Paint Shop Pro (X2).. I essentially grew up with it when it came from Jasc, before Corel bought it. It's a 'dumbed down'/'light' version of Photoshop more or less. Not as complicated, but gives you a lot more options than say windows paint.
So far I haven't had luck to find a OSS replacement that works similarly as I'm pretty lazy .
I'm trying GIMP now and then, but as I'm not forced to use it I never really get to it and fight it's interface all the time, but I'm sure it would be the go-to-solution for me if I was a blank sleet.
What you want:
- layers + controls (like opacity, blending)
- some brush control
- some filters (brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc.)
- being able to draw rectangles/text/circles/etc..
- image resize/canvas resize.
3 minutes in GIMP 2.8:
Time to set it up like you can see here was ~15min (actually just installed the latest windows version to see how it is since I checked last time).
Has all the features I'd want afai-can-see, just different to how I'm used to
Missing some basic toolbar at the top (image rotate, paste/copy, files save/open/etc.) and for active tools an options bar at the top with the settings that are relevant and some life-preview.
The information is all there, but needlessly hidden and hard to get to.. could be a way nicer experience really.
PSPx2 interface how I'm used to (same result takes me 30sec in PSPx2):
At the moment, if I wouldn't know PSP I'd use GIMP I guess.
But from my personal POV it's lacking in comparison or needs some plugins/modules that allow what I want (maybe available - didn't check).
As I said - never have the need to really stick around and try to work with it.
Creating outline marks like I do all the time is a bit more complicated in GIMP than I'm used to in PSP and you get no preview (create on another layer to get the opacity effect):
Btw, the program window resizes when you zoom the image (even when maximized).. very annoying.
Here is the option to disable it.