These days, with all of the distractions of television, video games and computers, it isn't always easy to inspire children to exercise their creativity.
Thankfully, there is a very functional and fun free paint program called Tux Paint
that lets kids (of all ages) have a lot of fun creating all sorts of paintings and pictures on the computer.
Most freeware paint programs that are available today are not usually full of many useful features. Many are created just to allow picture editing, or others are made for young children to draw very basic pictures using lines and shapes, but not much else.
Tux Paint goes above and beyond with a free paint program that not only lets you draw shapes and freestyle images in a variety of colors, but it also comes with features, premade images and all sorts of special effects that most other programs lack.
Setting up Tux Paint
When you first install and run Tux Paint, you'll initially see the configuration area, where there are several taps that let you completely customize how the paint program runs, prints and operates. On the Video and sound tab, you can change the size of the main screen (you can even make it full-screen if you want), you can use an alternative color palette, and you can even enable sound effects. If young kids are using the software, it's definitely a good idea to leave the sound effects turned on.
Mouse and Keyboard Settings
On the next tab, you can enable whether you want the mouse to turn into "fancy cursor shapes", enable quick keyboard shortcuts for certain features, or you can configure how the mouse operates while you're using the software. Each of these settings let you make the software more suitable for children or for adults, depending on who is using the paint program most often.
Another example of how the software can be customized to suit the needs of younger children, the simplification tab is where you can make the software simpler. Here you can disable extra features that can be confusing for young kids, like shape rotation, complex stamp outlines, and all of the extra and more advanced controls that the software provides.
Languages and other Features
In the other tabs, you'll find a wide assortment of other features that are available to make the software more suitable for whoever is using in. For example, you can choose from a long list of languages - a feature that few free paint programs offer.
Time to Paint!
It is easy to see who this software is intended for when you first launch the program. You'll see an adorable penguin (the Linux mascot of course), and at the top of the screen you'll see "Tux 4 Kids". Obviously the software is intended to be fun for kids and adults alike.
The Painting Space
Once the program launches, it quickly becomes apparent just how simple it is to use this software. However, the simplicity isn't a feature tradeoff.
On the left side of the drawing screen, you'll find all of the different tools that are available to make your artistic creation. These include lines, freestyle painting brush, a stamp of different premade shapes, standard shapes, an eraser and more. On the right side you'll find all of the settings for whichever tool you choose to use, such as the thickness of the brush or the shape of the stamp.
Everything at Your Fingertips
Using Tux Paint becomes so easy that you'll find there's virtually no learning curve. Just select your tool on the left, the color you want to use at the bottom, and then the settings on the right. Quickly draw lines, shapes, and other images using brushes and stamps of all sorts.
Lots of Choices
The other impressive feature of this free software is the fact that there are so many tool types available - the creators of this software did not hold anything back.
Brushes for drawing don't only include standard lines or shapes - you've got options like flowers, cats, wide or narrow brushes with fading, or interesting thatchwork that can create different effects like natural grass or an interesting background effect.
Go Wild With Magic!
If you really want to have some fun, click on the magic button and start using all of the different special effects buttons that are programmed there. You'll find a calligraphy feature, cartoon balloons, drip and edge effects and all sorts of other fun drawing tools that will enhance your ability to express your creativity.
Drawing and painting is something that both kids and adults love to do. Sometimes it can be fun to just sit back and doodle or create pictures, and Tux Paint brings that fun from the paper to the computer. It's great for either the home or the classroom.
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