This page contains several specially selected free tools and resources for artists and designers.
Included here are photo editing tools, digital mat makers, public domain websites, portfolio sites, call for entry sites, online logo and banner makers, and more.
If you would like to recommend a useful resource for designers and artists, please do so in the comments.
Image Manipulation Tools and Photo Editing
Gimp is a completely free image editing software and a great alternative to Photoshop.
Picasa is owned by Google, and is useful for organizing all the photos on your computer. I have also used it for creating photo collages. Find the tutorial for this here: Make Photo Collage With Picasa
Great free downloadable software for photo editing.
Free online photo editing.
- Digital Image Mat Designer
This is a cool online tool for adding a mat to your images, and is useful for finding an appropriate mat for a painting or photograph.
- Digital Image Tile Mural Maker
This online software splits and image into equal sections, and would be useful for mural artists or tiled paintings.
- Celtic Knot Designer
This creates a celtic knot design around a photo.
- Frame Maker
This very simple tool allows the addition of a frame and mat to any photo.
This is a list of free websites whereby images may be uploaded, and digital watermarks added to them.
FREE Images! - Public Domain photo websites
Photographs labelled public domain means that the copyright has either expired, or the author has made them available to anyone. Certain images are automatically public domain, such as NASA photos.
These photos are useful as photo reference for paintings, publishing on websites, and can even be used for commercial purposes.
Listed here are some of the best websites to find public domain images.
This site contains a range of public domain photographs, from people, advertisements, stock medical ads, space images (NASA), nature, sports, transportation, religion and daily life.
- Totally Free Images
This is a huge resource of 500,000 public domain images, which can be used in any project. The site contains old photographs, paintings, drawings, microscopy, astronomy and maps.
- Open Clipart
The Open Clip Art Library has over 30,000 free public domain illustrations, including collections, clipart, icons, templates, and line illustrations. Search for images with the search bar, or use the categories at the bottom.
- Free Reference Photos
This article contains a list of websites to find reference photos. Please pay attention to the terms at each website, as some images may not be available for commercial purposes.
This is an extensive list of 100+ free portfolio sites for artists, designers, photographers and illustrators.
Posting to these is a great way to promote art and is also a useful link building strategy.
Instructions for creating a certificate of authenticity and where to find templates for COA’s.
These cool online tools allow the creation of paintings and drawings online. Included in this list are Psykopaint, Artpad and much more.
Create a Logo Online Websites
- Cooltext - Cooltext is a cool online editor for creating logos, banners and text. Refer to our tutorial for creating a logo with Cooltext.
- Logomaker – Easily make a logo online, and select from thousands of icons.
- Online Logo maker – One of the easiest online logo creators, and has plenty of options.
Online Banner Creators
- Banner Fans
- Easily create your banner online. Create the banner exactly as you like it, using a set size or custom size.
This banner maker has plenty of options, including background mode, gradients, text and fonts, shadows, effects and border. Select a file format (JPG, PNG, GIF) and download to your computer when completed.
- More online banner generators – Banner Creator | Online Banner Generator
This article contains a list of websites to find call for entry and art competition opportunities. Included are Visual Overture, A Singular Creation, The Art List and more.
This lists several artist management software, which are useful for artwork tracking and list management.
Free Online Art Classes and Courses
Included in this list is are many useful resources for learning to draw and paint online: Drawspace, Free Online Art Classes, Youtube, About.com, and How to Draw and Paint.
Do you know of any other online tool that would be useful for artists and designers? Please tell us about it in the comments.