Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Mypaint 1.1 : A guide through the new features

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 4, 2013, 5:19 PM
At the very end of 2012, the code of the famous free and open-source digital-painting program Mypaint 1.1 was released. If you still using Mypaint 1.0 , you might be interested to see what happened into this one year of change. For reading an excellent review about it , please read the very cool and full article wrote by Alexandre Prokoudine on Libre Graphic World , he also made a cool video.

Here I will focus on writing a review for Mypaint 1.0 user, to let them know what changed and how they will benefit from it.

On Canvas Notifications

Now Mypaint is a bit more talkative when you press '+' or '-' on the keyboard to zoom with the 'Control+Space' shortcut. It was difficult back to Mypaint 1.0 days to have an idea of the actual zoom level. For the future development , this box system was made to be reusable ; so Mypaint might have better and better visual feedbacks on the next versions.The notifications are activated by defaults , and concern for the moment only the zoom level. To set them off or on : Menu > View > Feedbacks  ;

Symmetry mode

An icon on the toolbar allow you to activate the symmetric painting mode. The axis displayed is a bold dotted orange line also part of the new ; 'on canvas ' feedbacks. ; To display the axis or hide it : Menu > View > Feedback.The feature is very young and the axis is actually centered to the viewport, so take care if you zoom out or pan the canvas.

Line Mode

Mypaint 1.1 is now really able to do precise drawing, more technical, such as perspectives, or comics frames. This is not aimed to be a feature as flexible as in a vector programs (ex: Inkscape ) ; , but its now very capable to get the work done and having very cool results for your perspectives drawing, concept art of props , etc ...On the toolbar an icon will invite you to switch between various tracing mode , there is 4 : Freehand , Lines, Line Seq , Ellipse. Under them there is a graph , where you can tweak 4 points. Those 4 points represent a simulation of pressure ; input on left and output on right.

On the screen under you can see how even more complex presets ( here watercolor_expressive from the set#2 ) are traced real time while you deform them. Also, you can see how the 'Line Pressure' parameters works when the input in low, and output is high.

Each 'Line Mode' have it's own little secret of key combinations with Shift for extra features :

Freehand mode + hold Shift
A shortcut to do a straight lines, perfect to draw perspective grid

Freehand mode + press then release shift
A shortcut to do a straight lines , but constrained to every 15°, good if you need to draw square , rectangle ( framing thumbnails, drawing comics frame, or drawing the an horizontal horizon line on a perspective drawing. )

Lines Mode and Lines Sequences : Create a lines , then drag and drop with Shift
A shortcut to bend the lines interactively on the canvas as you can see on picture with red curve under representing various preset bend.
or Ctrl while drawing
constrained to every 15°

Ellipses + hold Shift during creation
A shortcut to rotate the ellipse

Ellipses + hold Ctrl during creation
A shortcut to constrain ellipse to be a circle

New layer blending modes

One of the revolution in the precedent release were the addition of 4 layer blending modes. Now, the number of them grew to 16 and are compatible with Krita ( for Gimp, still take care of two particularity : they have a 'color' mode incompatible with Mypaint and Krita, and also have a 'overlay' mode broken , a duplicate of the 'soft light' , probably solved in series post 2.8 ).

For Krita user, the Mypaint color blending equivalent mode can be found on Krita under the HSY > Color.


This feature solved the number one public enemy ; bug report of all precedent version of Mypaint : the non ability to frame. Now Mypaint can still benefit of the infinite canvas feature, but you can set a frame on the top and resize. This framing zone will be the ; only part exported if you save to PNG or JPG , the outside limit of the canvas will be saved if you use the Open Raster format, ORA . If you open a painting with Mypaint from another application , you may want to turn on the 'Enabled' frame ( I have a shortcut for this ). Your picture dimension will be locked. And Mypaint don't round to 64px everything as in 1.0 anymore.

Convert to normal

On the main menu, Layer > Convert to normal mode ; is another innovation from the Mypaint developers ; it allows to 'bake' the pixels of a layer and render them as a normal blending mode. On the picture under, the textured 'soft light' channel was converted to a 'normal' layer blending mode with keeping the same aspect ( of course, picture loose flexibility , the layer bellow are less editable ).

Change color (wash)

On of the first on-canvas color chooser of old Mypaint, who disappeared on version 0.7 . I'm really happy to see it back in 1.1 ; I missed it. This color selector offer an explosive fractal flower of colors ; with variation of hue, saturation and lightness. It's intuitive and remind me the traditionnal palette.attribute it a shortcut by going over the item, and pressing a key : Mypaint Menu > Color > Change color ( wash )

Gamut mask

Masking the gamut is popular on traditional painting : and also happen frequently when your tubes of colors are empty , or when you limit yourself to use only some tubes of colors. Restricting the range of color , or masking the gamut , was also really well explained by a famous traditional painter James Gurney . I personnaly really learned a lot with his book : Color and Light. Mypaint 1.1 is the first digital painting application to support Gamut masking , in a digital fashion. Here under is a study with a split complimentary mask. I still need to train with it. I see a lot of potential in this feature especially to have interesting color palette and original renderings.

You can set a lot of various mask , at 1 click away ( bottom right icon of the color palette ) , and move the shapes, etc... The user interface is really easy to learn.

New color selector

A new color selector replace the old one, and propose now :- a HCY Hue and Chroma : ; All the color on the circle have the same lightness intensity ( Y ) nearest of human color perception. - a HSV ; Hue and saturation : Linear and dependent of the RGB value and screen device, Blender user will be familiar with this one. - a palette , compatible with Gimp *.gpl palette files- a classic color triangle , HSV too. Thats the one I use the most ( I'm used to have same in Krita / Inkscape / Gimp ) , but I move slowly to the HCY Hue and Chroma- another HSV under the layout of a square , Photoshop user will be familiar with this one. ; ( not you can also rotate the H, S, V in it )- last tab is for rulersTips : - you can at any moment bookmark a color to the palette , icon in also on the bottom right- if you double click on the square of the actual color on the bottom , another color selector will open , where you can enter values, useful is you have to deal with webdesign/interface elements ( ex : ; entering a grey #7B7B7B ) ,

Color brush blending mode

Brush blending modes where each dabs strokes affect the color bellow is a different feature than layer blending mode. Mainly because you can save the effect into a preset, and because the effect can get stronger as they are pilling on the canvas.

Color blending mode ( HSY ) is one of the first.

Multiply blending mode for glazing will surely be on the way to the next releases , and I guess the 'layer>convert to normal' feature is already a first stone to allow painting with Brush blending modes even on a transparent layer.


Now the Preferences panel can offer you the possibility to map a important number of action to special key ; as tablet and stylus button , or Shift, Ctrl ( named Primary ) , etc...

Brush settings

Brush settings is a panel you can call with pressing 'Control+B' or by going in the menu > Brush > Setting Windows. Nothing really changed on the appearence ( except the top tabs button, with labels now ; ) , but the Brush preset of 1.1 are in a new format. Old preset are still compatible. My own kit of preset is the set #2. Tips : if you modify a brush size , opacity and want the change to be permanent ; open the settings, then press the 'save settings' button.


Mypaint official download page :…
Windows version is still not ready. A bug in one of the library make the tablet not working. Tumagonx is still alone on working on Windows portablity. Linux user will be able to compile the source code ( follow the README inside the source code archive ) , and distributions will certainly provide it via system updates in your package management of their next release. Ubuntu 's based Linux can use the easy PPA ; of Andrew Chadwick :…

Mypaint team

A lot of effort, hours were done on this release ; :
- Martin Renold ( aka maxy ), creator and leader of the project.
- Andrew Chadwick ( aka achadwick ) who made Gamut mask, frame feature, ; color selector, notifications and many more.
- Jon Nordby (aka jonnor ) who worked a lot on cleaning the brush engine, library , performances.
- Richard Jones ( aka optigon ) who made all the Line modes. - and of course, all other contributors , translators, and testers.

If you now cross this nicknames on IRC freenode channel #mypaint or on the forum , thanks them for the awesome work they do around this open-source software. They already started the road to 1.2.

License of the article :
Images and text on this article are licensed under a CC-By : Any usage of it ( copy paste / translating / commercial / publishing / derivations, etc ... ) ; are allowed if providing back the credit "by David Revoy" . Full license :…

( PS : Well... that was long to write, now I blemish imagining doing the same thing for the release of Krita 2.6 ... oh my.... it will be long )

Add a Comment:
Levitating-Narwhal Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Student General Artist
Okay I've been looking for the symmetric drawing feature for WEEKS and this is the only thing I've found on how to actually FIND it, but I don't have any of these features. The install wizard for MyPaint says version 1.0.0, though. I really need this feature, but I can't find it! Can anyone please explain to me why? I'm running Windows 7, if that matters at all.
togusatravis Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014
I was very sad that they havent really ported it to windows yet. Well thats chill. I' figured out how to run a live disc of linux mint on my tablet pc. Now I have access to mypaint 1.1.0.! I figure if you have windows anybody else could do the same. My computers hard drive was fried anyways, so the only way I can draw on it now is booting from a disc. I have to redownload Mypaint everytime, but its such a small program, and gimp is bundled on the disc already. But for people sqeamish about partitioning your hardrive, booting temperarly from a disc is doing it for me right now. And I cant believe how much I was missing out on with the new mypaint.
RoxiiReaper Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hm, Ive got mypaint on windows, but maybe its not 1.1.0? idk havent opened it in a while XD
togusatravis Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014
Hey, um i dunno if, but i think they dont have 1.1 for windows on official download yet. If you go to their wiki they've had problems with windows development. But I recently got wind that a developer made a workable exec file. I downloaded it and it works! I dont know if its stable, and I just prefer linux right now. But The exec file is 1.1. With all the cool features like mirroing and ellipse tools, even a gamut masking feature. I dowloaded on my windows 8.1 HP.

Heres the link to mypaint, its a little bit down the…
SoulReaper919 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Someone Help Please!

I have already searched all over the internet for an answer.

I have been using Mypaint 1.0 for a while now, and today it stopped loading/starting all together. It will not open in anyway, from shortcut, from program file folder, from image, nothing.  I tried deleting and installing again numerous times. I tried deleting my (.mypaint) folder, didnt work. 

MyPaint 0.9 works fine, but I really dont like 0.9. 

Anyone have any suggestions?
darksilverflower Featured By Owner May 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It's been doing the same for me. I haven't found any solutions yet....
SoulReaper919 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I still never figured out why it wasnt working. Thank god I have numerous computers and laptops lol. Did you ever get yours to work Darksilver?
darksilverflower Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No hehe. My friend ended up giving me a copy of Paint Tool Sai of a rather dubious legality....
AgentKnopf Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
I have never heard of this program before but it looks great :D ! Thank you so much for taking the time to walk us through the new features :3 !
zykee Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is there any updates on the windows version??? I want it so bad already :(
52HertzWhale Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
Is there possibly a release for Mac? This looks incredibly good.
FinPrint Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I downloaded the windows version (1.0.0) couple days ago and I LOVE IT! only negative things I could think of were the lack of active symmetry and ability to move and rotate layers (with these I'd be more than happy to abandon painter).. And then I learned there's a newer version with these features.. But not on Windows.. I must say I was heartbroken.. Like some have said I'd be more than happy to help to make the windows version but I don't even have the basic knowledge of coding. . I'm seriously considering of having a portable Linux with mypaint on it but the problem is that this solution interferes too much with my workflow.. I'm one of those who like to pick up a drawing fast whenever I feel like.. Without the need to boot to another os for a while and then switching again if I need to do something in windows.. but well Long story short.. I hope someday there's an updated version for Windows. . If not.. I'll be in my corner doodling with my 1.0.0.

Ps.  I was wondering if someone knows is an android version possible? 
Fluffgar Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Professional General Artist
A Windows version would be great for me. Most of the software I use is Windows based so it's the OS I run most often. If I had the skill I would help Tumagonx with making a Windows version but I don't :(
bHYde Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013   Digital Artist
Like always, I enjoy looking and living your tutorials, or letting me into your work flow. Great job can't wait to see a windows release from the devs. 'Grab a live linux disc maybe' This will surely come in handy when I get my hands on it tho. ThankX!
bHYde Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013   Digital Artist
GraphixS6 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks Deevad. Very complete. I hope someday I can run it natively on mac. Though, hopefully, I wont need to in the future.
thetetine Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I want this version for Windows dammit!
Ok, Mypaint wins, I'm gonna install an ubuntu on my computer now (and maybe actually take a look at the code)
JonNotAvailable Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist
Awesome! Thanks a lot for your amazing work :)
BleedingProse Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Can't wait for the windows version. :)
Charliesan Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013   General Artist
Hola David, gracias por el pantallazo de todas las funciones nuevas:D, tengo 2 preguntas para hacerte:
1. Tengo la versión que viene por defecto con mi ubuntu 12.04 que es la 1.0, hay manera de actualizarla a la 1.1 por terminal? o tengo que borrar la que tengo y bajarla en .deb?
2. Hay alguna manera de ponerle un tamaño de lienzo específico? por ejemplo, si quiero hacer un dibujo en tamaño A4, para que la capa no siga creciendo indefinidamente:P

Desde ya gracias, hermosa tu galería;) Salu2
phelibre Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Perfect this version runs well with MacPort, Thank you very much for the help. If someone in a document that brings together all the keyboard shortcuts, I'm interested :)
Deevad Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Could be a good idea to make one Phelibre. The more advanced I saw for the moment is this one : [link] and miss a lot of key and is a bit hard to read. I note that at the end of my to-do list.
darkslyer7raven Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
when the windows one will be ready, please!
Deevad Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hey, I think there is a better probability of a future Mypaint 1.2 for Windows than of a Mypaint 1.1 on it.

As far as I collected infos, it's about the tablet pressure not working in the GTK toolkit 2 used by the Mypaint team. GTK's 2 for Windows have already the code patch ready afaik, summited to the GTK developer for review. But it seams for reason I ignore no one at GTK 2 care or have time about it.

By working on the 1.2 , Mypaint developers try to convert all to GTK 3. It's probably because it may solve issues. But I'm not sure about it.
But as far as I read on the GTK 3 framework platform, it's a framework made for the Gnome 3 desktop environment ; as Clem , leader of Linux Mint community said : "I genuinely get the feeling that GTK 3.4 is developed for Gnome 3.4, that it doesn’t really matter if it breaks things and that we’re not supposed to use it outside of Gnome." ( [link] ) .

So I hope all of this will find positive issue. And sorry if someone read my comment and have the feeling I say wrong things. I just try to collect infos from what I hear on the development channel IRC's discussion. Any more advanced informations are welcome.
darkslyer7raven Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
ouh thanks a lot! am a big fan and supported of my paint, it is one hell of a powerful software! and the moment i started using it my workflow has improved,I hope they will solve the problem soon or i will have to shift to linux
FabriceW Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
purée quelles connaissances, bravo msieur, ça donne envie en tout cas!
AnkoCoon Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
J'ai bien envie de tester tout ça ^^
Malheuresement, la version 1.1 n'est pas encore disponible pour Windows...
saalokiN Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
I only can download version 1... :(
And it's not working well on my MBpro.
Were can I find version 2? Do you have a direct link?

PS: I love your work
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
Deevad Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hey Thanks,
The actual version is 1.1 , and the release only happen on Linux at the moment due to a bug on the Windows version. Thats why the download page for Windows still show the 1.0.
Steven-Powers-SMP Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
David - Thanks for the overview and update. Looking forward to the Windows build.
cintillate Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
When I read this I literally squeaked and jumped up. :squee: I want to give a hug to MyPaint team! Thanks Deevad for taking time to make this review.
Stalcry Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I have been drooling over these features so much <3
art-of-zanshine Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is definitely the most amazing update of MyPaint ever. Thanks to all of the MyPaint Team!
Celou Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Woohoo ! Merci pour le tuto !
J'ai hâte alors que la version de Windows soit up =D
CyBear-Punk Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm sorry Krita, its not you its me...
EpsilonEridani Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Super, merci!
I downloaded it and tried it this evening. The line mode is very useful and was really lacking in the last version. The new features are quite nice. I am happy to run with a Debian !

PS: dear Windows users, maybe it is a good opportunity to make the transition to Linux ! :D
johnnydwicked Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Can't wait for windows and so dying to test out the awesome features especially mirror! :D

I'm also dying to have the animation implemented in the official mypaint too.
radishdalek Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This release seems to have everything I wanted in Mypaint, now all I have to do is wait for the Windows release (my tablet does not run in Linux)

Thank you for your overview of the new release, its very clear and helps to understand how the new features are used.
Renmiou Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
Thanks for the features guide! It's always easier to get into it when someone who's experience with the program walks you through the features like this. :)
BiwerVincent Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad that painting software for linux is getting better.
Dead-Portalist Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Really looking forward to the next Windows release if they can squash that nasty-sounding bug (saw it on the bug tracker). Thanks for your time to make this changelog and thanks to all the devs for putting so much time into this great piece of software.
mrcentipede Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, this is great! Quite a lot of new stuff! Thank's a lot for sharing.
Yepezzzz Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
thank you very much
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Whoa, that all sounds really cool! Thanks for the review!
ScionicSpectre Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, that's intense! I was already quite satisfied with MyPaint, but it looks like I have a lot more to be excited about, now. :D Thanks for the overview.
Deevad Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Dislexas Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
XtremeOverdrive Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Aww, to bad it not ready for windows T_T Do you think we will see 1.1 for windows within 2013?
Deevad Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I hope too for Windows user ! The team is facing a really hard bug to fix dependent of the GTK framework they use on Windows.
As Inkscape and Gimp will probably run on the same situation , it will be probably solved at this moment.
Add a Comment:

:icondeevad: More from Deevad

Featured in Collections

Writings by Azurewhiterose

Journal-related by kateheichou

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
January 4, 2013


15,913 (7 today)
51 (who?)