Mac OS X does not come with a built-in drawing tool like MS Paint in Windows. There are quote a few third-party apps, both free and paid, available for OS X that mimic MS Paint, so your basic drawing needs are easily taken care of. Hexels is a a drawing tool with an edge. Well, six of them to be precise, as you’ll shortly see. The app has the usual tools you find in a drawing app, but its brushes are entirely different; instead of the usual rounded or slanted brush, you get one shaped likes a hexagon. There are additional shapes available too and should you choose to upgrade to Hexels Pro, you will be able to create your own shapes as well. Apart from the unique brush shape, the brush itself paints with a glow effect that you can tweak. There is also a built-in grid that makes it easier for you to paint.
Hexels’ interface is simple; the drawing tools are located along the left, and the customization options for the tools can be found at the top. The drawing tools include a brush tool (the hexagon), a line tool, a paint bucket tool, an eraser, a random selection tool that will select whichever cell you move the tool over, a rectangle selection tool, a color picker and a panning tool. You can choose two colors to work with and easily switch between the colors by hitting the X key.
The brush size and its opacity can be managed from the two sliders at the top. At the right, you will see a settings button. Here you can manage the colors you’re drawing with, or enter a HEX code to get a specific color. The ‘Modes’ tab lets you pick the shape of the brush, with a few presets to choose from. The grid shape changes automatically to match the brush’s shape.
The ‘Glow’ tab allows you to increase or decrease the radius of the glow effect and manage its intensity. The shape of the glow is independent of the brush’s shape, and can also be changed to one of the other three presets. Lastly, the ‘Documents’ tab allows you to increase or decrease the density of the grid, change the color of the grid lines, and change the background color of the canvas. The canvas size can also be increased or decreased by the pixel here.
Hexels saves files in its own format HXL that lets you edit them later in the app as well, but whatever you create can also be exported to PNG format. The app isn’t meant for conventional drawings and will take you a little time to learn how the glow effect renders itself but once you get the hang of it, it can provide you with loads of fun.