Software is expensive, and as a freelance graphic designer, the latest version of the big name software might be a little out of reach at times. So, I present you with a real – and FREE – alternative to some of the really expensive stuff.

ArtRage 2.5 is a really cool program. Very natural, nice tools, pressure sensitive if you have a tablet, and it works on all platforms. And it runs smoothly without a ton of ram or the latest processor. Works on laptops and little machines. Sweet! Free!

Well – the started edition is free. The full version is $25. But the starter edition is really pretty stinking cool. It’s not Photoshop – but then again, what is? It’s got lots of tools and feels pretty natural. If you’re into painting and illustration (like I am) you’ll appreciate the ability to be fluid. I think I’m going to pony up and get the full version – just to have a little bit of fun. It’s cheaper than canvas.

Again – you can download it by clicking here.

As a freelance graphic designer, you can never have too many tools (especially free ones) and it can really be cathartic to push a little bit of paint around. It’s much more fun than pixels. Although I guess this is pixels. Praising painting while complaining about pixels while painting with pixels…

Man, now I’m confused.

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