There was a time when Kid Pix was the only good option for a kid’s paint program. Well, times are changing. In the past year I have had the chance to review several new options to the market, and 2008 brings another worthy choice. Doozla by Plasq (the makers of Comic Life and Skitch) is a fantastic new paint program for children.
When you open Doozla you are presented with one of four options: “Coloring In,” “Drawing,” “Draw on a Background,” and “Webcam Drawing.”
“Coloring In” presents you with 36 coloring pages to color. The choices cover all categories. Basically, you or your child uses the fill bucket to pick a color and fill in the different sections of the image. The image can also be drawn on top of. I think the current artwork is great. I love the style. My former students where I taught k-8th grade would love these images. Even the middle school students would enjoy them.
“Drawing” is simply drawing. The Doozla tools are used to create a picture from a blank canvas. The basic tools are there: brush, eraser, line tool, fill bucket, square and circle tools, undo and redo, and a text tool. These tools are present in each of the four Doozla sections. You also have a choice of thirty colors.
Color cannot be mixed or changed, which is probably fine for the youngest child. The paint brush can be changed to five sizes and the brush sizes also translate to font sizes when adding text. You cannot change the font, which is a nice cartoony/bubble font.
One of the nicest drawing features is that Doozla will smooth out the lines that are drawing. No rough edges here.
“Draw on a Background” presents 16 different backgrounds to choose as a starting point. That background is then drawn on with all of the tools mentioned above. I have been told that more backgrounds and more coloring images will be added to the collection in future Doozla updates.
Finally, “Webcam Drawing” uses the computer’s webcam (built-in to most Macs these days) to take a picture and draw on that. Imagine the fun a kid will have painting on his/her own face.
Once an image is finished it can be saved or printed. Pictures cannot be saved or exported into a standard format. They are saved in “Doozla” format. So, if you want to use the image in another program, or email it to a grandparent, a screenshot would have to be taken. An email feature would be a great addition to the set of Doozla tools.
Another feature I’d like to see is the ability to combine images. For example, if a child colors a monkey in the coloring section it would be nice to be able to take that monkey, resize it, and put it into one of the backgrounds, or put it into an original drawing.
Overall, Doozla is a fantastic drawing program for kids. It could not be any easier to use. I could easily see preschoolers through second grade students spending hours with this program. At $24.95 it is a fantastic value. You can see if it is right for your child by downloading the free demo at http://plasq.com/doozla/.