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 (62 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014
Popular user-defined tags for this product:

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy openCanvas 5.5


Steam Greenlight

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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
This company is great. They gave people key codes to get 6.0. This is a very user friendly and is great for just sketching.

****= Four Stars Out of Five
Great Program
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 13 people (54%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
This is a real eye-opener game. Unique design concept deep heart and it made ​​a very good detail. Plot is entirely inferior to Hollywood blockbusters. Role model is very fine, making good interface. So what? You worth trying to play!

現在買5.5 送 6哦.價格一樣.官方活動,買一送一你怕不怕?趕緊買個吧
軟件方面 5.5有繁體中文 6暫時沒有
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
153 of 154 people (99%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 24, 2014
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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
40 of 44 people (91%) found this review helpful
212.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 26, 2014
I normally use photoshop but decided to buy this because I liked the idea of the event feature, and I got a lot more than I asked for. This is a very easy to use peice of software, especially if you normally use photoshop (in fact, as of right now I can personally say that I prefer drawing with this over photoshop).

Sidenote- A tablet is not a reccommendation for this program; it's a must have if you want to get the full effect (honestly there's no point in buying drawing software if you're only going to use your mouse)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2014
Open Canvas is a good software, with some problems, its has some pretty useful tools like the perspective tools, are pretty helpful, i am doing a fan comic for fun in my free time and its pretty good, overall his Pencil is better than PhotoShop pencil´s with a Wacom tablet, but is not better than Sai Tools Pencils, although it has some pretty good tools that Sai lacks, so if your thinking about buying photoshop, i would recommend you to buy open canvas, buy Sai tools, and download GIMP(its a Freeware) its overall a lot more cheaper and you end up with more options.
The only problem i see with open canvas, is that sometimes its get slow or don't respond for a minute, but all of this mainly happen when your not connected to internet and if opening directly the program instead of using Steam.
Good Tools
Good Pencil
Better pencil than photoshop(and cheaper)
Like all these kind of software its work better with a Wacom/Bamboo Tablet or similars
Sai has a better Pencil
Some response problems
like all these kind of software you may NEED to buy a Wacom/Bamboo Tablet or similars if you want to have use more easily the software.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 30, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
64.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2014
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 :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 2, 2014
Fun and easy to use with a graphic tablet!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
55.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 18, 2014
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
358.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2014
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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
911.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 11, 2014
Take it from a guy who spends alot of hours creating commisions, this does the job. Depending on your system if you have the settings too high for the blur button, it may freeze up for a couple of seconds. Its worth the 50 dollars to invest.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 27, 2014
I like the software because have a recorder (event file) which automatically record my drawing event and the perspective rule and the brush too but still none the less. (waiting for the ver.6)
From who want to learn from various artist, you can learn in the official community and download the event file in there. it's very help for me to know and fast learning how to use Open Canvas.

Last year I try to use Open Canvas, but still not comfortable and I prefer to using SAI, but this year, about 2 month ago I using this software again and practice hard how I can painting with this software, and yes I can learn it from simple cartoon style until anime style with detailed. sketch and sketch everyday! and watch back the event. ^_^
Another reason is I'm fan of fuzichoko :D I love her colorful painting style and Fantasy world that she create. She always inspire me and now because I practice really hard, I found my own style with this software I can painting what style I want with semi realistic and anime alike because this software a bit like Photoshop brush so I can feel the sensation from it. But there are still differences between the two software SAI & Photoshop. Some software has a positive and negatif, you need to adjust it, whether you are fit or not before buying, if you feel not cozy don't buy this product, but if you cozy and need this software, you must bought this software!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 18, 2014
Love the Program wish it had the Networking like the old verson so I can Draw with Friends.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
63.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 24, 2014
Well i dont have to steal photoshop anymore, and i think i find this one a bit more convenient and faster loading A+
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2014
Hi! This is probabaly my first review ever on steam.

I have been using Open Canvas for many many years, starting from the original 1.0 versions. In fact I held onto the obsolete versions for quite some time, using them in favor over photoshop due to ease of use and smoothness of the coloring and lines I could create versus then jittery and difficult photoshop. Even now, it is my preference despite criticism from professionals and students going professional. The only con I can find is lack of available ready to use brushes packs and filters, but that may change with the newer updates and as people finally catch on and realize this program is awesome! OC is also very friendly to use with other programs and not completely proprietary (something I can't stand about certain more popular art programs, they do not grasp that people use multiple tools), which is awesome because when I am serious in my work I toggle programs constantly and completely enjoy the ease of transition.

Here's a toast to Open Canvas! May you continue to grow and develop into the amazing program I know you are, can and will be.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
494.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 20, 2014
Love Open canvas been using it since 2005. Brilliant features in 5.5, excellent antaliasing and brushes! Love this software.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
44.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 29, 2014
This product is actually pretty cool and easy to use. a cheaper version of photoshop.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
138.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 6, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 9 people (44%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 13, 2014
First, I'd like to make it clear that I've only had a chance to explore this program for a few hours. So, keep that in mind when I'm discussing the tools available. The program is extremely lite. I expected something that could sketch, maybe record some videos of my work.

The biggest selling point of this program is the ability to record and playbak your work. If you want to record your work, but don't want to fork out money for another program to record (which in all honestly is probably the better way to go), then this program is good.

Now, sadly, I have to discuss what is not good.

The worst thing about this program is the support and stability. You can use the program one day, and the next day it doesn't boot properly. Errors abound in this program. Certain brushes will just stop working or crash the program when they worked earlier in the day. Even just fiddling with your tool settings can crash the program. Then that's if it can even start. I've only owned the program about a month and reinstalled it a half dozen times.

The tools are not that great. There is a crazy amount of finangling to get your pens or pencils to work properly. Community support for custom tools and brushes is really poor. Basically, there is none. The tools in the program have a hard time with opacity and "mixing." It's hard to mix colors (like in a palette), and your best bet is to use masking and opacity to come up with a color. However, these act weird. There is a cutoff point where you can either see both colours or only one and that cutoff window is extremely small. I find this is the problem when adjusting tools. It doesn't feel like the changing from 1-100, but the settings only have a change of 1-2.

I really don't feel there is much difference between tools. The watercolour tool works the same as the pencils. In fact, the pencil is probably a better tool to use if you want to have watercolour effects.

I hope that OC 6.0 works better with steam than this.

tl;dr- I cannot recommend this program because it lacks support and usability. It crashes all the time (if it works at all). Your money is better spent on Sketchbook Pro, SAI, or just use GIMP.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
49.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
OpenCanvas is a wonderful program...when it isn't freezing and deleting your work randomly. It really is some of the best artistic software I have worked with, but it is woefully unstable on Windows 8, with some rather weird bugs. I've just finished a great preliminary sketch and I went to save it. The "Save Us" window popped up... but I could not type anything, nor could I click on "Save" to at least save it to my default, nor would my desperately pressing 'enter' registered with the program.

I checked with the Windows Task Manager and it reported that OC was working normally- not even a 'Not Responding' next to it. The only thing I could try to do eventually was to open old things I had made with OC using the taskbar. Eventually opening one of them unfroze the GUI, it asked me to save my Untitled, I did... and then an error ocurred and my sketch was lost. Then it froze again and, ticked off, I aborted the process through the Task Manager.

I've had similar freezes when Saving the file under a new name. I don't begrudge this product at all- it's wonderful, but until it becomes more stable, I simply cannot recommend it to people who can afford some of the more high-end competitors.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny