openCanvas is a paint/drawing software that enables you to record/replay your drawing procedure. If you use the "Event" function (to replay the drawing process), it is quite easy to find out how an illustration was created! openCanvas has a simple interface, nice and realistic brush stroke, and various filters/layers/tones.
User reviews: Very Positive (56 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014
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Buy openCanvas 5.5


Recent updates View all (2)

September 19

openCanvas 6 Steam Edition has been released! - September 17th, 2014

openCanvas 6 Steam Edition has been released!

Users who purchased openCanvas 5.5 Steam Edition previously are eligible to receive openCanvas 6 Steam Edition for FREE!
Please access to the below page to learn how to get openCanvas 6 Steam Edition:

Enjoy advanced openCanvas!

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About This Software

openCanvas is a paint/drawing software that enables you to record/replay your drawing procedure.
If you use the "Event" function (to replay the drawing process), it is quite easy to find out how an illustration was created!
openCanvas has a simple interface, nice and realistic brush stroke, and various filters/layers/tones.
openCanvas will be suitable for beginners to advanced users.

Latest Information

Thank you always for using openCanvas.
In response to many requests, we are pleased to announce that

it is FREE to upgrade to openCanvas 6 Steam edition if you have purchased openCanvas 5.5 Steam edition.

openCanvas 6 will be released sometime in 2014.
Also, we will release updates for Japanese/Korean/Chinese(traditional) versions in the near future. Stay tuned!


  • "Pen" and "Brush": enables you to create various expressions.
    There are various strokes, such as a fountain pen, watercolor, and many more.
    You can easily edit your own "Pen" and "Brush" strokes. Also you can apply a saved Bitmap image to "Pen", that will expand your creativity even more.

  • Filter
    Levels, Hue / Saturation, Blur, Emboss, Clouds etc

  • Layers
    Multiply, Screen, Overlay etc

  • Tone
    You can easily create your own Tone with our exclusive interface.

  • Intelligible Interface
    openCanvas uses GUI "Graphical User Interface", therefore it is easy to handle.

    Tool Palette
    The Tool Palettes has an automatic adjustment, docking, and folding functions, that will enable you to use workspace effectively.

    Color Picker
    4 types 18 varieties

    Preset Editor
    You can easily create your own Pen, Brush, Tone, and Gradient.

    Hand Tool
    When you use the Hand Control, the cursor becomes "Hand" shape. Then you can control the "Pan," "Rotate," and "Zoom" function at the same time.

  • "Event Tool" that records and replays an illustration procedure
    The "event tool" is the openCanvas’ unique function that enables you to record and to replay an illustration procedure. If you open an event file in openCanvas, you can learn how to draw an illustration as if someone is drawing in front of you.

View illustration with openCanvas

You can download someone's "Event" file from our community website(

  • STEP 1: Event file download
    Please download Event file from illustration detail on our community website(

  • STEP2: Open Event file
    To open downloaded Event file, double-click on Event file or go to File>Open Event.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP Later
    • Processor: x86 compatible processor capable to SSE2
    • Graphics: XGA(1024x768) / True Color (24bpp) display
    • Hard Drive: 10 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Wacom Tablet recommended
Helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
OpenCanvas 5.5 is a very light-weight painting application.
What I think, in comparison to Photoshop, is, that OpenCanvas is fast and isn't overloaded with things you don't need for painting/drawing. Since Photoshop is an all-in-one tool, OpenCanvas concentrates on illustration and digital-painting.
Everything you need is (in my opinion) in the right place and surely improves my workflow. Worst part was learning new shortcuts but with a little practice you will notice, that it's comprehensible and some are identical to other design-applications. The event-feature is a nice tool just to see, how your painting process was.
I personaly recommend a wacom-tablet.

+ fast
+ not overloaded with features
+ perspective tool
+ well arranged panels
+ shortcuts are easy to master
+ event-feature to 'record' your painting process
+ a really good blur tool
+ FREE UPDATE TO OpenCanvas 6
+ the mirror tool is integrated to the hand tool (when you hold space)

- double pressing a tool-shortcut will change the tool (I didn't found a solution yet, but it's a little pain in the ♥♥♥)
- no animated zoom
- I really miss a feature for straight lines like in PS (shift+draw or shift+click)
- no network-drawing like the first version

All in all, OpenCanvas is a pretty application for illustrators who are overstrained with Photoshop and its features.
For 45,99€ / 37,00€ in SummerSale you can't do anything wrong when you're looking for a light and easy drawing-app with a bunch of extras.
I don't know how much it will cost to buy version 6 alone but, if you buy the steam version you will get a free upload from v5.5 to v6.
Posted: June 30
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
64.7 hrs on record
Normally i was drawing using photofiltre 7 but since i use this application draw is faster and better quality :)
Normally i took me 3 week drawing a good image now it took like 4 to 5 hour and i can finish a draw with perfect quality :D
1,000/10 I suggest it to any person who want to start draw with easy and fast tool :)
Posted: September 6
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
55.9 hrs on record
Firstly I'd like to say, as with most graphical software, try before you buy! Their website allows you to DL a Demo version that gives you a fairly long time to decide before buying here at Steam. Some users have reported issues with Wacom tablets, however I've had no issue running it with a Wacom Bamboo.

ANYWAY, If you are familiar with Paint Tool SAI or GIMP/Photoshop you'll find elements from both in OC. It does lack the organic feel of SAI in a few ways but the functionality it has in other areas makes up for that. It has all the filters and adjustments that you'd expect from a tool like GIMP or PS, such as gradient maps, filters and blending modes. The brushes are a little dissapointing compared to more 'natural' paint programs but they offer both the pen style that users of older PS versions/GIMP will be used to as well as the more painty feel that comes from SAI. One thing to mention is they have a fairly wide range of tweaks for the pens and pen nibs so making something custom to suit your needs shouldn't be too hard.

There are a couple of things that make this program stand out such as the adjustible overlay perspective grids. More experienced doodlers won't find this too helpful but it is nice not to have to set up a grid each time you want to plan something out or check something. New artists will find this super useful.

Secondly the radial menu button is pretty neat, allowing you to skew your drawing, put it back as it was or zoom to fit page/snap to 100% easily. Lastly, possibly the most notable function is the ability to save your drawing as an event. Some people might feel this is gimmicky, but you can play back the process of a painting to see what went into it. You can stop or choose stages to pick up the artwork from too, so editing or trying a new direction is a lot more accessable with this. These can also be shared as files (fully lockable so people don't gank your art) between users too, which is a nice touch.

To sum it up, if you are looking for a cheaper art program that has fairly well rounded features this is a good choice. It has more convienience than other art programs out there in terms of design but you can't expect it to perform like an industry standard program. A good choice for hobbyists.

Posted: June 18
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
202.2 hrs on record
This is a fantastic art program. I'm not really much of a professional when it comes to art, since I mostly draw cartoony stuff, but this software is the kind that's easy to just pick up and use and produces good quality art. There's also a trial on the website that lasts about 120 days if you want to try it out for yourself, since everyone's opinion is different. :D

- Easy to use
- Not too pricey
- Great quality if you're used to creating digital art (Unless you're a beginner, but it's easy to get used to c:)
- Able to save WITHOUT merging the layers for easy fixes (Just save it as .oci)
- Lots of options, but still understandable

- Occasionally crashes upon startup and you have to restart your computer to fix it (Doesn't really bug me that much, but it scared the crud out of me the first time it happened xD)

... That's the only con I can think of, but then again, I don't really use the super advanced tools.

If you're unsure about it, you can go to the website and download the trial and see for yourself!
Posted: August 14
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Love the Program wish it had the Networking like the old verson so I can Draw with Friends.
Posted: June 18
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152 of 153 people (99%) found this review helpful
25.1 hrs on record
A few things to consider before you purchase this if you were considering to do so.

1. It says it is "recommended" to have a tablet, but if you ask me it is a MUST! You can't really take advantage of this program without it.

2. This program is like any other program (Photoshop, SAI, etc.) it'll take a little time to get used to and shouldn't be used to replace another program since it does pretty much the same things.

3. Make sure your OS is compatible. Windows XP or Later. (I personally run Windows 8)

Be aware too that this license says it won't let you upgrade to the next version when it comes out if that matters to you.

As for learnability it is pretty straightforward (though some tutorials may be hard to come by on the web unless you really look). Regardless this is definitely a must buy for anyone that doesn't have an illustration/design program already. At the price it is fairly inexpensive. At the moment of this comment SAI was running $50 and as you may well know Photoshop is exorbitant in price (ranging somewhere between $150 - 300 as a "STUDENT DISCOUNT" at my university).

Anyways hope this helped you if you want to decide to pick it up for casual or professional illustrations! Enjoy and Good Luck!
Posted: January 24
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