Entry level paint and drawing apps are not a dime a dozen but the pricing is close. Professional level paint and image enhancement apps can be had for less than $30, so what does a free painting app not do that a $10 painting app can do better?
The answer is simple. Not much.
Apple builds a number of components into OS X which makes it easier for app developers to drop in complex tools to handle image and drawing functions. These include Core Image, Core Graphics (Quartz), and others. That probably explains why the Mac App Store is loaded with entry level paint and drawing apps of dubious capability.
PaintCat enters the market at almost $10 but comes with the barest of a bare set of tools. Shapes, text, draw, erase, eyedropper, and fill make up the basics, which includes a fullscreen mode, color palettes for foreground and background colors. That makes PaintCat good for a pre-school or elementary school child with money and time.
For less than half the price of PaintCat WowPaint actually has more useful tools and more drawing capability, though still closer to the entry level position.
WowPaint has the standard graphic tools but also features Soft Pen, Glitter Pen, a 3D Pen with multiple variations, as well as tools like Smudge and Drag. 10 paintings can be worked on at a time and stored in WowPaint. It features a multiple undo and redo, pinch to zoom on the Mac’s Trackpad, layers, and customizable color sets.
If you’re an adult with a child WowPaint makes the better value of the two. If you’re an adult and want to begin learning about digital drawing and image enhancement, less than $30 will get you into Pixelmator, one of the Mac’s most highly touted and Photoshop-like apps.