Graphics for OSX

Just recently I’ve been wanting to do some basic graphics stuff in OSX, copy & paste some bits of image, paint onto the canvas, average run of the mill actions that MS Paint would do easily enough. The problem I’ve found is that OSX seems to lack any kind of simple paint application, sure you can download The GIMP but that’s not the point (and not really very simple, see review below). Apple, if you’re listening, there really should be something along the same lines as MS Paint included with OSX 10.5. Please?

Under Windows, I’ve been using a really old “LE” version of Adobe Photoshop that came with a printer a few years ago. It’s not got all the bells and whistles of the latest Photoshop (CS2) but it’s got all the features I know roughly how to use, it seems pretty stable and it’s not so complicated that I have to keep referring to the help.
I’m listing below, various OSX applications that I’ve found that might fill the void. I’ve tried them all and still find that I’m wanting something else so if you know of any others, please let me know either through the comments or via email to blog (at)
The GIMP –
I tried this. Didn’t like it at all, I was trying to join two smaller images side by side into a larger image and just couldn’t get them to go together. I found it just too complicated and I don’t think that was helped by the fact that I was using the trackpad on my powerbook and thus lacked a right mouse button (CTRL-click just isn’t quite the same as an actual right-click).
Seashore –
This is quite a reasonable application apart from the fact that it’s alpha and has warnings to do with corruption of images and other bugs when you first open it. It’s based on The GIMP but with what seems to be a slightly less complicated interface and I was able to copy a section of an image into a new image easily enough. Couldn’t figure out how to “flatten image” where all the layers are merged into one though. Might have to give it another go and read the docs this time.
ArtRage –
Great application, but not really what I’m looking for. It has brushes, crayon, pen etc for drawing and the effects are well done. There’s even a Windows version for those who want it. I wasn’t so keen on the fact that there didn’t seem to be much for manipulation of existing images, it’s more for the creative and talented (or for little kids who just want to scribble and see pretty things happening on the screen!)
TuxPaint –
Umm, not really what I was after. This is very much a paint application for kids.. very young kids at that. Every time you click to paint something, it makes noises. There are image stamps that copy a preset image of a penguin (Tux) onto your picture, a rainbow brush that paints in ever-rotating colours, and so on.
On with the search…


  1. Ok, I tried Pixen as well – unfortunately it pops up a warning saying it’s not designed for images greater than 256×256 and that it might be slow. Well, it’s true. It is slow trying to edit images that are larger than that and although it looks great if you’re trying to make a small sprite or logo, not much good for photo editing etc.

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