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DeviantArt tries its hand at software

The Web site, a popular destination for artists to share their works, has created a free, HTML5-based drawing program.

DeviantArt Muro
DeviantArt, a social network for artists, this week unveiled Muro--a free, HTML5-based Web drawing tool. Screenshot by Ina Fried/CNET

After 10 years of serving as a place for artists to collaborate and share their works, DeviantArt is now aiming to play a more central role in the creation process.

This week the Web site unveiled DeviantArt Muro, a free, HTML5-based drawing program. The program contains a variety of tools and brushes and also supports pressure-sensitive tablets, such as those from Wacom.

A DeviantArt representative said that the idea for Muro had been kicking around for several years, while the actual creation of the tool was a months-long project.

Though not aiming to match Photoshop and other tools in breadth, Muro aims to be more convenient and approachable, and, of course, free.

The program has more than 20 brushes, supports both a basic and pro mode, and supports various layers and levels of opacity. Projects can be saved either to a computer's hard drive or directly to one's DeviantArt gallery. And because it is based on HTML5, it also works on the iPad, along with all manner of computers.

"DeviantART Muro is pure fun for anyone," DeviantArt CEO Angelo Sotira said in a statement. "But it's also a highly sophisticated application that will meet and exceed the needs of professionals in the arts. DeviantART Muro offers the best brushes for pressure sensitivity on the web, and because of its design, we can continually expand the tool's features and functions in response to user comments or to new devices, almost on the fly."

A decade old this week, DeviantArt now has 14.4 million registered members and the site gets 100,000 pieces of art uploaded per day, along with 1.5 million comments. It also draws 35 million unique viewers a month, according to the company. The company has about 70 full-time employees and is based in Hollywood, Calif.

Embedded in this post is a gallery of some of the DeviantArt pieces already created with Muro.