Now then, the tirade is over. Computer graphics programs are a different story, because they are a way of using your drawings after you have made them, for everything from cards, presents, posters, and all kinds of commercial uses, should you be so inclined.
Adobe Photoshop and Quark are two great programs for using art. Lauren uses one or the other for everything, and they're well worth the time to learn. Photoshop can do anything you can think of to an image, or montage of images, with or without type. Quark is the favored layout program, but you can use PageMaker as well. Adobe Illustrator uses imported art, too, but it has more bells and whistles.
There are lots of other art and graphics programs available for Macs or PCs. You can draw with a mouse or a stylus and art pad, using the shapes, colors, graphics, and special effects of programs like Canvas, Paint, Appleworks, and SmartDraw, to name a few. In addition, there are specialized programs, such as AutoCad for architectural, landscape, and mechanical rendering; 3-D and special effects programs; and the many programs for Web design and interactives. Take your pick. They all have huge manuals, but you can do it if you try. We admit to being Luddites, and so we stick to the programs that work for us.
Graphic images on your computer are any images that are not text-based. Different images have different suffixes (those are the letters that appear after the dot on a filename, including .jpg, .ipg, .bmp, .gif, and many others). Graphic images also take up a lot more memory on your computer, but if you've got a current model, you won't need to worry about them using up your available memory for years, if ever.
The Art of Drawing
Consider private tutoring if you can manage it, or maybe you can share a tutorial with a friend who is also interested, to halve the cost. You will learn much, much faster in a private tutorial. It's like having a personal trainer!
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