Found two cool illustration applications off Snap2Objects’ Best 45 Design Software (don’t we all love lists of goodies?).
I recommend Inkscape and SmoothDraw NX mainly for their simple and intuitive interface which are less intimidating to casual doodlers like me and more importantly, fun to experiment and play with
Inkscape is an open source vector graphics drawing application. While I can’t tell you how well it fares against commercial offerings like Adbobe Illustrator and Freehand or CorelDraw, I can definitely tell you that the Calligraphic Brush rocks!
Above is a quick doodle of my lovely wife using just the Calligraphic Brush (mainly because that’s the only tool I know how to use )
SmoothDraw NX by Li Qingrui is more of a freehand drawing application. The configurable ink flow for each brush allows you to produce interesting brush strokes from dreamy watercolours to bold felt pens. I especially like the image hose which essentially allows you to use any suitable image as a custom brush which opens up a lot of fun possibilities. Some of the effects like Dodge and Burn are applied with brush strokes which really adds to the drawing feel.
Another of my crappy stuff done in SmoothDraw NX, playing with the Watercolour and Just Add Water brushes.
For a more representative feel of what you can actually accomplish with SmoothDraw NX with real skills, take a look at the image in the About Box above
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