Enter KidsPainter, one of many, many entry-level Mac drawing apps for kids which have more or less all the same tools. As drawing apps go, KidsPainter won’t wow you or your kids in any category except one.
KidsPainter takes the much maligned skeumorphism design style back to the 20th century. Drawing and painting tools are scattered among a number of floating palettes, each represented by overly large Fisher Price-like tool icons.
Some of the tools don’t look like drawing or painting tools that most kids will understand. Airbrush? CRT? Floppy disk? Really?
The tools themselves work fine, since they’re based on what Apple stuffs into OS X anyway. KidsPainter is both a drawing and painting app, at least, as reflected by the tools. And other than one rather important issue, is a decent app for children– pre-school, elementary, but probably not middle school, and definitely not high school.
Why not? Two reasons.
First, the iPad. The drawing and painting experience on the iPad rivals that of the Mac and basic apps such as KidsPainter, and for far, far less money.
Second, the price tag. KidsPainter, relative to other entry-level Mac drawing or painting apps, is priced into three socioeconomic groups beyond what you’d expect. The highly acclaimed Pixelmator, a far more substantial Mac drawing and painting app, is priced a mere $5 more.
School age children with a desire to learn to use the Mac to draw and paint would best be served by a less expensive or free app first, then graduate to an app like Pixelmator.