Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
December 11th, 2006


The joy of clicking

Last week, I accompanied my blog entry with a lovely crayon drawing. Longtime readers of this blog – again, I’m referring to myself in the third person – will recall that this style of art is nothing new for me. What’s new is that I’m no longer slapping together crude vector drawings using Word and touching them up with the spraypaint tool in Paint. I still wanted a crude drawing to illustrate how simple a roundabout is, but since I’m no longer on a Windows box, I had to find some program to draw it in.

It really surprised me that Macintoshes don’t come with a decent drawing program. They’ve got oodles of photo-processing applications – Preview, iPhoto, and (the wonderful but hard-to-find) Core Image Fun House, to name a few – but nothing for simple drawing. That’s how I found ArtRage, a bonafied painting program for Windows and Mac OS. Even the free version is a joy to use, and it really makes me want to watch Bob Ross whack his paintbrushes again, because ArtRage basically lets me do that with the mouse.

I know of no other program where drawing a dark line with a marker involves going over the same spot three times, and drawing a purple line over a green one makes for an icky shade of gray – but that’s what happens in real life. So you can do things in ArtRage that aren’t possible in Paint or Corel Draw. Ambient Design’s unwavering attention to detail makes it possible to create real digitized paintings without ever having to scan one in. It also saves a ton of paper: mistakes are undone by Ctrl+Z, not by crumpling and tossing yet another marred, almost-there sheet of art.

For years now, the only type of art I’ve really been comfortable producing is the pencil sketch. I abandoned colored pencils (and thus color) when I realized that they were making my drawings less realistic, not more. But with ArtRage, I think I can finally give color a little love.


  1. "Longtime readers of this blog – again, I’m referring to myself in the third person –" LOL! That was gooooood! Please forgive me in advance if I use that someday, and forget to attribute my source.