Ok......I seem to use things that no one has ever heard of, but they work, and usually I start out with a free demo downloaded from ZDNet Download page. For a basic paint program I purchased Ultimate Paintm after I used the freebie for months. I added Adobe PlugIn effects, and Ulead effects. It's a nice little package. For animations, I use Gif Movie Gear.....another free demo, then you can purchase the whole thing. And I found a free thumbnailer, which I use in conjunction with Irfanview, and a free tiling program. Now I want to get the pen and pad set, so I won't have to draw with my mouse anymore!!! Oh......I've done my web pages with a freebie, which I purchased as an update later, by the name of CoolPage 2.6.
It works great, too, after you learn about text and placement!! That's it!!
~~~ enjoy yourself ~~~
it's later than you think!