MyPaint 1.1.0 released with new blending modes and color tools

MyPaint 1.1.0 released with new blending modes and color tools

Martin Renold et al. released a new version of MyPaint, a free digital painting app. For many users this will be an exciting upgrade, for others — a good reason to try MyPaint for the first time.

We did a quick overview of most important changes, such as new blending modes, symmetric painting mode, direct frame editing on canvas, blending modes and new color tools.

However, if you are not a video person, read below.

Color tools

There are two big changes here: how you select colors and how you work with color harmony.

First of all, all color harmony tools have been removed in favor of gamut masks. The idea is that you can create a kind of a mask on a color wheel that locks you to certain parts of spectrum. Here is what it looks like:

Editing gamut mask

Every mask is a vector object, so you can freely edit it: move enclosed areas of the mask, drag nodes, create and move new nodes. For people who already know a little about color harmony there are several presets to start from:

Gamut mask templates

This is a more flexible solution that obsolete color harmony tools. However you are now supposed to have a good prior understanding of color harmony, and rotating the color wheel is only possible in gamut mask editing dialog. Which is quite a bit of a shortcoming. And it also works just for the HCY color wheel at the moment.

The interesting part here is that MyPaint can load a gamut mask from a GIMP palette, and it will attempt to draw a preview of the resulting gamut mask when you locate the palette file.

Loading a gamut mask from GPL palette

Color Sampler has gone as well, but few more color selectors were added (left to right): HCY color wheel, HSV color wheel, and Color Components.

New color selectors

Bits of Color Sampler seem to have ended up in the HSV Cube tool (another new color selector), and you can also add colors to a custom color palette you can later edit:

Color palette editor

Only GIMP palette files (.gpl) are supported for opening and saving palette so far. As you can already guess, MyPaint will show previews of color palettes:

Loading color palette from GPL file

Blending modes

MyPaint 1.1.0 has a total of 16 blending modes for layers now.

New layer modes

The newly supported blending modes are: overlay, darken, lighten, hard light, soft light, difference, exclusion, hue, saturation, color, luminosity.

When possible, MyPaint writes the blending modes as SVG 2.0 composite operators to OpenRaster files. That makes MyPaint compatible with other applications like GIMP except for the Luminosity blending mode which some other applications are currently missing.

Geometry tools

It's interesting how the team gives up the heavily guarded notions one by one (remember alpha channel locking?). Beginning with v1.1.0 the painting application has basic geometry tools: lines, consecutive lines and ellipse drawing. Freehand drawing is just a mode now.

Drawing straight lines with MyPaint

Note, however, that MyPaint still uses the current brush for all geometric primitives, which is similar to stroking a selection with a brush in GIMP.

We'll see if filters or transformation tools will eventually land to MyPaint.

Symmetric drawing

This is something people used to rely on Alchemy before. You can activate it by pressing Shift+I, clicking a button in the toolbar, or going for the menu roundabout.

The symmetry line is drawn vertically across the center of the visible part of the canvas:

Symmetry center in MyPaint

There are, however, a few limitations:

  • You cannot shift the symmetry line. That means, if you disable the symmetric mode, then pan around or resize the window, you lose the center of symmetry. Restoring its position isn't that easy. Of course, it only applies to users who don't run MyPaint in fullscreen mode.
  • You also cannot rotate the symmetry line to make it diagonal or horizontal. If you rotate the canvas, the symmetry line will rotate along, but that's really not the same thing as rotating just the line.

Other than that, it's a quite handy feature.

Usability improvements

Speaking of giving up and implementing transformations tools, the new version has a tool for quickly moving a layer around.

New work modes, including shifting layers

Note that this tool work as a temporary toggle. After shifting the layer once and release mouse button you automatically go back to the painting mode. Panning, rotation and zoom tools (the other new buttons on the toolbar) work similarly.

Another new handy feature are feedback indicators: MyPaint can optionally display a fading cursor in the point you stopped painting at, and flash the new zoom level in the upper right corner of the visible part of the canvas.

Finally, adjusting the frame size got easier. Now, as long as the dialog for editing the frame is open, you can grab sides or corners of the frame and drag them. Grabbing and dragging inside the frame will reposition it.


MyPaint is currently available in source code and as a build for Ubuntu. A version for Windows is expected later. You can read more about packaging status for OSX here.

What's next?

With luck we'll soon see a more artistic review of MyPaint 1.1.0 by David Revoy and maybe some other artists. Update: David published his review.

Apart from further work on the GEGL port there seems to be a candidate for immediate post-release merge of source code: subpixel painting, currently in works by a new contributor, Micael.

It's also quite possible that development will move to Github. This will make the source code repository and the bugtracker integrated.

Was it useful? There's more:

39 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. MyPaint 1.1.0 is already available as a binary package for Archlinux

  2. Ubuntu 12.10 too, via Software Center.

  3. Also packaged for ROSA 2012.1 (install via “Install & Remove Software”)

  4. Great update!

  5. Hi, how install or update mypaint 1.1 on 1.0.
    I work on linux mint 9 10.04

  6. so many new amazing features!!

  7. Sad to see there’s no windows release of 1.1.0 , but it was expected as the compilling of the source is leading into broken and unusable window builds since more than half a year unfortunately.

    I hope someone will be able to fix the reported bugs that affect the windows release one day, the improvements over 1.0 sounds amazing.

  8. It is a pity as a Windows user that I cannot use those fantastic gamut features… Is Mypaint leading to a Linux-only environment then?

  9. I am a sincere fan of MyPaint…. 

    And a I like so much these news.

    I will be very patient waiting the 1.1.0 version for Winbugs. :P


  10. this one looks like a winner. lots of well thought out features. i will do some sketching and kick the tires. The gamut masks look very interesting. this could be better then trying to set up pallets to do the same sort of thing. pallets work but they are limited. kudos to the mypaint team keep up the good work.

  11. 1.1.0 installer for Windows installs a whole bunch of garbage software, possibly trojans - I don’t know.  Why would you do that?  Personally I don’t like Linux - and Windows version of MyPaint is too buggy.  Not sure what you are trying to do here.  Think I’ll stick to Photoshop.

  12. I need version for Windows. New MyPaint looks very good, I was waiting for moving layers function.

  13. Claus Daniel Herrmann 24 January 2013 at 4:06 pm

    This looks very promising. Too bad, it only runs under Linux ...

  14. A great addition for default MS Paint. Microsoft should improve their default paint with more features.

  15. Отличное видео! И музыка очень хорошо подобрана.

    Ещё бы запускать MyPaint командой “LC_ALL=C mypaint”, чтобы русские строки в английское видео не лезли, и было бы совсем замечательно.

  16. I have built v.1.1.0 on Gentoo w/no greater problems Windows it became a horror&waste; of time, I cant maintain Gentoo partitions anymore.

    Still however I count on people who can do it- please DO NOT FORGET ordinary guys w/their ordinary Windows ;-)

    PS.At least w/scons is a horror-maybe come instruction for cmake build?

  17. please..version for windows

  18. Unfotunately TumaGonx is currently the only one working on a Windows build for MyPaint, naturally it isn’t easy and it is tough for him working it all out alone. So it would be great for the future of MyPaint in Windows if people with a necessary knowledge could step up and help him with the task.

  19. Really happy to see this update! Thanks a lot guys! For all windows users, try linux ubuntu, linux came a long way from almost text-based to a very intelligent and usable user interface. Much less difficult than expected and comes with a very big community.

  20. The speach is going not about Ubuntu is better (I personaly prefer CentOS) but about that a person can not that easily switch his working place to Ubuntu from Windows. In windows there are tons of software which have no replacements on linux. First of all for me it’s totalCommander I used to setup in with wine but that is not exactly the same as on windows. MC is well-lernt by me either and is a great console working tool, but that’s still not a GUI total. TuxCmd sucks. And so on and so on. Whatever you try to peplace in your workplace by linux-alternative that will fail against the same well-built version with a windows-origin.

    So it makes a task of replacing windows by linux almost impossible. Nobody wants to develop software which would have an open-source relations or will be using such tools when there will be a porting of a tool on linux.

  21. is there beta testing for 1.1 on windows?

  22. thanks :)

  23. Where’s Windows version? T_T

  24. hi, love the update especially the blending mode. Looks really cool!

  25. Aww, I wish they would come out with a Windows version. They announced it in January, and it’s been four months without any update on the Windows version. :(

  26. So… I take it the design team has decided that a windows port is simply too distasteful for them to spend their time with? I’m sorry, but i just don’t believe that out of all the programmers working on mypaint none of them knows anything about windows.
    Myself, i have used MyPaint as a windows user for over five years. That’s right. I worked hard to master it, to bring out everything i could with it. I recommended it to everyone i knew, i pushed it hard saying it was the future of digital art!
    But now you just went ahead and stabbed me in the back with yet another update for everyone but us.
    Nice. You do know of course no program written on linux has ever become known to more than a handful of people right?
    Play with your penguins linux boys, I won’t be back.

  27. @Plow

    Woah there, You love MyPaint? You’ve been using it for 5 years? Why all that hate then?

    There’s one simple reason why a Windows version isn’t officially out yet; none of the core MyPaint developers use it enough to port it to windows and do all the testing and debugging. Just because you don’t use it doesn’t mean you hate it. It is a compelte myth that open source devs hate Windows. It is taking a lot of time because only a single person, Tumagonx is currently working on the Windows version. And you are making it sound so melodramatic, nobody’s stabbing anyone in the back.

    If you are indeed so passionate about MyPaint and it’s future on Windows, you could do a few things

    1) You could download the beta packages from Tumagonx’x website (
    Then you could test it on your Windows machine and send bug reports to him. That’d help

    2) If you are a developer yourself you could contact Tumagonx and work with him to improve the windows version.

  28. For “Windows” users it is quite simple to have a dual boot OS with Ubuntu. I ran it for several years without any problem.
    When I replaced my PC with a later build I did a RAM upgrade on the old one and now run Linux ubuntu on that one. It’s now my internet PC and also runs Mypaint amongst other programmes, version 1 is a cracking programme and I’m downloading the later release in a few minutes.
    Great work guys…

  29. @Phil Hartley

    is not that simple, i used Linux for 6 years and damn if i miss it, too much i have to say and people like me and assuming you too know how Linux work but i don’t think a regular Windows user have any idea what a “swap” partition may be nor how much of ram it requires according to their pc’s specs, excuse me mate but is näive thinking anyone any day can do a dual boot in a PC and specially if it’s a shared PC or something like that and just to use one program, despite i find quite exaggerated John’s view on the software i too admit that it makes no sense at all that Windows being a well documented and almost totalitarian system it’s just too unknown for most of the developers of FOSS software and that cross-compiling being one of the most remarkable features of FOSS software is just too broken, i may be wrong but i always had the notion that most Linux software developers are too self-centered and even egoistical and they ratter tell people “DIY it’s FOSS” when they are supposedly the heads of the software.

    dunno i also feel a big let down, since GTK3 (that was the reason i switched back to Windows) things have been broken everywhere and now is the reason many FOSS software that used it are broken now, to be honest i didn’t expected MyPaint to be an exception, but anyway i still lurk the forums regularly and hope to see a Windows build at least 90% functional to this day

  30. Alexandre Prokoudine 02 June 2013 at 4:17 pm


    since GTK3 (that was the reason i switched back to Windows) things have been broken everywhere

    1. Why would you switch because of GTK+3?
    2. How is GTK+3 broken everywhere?

  31. I would really love to see this on Windows, remember not all users “Choose” to run Windows.

  32. Very good software,
    for anybody to be able to learn to code,
    a more and very simple way to start would to
    explain the tools that use to build the software.
    for testing and learning, than to make the software better.

    everything is very nice to perfect.

  33. How to get this program for free and how to use it?

  34. Hello, is there anyway we can see this version going on Windows? I love MyPaint so much, it would be great to see updates :D!

  35. hi, need update for win, thx

  36. yea win is still not working. Call it a stable version if you like but it’s not.

  37. mypaint-1.2.0a works pretty near perfect on my win 8.1 with bamboo tab. No major issues as of yet

  38. I started using the software, however, it stopped working suddenly.