I hope this time my post won't be hacked/misplaced as it did two times before :-(.
I use GIMP. I find it to be a very good and capable program for many tasks. When people complain about it saying that its user interface is very hard to learn, I know from my experience that it's not true (well..., almost). And I will tell you why. Most of the people having difficulties learning GIMP's GUI (which got a major improvement with version 2.8) are Photoshop users. And they have these difficulties because when they come to GIMP they expect to find another Photoshop. They get so frustrated when things that they could do in seconds with Photoshop takes them minutes or hours in GIMP. BUT. They tend to forget that when they first started to use Photoshop they had the same feelings and faced the same difficulties. They tend to forget how many books and tutorials they've read about how to use Photoshop and how many hours they've spent trying to learn about all the tools and how to use them. Both Photoshop and GIMP are very complex programs and it is natural to require from the user to spent a certain amount of time learning them in order to be productive with them. In my opinion GIMP is no more difficult to learn than Photoshop, or any other similar program, is. It just does things different in order to achieve the same result.
I also see another pattern in people that are new to digital painting. They think that they have to find that one
magic program that will cover every artistic need they could possibly have. They also tend to attach great importance to what other people use or say. Here is how I look at this. I don't limit my self to only one program thinking that...: “Other people say X program is the best. So I MUST do everything with it”
. If I find that another program can do the effect I am after better and/or faster than the one I am currently using then I go and use that one. Think about it like this: Replace in your mind the word Program
with the word Brush
. If you wanted to paint a certain detail and you knew that there is a Brush
out there that is designed especially for this job, wouldn't you rather go and get that Brush
instead of torturing your self trying to achieve your goal with Brushes
that do less better job? It is commonplace among professional digital artists to use more than one program in their pipeline. No Program can do everything.
Also there are other factors to consider, like cost. Most people are intimidated by GIMP's user interface. I am more terrified by Photoshop's price (849€ last time I checked)! For an amateur artist, that makes little to no money, a price like that makes it unreachable.
Having said all that, I mostly tend to use only GIMP (with Gimp Paint Studio) simply because GIMP completely covers my needs and more. Here are two paintings that I did using only GIMP and GPS:
If you think that what you see in my paintings cover your artistic needs, then GIMP is a great program to choose. If not, then there is nothing wrong to use another one that does cover your needs.
P.S. For anyone interested in learning how to use GIMP there is also a free online book called “Grokking the GIMP”. It is written for older versions but many things still apply (with or without some changes). You can find it here:http://gimp-savvy.com/BOOK/index.html