and draw them again.
Eventually people got fed up with having to jump to another application to move and resize and did all their work in those applications. With the declining user base developers saw little point in spending their time on the program. So here we are.

MyPaint isn’t alone in having this problem. Blender was experiencing the same thing, but was able to adjust enough toward the convention of 3D programs to appease new users and is now fairly successful. It was to the detriment of old users like me who liked how it worked before, but they are now on a solid middle ground.

I’m currently having to adjust to Fusion 360, which feels really upside-down to everything I learned in SolidWorks. No mate operations! Why do they have to make everything so ****** difficult?? :wink:

1 Like

** :wink:

1 Like

LMAO Thanks, have no idea why, must be my mobile keyboard

Yeah, those are awful.

1 Like

Yeah, I would agree, its unfortunate. Funny thing is that the easy navigation and sleekness of the interface kept me in mypaint for almost a decade. I made a whole comic using it. Its such a fantastic inking tool too for those reasons, like inking on paper. But really the break in compatibility for me has everything to do with what I don’t see. Tying everything down to wacom at this point is a mistake, and honestly downright lazy. They can say, “well why don’t you do it” all they want.

But I really don’t care anymore. Krita exists, and has had really decent HUION support for years. The Chinese display tablet market has really matured in the past five years. Now to the point wacom can’t compete with these new 4k color accurate monitors they are producing. But you buy a HUION tablet from three years ago, be lucky if your pen pressure works. Never mind your side buttons. Forget newer tablets. I hobbled my work for years by buying a second hand wacom 12inch wx until it broke down.

And I’d rather buy somthing with a warranty then aging wacom hardware thats now becoming as rare as hens teeth. Its a sad state that i’ve seen marred by smugness, “device logs pwease!” nonsense forever. People who can afford brand new Wacoms probably use adobe, or now more increasingly procreate. I on the other hand have shifted towards using krita completely. Mypaint unfortunately has died in my arms.

1 Like

I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m doing the best I can to keep MyPaint’s infrastructure up. I’m just a simple sysadmin/networking guy who step in when stuff started to fall apart the first time around. We just need contributors, and people helping me squash and diagnose bugs. There’s more to maintaining a project than just hosting code. Programing has never been my forte and probably never will, unless something in my life changes and I have more time to do so.

I’m glad Krita is around too cause they were able to get the contributors and the funding to maintain, pay developers and have their framework with Drawing tablets. We’re at the mercy of GTK/GDK since we just grab the device info from there which grabs the info from libwacom or libinput. I’m all ears with how to solve this and hopefully someone can pick up the work and do it. Even I’m still waiting on getting the selection tools into MyPaint as well. A lot of the code from the bucket tool can be used and just need to be creative with it.

At the end of the day, Wacom tablets were the first devices that gotten support and will always get the support since they just work. Plus if they have an issue, there are ways to work around them and get it working again. I agree Wacom devices are expensive and even I had to go second hand on all my devices over the years. I want to be able to support other tablets, but my knowledge on how they work is limited and I’m doing what I can to help.

So I’m not being lazy or being smug about it. I’m just being real with what I have to work with and it’s not a lot.


Hello Boggy_Splowdee,

I haven’t bought any new hardware in twenty or thirty years. The first computer I bought was a 16K Emerson with a large NEC monitor. That cost me about $1,500. I spent another $500 on a new HP plotter that the owner couldn’t figure out how to set up. I recouped the 2 grand and several more in a little over a week. A contractor was building a dry dock. I worked 18 to 20 hours a day and finished up enough steel detail drawings for him to get his crews back on the job and avoid paying liquidated damages.

I get used computers free or for a few dollars. It’s a challenge to fix machines that have been abandoned as unfixable. I select machines that I can repair for a specific use. I won’t spend 2 or 3 thousand dollars a year to update software that requires a new computer and operating system. I’ve used equipment and programming for cutting edge engineering and scientific research (like SUN systems); but, that is in a government, aerospace or advanced lab environment. Few individuals can dish out millions for personal use. I did buy a huge mainframe system at an auction one time. I could barely use my house. When I fired it up it would knock out telephone operations for about a quarter mile circle around my house. I had to get rid of it.

I bought a 10"x16" tablet for 50 cents a garage sale. I got it working, but it needs a special type of stylus that cost more than the pad is worth to me. It was made for a math or engineering teacher to use with a large overhead monitor. I’ll find a schematic for it and see if it can be re-engineered. Another toy.

I draw or paint for a few hours every night before I go to sleep. I’ve been doing it for fifty years. I am experimenting with solid graphite pencils on vellum, polyvel and other drafting paper. I guess I’ll have to find my install disk for MyPaint and load it up. I’ll probably put it on the CPU with XP & SP3…

Good Night and Best Wishes,


1 Like

A big thank you for all that you do, Odyssey!


Just popping in here to say thanks for maintaining. I usually turn to Krita for raster drawing but I check in on MyPaint and other apps occasionally and I think I might have a use for MyPaint right now as the “distraction-free” sketchbook. The tools are nicely thought out and I feel like they work better than in Krita even though the brush engine is the same. Maybe it’s the stabilizer, or the defaults. There’s some polish to this app that can’t be overlooked.

Like everyone else, I miss selection and transforms, but I rely a lot on tracing to “finish” drawings, so it’s something that I mostly use at the beginning to composite references together and get them in proportion. So most of what I need out of selection can be done with import/export, basically building up an art board with a stew of raw material and then taking it elsewhere to fix. My goals for finished images are to author in SVG, so I always end up exporting to Inkscape. But Inkscape, while good for tracing and actually one of the most powerful tools for selection-based edits(since it can use the vector data to do precise boolean operations, clean rotation and scaling, etc.), isn’t fast or robust enough in its drawing tools to be good for complicated sketches so I have to do things in phases anyway.


I use MyPaint for painting, and it’s a great piece of software. I’ve been using it since version 0.4, so I can speak from experience when I say that it has come a long way since then. It’s still not as feature-rich as Krita or Gimp+, but its simplicity is one of its major selling points.

One thing that I like about MyPaint is how easy it is to use. There are no layers, but you often don’t need them anyway because you can easily copy and paste parts of your painting around to create variations on a theme. This also makes creating collages very easy — just select some areas, cut them out and paste them back in again somewhere else!

1 Like

I have been using mypaint ever since I learned to digital paint. Very simple and versatile program yet would allow you to focus mainly on painting, not editing. It doesn’t have stuff like selections and liquify etc, which makes you practice more about your actual drawing skills

mypaint is very useful, for me the simple interface is a plus, sort-of don’t want a bloated interface, at all . . mypaint has that simplicity, that makes it useful for beginners, while having enough quality, to do most things . . . It’s maybe a working - man’s drawing almost " suite ", of all the drawing programs, I feel most comfortable in mypaint, for stuff like illustration, quality concepts, etc . .

The big draw-back that I see, is that the other programs have these advanced brushes, that sort-of look really good, example, Krita’s new water-color brushes . . I can understand in the past, those experimental brushes in other programs were simply not worth adding, for instance those early water-color brushes, just didn’t look good anyway, despite being advanced, mypaint has a series of simple brushes, that sort-of does a good, basic job, however not the bell’s and whistles . . Normally, I’d say don’t, or never add junk, that’s where my paint is really cool, it’s simple, also more user-friendly bec. of it . . What I’d say is, some of the newest brushes, in other programs, actually work REALLY well, some of the pencil brushes look like a very real, classic hand-drawing, Krita’s water-color brushes look well not sure, like real, actual water-color . .

That’s where I’d like mypaint to look at some of the BEST brushes, pencil, line-art, water-color, etc from other programs, and, sort-of get those, however only if the RESULTS are good, it’s possible to make it in an efficient way, and, it’s simple to use the brushes, also, it’s sort-of worth adding, over the normal, perhaps slightly simple brushes, in mypaint . . .

Overall, mypaint does everything, the problem I have is, a few of the advancements in other programs, esp. the very best brushes these days, that a few years ago used to suck, are for some reason so good, that they might be worth adding, ie. they mimic traditional, or other real-world art so well, it’s finally worth adding, to a solid paint - program, or so . . .

For instance, having a brush with a texture, that based on a random number, and, what pixel one happens to hit, applies an off-set, so it never looks the same . . Really think the brushes in other programs are so good, for certain types, it’s worth thinking about adding that, to mypaint, I’m talking something as good, or almost as good as Krita’s water-color etc . .

NEW Brushes for Watercolor. EXPLAINED! - YouTube

I like everything about mypaint, esp. the simplicity, I do feel the brush engine could be more modern, and, if the purpose was to add simply amazing quality brushes, that mimic traditional, or classic types of media, coal - brushes, that simply look, like from a real sketch, in amazing detail, that’s what I’m missing, while it being also simple to use them, click, few settings, sliders, it just works . .

mypaint is stuck a little bit in the past, the problem is those experimental brushes in other programs used to suck, even just a few years ago, were not worth adding, things have happened in last 1 - 2 years, where some of that stuff, is getting really, really good, line-art, pencil, water-color, or oil-paint . . It’s starting to be a ‘down-side’ for mypaint, not to have that, not sure . . . However, what way to add that, and, if it’s remotely fun, or, even useful, or relevant for a program that offers sleek, cool simplicity almost as a feature, not sure, so on . . .

Also, somebody has to actually want to code that, the question is what it specifically is, that makes a few of the brushes in other programs, just look like the ’ real ’ stuff, and, if there’s a simple, clean way of coding that, etc etc

I think in a way, mypaint’s strength is that it DOESN’T try to be photoshop, that I simply can’t use, and, it’s quite similar to very basic, simple, fast programs, like MS Paint, very simple stuff, sort-of function, over feature, and quality, over (photoshop) fluff . . That’s why I use mypaint, consider it the sort-of best program, for serious art . .

What I’m missing is an update to the brush engine, that makes it easier to get pro - results, while keeping it simple, sort-of MS Paint, running on a plutonium engine, or, nuclear reactor, etc etc

Overall, I’d say keep mypaint’s strengths, perhaps make them even better, and, fix a few of the weaknesses, or lacking features, that keep it in the past, that’s about it . . .

And, if the decision is to make it like photoshop, over losing that cool simplicity, easy-to-use then, I’d say it’s not a good feature, or, Adobe ’ fluff ’ . . .

1 Like

the best program for digital painting.brushes allow you to work with natural forms, achieve the desired fractality.achieve the right tonality.I hope to work in this program.thanks everyone



I finally got an older version of MyPaint to work on my computer. I like your painting. After I get familiar with the program again, I’ll try to make something with it. If I can make anything presentable I’ll post it.

Best Regards,



I wish you inspiration

1 Like

Cheers man! Go create something! XD

1 Like

Thank you for your work! I wish more people that interacted with open source software understood that they’re yelling at other community members about things they’re unwilling to do themselves when they act like this. If they aren’t willing to pitch in then words like “lazy” are just a hypocritical insult to anyone who’s actually been a part of the community for any length of time. It was very kind of you to handle it the way you did.

1 Like