My Paint. (children's paint program) (evaluation)
by Beth Ann Murray
Children love to draw, and My Paint--one of the best paint programs for kids--will only encourage the habit. Without a lot of bells and whistles, My Paint offers challenge and pleasure by stimulating your child's own imagination. As testament, my child, who won't color with crayons, will spend hours drawing and coloring with My Paint.
If you've ever doubted that icons are user-friendly, sit down with a child and My Paint, and see how quickly they become friends. These icons are animated, a whimsical detail that simply begs kids to try them out to see what they'll do.
Your child can draw by clicking and moving the mouse. Although you can use a joystick to operate My Paint, I would highly recommend a mouse for freehand drawing. This is an extremely useful skill that computer-oriented children will use often.
Selection of a fat brush, a thin brush, or the fill option is handled by icons. Both fills and line drawings may be done in any of ten solid colors or with combinations of colors.
One of my son's favorite tricks is the flashing colors option. After drawing a variety of lines and shapes with the freehand tool, he selected flashing colors. Suddenly the screen resembled a neon sign, flashing and changing every second! Lines drawn with the multicolored option, then set flashing, looked like a crawling worm. My child loved it!
A coloring book option allows you to fill in a variety of predrawn pictures, and, of course, both original art and coloring book pictures can be printed for coloring with crayons. Additional coloring book disks can be purchased separately, and each includes 28 different pictures.
This is certainly a clever program, but the sound accompanying each coloring book picture leaves something to be desired. The dinosaur's roar and the kitten's meow sound about the same--like static. There are isolated bits of charm, though, such as the pirate ship's sea chantey and the xylophone playing a tune. My Paint lets your child do computer artwork without a lot of distracting options. And because the interface is uncluttered, there's nothing standing between your child and creativity. So if you've got a budding artist in the family, buy My Paint and watch the artist blossom.