I want to encourage the creativity of my little niece. Therefore I'm trying to find a graphic tool that allows here to either digitalize her own images as well as create something new.

I've been using Photoshop for some time. That's moneywise and due to complexity out of the question.

These are my general requirements:

  • MacOS compatible
  • Open-Source
  • Easy to use for an 14 year old girl
  • Good tutorials (important)
  • Some not every advanced features to add some cool filters and effects etc.

I'm also using GIMP which could be enough. Still are there any easier alternatives?


2 Answers 2


Besides GIMP, which you already mentioned that is generally the go-to alternative for Photoshop, there is also Krita.

While it is a fully capable general purpose image editing application it's main focus is on digital painting, with realistic brushes and tablet input devices. It also includes capable 2D animation features and 2D vector graphics editing tools.

There is also Pinta which is a far smaller and lightweight application, if you require something simpler with a lower entry barrier.

MyPaint is also more geared toward painting with basic image editing capabilities.

  • 2
    probably LazPaint (similar to Pinta & MyPaint) may also be interesting. Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 10:39
  • @Duarte Farrajota Ramos I checked them both out. Krita looks advanced and still simple enough on first glance. Pinta is too basic to create something "beautiful" with it :D
    – Dr4gon
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 16:03

In the past, as substitutes for Photoshop & Lightroom, I've used:

  1. GIMP
  2. ImageMagick

And as an Illustrator substitute:

  1. Inkscape

The reality is, they all pale in comparison to their commerical counterparts. But they can still be quite useful. Also, ImageMagick can be scripted, which is nice.

I should add; the GUIs aren't attractive. They're decidedly unintuitive in terms of operation and have little to no aesthetic appeal. How important is that you find an open-source solution? If the real priority is in appealing to a 14 year old girl, without submitting to an exorbitant Adobe subscription, your best bet might be to browse the official App Store for a moderately priced commercial application.

Somebody just recommended to me: Affinity Photo & Affinity Designer by Serif. I've not yet tried either, but they look impressive and have tutorials & workbooks available. Looks like they're also available for tablets. They're not free or open-source, but they seem appropriate to your situation.

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