Tools on firealpaca

Tools on firealpaca DEFAULT

I’m awful at explaining things, but heres my best go.

First things first, firealpaca is a new art program that is free.  You can download it in any language for mac or pc and it works pretty nicely.  You can download it here.


Here is how I set up my artboard.  Tools are on the left, layers and a preview are on the right.  If you ever loose a window, you can click “windows” in the top.  You can find save, new file, and open file under “file.”   Undo, Redo, Copy, past, ect you can find under “edit.”  New layer, fill, clear, rotate, ect you can find under “layer.”  Select, Deselect, inverse, ect you can find under “select.” To have the pen or tool snap to a certain line and only draw in one direction, you can find under snap.  Color gives you the option of a bar or wheel.  "Tools" is basic tools, all of which you can find on the left of your screen as well.  "Windows" controls the different windows open such as layers, brush control, color, ect.  Help will find you certain tools incase you get lost or need assistance with a problem.  


I am working with a mac, not a pc, however the set up and tools are pretty much the same from what I’ve heard.

 I’ll start off by explaining how to make a new page, the brushes, and the tools that come with Firealpaca.  Like most art programs, you can import different brushes and such to use.  It gives you a few basic brushes to start out.

You can either go to the drop down menu under “file” and select “new” to make a new file, or you can use command + N if you’re on a mac.


This window will appear and you can choose the size of your file, the dpi, and the initial layer format (color or 8 bit).  I usually work in 2000x2000 unless I’m doing a commission, then it varies around 4000x4000.


Here are the different brushes.  You can see their textures below.  If you want to edit any of the brushes, just double click on them and youll get a small page to edit the name, type, width, size, and opacity settings.


Those are the main brushes I use when I’m drawing.  I use the pen for most things, but I like to paint with pencil and watercolor as well.  I have two custom brushes that I use for blood, but nothing else really.    The eraser brush erases and the firealpaca brush lets you draw with the firealpaca symbol.  I don’t ever use it so I didn’t include it.


Firealpaca also gives you a nice little preview of the brushes when you’re using them.  Here you can change the size and the opacity of the brushes really quickly while drawing incase you need a thicker or thinner or less noticeable line.


Above that I have my color palette.  I only have saved Bubble, Mod, Carousel, and GhostBunnies colors.  To add colors, you click that cute little page button.  To delete one, you click on it and click the trashcan button.  Be sure you add them in the order you want them because you cannot move the colors around.


These are your tools.  They’re pretty basic. Pen for drawing, Eraser for erasing, Dot brush for pixel art, v for the normal arrow tool that I call the grab tool, shape tool for drawing basic shapes (shift does not keep them at the basic size so you will have to eye it), the bucket tool for pouring colors, gradient tool for basic two color gradients, select tool for selections, I dont know those next tools names, I think theyre drawing selection and erasing selection or something, but you can draw with them to make selections which is pretty cool.  I usually use the lasso tool though.  Text tool for text, however you are very limited with what you can do with text.  You have quite a few font options though!  hold down option to get the eye drop tool and hold space to be able to move around the drawing if youre zoomed in.  

I’ve included the quick keys so you don’t have to go over and click the button every time you need to use a certain tool.  Down below you can see the options you get with each tool.  The tool options appear at the top of the program and change depending on which tool you are on.


For the pen and the eraser, you get the snap tool (quick keys 1,2,3,4 and 4) which just makes it so you can only draw straight lines in certain directions.  You can also draw a straight line by making a dot, holding down shift, and clicking where you want the straight line to go.  AntiAliasing makes the lines texturally smoother, and then line correction makes them visually smoother.


The dot brush you can choose your pixel size, anywhere between 1 and 3.  This is good for if you’re doing pixel art.


For the shape tool, you can choose your shape (you have rectangles, ellipses, and polygons), you once again can choose antialiasing or not, and for rectangles you can choose to have round corners and the percent of how round they are!  You can also edit the opacity of the shape.


For the Bucket tool, you can reference either the canvas or the background.  Once again you can choose antialiasing or not, and then theres the expand option! This is important if you are going to be filling or coloring with the bucket tool! It will expand your coloring 0-3 pixels so you dont get that white line between the color and your outline.


Gradients you can choose weather its Linear or circular and you can choose if its forground-background or just background.


The select tool lets you select a certain part of the drawing, for example if you want to cut it out or move it.  It gives you four shape options, I usually find myself using the lasso tool when I’m cutting out certain parts of the drawing. If you grab a certain part and realize you suddenly want more, hold down shift while you are selecting and it will just add onto the selection instead of starting anew one.

If you are going to be moving your selection, you must have your move tool over the selected area or it will move the entire layer.


For the drawing selection tools, your only option is antialiasing.


Here is the right side of my screen.  I keep the navigator small and it just gives you a preview of the art board.  You can zoom in/out by clicking the magnifying glasses or command + +/-.  You can zoom to a certain selection by the blank magnifying glass.    You can twist the layer by pressing the circular arrows or keyboard right/left, and you can go back to the original right side-up by clicking that cool line circle thing.  

Then you get to layers which is very fun.  You can change the opacity of the layer with that pink bar.  Lower opacity means it will be clearer, higher opacity means it will be stronger.  I only change the opacity when I am trying to differentiate between layers or when I am drawing lineart over a sketch.

You have these lovely blending options.  


I cant explain them without sounding dumb so I wont try, but Multiply makes the color darker, add will make the color almost white and it will make an airbrush look crazy bright. Great for lighting up sparkles or doing shines on the hair.  I dont use overlay or screen much.


Protect alpha will protect the lines under it, a clipping layer will only let you draw on whatever its clipped to, and locking a layer will make it so you cannot draw on the layer at all.


When making a layer, clicking the blank page will get you a new layer, clicking the 8 page will make you an 8 bit layer, clicking the two pages ontop of eachother will duplicate the layer you are on, clicking the page with an arrow will merge the layer to the lower one, and clicking the trashcan will delete the later.

Yeah that’s all I got.  I’m horrible at explaining things, so I’m sorry. xD but best of luck!

Go draw me a picture.


Let's use Snap tool

"Snap tool" lets you draw a line along the guideline. Drawing a straight line or circle by a freehand sketch is quite difficult, however Snap tool helps you to draw a perfect line easily.

Try Snap tool

Snap tool is OFF as default with Pen and Eraser tools.

To enable Snap tool, click the icon at the top of canvas to turn it ON. From left, "Snap Off", "Parallel Snap", "Crisscross Snap", "Vanishing Point Snap", "Radial Snap", "Circle Snap", "Curve Snap", and "Snap Setting".

Diagram:Check here to use Snap tool

Let's explore each Snap option.

Parallel Snap

It enables to draw parallel lines. You can set an angle from "Snap Setting".

Diagram:Parallel Snap

Crisscross Snap

It enables to draw a vertical and horizontal lines. "Snap Setting" is not applicable to this option.

Diagram:Crisscross Snap

Vanishing Point Snap

It enables to specify the vanishing point easily.

Diagram:Vanishing Point Snap

Radial Snap

It enables to draw radial lines. You can move the center point of radial lines from "Snap Setting".

Diagram:Radial Snap

Circle Snap

It enables to draw a circle. You can move the center point of circle from "Snap Setting".

Diagram:Circle Snap

Curve Snap

It adjust the guideline voluntarily and enables to draw a line along the guideline.

You can move, rotate, and flip the guideline.

Clicking "Snap Setting" will reset the adjustment.

Diagram:Curve Snap

Free Digital Painting Software for Mac and Windows FireAlpaca Download

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FireAlpaca is a very simple image editing tool with which you can modify your photographs using a more user-friendly interface than that of the majority of competitors such as GIMP or Photoshop.

The amount of tools you will have, consequently, is certainly limited. However, it offers enough features for you to be able to retouch your images without a problem, using things such as layers, magic wand, and gradient brushes.

Additionally, the program comes with tons of keyboard shortcuts (some of which are known by Photoshop users) so you can easily move around the program interface. Having a limited amount of options plays in your favor when learning all the important shortcuts.

FireAlpaca is a good image editor alternative. Beyond being very light and completely free, it offers enough quality to straighten out practically any photo.
Reviewed by Andrés López

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FireAlpaca Tutorial: The Basics

Select Brush Tool with B key Select Eraser Tool with E key

There are several convenient combination of tools to switch back and forth frequently, such as "Brush and Eraser" or "Brush and Bucket".

Ordinarily, you click a button on toolbar in order to switch a tool. However this requires to move a cursor to toolbar from canvas and click on a button accurately.

Diagram:Subtle control is required in order to switch a tool

Then, Keyboard Shortcut becomes very convenient. The following shortcut keys are set in the default setting.

  • Select Brush tool with "B" key
  • Select Eraser tool with "E" key
  • Select Bucket tool with "G" key

Select Brush tool with "B" key, then get Eraser tool with "E" key, and go back to Brush tool with "B" key, and go on..」

Keyboard Shortcut lets you switch tools without interrupting your work flow. Try it!

Diagram: Efficient work flow by switching tools with shortcut

Free Digital Painting Software for Mac and Windows FireAlpaca Download


On firealpaca tools

Free FireAlpaca Tutorials For Beginners: The Ultimate Collection

David Revoy digital painting

ResourcesDigital PaintingWritten by Claire HeginbothamDisclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something we get a small commission at no extra cost to you(learn more)

FireAlpaca is a free digital painting program that works on MacOS and Windows.

It’s famed for its lightning fast running speed and support for low-spec computers.

It’s one of the better free options for digital painting software and it’s simple enough for beginners to pick up in a jiffy.

FireAlpaca is everything you’d ever want in free art software. But if you’re struggling to learn some of the features I’ve curated this massive list of free FireAlpaca tutorials.

These should cover basically everything from handling brushes to altering layers and some more advanced features. So if you’re a visual learner take a look over this list and see what you can learn.

FireAlpaca Basics

Check Out This Tutorial

If you’re new to creating digital art with FireAlpaca this friendly tutorial can show you the ropes.

For the next 40 minutes you’ll learn how the UI works, what a canvas is and how to set it up, the different kinds of brushes, how to use them, and a few special tools to speed up your workflow.

Although FireAlpaca is all about the creating, drawing, and painting, it has a lot of technical features to help you out. Unlike other software like SAI, here you can create gradients or add text or even snap your brushes to visual guides on the canvas.

Think of this intro much like an all-over walkthrough of the software and how it operates.


How To Use FireAlpaca

Check Out This Tutorial

Knowing where the color pallet hides is one thing. But if you’re new to any digital art software the individual tools can feel overwhelming.

This tutorial teaches you how each tool works, where to find it, and when to use it.

All the standard brushes are clearly explained and demonstrated – a big help to newer artists.

The layer system is covered in detail teaching you how to use clipping masks and when to make a new layer for your paintings. Also you learn about FireAlpaca’s unique ‘snaps’ tool, an easy way to stick to perspective grids digitally.

This tutorial is a bit basic so if you’re already familiar with another digital art program it may not help as much. However it’s a life saver for beginners.


Common FireAlpaca Questions

Check Out This Tutorial

Ever wanted to dig a little deeper into FireAlpaca below the newbie stuff? What about those nagging questions you have in the back of your mind about quirks in this software?

Well this artist answers the most common FireAlpaca questions she gets, even simple questions like how to copy and paste elements.

She explains a lot more about the snap tool and teaches you how to find hidden UI elements.

Chances are, if you’ve just started using FireAlpaca, you have some burning questions. This tutorial will give you the answers.


Shading Tips

Check Out This Tutorial

All good shading practice starts with a ball and a light source.

This tutorial covers the core fundementals of cel-shading and anime-style lineart with FireAlpaca.

Cel-shading is a cartoony style of rendering where you only paint with hard, solid blocks of color and don’t blend to create gradation.

The artist gives you a ton of useful tips and tricks, cautioning you away from a few beginner mistakes. By picking interesting and complementary shadow colors your artwork will be far more entertaining.

Although the tutorial focuses on skin shades, the principles you learn here can be applied to any material in your artwork.


Character Tutorial

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If you want to learn FireAlpaca but get bored with tutorials that only focus on the tools and features, this is your solution!

In this video the artist shows you how to draw a character on FireAlpaca from start to finish.

Beginning with a quick sketch you’ll pick up various drawing titbits to help you improve your base construction.

Next is the lengthy lineart phase which includes details about which brushes to use and when.

After a simple explanation of layers, the sketch is colored and before you know it you’ll have a finished piece right before your eyes.


Blend in FireAlpaca

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The blending brush in FireAlpaca is referred to as a ‘watercolor’ brush. This brush combines two colors naturally depending on which way you stroke, giving the painting process a very traditional feel.

This tutorial teaches how to use watercolor blending to your advantage.

By shading a nose, the artist shows you both the artistic principles and the techniques needed to create a good blend.

The tutorial ends with the speed paint of a bust – a perfect reference for you to use in your other digital artwork.


How To Use Layers

Check Out This Tutorial

One of the biggest technical issues that all new digital artists face is managing layers.

You have to pass two hurdles: the initial understanding and knowing when to use certain layers in a painting.

This tutorial covers every detail of the layer system in FireAlpaca. You learn a neat layering system that you can follow yourself, plus the importance of renaming layers in complicated artworks.

And there’s even a few techniques on how to use clipping to your advantage.

This tutorial moves slowly by first explaining the concepts and then demonstrating them in action step by step. With this guide layers are no longer a frustrating mystery!


Animate in FireAlpaca

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Did you know FireAlpaca has an animation feature? Pretty sleek for totally free art software.

This easy-to-follow tutorial teaches you how to create little animations and gifs with the animation timeline palette.

Animation in this program is a two-part process. First you create all your frames in animate mode. This works using a feature called ‘onion skin’ so it’s easy to paint simple frame-by-frame changes.

After you’ve finished with your animation it’s time to export these frames as one final animation.

Save the images to your computer and presto! A fully formed animation right at your fingertips.

You can check out a few examples and simple guides on the FireAlpaca website on their GIF animation page.

With that page you can upload all your frames, choose your framerate and click download. Your animation is now ready for the world to see.

Share it with other artists on Twitter using catchy hashtags like #AlpacaDouga to get attention from the Alpaca community.


Painting in FireAlpaca

Check Out This Tutorial

Grab your Wacom pens cause this is the perfect chance to follow along and learn as you paint.

Starting out with an adorable reference picture of the artist’s cat, you’ll go from sketch to finished painting all in one sitting.

Once the basic sketch is finished the artist talks you through the lineart process, mentioning critical changes in the brush size. Next it’s onto layers and choosing the base colors to work with.

Here you learn how to shade in FireAlpaca and how to add lights and shadows on different layers by using the clipping tool. A very handy tutorial if you’re new to the whole painting process.


Making Comic Pages

Check Out This Tutorial

FireAlpaca is especially popular in Japan and is used by many Japanese manga students.

This is because it has superior comic and manga canvas settings. In this detailed tutorial you find out how to create your own custom comic book pages, all digital.

Instead of opening a standard canvas you change tabs at the top to ‘comic.’

From there you’ll have options like ‘doujinshi’ and ‘professional’ to choose from. The artist takes you through various comic book settings and explains complicated concepts like kerning.

For anyone who wants to create their own webcomic or design a printed comic book of their own, this tutorial will prove invaluable.


Clean Lineart Tips

Check Out This Tutorial

So you’ve finished your sketch and you’re happy with your basic shapes.

Next is a very time-consuming task in digital art… the line art.

If the thought of lineart makes your hand tremble in fear and exhaustion, you’ll get some relief by watching this tutorial.

This trick is simple, easy, and requires minimal effort on your part. Just turn on the ‘correction feature’ and set your correction level while drawing.

It’ll slow down your brush movements and correct your lines automatically helping you make smoother lines with the exact shape you want.

If you still struggle there is another powerful tool to adjust the lines you’ve already made, so watch this tutorial and find out how it works.


7 Shortcuts for FireAlpaca

Check Out This Tutorial

Digital art takes time to master. But all great software has keyboard shortcuts that’ll save you time.

This demonstration is for more advanced users who understand the basics of the program and just want to improve their workflow.

Some of these shortcuts are pretty basic while others can prove invaluable. For example, when your brush is active press Z to switch automatically to the eraser tool. That’s 3 seconds and two clicks you just saved, and those saved seconds add up quickly.

Think back to the last time you had a complicated art project and spent ages trying to find one layer. Major tip: Hold A and click on the painted area to automatically jump to that layer in one fell swoop.

Watch the video for all seven shortcuts and shave hours off your drawing time.


How To Make Custom Brushes

Check Out This Tutorial

Custom brushes are incredibly useful when you want to give your paintings a unique texture or fill in some custom background details.

Common types of brushes are pencil brushes, paintbrushes, splatter brushes, or texture and blending brushes that help artists blend colors in exciting ways.

The process of creating a custom brush is fairly straightforward and this tutorial makes it even easier.

You’ll learn what each setting does and how to create a pattern out of your brush work that fills an entire area. By the end you’ll be able to export your brushes and share them with the community.


Tangela Painting in FireAlpaca

Check Out This Tutorial

This speed painting video shows you exactly what FireAlpaca is capable of.

Condensed down into a quick 6-minute video, the artist shows you how he paints and shades a Tangela all from scratch.

Using an interesting color palette he incorporates a blue-green light source with a very clean and stylized finished piece.

In this painting the lineart is painted over naturally giving the finished artwork an energetic, realistic feeling that steps away from the usual comic book style.

If you’re able to follow along here this may be one of the most exciting projects you could try in FireAlpaca. Or you could always start with an easier list of Pokémon if you’re still getting the hang of digital drawing.

Author: Claire Heginbotham

Claire is a traveling creative living in Osaka, Japan. She spends her days writing things, learning things and eating ungodly amounts of sushi. Read about her adventures here or secretly stalk her on Instagram and Twitter.

How to make custom tools + How to use correction In firealpaca :)


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