Growing up, anytime I ever had to make any kind of illustration - be it for a comic, a school project, a video game, anything - I always used Macromedia Flash Studio 8, since it had such a robust set of drawing tools that were designed for the mouse (as opposed to stylus).

Some features included:

  • Tools for making simple shapes (line, circle, square, etc)
  • Free draw non-vector pencil tool and eraser
  • A thicker "paint" tool for broad strokes
  • An optional grid for "snapping" lines and objects in place
  • Paint fill
  • Selection copy/paste tools
  • Layers
  • The ability to group and break apart elements
  • The ability to easily select, move, rotate and scale drawn items
  • The ability to select and change the properties of lines, fills, or groups
  • The ability to alter elements transparency, brightness, tint, etc.

Easy layout and all the tools I need

Now if this all sounds standard, that's because you'd think it would be. However in the past 8 years since I stopped using Flash (the newer versions are alien to me), I have never found a mouse-oriented drawing program for OSX that is both relatively easy to use and also has all of those features included.

I must have tried at least a dozen of them by this point, including Paint 2, Pixelator, Illustrator, Photoshop, Seashore, and more. In every case, there were either some features missing from the list above, or it was terribly buggy, or the interface was bad. The closest so far I think is Sumo Paint, but even that isn't as easy to use as Flash 8 was.

At my new job creating illustrations and graphics is essential, and I'm sure there are WAY better programs out there than an out-of-date version of Flash Studio. And I would really, really appreciate any recommendations.

Thank you so much for your time.

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