mentioned previously the free OpenOffice contains a remarkable element
called Drawing. With this even beginners can easily create their
own designs and graphics. It beats Microsoft’s Drawing toolbar
features by far, and they’re pretty good.
Getting rave reviews,
and something well worth trying just for the fun of it, never mind
anything more educational, is ArtRage from http://www.ambientdesign.com
, which is just beautifully presented and you'd be hard-pushed not
to create something reasonable in a very short space of time! It's
totally free and simple to learn.
Some of the older versions of Serif
products are now available free for personal and limited non-commercial
use, including in education, and are worth looking for and trying.
As with all the Serif range the user-interface is very easy to learn
and ideal for beginners.
Serif DrawPlus4 is currently available
free, with no time limit for use or requirement to buy anything
else later, from http://www.freeserifsoftware.com
Installed on everyone’s computer
as part of Windows, Microsoft’s Paint™ has improved
over the years but is still a pretty basic tool which can take some
getting used to. Kids love it but it’s not easy to create
really good graphics without a lot of guidance as to what’s
going on. There are easier-to-get-on-with alternatives for amateurs!
One that gets consistently excellent reviews is GIMP™, free
and a simple, light download that doesn’t take ages.