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Favorite Free Art Resources

Free Drawing ProgramMedibang Paint has many features that Manga Studio does, though it’s not made by the same developers. It’s most closely related to FireAlpaca. MediBang also offers free online storage for your art, along with collaboration and the ability to sell digital manga in their online store. 

Free Reference Management: Need somewhere to store your many references and even created shared albums that (now) other people can add to? Consider Google Photos, the successor to the original Picasa. You get free storage if you store your pictures using Google’s fairly efficient yet quality-preserving compression scheme. Yes. Free endless storage. Note that this is a different system from Google Drive, so you won’t be able to mount your photos as a drive. 

Free Art Community: Want an alternative to DeviantArt? Try Wysp, which features a discrete way for people to give your art feedback. Fewer features than DeviantArt, without a huge community base, but I’m pretty OK with it. 

Free Digital Painting/Art Lessons: So far my favorite resource is Ctrl+Paint’s Free Video Library. There are quite a few foundation courses along with digital-specific techniques. While his program of choice is Photoshop, with a little bit of work you can adapt many techniques and drills to other programs like Medibang Paint and Manga Studio. 

Free Live Drawing Online Classes: OnAirVideo’s Croquis Cafe is a series of over 100 videos of live models, in various genders, body shapes, and skin colors/ethnicities. There are regular videos, 360º videos, and a few tips and fundamental videos on figure drawing. 

Free Brush Packs:

  • Armin Nelsyn’s free Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint brushes on Gumroad: These are free samples from his full brush packs (which range in $3 to $5 and contain dozens of high-quality brushes). Follow the @badbrushblog for updates, troubleshooting, and sample stroke sheets.

    • Basic Oil and Acrylic: I highly recommend the oil brush. See how it mixes with colors beneath the brush. The acrylic brush is quite good too, but the oil brush here is the nicest one you’ll find for free. A good free preview of the natural media brush pack.

    • Loose Inkers: These brushes have tilt sensitivity if your tablet supports it. They’re loose but I’d like to get more work in with them before I do a full recommend. On the other hand they are free, and give a good insight into what the natural media pack will do for you. 


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