I've been using Photoshop for around 7 year and it can do pretty much anything, but if you are wanting something aimed more for art and i think is slightly cheaper, try Corel Painter X. It uses layers like photoshop and gives you alot of drawing mediums, (pens, pencils, paintbrushes, sum-e, felt tips, watercolour, pastel, loads more) and it gives you a good selection of canvases; watercolour paper, wood, cloth (textures the canvas to give a nice authentic feel on the end result)
I could probably spend a while explaining more of it's features and stuff, but it'd be alot easier to grab the free trial and give it a go.
I mean i'm not saying painter X is better than photoshop, hell no, but like i said from what you've described it might be worth trying.
Oh and on another note, if you were fortunate to purchase both painter X and photoshop, they both save/open into the .PSD file formats which adds to the functionality.
I'm so far beyond the point of no return I've forgotten what it looked like when I first passed it...
Yes, Zorda is correct there are also a lot of other functional painting programs. Photoshop is just a powerful overall tool, but if you don't need all the extra perks, there are some amazing digital paintings that have been done in lesser/cheaper alternatives.
I would highly advise you to get the corel draw suite, it has Corel Draw(vector based) and Corel Photo Paint(pixel based) among other smaller apps.
Not only the two are solid alternatives to Adobe's products, they come bundled together and are still way cheaper than buying PS or Illustrator individually. I had to use them at school during 3 years and they never let me down, except that at the time we were using a older version (corel draw 11) which was crashy as hell, but as soon as the school upgraded to 12 those problems were gone. I still use both occasionaly at home, even though I could have have photoshop and illustrator for free thanks to a deal adobe signed with my uni.
holy crap they raised the price quite a bit (it's now at 429$, used to be around 300 if I recall correctly) and for some reason they took Rave out of the package.
It was pretty damn usefull specially for web development, I don't quite understand why the hell they took it off.
Originally Posted by OldManClayton Also, no warez conversations.
I was in Thailand at the time and piracy is not an issue there, so I bypassed this rule slightly with a technicality Maybe. Maybe not. I'll be quiet.
I've heard good things about Paint.NET.
Also, I've used OpenCanvas, it's a pretty good paint program too, simple and effective. Seen some absolutely crazy stuff done on it, too. And I believe it's free.
Also, if you own a DS with a flash cart I suggest as a homebrew application to download "Colors!" (1.06b or something) it's excellent, great app for the DS. And I in no way encourage anyone to use homebrew illegally to run official ROMs.